Outlander's Richard Rankin has briefly stepped away from his time-travelling escapades to take on the role of John Rebus in a BBC reboot of Ian Rankin's long-running crime series.


The six-parter, written by Gregory Burke, reimagines the Scottish detective sergeant in his younger years, when his professional and personal lives collide in explosive, violent fashion.

As is the case with other crime dramas such as Shetland and Vera, the location is almost as important as the characters and the story in Rebus, with the darker side of Edinburgh explored in grimy detail.

Much of the filming took place in the Scottish capital, helping to make the detective series as authentic as possible. But where exactly was Rebus shot?

Read on to find out where the cast and crew pitched up, with all filming locations for BBC drama Rebus.

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Rebus filming locations: Where was the BBC drama shot?

You can't film in Edinburgh without featuring the city's castle, which appears in a number of shots.

"We've put him [Rebus] in a street where he can actually walk out of his front door and see Edinburgh Castle, which is a bit of a cheat," said Ian Rankin. "That's not where he stays in the books, but in the TV version if he looks to his left, he can see the castle. So we get lots of lovely establishing shots."

Many of you will also recognise the Forth Bridge, which connects Edinburgh to Fife, which is where Rebus is from, and where Michael and his family are living when we meet them.

You might also recognise the Royal Mile and the exterior of the University of Edinburgh's New College and Assembly Hall, Mound Place, which is where gangster Jimmy McJagger is first attacked.

Aerial view of Edinburgh University and Edinburgh old town, Old university in Edinburgh and Edinburgh Castle aerial view, Edinburgh city centre, Gothic Revival architecture in Scotland The University of Edinburgh is a public research university based in Edinburgh.
University of Edinburgh. Getty Images/Guven Ozdemir

Filming also took place in the following locations:

  • George Heriot's School - the school Rebus's daughter Sammy attends
  • George Street
  • Grass Market and Victoria Street
  • National Library of Scotland
  • The Oxford Bar
The National Library of Scotland in the sun
The National Library of Scotland. Getty Images/f11photo

Eagle-eyed locals also spotted the cast and crew in the following locations:

  • Gordon Aikman Lecture Theatre – the police station
  • The Meadows
  • Keir Street
Lockie and Rhona walking together with their arms wrapped around one another, with Rebus and Sammy walking behind
Rebus. Eleventh Hour Films/Mark Mainz

Burke described the city as "beautiful and Gothic".

"You have the wonderful light on the Firth of Forth, and the amazing skies," he added.

And it's also a "divided city", according to the screenwriter.

"The rationality of the New Town during the Enlightenment is right next to the medieval Old Town and all that debauchery and vice that went on there," he said. "It looks really cinematic and dramatic on film."

Filming also took place just up the road in Glasgow, with the cast and crew pitching up at Oran Mor's piano bar, Fonn Mór, in the city's West End.

Other locations include Byres Road, and two streets located in Rutherglen, Airlie Gardens and Cruachan Road.

For a glimpse at some of the filming locations in Rebus, check out the trailer below.

Rebus arrived on Friday 17th May on BBC iPlayer. All episodes were made available on BBC iPlayer from 6am, with episode one airing on BBC Scotland on Friday 17th May at 10pm and on BBC One on Saturday 18th May at 9:25pm.


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