Our Blog

Top Thirteen Local Film Locations

Posted by Beppo Buchanan-Smith on Nov 29, 2013 12:27:00 PM

Destination film location!

On hearing about the reforming of Monty Python last week our thoughts immediately turned to the Holy Grail Film, which was shot close to Eriska so we thought it would be appropriate to highlight some of the local locations used in well known films- some you may be aware of and others may be news to you but if you see the films again you may be able to look out for local sights and panoramas!


We have listed some of the local films although we must also stress that they are in no particular order- some involved Eriska others simply had us watching the final results and spotting locations!


Highlander (1986)

Director: Russell Mulcahyhighlander resized 600

Starring: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown

Synopsis: An immortal medieval Scotsman, Conor MacLeod, must face his fellow immortal peers in battle until only one remains to claim “The Prize”

Locations: Some of this was shot at the head of Loch Creran - indeed I remember seeing a sign in the local shop for extras - £5 per day or £10 if you had a horse! It may have seemed like easy money but I am told it invoved hordes running down a hill in the battle at the start of the movie where Connor and Kurgan first meet but it took several takes so also involved several trudges back up the hill to start the sequence again. 


Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

monty python and the holy grail resized 600Director: Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones

Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle

Synopsis: A comical slapstick take on the tale of King Arthur and his Knights, as they embark on a quest for the holy grail

Locations: Castle Stalker, Appin (Castle of Aaargh) which is now a well visited site for pilgrims on the Monty Python circuit.




Braveheart (1995)


Director: Mel Gibsonbraveheart resized 600

Starring: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan

Synopsis: A take on the story of William Wallace as he leads Scotland against the English, based loosely on historic fact.

Locations: Aonach Eagach (opening sequence) this is a stunning walk- but not for the fainthearted as there were no special effects used to highlight the drop on either side of the ridge. A lot of the film was then shot in Glen Nevis behind Fort William and indeed the village scenes were all sited here.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

HP resized 600Director: Alfonso Cuaron

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Synopsis: The best story ever told. The third in the series, Harry Potter enters his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry while the convicted Murderer Sirius Black, who escapes from the wizard prison, Azkaban, is coming after him

Locations: This was shot in Glen Coe especially the long vistas looking towards Hagrids Hut and indeed Hagrid and many of the grown ups were based here at Eriska; However the most memorable images are probably of Glenfiddan Viaduct and  Loch Shiel (Hogwarts Lake – most notably the Dementor Scene at the end)


 Ring of Bright Water (1969)

Director: Jack Coufferring of bright water resized 600

Starring: Bill Travers, Virginia McKenna

Synopsis: A fictional adaptation of the autobiography by Gavin Maxwell, about a man and his pet otter.

Locations: A very local film based in story line about Oban and shot on the Isle of Seil (Ellenabeich & Easdale) and in Oban (North Pier).


Eye of the Needle (1981)

eye of the needle1 resized 600Director: Richard Marquand

Starring: Donald Sutherland,  Kate Nelligan, Stephen McKenna

Synopsis: Set during WW2, about a German Spy trying to flee Britain with key information about D-Day who gets involved with the wife of a crippled man on a Scottish Island off the west coast as he waits to be collected. Adapted from the novel by Ken Follett

Locations: This was shot in the area but the most notable land mark is Connel Bridge which features quite heavily .


Morvern Callar (2002)

Director: Lynne Ramsaymorvern caller resized 600

Starring: Samantha Morton, Kathleen McDermott

Synopsis: Following the death of her boyfriend, a shop clerk – Morvern Callar – passes off his unpublished novel as her own and uses the money  he saved for his funeral to escape her dreary life Scotland

Locations: Oban was transformed into a winter wonderland in March for the filming however it also coincided with the Foot and Mouth epidemic so as we had no cows or livestock on the island and the film crew had been restricted for movement much was shot actually here on the island!


Entrapment (1999)

entrapment resized 600Director: Jon Amiel

Starring: Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Synopsis: After a priceless piece of art goes missing, an insurance agent, “Gin” is sent to go after and capture the thief, “Mac” by trying to entrap him, Claiming to be a thief too and promising to help him go after a valuable Chinese Mask from a well-guarded palace.

