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15 Best Documentaries About Scotland (For 2024)

These documentaries about Scotland show a land of rugged landscapes, ancient castles, and a rich cultural heritage, from the haunting sounds of bagpipes echoing through mist-covered glens to the stirring tales of legendary figures like William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.

Documentaries About Scotland

Whether delving into the mysteries of Loch Ness, tracing the footsteps of historic battles, or immersing oneself in the vibrant city life of Edinburgh, these documentaries about Scotland offer a glimpse into the heart and soul of a country that has left an indelible mark on the world stage.

On a personal note, my family on my father’s side some from Aberdeen and my mother’s side, who is from Ireland, also has Scottish roots. Scotland holds a close place in my heart. It’s a place I truly love.

These documentaries about Scotland are in no particular order and cover different genres, from the history of Scotland to its stunning nature.

A History of Scotland (2008-2009)

Presented by historian Neil Oliver, this series provides a comprehensive overview of Scotland’s history, from its early days to the present.

With 10 episodes in total, this TV docu-series is the best of all these documentaries about Scotland that you can watch. It covers everything.

A great book by Neil Oliver accompanied the series and is a great read by itself: A History of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History.

Highlands: Scotland’s Wild Heart (2016)

Highlands: Scotland’s Wild Heart is a nature documentary series that explores the wildlife and landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, showcasing the diverse and often dramatic environments found in this region. It’s narrated by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor.

It provides a glimpse into the lives of various species of animals, including red deer, golden eagles, and red squirrels, as well as the challenges they face in the wild. It combines stunning cinematography with informative narration to offer you a closer look at the beauty and ecological importance of the Scottish Highlands.

This is one of the best documentaries about Scotland that shows the nature of the Scottish Highlands.

Men in Kilts: Season 1 (2021)

Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip with Sam and Graham is a travel documentary series that features Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, who are known for their roles in the television series “Outlander.”

In “Men in Kilts,” Heughan and McTavish embark on a road trip throughout Scotland to explore its rich history, culture, and traditions. The series takes a lighthearted and entertaining approach to showcasing different aspects of Scottish life, including Highland games, music, food, and, of course, kilts.

Heughan and McTavish share their experiences, engage with locals, and participate in various activities as they journey through the scenic landscapes of Scotland. Out of all these documentaries about Scotland, this is the most entertaining one to watch.

Scotch: A Golden Dream (2019)

Scotch: A Golden Dream explores the world of Scotch whisky (yay!), delving into the history, traditions, and craftsmanship associated with this iconic spirit. It provides insights into the lives of the people who are passionate about producing Scotch whisky and the impact of this industry on the culture and economy of Scotland.

The documentary is directed by Andrew Peat and features interviews with various key figures in the Scotch whisky industry. It aims to capture the essence of Scotch whisky and its significance not only as a beverage but also as a cultural symbol.

The Hebrides: Land of Legends – Wildest Islands

The Hebrides: Land of Legend explores, as the title says, the Hebrides which are an island archipelago of Scotland’s west coast. There are more than 500 islands and islets in the Hebrides and the remote location from the Scottish mainland has made it the perfect place for many creatures to live and breed.

People have battled with the Hebridean elements for thousands of years and the surrounding seas are some of the most dangerous on the planet. Myths and legends abound in these mysterious lands.

This is one of the best documentaries about Scotland to watch for exploring the Hebrides Archipelago.

Blood of The Clans (2020)

Another one with the Scottish historian Neil Oliver, this time about Scotland’s ancient clans. In this documentary series, he shows detailed accounts from historians along with re-enactments of the events.

This is one of the best ancient histories of Scotland documentaries to watch showing these fierce clans battling against each other for power. An epic series.

Grand Tours of Scotland (2010-)

Grand Tours of Scotland is a documentary television series with multiple seasons that follows presenter and historian Paul Murton as he embarks on journeys across different regions of Scotland. The series explores the history, culture, and landscapes of Scotland, with a focus on notable sites and historical landmarks.

Each episode features a specific region or theme, and Murton engages with locals, experts, and enthusiasts to delve into the stories and traditions associated with the places he visits.

The series combines elements of travelogue, history, and cultural exploration, offering you a comprehensive look at the diverse aspects of Scotland.

Grand Tours of Scotland’s Lochs (2017)

Another documentary series by Paul Murton but this time focuses specifically on Scotland’s famed lochs (lakes). It explores the stunning landscapes and cultural heritage of Scotland through its lochs and takes you on a journey across the country, showcasing the beauty of its lochs and the surrounding areas.

It also has multiple seasons and is one of the best documentary series about Scotland to watch to learn much more about the lochs in the country.

Rick Steves Scotland (2018)

Rick Steves is a travel TV presenter and author of many travel guides and he has done several 25-minute-long episodes about Scotland, all of which are free to watch on YouTube.

This is one of the best travelogue documentary series about Scotland that you can watch exploring different parts of the country. Rick Steves is one of my favourite travel presenters and travel guide writers.

Great British Railway Journeys: Scotland (2010)

Great British Railway Journeys is a British documentary television series in which the presenter, Michael Portillo, travels around the railway networks of Great Britain, exploring the history, culture, and landscapes of various regions. There are several episodes that specifically focus on Scotland.

In the episodes dedicated to Scotland, Michael Portillo explores different cities, towns, and landmarks, delving into their historical and cultural significance. It combines elements of travelogue, history, and commentary.

Scottish Myths and Legends (2007)

Scottish Myths & Legends explores the ancient tales and folklore of Scotland, from the Loch Ness Monster to shape-shifting Kelpies, this is an excellent documentary about Scotland to understand the many myths and legends of the country.

From Scotland With Love (2014)

From Scotland with Love is a visual and musical journey through Scotland’s history, using archival footage from the National Library of Scotland. The documentary is known for its unique approach, as it doesn’t rely on narration or contemporary interviews.

Instead, it weaves together a narrative through a compilation of archival footage, set to a score by Scottish musician King Creosote. The film captures various aspects of Scottish life, work, and culture over the decades, offering a poetic and emotive portrayal of the country.

The Tigers Of Scotland (2017)

The Tigers of Scotland is a nature documentary film that focuses on the Scottish wildcat, which is one of the rarest and most elusive wildcat species in the world. The documentary explores the efforts to conserve and protect this endangered species in its native habitat.

Directed by Leanne Gater, “The Tigers of Scotland” provides insights into the behaviour, habitat, and conservation challenges facing the Scottish wildcat. The film aims to raise awareness about the importance of preserving this iconic and threatened species, highlighting the work of conservationists and researchers dedicated to its survival.

As someone with Scottish heritage and also a cat lover, this is one of my favourite wildlife documentaries about Scotland.

Billy Connolly World Tour of Scotland (1994)

There cannot be a list of documentaries about Scotland without the legendary Scottish comedian Billy Connoly. He is my favourite comedian and along with his standup comedy has also done many travel documentary series around the world.

In this series, he covers his home country, Scotland. Although it’s a bit outdated now it’s a joy to follow Billy around his native country with his humour and passion, it’s a great watch.

Frankie Boyle’s Tour of Scotland (2020)

Sticking with the comedian theme, this is a more recent TV documentary series about Scotland that follows another legendary Scottish comedian, Frankie Boyle, as he tours around Scotland.

A fun and insightful documentary about Scotland to watch.


Documentaries about Scotland provide a captivating lens through which you can delve into the nation’s past, unravel its myths, and witness the resilience of its people against a backdrop of stunning natural beauty.

Scotland really is one of those magical places in the world to see.

For more on Scotland have a read of the 30 best books about Scotland.

And also the 30 best castles in Scotland to visit.

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