Ian Rankin’s series about the mercurial Detective Inspector John Rebus accounts for an estimated 10% of all crime book sales in the UK (as of 2015) and the books have been translated into 26 languages around the world. Rankin's gripping stories have also been adapted for TV, and you can find many of the iconic locations in here in Edinburgh.
Rebus Film Locations in Edinburgh
Series One - Starring John Hannah
Clerkenwell TV first adapted four of the books for ITV – Dead Souls, The Hanging Gardens, Black and White, Mortal Causes - with John Hannah as Rebus, airing in the UK from 1999 to 2001.
Locations all over Edinburgh appear in the series including Arthurs Seat, Edinburgh Zoo, Central Library and the Amusement Arcade in Portobello. Rebus’s favoured bar, the Oxford Bar, was played in this series by (more spacious) Nobles Bar in Leith, his police station was the Drill Hall on Dalmeny Street, now a creative space for artists, and his flat facing the castle was by The Meadows on Warrender Park Terrace.
Nobles Bar is a traditional Leith bar close to Leith Docks with extensive wood panelling and stained glass windows telling of a shipping past. Drill Hall Dalmeny Street was originally built in 1901 for the Royal Scots Regiment, used for many years as a barracks, training centre and garage for military vehicles until Out Of The Blue arts and education trust took it over. Now the space is known as an exciting and inclusive arts hub, hosting exhibitions and performances and providing workspaces for artists.
Series Two, Three and Four - Starring Ken Stott
STV created 3 further seasons of Rebus between 2006-2007 with Ken Stott as the eponymous hero (pictured above). These were shorter, 45 minute episodes, and featured exterior and landmark locations in Edinburgh including the Museum of Scotland and Hibs stadium in The Falls, the Scottish Parliament, Greyfriars Bobby and Fleshmarket Close. In series 3 locations featured include Calton Hill, New College, Hopetoun House, Port Edgar Marina and Water of Leith. In series 4 we see Leith Docks, St Stephen Street, Fleshmarket Close, the Royal Oak (previously playing the violin shop in Dead Souls), the National Galleries of Scotland and Cockburn Street.
More notable locations include The Meadows, one of Edinburgh’s many inner city parks sitting in between Edinburgh’s Old Town and the neighbourhood of Marchmont. It also features Edinburgh Castle, a historic fortress and the birthplace of King James VI of Scotland (James I), and now one of the UK’s most popular visitor attractions. You can also see McEwan Hall in the show, which is the striking, domed graduating hall of the University of Edinburgh. It was presented to the University by William McEwan, brewer and politician, in 1897.