Locations: Although much was based overseas there was a section shot at Duart Castle (Mac’s hideout), and the main characters were based here at Eriska for the shoot.



 Enigma (2001)

Director: Michael Aptedenigma resized 600

Starring: Dougray Scott, Kate Winslet, Saffron Burrows, Jeremy Northam

Synopsis: During WW2, a young genius is recruited to help crack an enemy code that will help solve the mysterious disappearance of the woman he loves.

Locations: It was shot in and around Oban with the climax being at Tigh Beg Croft (Loch Feochan). the main cast were based here at Eriska.




Local Hero (1983)

local hero resized 600Director: Bill Forsyth

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Peter Piegert, Fulton Mackay, Peter Capaldi

Synopsis: An American Oil company send a representative to a small Scottish village in the hopes of securing rights to build an oil refinery, however things don’t go as planned when a local hermit, Ben – who owns a beach which is crucial to the plans – is unwilling to sell his property, leading the company representative to negotiate with Ben on his own terms.

Locations: Although not entirely local as it was on knoydart it remaisn a favourite scottish film for us so had to be included. Morar Beach, Mallaig was famous for beach scenes and northern lights- which we can see from Eriska too- occasionally


When Eight Bells Toll (1971)

Director: Etienne PerierWhen 8 bells toll resized 600

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Jack Hawkins, Robert Morley

Synopsis: A british secret agent, Philip Calvert, is sent on a mission to investiage the disappearance of a ship carrying £8 million in gold near the coast of Scotland.

Locations: although  back in the earlier days this did establish Duart Castle and Tobermory as film locations as well as  Fingal’s Cave (Staffa )


SkyFall (2012)

skyfall resized 600Director: Sam Mendes

Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris

Synopsis: Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. Whilst MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. It sees him return to his childhood home and reaffirm his love of Scotland although the house was never here! 

Locations: Glen Coe and Glen Etive are linked to the car drive and very apt as he was again back in his Aston Martin



From Russia with Love (1963)

Director: Terence Youngfrom russia with love resized 600

Starring: Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, Lotte Lenya

Synopsis: James Bond willingly falls into an assassination ploy involving a naive Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen by SPECTRE. 

Locations: Several locations in Argyll& Bute with sea scenes south of Oban in particular the finale helicopter & Boat chase scene although you have to feel for the poor crew who get thrown overboard into the sea.


Topics: James Bond Package, Otters, castle, James Bond Escape

Bond Martini's & Aston Martin's at Isle of Eriska

Posted by Christina Jacobsen on Jul 18, 2013 9:20:00 PM

"This is an Aston Martin. You don't run over dead bodies in an Aston Matin." "Tell that to James Bond”!

Aston Martin DB4GT at Isle of EriskaPretty much what our guests would say, we believe, as we had 17 Aston Martin's in the driveway Thursday afternoon, ranging from the legendary DB4GT Zagato (One of only 19 built!), DBS, Vantage, Vantage S and DB9 of which you may have seen on the TV screens at home or in the cinema! 

The last few days have been fully scheduled with our resident martini mixolologist, whisky tastings and some heavanly meals.... Fit for a king or should we say Mr Bond himself?

The Start of Aston Martin...

An icon is born.. Founded in 1913 by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin as 'Bamford & Martin Ltd.', the company has developed an iconic brand synonymous with luxury and elegance. 1914 saw the birth of the name Aston Martin following one of Lionel Martin's successful runs at the Aston Hill Climb in Buckinhamshire, England. Within one year the first Aston Martin was built and registered with the name and in 1920 the business relocated to Kensington.  

1947 saw the dawn of the 'David Brown Era' being acquired by the industrialist, the business expanded. Over the next few years the DB2 entered production quickly followed by 2nd and 3rd in class at Le Mans in 1951.

Sweeping to victory Aston Martin ended the 50s with further racing success as the 1959 world sports car championship through the winning success' of the Nurnburg 1000km and the Le Mans 24hr. 1960 saw the DB4 evolution and the founding of a historic collaboration with Zagato. As one of 19 Zagato's built, one visited Eriska! As an important year for the business the success of the DB4GT and the new launch of the DB5 would set its marks!

