Scotland's Scenic Beauty - BBC & STV TV Series on YouTube
Scotland's Landscape, Coast, Scotland Revealed, Scotland's Towns, Scotland the Land, Weir's Way

A number of BBC and Scottish TV programmes on various subjects have been uploaded to YouTube (for educational purposes) and thus are available to be viewed around the world. The links below cover a large number of these but is by no means exhaustive. Even so, if you view all the videos listed here it will take well over 24 hours!

Note, however, that many of these videos cannot be downloaded to mobile phones or tablets or indeed downloaded for storage on a PC - they have to be played on a Web browser on a desktop PC or laptop.

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Each episode of the BBC TV series by Professor Iain Stewart on the "Making of Scotland's Landscape" is roughly an hour long and includes some great film on many aspects of Scotland's landscapes. The five programmes are divided into specific themes:

  • Making Scotland's Landscape - Trees In this first programme, Iain Stewart uncovers how, over thousands of years, the actions of mankind and the climate nearly led to the downfall of Scotland's trees and forests. It was only in the 18th century that man realised the extent of the damage to timber stocks, and measures were taken to re-populate the landscape. The impact was profound, but not everyone agreed with the results. (59 minutes)
  • Making Scotland's Landscape - Land For centuries, the beauty and drama of Scotland's landscape has been regarded by most visitors as natural. But in 1950, an eminent ecologist concluded the Highlands had been devastated. Once it was rich and diverse he said, but humans had destroyed it and in the process created what he described as a wet desert. Professor Iain Stewart discovers how man made the proverbially beautiful Highlands. (59 minutes)
  • Making Scotland's Landscape - Sea Professor Stewart reveals how hearts and not heads have ruled the least understood landscape of them all - the sea. The public's emotions have played a key role in the fate of Scotland's maritime creatures and the upshot has been a form of lottery. While some species like seals and sea birds have been protected, others - like cod - have been fished nearly out of existence. (58 minutes)
  • Making Scotland's Landscape - Water Scotland's rivers and lochs represent how the nation imagines itself. However as Professor Iain Stewart discovers, the only thing that happens naturally is rain. As soon as it hits the ground, it is ours and we do with it what we will. Today there are scarcely any rivers or natural large bodies of water left untouched by human activity. This is the story of how Scotland's waters became some of the most managed on earth. (59 minutes)
  • Making Scotland's Landscape - Climate Professor Iain Stewart concludes a landmark five-part series in which he reveals how Scotland's unique and beautiful landscape has been shaped over the centuries. During the Industrial Revolution, Scottish scientists and engineers helped unwittingly set off a chain of events that today we know as climate change - a process that is transforming our atmosphere and warming our planet. Professor Iain Stewart looks at how Scotland is on the verge of another revolution: the transformation of a carbon economy to a green one. (59 minutes)
  • Scotland's Winter Wonderland : 18 Jan 2010 In December 2009 the snow came - and overnight Scotland was transformed into a winter wonderland. This is a celebration of the beauty of Scotland in winter, from Ben Nevis to the Borders, filmed from the air in High Definition (HD). Forget the burst pipes and cancelled trains for a moment and enjoy these spectacular views of Scotland in the snow. (23 minutes)
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The long-running series "Coast" on BBC2 began in 1995 and so far there have been eight series (with another in the pipeline). The programmes cover various subjects related to British coastlines including geography, natural history, archaeology, social history, anthropology and geology. The presenters sometimes remind viewers that "In the British Isles you are never more than 72 miles from the sea." Excerpts from episodes covering Scottish coasts that have appeared on YouTube include:

  • Burghead Pictish Fort This vitrified fort lies on top a headland which commands extensive views of the Moray Firth. Originally believed to be Ptolemy's 'Ptoroton' and the 'Torffness' of the Orkneyinga Saga it is now known to be of Pictish origin. It encloses 3 hectares and is three times as large as any other fort of the same period in Scotland and is thought to be the oldest Pictish Fort. (5 minutes)
  • Caledonian Canal Construction of the canal along the Great Glen (11 minutes)
  • Fort George The 18th century fortress near Inverness with perhaps the mightiest artillery fortifications in Europe. It was built to pacify the Scottish Highlands in the aftermath of the Jacobite rising of 1745 (3 minutes)
  • Inner Hebrides to Faroe Islands 1 of 2 Historian Neil Oliver discovers how romance blossomed for British soldiers and Faroese women during the Second World War's 'Operation Valentine'. (7 minutes)
  • Inner Hebrides to Faroe Islands 2 of 2 Second excerpt of Historian Neil Oliver discovering how romance blossomed for British soldiers and Faroese women during the Second World War's 'Operation Valentine'. (7 minutes)
  • Joan Eardley, Scottish Artist Joan Kathleen Harding Eardley Joan Eardley (18 May 1921 - 16 August 1963) was a Scottish artist. In Glasgow she bought a studio in Townhead - not in the Gorbals as is often stated. The street children of the area had an impact on her and she became well known for her paintings which depicted the poverty in which these children lived. She also bought a cottage in Catterline, Kincardineshire later on, a place which became a subject of many of her works. Her work can be found in the National Galleries of Scotland as well as many other galleries across the world. She became a member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1963, just before her death. (5 minutes)
  • Loch Creran Tube Worm Reefs The unusual Tube Worm Reefs at the bottom of Loch Creran, Scotland (5 minutes)
  • Stonehaven New Year Fireballs The annual Hogmanay Fireball event at Stonehaven (3 minutes)
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Author and broadcaster Vanessa Collingridge presented a series on Scottish Television entitled "Scotland Revealed" celebrating Scotland's stunning landscape and landmarks from the air. Some additional STV programmes are also included in this sub-section

