Lights, camera, action! Edinburgh has become a bustling hub for TV shows, attracting a diverse range of genres and captivating audiences around the globe. From historic dramas to thrilling mysteries, this enchanting city has played host to numerous productions, leaving its mark on the small screen. So, grab your popcorn and let’s explore the TV shows filmed in this captivating city!
Step back in time and immerse yourself in the charm of historic dramas filmed in Edinburgh. The city is an ideal filming location for historic dramas due to its stunning architectural beauty, including preserved medieval structures and diverse historical periods. Edinburgh’s rich history contributes to its appeal as a backdrop that effortlessly transports viewers to different eras.
Belgravia the sweeping period drama based on the novel by Julian Fellowes is filled with stories of secrets and dishonour amongst the upper echelon of London society. The show took advantage of the city’s stunning architecture and grandeur to transport viewers to the 19th century, with Edinburgh playing London in the show. With locations like Hopetoun in South Queensferry, Edinburgh City Chambers and the New Town, Edinburgh effortlessly captured the essence of this captivating tale.
Outlander is another drama that used Edinburgh in the show. The beloved time-travelling saga weaves a tale of romance and adventure against the backdrop of Scotland’s rich history. Edinburgh’s cobbled streets served as the perfect setting for Claire and Jamie’s timeless love story. The show used a plethora of locations across the city such as the Tweeddale Court off the Royal Mile and Signet Library to name a few. It’s no wonder that fans flock to these locations to walk in the footsteps of their favourite characters, as the locations are not just famous, they are also beautiful.
The Secret Agent
Edinburgh has also started as the home of espionage in The Secret Agent. The Joseph Conrad’s classic novel was brought to life and utilised Edinburgh to help tell the interesting story. The city’s historic architecture and atmospheric streets, like Parliament Square and Calton Road, created an authentic backdrop for this gripping tale of intrigue and deception.
Prepare to be transported to magical realms with fantasy TV shows filmed in Edinburgh. Edinburgh’s folklore featuring dragons and unicorns adds a touch of magic to the city, making it a fantastic location for filming fantasy. The city’s historic architecture, enchanting landscapes, and vibrant arts scene provide a visually stunning backdrop and a rich source of inspiration for storytelling.
Good Omens, a heavenly and devilish comedy-drama, took full advantage of Edinburgh’s stunning landscapes and unique charm. From the iconic Arthur’s Seat to the picturesque Dean Village, the city provided the perfect backdrop for the celestial battle between good and evil. Who knew Edinburgh could be a portal to the end of the world?
Anansi Boys, based on Neil Gaiman’s novel, also chose to use Edinburgh to tell its magical story that blends African folklore and modern storytelling. The enchanting setting of the Royal Mile and Greyfriars Kirkyard adds an air of mystery and wonder to this captivating series.
Hold on to the edge of your seat as Edinburgh has been the backdrop to many thrilling TV shows, who used the city’s landscape to create compelling stories
Trust Me, a gripping medical drama, took viewers on a suspenseful journey through the city’s streets. Edinburgh’s iconic neighbourhoods, including Portobello and the Grassmarket, added an atmospheric touch to this edge-of-your-seat series.
Clique, another suspenseful thriller filmed in Edinburgh, set in the world of university conspiracies. Clique showcased Edinburgh’s stunning landscapes and vibrant student life. From the historic Old College to the Dynamic Earth, the city’s unique blend of history and modern helped tell this fascinating story.
Another gripping thriller that utilised the city was Liar. The series centred around a deceitful relationship, unfolded against the backdrop of Edinburgh’s urban landscapes. With locations like the Vennel and Victoria Terrace, the city’s stunning vistas added an extra layer of intensity to the story.
The thrilling series, The Rig, set on a remote oil rig off the Scottish coast was also created in Edinburgh. While not exclusively filmed in Edinburgh, the city served as a base for the production, and the show’s atmospheric tension echoed the intrigue found in the city’s own dark alleyways.
Edinburgh’s dark and spooky streets, with their cobbled alleys, historic architecture, haunted legends and foggy atmosphere, create a moody backdrop for crime dramas. The city’s rich history and eerie ambiance set the stage for suspenseful mysteries and thrilling tales of intrigue.
Edinburgh’s haunting charm lends itself perfectly to gripping crime dramas and has helped tell the story of Crime, a compelling miniseries based on Irvine Welsh’s novel. The story delves into the underbelly of the city, from the gritty streets to the imposing facade of Calton Hill, the show painted a vivid picture of Edinburgh’s complex criminal landscape.
Guilt, a darkly comedic crime drama, tells the story of two brothers caught up in a deadly accident. With the city’s eclectic mix of modern architecture and historic landmarks, such as the iconic Cheval The Edinburgh Grand, Edinburgh became an integral character in this gripping tale.
The gripping Murder series showcased Edinburgh’s dark side through multiple compelling storys. From the winding streets of the city to Edinburgh Sheriff Court, the city’s atmospheric locations provided the perfect backdrop for these intense narratives.
One of Us
One of Us, a chilling thriller set in the Scottish Highlands, also made use of Edinburgh’s stunning vistas to build suspense. The juxtaposition of the city’s grandeur with the eerie events of the series created an unsettling atmosphere. That will leave you wanting more.
Lastly, the streets of Edinburgh came alive with the crime-solving adventures of the iconic Detective Inspector John Rebus, in the self-titled show Rebus. Filmed across multiple seasons, Rebus uses the city’s unique character, from the picturesque Hopetoun House to the Candlemaker Row, to bring Ian Rankin’s iconic character to life.
Even the youngest viewers can find their share of enchantment in Edinburgh.
Teacup Travels, a delightful children’s show, captured the imaginations of little ones with its tales of adventure and discovery. Filmed in Gardener’s Cottage, it brought life to the charming building in Princes Street Gardens and filled it with joy and laughter. The sweet cottage still has the Great Aunt Lizzie sign over the gate, a subtle nod to its time on screen.
Edinburgh truly has it all when it comes to filming locations. Its diverse range of settings, from ancient castles to vibrant city streets, allows TV shows of all genres to create captivating worlds on screen. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, Edinburgh continues to be a go-to destination for filmmakers seeking a backdrop that can transport audiences to captivating realms.
These are just a few examples of the TV shows filmed in Edinburgh, but the city has hosted many more productions, each adding its own unique flavour to the rich tapestry of Edinburgh’s filmography. With its timeless beauty and magnetic charm, Edinburgh will undoubtedly continue to attract filmmakers and audiences alike for years to come. So keep an eye out for the next TV show set against the backdrop of this magical city, and get ready to be transported to another world without ever leaving your living room!
Top Ten Filmed in Edinburgh
Discover and visit iconic locations in Edinburgh & the Lothians that have appeared in your favourite films and TV shows.
Fast & Furious 9
The ninth instalment in the Fast & Furious franchise roared into UK cinema’s in 2021.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
A feel good film about chasing your dreams, friendship, rivalry and of course, singing!
Avengers: Infinity War
Explore the Edinburgh locations featured in one of the biggest film events of our time.
Trainspotting is back for a second hit, featuring lots of iconic locations in Scotland's capital city.
Follow in their footsteps and relive Outlander for yourself.
Discover the locations of this Netflix historical epic in the Edinburgh city region.
Discover the film locations featured in this tale of one of history's most iconic leaders.
Sunshine on Leith
Get with the beat and revisit the feel good factor of Sunshine on Leith.
Discover the glamorous underground of this gritty BBC Three drama.
The Railway Man
A powerful tale of survival, love and redemption. Explore the film locations of The Railway Man.