A SPECIAL guide has been launched celebrating some of the big screen filming locations in the Borders.

Yesterday (Friday) Scottish actor James Cosmo helped launch VisitScotland's Set In Scotland guide – for which he wrote the foreword – highlighting some of the Borders spots used in films and TV.

The Borders is a popular destination for film crews, most recently Leaderfoot Viaduct has been used as a backdrop in the new Indiana Jones film due for release next year.

St Abbs became 'New Asgard' in Marvel's Avengers: Endgame – the village is now officially twinned with the fictitious location.

Another Borders attraction featured on the big screen is Duns Castle, which doubled as Balmoral in Mrs Brown in 1997.

Councillor Scott Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for community and business development, said: “Over many years the Scottish Borders has been chosen as a location for films of all genres and budgets, and whilst the filming itself can have very positive economic impacts the long-term benefits from screen tourism are even greater.

“This updated guidebook will hopefully bring more visitors in to explore the area and to the inspirational attractions and locations we have here, from the likes of Abbotsford - The Home of Sir Walter Scott to the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum, the Great Tapestry of Scotland and Mary Queen of Scots’ House.

“We also continue to work behind the scenes to bring more productions to the south of Scotland that will highlight our stunning and diverse landscape and support the region’s economy for years to come.”

After it was transformed into New Asgard, St Abbs saw a 25 per cent increase in visitors to the coastal village in 2019.

Ciaran Hatsell, National Trust for Scotland Ranger at St Abb’s Head, said: “We have seen a steady influx of visitors since St Abb’s Head and the village of St Abb’s was used as a filming location for Marvel’s hugely popular Avengers: Endgame film, which was a massive draw for screen tourism. It is great that we are able to attract new audiences to the nature reserve and we hope that those who come here because it’s a film location leave with a new found appreciation of nature.

“With this in mind, we are keen that people visiting locations such as St Abb’s Head are mindful of their impact upon the landscape and wildlife at these locations. We ask that visitors access our reserves in the most responsible way possible whilst enjoying all the incredible natural beauty our wild places have to offer. Responsible access includes not having any fires, taking your litter away with you, being careful not to disturb wildlife and paying attention to any local guidance and signage. We want all our visitors to immerse themselves in this truly wild place and breathe in the fresh sea air, nature is one of the best things for our physical and mental health.”

Avengers: Endgame is the second highest grossing film of all time, after Avatar, and Scottish locations have been used in five out of 30 of the top grossing films of all time.

VisitScotland Regional Director Annique Armstrong said: “Some of the world’s biggest film franchises have chosen to come to the South of Scotland in recent years, including Avengers: Endgame to St Abbs. This not only boosts the local economy in the short-term but can provide an ongoing presence in popular culture – and streaming services – that can continue to reach new audiences and lead to visits long after a film’s release.

“As we celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories, our new-look Set in Scotland will hopefully inspire visitors to explore far beyond the film sets, and experience the people, the places, the history and culture, that have inspired many big screen storytellers.”

The Set in Scotland guide, which is 52 pages long and features more than 150 films filmed across Scotland, can be found in VisitScotland iCentres around the country.

For more on screen tourism and to download Set in Scotland: www.visitscotland.com/film