Official Guide to Edinburgh

The 39 Steps

The adaptation of John Buchan’s thrilling adventure novel.

Diplomat Richard Hannay returns home to London, only to become inadvertently embroiled in the death of a British spy investigating the head of an organisation planning to sell the secret of a British ballistic missile. Hannay flees to Scotland to escape the police and tries to complete the spy's mission.

There have been four film or television adaptations of The 39 Steps – three of them have filmed in the region. The most famous is Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 version which includes a scene of Hannay fleeing over the Forth Bridge. This scene is not in the novel yet appears again in the 1959 version directed by Ralph Thomas.  A 2008 adaptation for the BBC starring Rupert Penry-Jones as Hannay did not feature the Forth Bridge, but did film in West Register Street in the east end of Edinburgh as well as Hopetoun House, a stately home in South Queensferry, and the Bo'Ness & Kinneil Railway.

About the Forth Rail Bridge

The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge over the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, 9 miles west of Edinburgh City Centre. It is considered an iconic structure and a symbol of Scotland, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the location of the bridge and other The 39 Steps film locations in the map below.

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