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The Globe and Mail

Scotland's breathtaking landscapes that inspired Disney's Brave

See the real destinations that helped bring Brave to life

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THE CASTLE: In Brave, in theatres now, Merida meets her potential, and decidedly unappealing, suitors in the massive Great Hall in Castle DunBroch – setting the plot in motion. The next photo shows the castle that most inspired DunBroch.


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Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands fired the Disney story team’s imagination, especially its giant Great Hall with evocative light reflections and shadows. Dunnottar Castle, just south of Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire, was another source of inspiration.

VisitScotland/Scottish Viewpoint/P. Tomkins

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THE LANDSCAPE: The young and independent Merida takes her horse on a wild ride through the Scottish Highlands.


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Production teams toured Loch Ness and the Great Glen valley in the Highlands, experiencing the quickly changing weather patterns and the richly textured moss- and lichen-covered landscape.

VisitScotland/Scottish Viewpoint/P. Tomkins

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THE ARCHEOLOGY: A mysterious ring of stones are a key destination in Merida’s quest to change her fate.


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The production team twice visited the mysterious Callanish Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, which date to about 1800 BC. Adventures by Disney is offering ‘Scotland: A Brave Adventure,’ a nine-day journey from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye, Isle of Lewis, Inverness and through the rugged Highlands – with lessons in archery, Celtic music and dance, horseback riding in the Caledonian Forest, Highland Games, and, of course, visits to castles and historic sites along the way. For information, go to or call 1-877-728-7282.

Scottish Viewpoint

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THE GAMES: Merida proves her archery prowess in Highland games.


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The Disney production team joined the annual Braemar Gathering, one of Scotland’s oldest and biggest Highland games, regularly attended by the reigning Monarch and members of the Royal family, held on the first Saturday of every September. Pictured: The Wallace clan competing in the Lonach Highland Gathering and Games in Aberdeenshire. For more information, go to

VisitScotland/Scottish Viewpoint/P. Tomkins

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