Sunshine on Leith and Trainspotting are some famous examples of films that were shot in Edinburgh. The Scottish capital obviously plays a huge role in those movies, as most locations do, so when the huge Marvel franchise strayed away from New York and Wakanda to film Infinity War here, it was a pleasant surprise. It was filmed before I moved to Edinburgh but I did have a day trip that tied in rather well with their filming. I wish I could say that I saw Scarlett Johansson wandering around Princes Street Gardens but all I saw were the enormous lighting rigs on the Royal Mile.
With the weather brightening up and Summer on the horizon along with an influx of tourists, I thought it would be nice to write a little guide to the filming locations in Edinburgh. Harry Potter dominates the city so much it’ll be good to stray away from The Elephant House and Victoria Street to snap a few pictures elsewhere.
Cockburn Street (pronounced Coe-burn)
The start of Edinburgh’s feature in Infinity War features Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) watching a TV through the window of a takeaway. In reality this isn’t the case (there isn’t a, “we will deep fry your kebab” sign) and it’s actually a shop called Miss Katie Cupcake, a little trinket and jewellery store. Across the road at Laila’s, a Mediterranean restaurant, there is a window showing off the fact that Avengers was filmed there. In the film, Scarlet Witch can be seen standing in it, before flying off with Vision.
City Chambers and the Royal Mile
When Scarlet Witch takes off with Vision, she lands in the courtyard of City Chambers on the Royal Mile. This part of the Mile is cobbled and has limited cars making it the perfect backdrop for the intense fight scene. It’s a place where the City of Edinburgh council hosts meetings but it does have other rooms to book out for events. The cast never go inside but the amazing arches at the entrance to the courtyard are featured in the movie, especially between the fight between Scarlet Witch and Proxima Midnight (Carrie Coon).
St Giles. Cathedral
The Cathedral is one of the most famous landmarks on the mile. It’s a good thing the damage done to the spire was all computerised in otherwise there would have been a major uproar. Vision is somewhat bashed about on the roof as they try to retreive the Infinity Stone from him. You can visit the cathedral and go on a rooftop tour if you’d like a better view and learn a bit more about the history of the landmark.
Waverley Train Station
The second busiest train station in Scotland is in the heart of the city, nestled between the old and new towns. It’s situated below the main street level with a glass roof covering most of it, which ends up a little smashed up as Vision and Scarlet Witch crash through it. This scene is where Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) join the fight. Part of the station was closed off for filming, with huge green screens protecting any of the film secrets being leaked before the release. If you want to find the exact part of the station, head towards exit 4 for Calton Road, next to platform 2.
Bonus: Saint Abbs (Endgame spoiler warning)
Not quite in Edinburgh but only an hour’s drive away, is Saint Abbs on the East coast of Scotland. It’s not featured in Infinity War but you will recognise it from Marvel’s latest release, Avengers: Endgame, as the New Asgard. There are some lovely coastal walks that showcase some amazing views of the cliffs. Well worth the visit if you’re able as it’s a lovely little getaway from the city.
Thankfully all of these locations (apart from Saint Abbs) are super close together. You could easily visit them all in an hour as well as stopping for a cup of coffee in one of the many cafes in Edinburgh’s city centre. It’s best to visit them on a nice day as they’re mainly outside locations but be warned of how busy the Royal Mile gets on a sunny afternoon!