Everyone is bonkers for the Scottish historical epic Braveheart. Far too many people claim it’s their favourite film. And any Braveheart fanatic will inevitably want to book a trip to William Wallace’s homeland and want to know, exactly where was Braveheart filmed in Scotland?
Well, if they weren’t already disappointed in Mel Gibson (director and star of Braveheart) generally being a terrible person, the answer to that question will definitely do the trick. The filming of Braveheart largely happened in Ireland, not Scotland.
The Academy award-winning film Braveheart (1995) is inspired by the life of William Wallace, a 13th-century knight who was an important leader in the First War of Scottish Independence. Most of Braveheart‘s plot is fictional, despite being based on real people and events. It’s also 3-hours long. Phew.
So much about Braveheart annoys me, hence why I avoided watching it until now. However, the Braveheart filming locations have inspired so many people to visit Scotland. I’m very thankful for that, at least! Here are all of the Braveheart locations in Scotland (and Ireland!) plus a handy map.
Where was Braveheart Filmed in Scotland and Ireland?
Braveheart Filming Locations in Scotland
1. Loch Leven
So, where was Braveheart filmed in Scotland? One of the first shots is an aerial view of Loch Leven, a sea loch near Glen Coe. The viewpoint of the loch is near Kinlochleven. Don’t get it confused with the Loch Leven near Kinross. Why are there two Loch Levens in Scotland? Why?!
2. Glen Coe
During the opening monologue/narration, there are a few different sweeping shots of the rugged Scottish landscape as the men are riding through the countryside. One of these locations is the iconic Glen Coe, witnessed in almost every film shot in Scotland. Just some of these films include Highlander (1986), Outlaw King (2018) and Mary, Queen of Scots (2018). You can also see some shots of Buchaille Etive Mor which is just down the A82 road from Glen Coe.
Read next: Outlaw King Filming Locations in Scotland
3. Glen Nevis
This is one of the easiest Braveheart filming locations to find because some kind soul has listed it on Google Maps. Yep! William Wallace’s home village of ‘Lanark‘, which was just a set, is named “The village film Braveheart” on Google. And while the lack of correct grammar and capitalisation in this listing makes me twitch, these pins are a great help to film location fans like me. This filming location in Braveheart is only a 15-minute drive from Fort William.
The village set is in Glen Nevis, just at the foot of the highest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis.
4. Edinburgh Council Chamber, High Street, Edinburgh
This Braveheart Scotland location seems suspicious, but I’ve heard from multiple sources that it’s true. When several Scottish nobles, including Mornay, betray Wallace during the Battle of Falkirk, he rides to Mornay’s castle to promptly smash him over the head. Apparently, Braveheart shot the interior of Mornay’s castle in the Edinburgh Council Chambers just off the Royal Mile.
5. Am Bodach, Mamores Mountains
News continues to spread of how amazing William Wallace was in the Battle of Falkirk. Personally, I heard he killed 500 men. After the battle, a montage cuts back and forth between Scottish men gossiping about Wallace and the man of the hour running along a mountain path triumphantly.
This mountain path is the last of the Braveheart film locations in Scotland. It was shot on a group of ten mountains called the Mamores. Specifically, Am Bodach. Apparently, these mountains are also part of the Aonach Eagach Ridge, but Am Bodach is the exact mountain. He reaches the cairn (stack of rocks) at the summit, so it will be fairly easy to pinpoint exactly where was Braveheart filmed and it’s a fairly doable hike for most people. And gosh, what a view. I’m so happy Gibson shot this scene in Scotland.
Braveheart Filming Locations in Ireland
6. Church of St Nicholas, Dunsany Castle
Princes Edward, King Edward I’s son, marries Isabella of France in Westminster Abbey. But in reality, it’s the (much, much smaller. Like, it’s clearly just a simple church) Church of St Nicholas in the Dunsany Castle estate not too far from Dublin.
Braveheart heavily suggests Prince Edward is gay and therefore weak-minded and unfit to rule England, obviously. The majority of the other interior Braveheart scenes were shot in Ardmore Studios in Bray, County Wicklow.
7. Dunsoghly Castle
The most interesting Braveheart shooting locations are definitely the Irish castles. Dunsoghly Castle portrays Edinburgh Castle, Robert the Bruce’s home base. It’s a very square, medieval castle, almost like a tower sawn in half. Braveheart built a lot of set pieces around the castle and added wooden turrets. Unfortunately, the castle is permanently closed to the public.
8. Coronation Plantation in the Sally Gap, Wicklow Mountains
Wallace seeks revenge on the English for brutally murdering his wife, so he attacks the small English Garrison that set up camp next to his village. And when that charge goes well, he and his men steal the uniforms of English soldiers to infiltrate a much larger stockade and really humiliate the English army.
Whereas Braveheart shot the first attack in Scotland (because it was next to the village set in Glen Nevis), they shot the larger stockade attack near the Sally Gap in the Wicklow Mountains National Park. You can see it’s a much flatter landscape. The Braveheart movie locations could have been near the Coronation Plantation Monument or Kippure Estate.
Do you know which other film shot in the Sally Gap of the Wicklow Mountains? None other than P.S. I Love You (2007)! Braveheart and P.S. I Love You… What a weird double feature that would be.
Read next: P.S. I Love You Filming Locations in Ireland
9. The Curragh Plains
And where was Braveheart filmed mostly? Random fields in Ireland. And they had all those amazing Scottish landscapes! Such a waste. Anyway, after William Wallace grows in popularity with everyday Scottish people, he leads his new army to the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
The production couldn’t even be bothered to make a fake bridge. Sorry, I’m being a bit negative, aren’t I? I actually quite like this scene, I love the improvised long spears and it’s really entertaining. Braveheart shot this scene on The Curragh Plains which is a 5,000 acre, flat stretch of land often used for horse breeding and training.
And this is the Braveheart filming location where William Wallace utters those immortal words…
They may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!!!
10. Trim Castle
Trim Castle is the most prolific Braveheart castle and the one film fans are most keen to visit. After defeating the English during the Battle of Stirling Bridge (still reeling that they didn’t include the bridge FFS), Wallace and pals are feeling pretty smug. They decide to march into England and wreak havoc there. Specifically, they march on the walled, fortified, northern city of York.
But, of course, in real life, it’s the ruined Trim Castle in County Meath brought to life with a heck of a lot of set dressing. It’s also the location of the London Square at the very end of Braveheart where Wallace dies.
11. Ballymore Eustace
Yet another rather dull Braveheart filming location, the Battle of Falkirk (which King Edward finally decides to join) shot in some fields outside of Ballymore Eustace in County Kildare.
12. Blessington Lakes
Honestly, this film just keeps getting more bizarre. This is one of the oddest Braveheart locations. To escape from Mornay’s bed-chamber after Wallace smashes his face in, William must leap from the tower (on horseback, unnecessary) into a lake to escape the guards. The Braveheart production team built a 40-foot tower just so Gibson could leap from it into Blessington Lakes in County Wicklow, otherwise known as Poulaphouca Reservoir. Another filming location in P.S. I Love You, by the way.
13. Bective Abbey
The final Braveheart filming location! When virtually every Scottish nobleman under the sun betrays Wallace, he is captured by the English and thrown into a dungeon. This dungeon (and also some of Longshanks’ castle courtyard scenes) is at Bective Abbey in County Meath.
Where was Braveheart filmed? The answer is all over Scotland and Ireland! Have you watched the film? Or visited any Braveheart filming locations in Scotland or Ireland? Let me know in the comments below!