It was not until On Her Majesty’s Secret Service that Ian Fleming even hinted that James Bond had Scottish blood, but neither could we have guessed that he was half Swiss.
These were things that were only confirmed at the end for You Only Live Twice, when his premature obituary was published in The Times, similar to that which appeared in Skyfall. But, as I’ve previously written elsewhere, Ian Fleming’s mother drummed into him that he was a Scot, so perhaps it should never have been a surprise that James Bond was too.
However, until Skyfall the biggest connection between the Bond films and Scotland was Sean Connery and while the course of the film series sees a number of scenes shot in Scotland, it has never before had such as staring role.
The helicopter and boat chase scenes towards the end of From Russia With Love were shot in Loch Craignish in Argyll, which was standing in for Turkey; Faslane Naval base appeared in The Spy Who Loved Me; and Eilean Donan Castle on Loch Alsh stood in for MI6’s Scottish headquarters in The World Is Not Enough.
And then it all changed in Skyfall, when James Bond returned to his ancestral home to help shelter M from Raoul Silva. Although a mockup of Skyfall Lodge was built in Surrey and it was that which was destroyed at the end, location filming took place in Scotland too to provide some spectacular scenery.
Edinburgh has a number of connections to James Bond, such as the fact that he was sent to Fettes College after being expelled from Eton, but while Sean Connery was born there there are few
In Skyfall Bond is seen driving his Aston Martin along the A82 near Glencoe Mountain Resort, and near Dalness Lodge for some of the Skyfall Lodge Exteriors; I don’t know how closely Skyfall Lodge matches Dalness Lodge, but from a distance at least they do look similar.
If you’re brave you could swim in a loch, but really I wouldn’t recommend it.