  • Scotland Revealed - Episode 1 Exploring Edinburgh from its volcanic beginnings to the building of the glorious New Town. Then through the agricultural Borders and follows Glasgow's mighty River Clyde before arriving at the gateway to the Highlands, Stirling. (48 minutes)
  • Scotland Revealed : Episode 2 Starts in Mid-Argyll, visiting Kilmartin to explore the history of some of Scotland's earliest kings. Then to Inveraray and the west coast of Skye before ending with a journey from Ben Nevis to Urquhart Castle. (48 minutes)
  • Scotland Revealed : Episode 3 across the Cairngorms, journeys along the River Dee to Balmoral, revels in Aberdeen's granite architecture and ends by taking a look at two of Scotland's engineering marvels - the Bell Rock Lighthouse and the Forth Rail Bridge. (47 minutes)
  • Scotland Revealed : In Winter Scotland's stunning landscapes and landmarks as seen from the air in the depths of winter - the Cairngorms, Glencoe, the Great Glen Fault with a breath-taking aerial portrait of Scotland's beautiful scenery during the winter months, while covered in snow. (46 minutes)
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The series "Scotland's Towns" from Scottish Television explores different towns in Scotland, to learn about the historical and cultural backgrounds of each place.

St Andrews

  • Scotland's Towns : The Best of Scotland's Towns Starting with the brightly coloured Kirkcudbright, the programme follows with seven other towns, including the remote Dumfries, a town which has played a big part in history and Stirling - the gateway to the Highlands. (24 minutes)
  • Scotland's Towns : Paisley Paisley is a town that is overshadowed by Glasgow, but which has an interesting medieval past and a famous weaving industry. (24 minutes)
  • Elgin is known for being in a famous area for malt whisky, as well as for its beautiful churches. (25 minutes)
  • Scotland's Towns : Stirling Stirling, which is known as being the gateway to the highlands, as well as a site of many famous battles over the years. (24 minutes)
  • Scotland's Towns : Dumfries Dumfries is a town rich in history and where many important events took place. (25 minutes)
  • Scotland's Towns : Kirkcudbright Located in the south of Scotland, it has a rich history and is an established port town, Scenes in the the "Wicker Man" movie were also filmed here. (24 minutes)
  • Scotland's Towns : St Andrews a town famous for it's craggy skyline, as well as it's rich golfing history. (24 minutes)
  • Scotland's Towns : Kelso It's quaint Georgian style buildings, makes it one of the most romanticised towns in Scotland. (23 minutes)
  • Scotland's Towns : Rothesay On the Isle of Bute, which was a popular destination for a seaside holiday in the Victorian era. (24 minutes)
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The series "Scotland the Land" from Scottish Television is a fascinating series bringing us stunning aerial views of some of Scotland's most famous rivers and the treasured landscapes they run through.

