My Scotland – Brian Cox

Shutterstock / Joanne Panton ©

Award-winning actor, Brian Cox, shares his favourite places and memories of growing up in Scotland. 

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more affiliated with Scotland, and I’ve realised it should be prouder of itself.

I’ve travelled the world, but Scotland still rings my bells. I really do think it’s God’s Country.

The Scots are too modest. My mother’s highest praise was always, “Oh, that was quite nice.” And this used to drive me nuts.

It’s that thing the Scots have, never giving anything too much credence. I believe we should flaunt it a wee bit more; there’s a lot to flaunt in Scotland. It’s a great place. It’s a great heritage.

In fact, I was convinced of this by my American friends. It was fantastic watching them completely fall in love with the place. They just couldn’t believe the scenery.

I gave one of them some Scottish pound notes, all Scottish money, and I said, “You can either spend it, change it or you can keep it.”

He said, “I’ll keep it because I love Scotland and it will remind me that I need to come back,” which was quite nice – to quote my mother – it was quite nice.



My first awareness of Scotland was Kinnoull Hill in Perth. It was my dad’s favourite spot. When I was a boy, he put me on his back and carried me across to the wee folly. The view is staggering – looking down over the Carse of Gowrie. It’s just something else. It’s stunning.


St Andrews

Aerial view of St Andrews. © Shutterstock

St Andrews is a toast to civilisation and another favourite spot of mine. Just the fact they’ve got all these little green areas for students,
which have been there for hundreds and hundreds of years, and all these little squares and so many great restaurants. Such an interesting place.



©By trotalo, Shutterstock

Mull is one of my favourite places. The Isle of Mull means a lot to me. It’s my favourite island. I love the change and I love the drama of Mull.  Coming down into Iona and you can see why it is sacred. I love all that.  There is nowhere in Scotland that I don’t like.  My mother’s favourite place was going to Pitlochry.  Killiecrankie.  Soldier’s Leap and all that.  I went there as a kid.  Perthshire is just great too.



Tombola connection St Ninian’s Isle to Mainland Shetland. © Copyright Stuart Wilding,

I never knew this but a tombolo is a strip of sand with water on either side. You will find a lot of them in Shetland. I have been very lucky to have filmed in Shetland for the TV series Shetland. I am blessed.



St Mary’s church, Dundee. © douglasmack, Shutterstock

I’m very much an east coaster – and particularly proud of Dundonians, having grown up in Dundee. That east coast light, watching it cast over nearby places in the evenings such as the Arbroath Cliffs and Lunan Bay, all the way down to Carnoustie and the Ferry. I just love that. My mum would take the bairns – the kids – down to a wee hut in Barry a few weeks every summer. It was great. Out in the country, fresh eggs and stuff like that.

I grew up in Dundee so it was bizarre filming there for Succession. This city is full of handsome, beautiful chapels. They’re quite extraordinary. I remember thinking when I was a boy that my old school, St. Pats church, was formidable. St. Mary’s is also absolutely stunning – this happened to be the church my mother and father got married in. It’s well worth going round just to see them all because they are quite exquisite.



Brian Cox


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