David Tennant and Rosamund Pike star as a dysfunctional couple on the brink of a divorce in What We Did On Our Holiday (released today in UK cinemas). Ahead of their impending break up, the couple venture to Scotland with their kids in tow, to play happy families for grandpa (played by Billy Connolly)’s birthday. The hilarious observational comedy is set in against a stunning Scottish backdrop, which producers Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin promise was not created using CGI…
“All the colours in the landscape and in the beach shots was God – or whatever you choose to believe in,” says Hamilton. “The great thing about when the mountains meet the sea like that is that you get wonderful lighting effects. Luckily, some of them were happening while we were turning over. They’re not enhanced.”
Hamilton and Jenkin reveal where to experience the incredible settings for real…
“Here you’ll find the beach where the children spend a lot of time with their granddad,” says Hamilton. “We found the wonderful beach in the film, thanks to a relation of Andy’s, who pointed us in the right direction,” says Jenkin. “We went on a recce around Scotland in February and saw a lot of wonderful beaches on that coast. That’s our most spectacular location,” he reveals.
“This is the beautiful loch we see in one scene when Billy Connolly is talking to his grandson,” says Hamilton. “It’s a sensible drive from Glasgow [around 45 minutes] and has a lovely restaurant at one end. Plus there is a boat called The Lady of the Lake, named after the poem by Sir Walter Scott, which goes up and down the loch,” he says.
“You can also hire bikes to cycle round, and there are lots of walks” says Jenkin.
“The house where we filmed isn’t open to the public, but the beautiful area is north of Glasgow and around Loch Lomand,” says Jenkin. “We were lucky enough to be there in a heatwave. At weekends when we weren’t filming, we’d hire a bicycle and go swimming in the loch. We really enjoyed our time there. There are small restaurants and music on in the evenings.”
Blair Drummond Safari Park
“This is a bit like the Scottish Longleat,” says Jenkin. “There are lots of animals there. We were wandering off to look at a shot and the keeper was shouting at us, because we were approaching a heard of buffalo. Fortunately, he called us back in time.”
“We couldn’t move the ostriches to us, so we moved to the ostriches, near Stirling,” says Hamilton. “To our knowledge this is the only place in Scotland that has ostriches.”
“We were happy they said yes,” jokes Jenkin, “or we’d have to have done the scene with puppets.”
“It doesn’t feature prominently in the film, but we spent some time in Glasgow, as a base,” admits Jenkin. “It’s certainly a city with an awful lot to do. You might not recognise it from the film, as we were doing things like filming in restaurant toilets in the city, filming a house and pretending it was in London, and creating traffic jams in a car park just off the motorway.”
“The atmosphere is really good in Glasgow, it’s a really lively city,” continues Hamilton. “It’s really friendly and worth a visit. If you want a good curry it’s probably the best place to go.”