As most of us might already know the DB5 is frequently acclaimed as the most beautiful car in the world, entering production back in 1963. The following year saw the birth of a relationship that has left an indelible mark on popular culture as the DB5 was chosen as James Bond's car of choice in 'Goldfinger'

Aston Martin at Isle of ERiskaThe iconic DB moniker was restructured in 1993 with the introduction of the DB7. The 90s also saw Aston Martin feature in two separate James Bond Film's as the DB5 rolled back the years with a performance in 'Goldeneye' and 'Tomorrow Never Dies' in 2002 leading a new era of technology as the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish roared onto the screen. The introduction of the current flagship, the Aston Martin DBS took place in 2006, as it was seen for the first time in Daniel Craig's debut in 'Casino Royale'. 

2008 saw the DBR9 take GT1 class victory at the Le Mans 24hr race for the second year in a row. The same year the Marque's love affair with James Bond continued as DBS made a second James Bond appearance by featuring in 'Quantum of Solace'

Aston Martin at Isle of Eriska Released in 2012, 'Skyfall' saw Mr. Bond in his 23rd film outing with the Aston Martin DB5 returning for its 6th appearance in one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year. Nearly 50 years after its screen debut in 1964 the DB5 has left a mark on popular culture. the first of five distinct Aston martin's to be featured in James Bond films, the DB5 continues to be celebrated as one of the most iconic cars ever produced... 

2013 is Aston Martin's 100th year of creating the most beautiful cars in the world, and we received the enthusiasts for a Bond themed week. 


Mr. Bray, who has been with Aston Martin for over 30 years was asked a few trivial questions upon his arrival back to Isle of Eriska this evening. Starting with his favorite Aston Martin, which was not surprisingly the DB5 - there was a genuine love for the classic! 

Q: Favorite Bond film? A: Skyfall

Q: Tell us about your best experience with Aston Martin? A: Travelling the world with Aston Martin.....



Want more information on the Bond Escape with an Aston Martin and Martini classes? Click on the button underneath to enquire!


James Bond Escape

Topics: Isle of Eriska Hotel, Eriska, Whisky, James Bond Escape, Aston Martin

James Bond Escapes

Posted by Beppo Buchanan-Smith on Dec 21, 2012 10:22:00 AM

James Bond Skyfall

One of the advantages of being quieter in the winter is that it gives us a chance to pause and reflect.

It also presents us with the perfect opportunity to dream and imagine, in  a way,  for a few days we can retire into the life of our guests and immerse ourselves in another world and another life!

With Eriska having paused before the frantic Festive period we have all been dashing around getting both ourselves and the island ready but at least a little respite from Christmas shopping could be achieved by hiding in a cinema and enjoying the recent release of "Skyfall" and the celebration of 50 years of James Bond.

This all coincided with a request from a guest to see if we could put together a James Bond Escape and whilst this might sound a little fanciful it at least allowed an opportunity to research the character and see how well connected we could become.

The first schoolboy knowledge is that 007 was of course educated in Scotland but  a less well known fact is that it is rumoured that he is based by Ian Fleming, his creator, on a character from Argyll who helped run operations behind enemy lines.

The exploits of soldier and diplomat Fitzroy Hew MacLean, who parachuted into Yugoslavia to assist the resistance in WW2, are said to have been the origins of Ian Fleming's James Bond and 007 and his family are based at Duart Castle on Mull which can be seen from Eriska.

James Bond CrinanIt is therefore not surprising that not only was Scotland the base for Bond to retreat to in Skyfall but also a location for a few of the films over his last fifty years. Whilst there may be a romantic and exotic need to visit the Bahamas, Africa or California - his true home is Scotland and therefore it has been included in many sets whether being a fictictious trip through the Bosphorus in  "From Russia with Love" or a true location as with the Faslane Naval base used in "The Spy who Loved Me"

describe the imageSo we have put together a package which combines the scenery and places from the films and the comfort and style of an Aston Martin DB9 and private speedboat visit to Duart castle along with the lifestyle of a Vespa Martini and a weekend at Eriska. So in conjunction with our friends at Mckinlay Kidd we have now launched a wonderful break away - living the life of James Bond and it is all especially pertinent given the recent release and scenery of the west highlands.


Enquire after James Bond Escape

Topics: Eriska, History, castle, James Bond Escape