Galloway plays a starring role

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Galloway’s starring roles in the movies, most notably in The Wicker Man, are being celebrated in a new film locations guide created by VisitScotland.

Available free of charge from VisitScotland Information Centres throughout the country, in branches of Waterstones and by download at visitscotland.com, Set in Scotland, A Film Fan’s Odyssey contains details of more than 100 different films and television programmes shot in Scotland. It is the first Scotland-wide film locations guide produced by the national tourism organisation.

By highlighting the spectacular sites across Scotland which feature in a wealth of screen classics - from The Thirty Nine Steps, Chariots of Fire and Gregory’s Girl through Braveheart and Harry Potter to 2015 releases Macbeth and Sunset Song - Set In Scotland aims to capitalise on the growing trend of ‘set jetting’ in which fans of both big and small screen productions visit filming locations to follow in the footsteps of the stars.

And with 40 per cent of visitors to the UK already inspired to come here after seeing it on film or television, VisitScotland hopes the new guide will encourage many more visitors from both the overseas and home markets to explore Scotland’s great screen locations.

Galloway has provided film-makers with a range of locations over the years, but the movie most closely associated with the region is undoubtedly The Wicker Man (1973). One of the most iconic British films ever made, this cult classic was shot extensively in the region’s towns and villages. The quiet rural locations were given a menacing screen quality as island settings on the fictional Summerisle where the unfortunate Sergeant Neil Howie – played by Edward Woodward – investigates the case of a missing schoolgirl.

The climactic scene showing the pagan burning of the Wicker Man was shot on the clifftops of Burrow Head, near the Isle of Whithorn. The nearby St Ninian’s Cave – reputed to be the retreat of Scotland’s first saint – is now a favourite place of pilgrimage for fans of the film. It is from here that Sergeant Howie is led away to meet his fate.

Set in Scotland, A Film Fan’s Odyssey – which includes special James Bond and Bollywood sections as well as details of some of the more surprising places that Scotland has stood in for on the silver screen (such as San Francisco in Cloud Atlas, Vermont in Flash Gordon and even the surface of Jupiter in 2001: A Space Odyssey) - provides information on the starring roles of each of the country’s regions.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Scotland’s towns, cities and countryside play their own show-stealing parts in the stories being told here for production firms across the world. VisitScotland’s new film locations guide details more than 100 films shot in Scotland over the last decades and provides an opportunity for us to showcase not only Scotland’s internationally renowned heritage but also the wealth of natural beauty that our country has to offer.”

Paula McDonald, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “The beauty of Dumfries & Galloway has long cast its spell on visitors and film-makers, with our landscapes inspiring movie talent both in front and behind the camera.

“While the list of films featured in ‘Set in Scotland’ is not exhaustive, it’s fantastic to have so many of the region’s golden movie moments highlighted as part of this new film locations guide. Whether it’s to explore the rural treasures or historic attractions of Dumfries & Galloway, ‘Set in Scotland’ is a must for any set-jetting film fan who wants to retrace the steps of their Hollywood heroes or explore the real-life locations they’ve admired on-screen. We look forward to welcoming movie enthusiasts from across the world as a result.”

Specialist research and consultation for ‘Set in Scotland, A Film Fan’s Odyssey’ was provided by David Martin-Jones, Professor of Film Studies at the University of Glasgow; this included dedicated input on Gaelic filmmaking, Bollywood location shoots and filming in Orkney and Shetland.

To download a copy of the new film locations guide, visit: http://www.visitscotland.com/about/arts-culture/films/locations