Stirling Castle

  • Scotland The Land : The Forth Along the River Forth, from the top of Ben Lomond down towards Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond. From there, over to Aberfoyle and the Lake of Menteith stopping at Stirling and Kincardine on the way out to the iconic Forth Bridges. We take in some of Scotland's most popular tourist attractions such as Inchmahome where Mary Queen of Scots was kept as a child, The Wallace Monument and The Pineapple House (25 minutes)
  • Scotland The Land : The Tay Sights along the River Tay, from the top of Ben Lui down into Glen Lochy, across the length of Loch Tay itself and exploring Perth and Crianlarich along the way before reaching the estuary at the Firth of Tay. (25 minutese)
  • Scotland The Land : The Spey Starting from Loch Spey, we pick up the River Spey as it runs down to Aviemore. Under the shadows of the Cairngorms we then head towards Grantown on Spey following the whisky trail, up through Strathspey on to Fochabers and the river's estuary at Spey Bay. (25 minutes)
  • Scotland The Land : The Dee Between source and sea, the Dee drops 4300 feet, the greatest fall from source of any river in the UK. In this remarkable program we follow its course as it charts its way from its birthplace in the magnificent Cairngorms down through Braemar and Royal Deeside towards Aboyne, Banchory and Aberdeen where it meets the North Sea. (24 minutes)
  • Scotland The Land : The Tweed Starting at its source from The Tweed's Well and following its progress down towards Peebles and the borders. From there the film doubles back taking in the sights along the Yarrow Water stopping at Selkirk and Kelso, before reaching the mouth of the river at Berwick Upon Tweed. With breathtaking aerial views of the river as it journeys from its spectacular moorland birthplace by the Devil's Beeftub we take in many of Scotland's important landmarks such as Melrose Abbey, Stobo Castle, Newark Castle and the birthplace of writer James Hogg, also known as the Ettrick Shepherd. (25 minutes)
  • Scotland The Land : The Great Glen The journey through the Great Glen goes from Loch Levin up to Fort William, through the Caledonian Canal and towards Fort Augustus. From there we travel along Loch Ness, stopping at Inverness before heading out to Culloden and the end of our journey at Fort George. (25 minutes)
  • The River - Not part of "Scotland the Land" but nevertheless all about the River Dee. The film starts under the snow of one of the highest peaks in the Cairngorms, Braeriach at 1200m above sea level. The river's catchment area covers around 2000 square feet of land. Dick Balharry and Arlene Stuart follow the river from source to sea while documenting their discoveries, the sights and wildlife they see and facts of the surrounding areas. (48 minutes)
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The National Trust for Scotland has set up its own video Nature Channel, in conjunction with Scottish Natural Heritage to capture the amazing abundance of wildlife and the stunning landscape that can be seen across their incredible range of properties. The project utilises the habitat, species knowledge and field-craft skills of the Trust’s rangers, ecologists and conservation specialists, in recording this unique footage.

NTS Nature Channel Header

The National Trust for Scotland Nature Channel Index leads to a number of sections covering aspects such as:
  • Snapshots - Wildlife - See the diverse range of wildlife the Trust has across it's estate from the red deer of Torridon to the seals on the beaches of St Abb's Head, Red Squirrels at Mar Lodge Estate and a Meadow Pipit feeding a Cuckoo. (23 videos in all, of varying length).
  • The Landscape of Mar Lodge Estate - Mar Lodge Estate occupies nearly 7% of the Cairngorms National Park, covering in total 29,380 hectares of some of the most remote and scenic wild land in Scotland, including four of the five highest mountains in the UK.
  • Kintail and West Affric - Seven videos of the amazing landscape of Kintail and West Affric in these stunning sequences that show the diverse nature of the West Highlands, including golden eagles.
  • Hermitage & Killiecrankie - The rivers and woods of Perthshire are a fantastic example of the beautiful landscape of Scotland. There are plenty of walks for everyone to enjoy in the woods of the Hermitage or by the river at Killiecrankie, including the rare pinemarten and salmon leaping. Four videos.
  • Living Kintail - During the days of the clans Kintail was famous for the quality of its grazing and the cattle reared as a result. This video shows some of the life and habitats to be found in Kintail today.
  • Woodpeckers in Kintail & Morvich - A pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers carefully feed their young. The adults must take care not to be pecked by their over eager young- they already have very powerful beaks, which could seriously injure a parent's eye. The adults work tirelessly constantly bringing in food to the incessantly calling chicks.
  • Black Grouse at Mar Lodge Estate Winter - Early spring is the main time of the year when Black Grouse "Lek" and the weather can be very unpredictable. Here the birds struggle to walk over deep snow but this does not seem stop them displaying and chasing off rival males. A hardy bird indeed!
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Scottish climber, author and broadcaster Tom Weir (December 29, 1914 - July 6, 2006) was born in Glasgow and was the younger brother of actress Molly Weir. Tom Weir became a pioneering campaigner for the protection of the Scottish environment and from 1976–1987, he hosted the Scottish Television series Weir's Way, meeting the people of Scotland, exploring the landscape and its natural history. When STV repeated the series during the late night slot from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s it managed to achieve 30% audience share and a cult following. He was President of the Scottish Mountaineering Club, was awarded an MBE and was Scottish TV Personality of the year 1978.

There is a very large number of Weir's Way programmes on YouTube and the following is only a selection!

Tom Weir

  • Tom Weir at 70 A special interview with one of Scotland's leading TV personalities, Tom Weir, to celebrate 10 years of Weir's Way and his 70th birthday (52 minutes)
  • Weir's Scotland : Tom's Favourites Weir shows us some of his favourite parts of the country looking at their best. These selections take us from the North East to South East as he guides us through the beautiful landscapes rich in history and culture and talks to the local people about how these areas have changed. Starting in stunning Glen Affric, moving to Moidart, the Ballochbuie forest, the island of Mingulay and Loch Tayside amongst others. (52 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Crianlarich to Oban In this episode Tom Weir travels from Crianlarich to Oban, exploring the landscape, natural history and meeting its people. (12 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Tillicoultry, Loch Leven and Arran Includes the story of Mary Queen of Scots escape from Loch Leven Castle (24 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Torridon, The Oldest Glen Tom delves into social history, physical geography and the life and times of people in the area of Torridon, a small village in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland. The name is also applied to the area surrounding the village, particularly the Torridon Hills, mountains to the north of Glen Torridon and Loch Torridon. (12 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Lady of Lawers Lady of Lawers lived near Loch Tay in the shadow of Ben Lawers in the 17th century and was reputed to have the gift of"second sight" who is remembered to this day. (25 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Orcadian Monuments Orkney's many monuments spanning the centuries are featured in this episode(25 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Orkney Isles Including the Ring of Brodgar, Viking relics and the ornate Italian Chapel created in two nissen huts by Italian POW's (24 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Dunnottar Castle The property of the Keiths from the 14th century, Dunnottar Castle is a ruined medieval fortress located on a rocky headland on the north-east coast of Scotland, in Aberdeenshire. Surviving buildings are largely of the 15th and 16th centuries, but the site is believed to have been fortified in the Early Middle Ages. It is best known as the place where the Honours of Scotland, the Scottish crown jewels, were hidden from Oliver Cromwell's invading army in the 17th century. (12 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Anstruther Tom Weir starts by explaining the way locals pronounce the name of this Fife seaside town, discusses the decline of the fishing industry - and the home to the Scottish Fisheries Museum. (13 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Prince In The Hebrides Tom tells the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie's escape in the islands of the Hebrides after the defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. (25 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : The Rise And Fall Of The Breadalbanes In this episode Tom Weir recounts the long history of the Breadalbane area of Scotland - south and west of Loch Tay and including Balquhidder, Killin, St Fillans, and Strathfillan (26 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Crianlarich to Oban A railway journey on the single track Highland line (with helicopter views of the train and the panoramas of the surrounding countryside, taking in Kilchurn Castle). (12 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Highland Wildlife Tom takes a drive through the Highland Wildlife Park in Inverness-shire. (12 minutes)(
  • Weir's Way : The Rough Bounds Tom visits Culloden, where Bonnie Prince Charlie's dreams of winning the throne of the United Kingdom were dashed in the final battle of the Jacobite Uprising and follows the early days of his escape after the battle. (27 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : North and South Applecross Looking out over the island of Raasay on the west coast of Ross & Cromarty district. (12 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : A Roman Village Aspects of Roman history are featured within the City of Edinburgh boundaries at Cramond.(24 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Fast Castle to St Abb's Head The coastal cliff path from Fast Castle on the east coast where Spanish gold is supposed to have been hidden and St Abb's Head and its seabird colonies. (26 minutes).
  • Weir's Way : Wester Ross Loch Maree At 20 km (12 mi) long and with a maximum width of 4 km (2.5 mi), it is the fourth largest freshwater loch in Scotland and the largest fresh water loch north of the Great Glen. 12 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Inchcailloch Inchcailloch is a small island on Loch Lomond, kust across from Balmaha which is a national nature reserve, on the Highland boundary fault line. It is hheavily wooded and offers views south to the Lowlands and north to the Highlands. (25 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : The Braes O' Mar The lonely Braes o'Mar on Deeside in the Cairngorms where the first Jacobite Uprising began. (24 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Lerwick and Noss Island Tom Weir travels north to Shetland and investigates the local fishing boats, the local language and the arrival of the new oil industry and the National Nature Reserve on the island of Noss. (25 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Selkirk, Part 1 Historical stories of the Border town in the Ettrick valley where making shoes was a major industry and where Sir Walter Scott sat as a judge. (12 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Selkirk, Part 2 Celebrating the traditional annual "Riding of the Marches" which involves not just the horse riders but the whole town joins the parade. (12 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Sydney Scroggie Conversation with Syd Scroggie who, despite losing his sight and part of his right leg during WWII, he became a mountain walker, poet and author - and climbed 600 mountain peaks, including Mout Everest. (22 minutes)
  • Weir's Way : Ruthwell Tom visits the museum at Ruthwell south-west of Dumfries where the world's first savings bank was opened by the Rev Henry Duncan who was also instrumental in recovering the Celtic carved cross dating from from the 7th century. (12 minutes)

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While some of the YouTube videos listed here are part of a major series, others are either individual programmes or short series. So here is a selection of "miscellaneous" videos on YouTube which nevertheless fit in to the overall theme of this page.

Stag Bellowing

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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