The Hallmark Channel’s newest Countdown to Christmas movie, “A Merry Scottish Christmas,” premieres on Saturday, November 18, at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central. The movie stars Lacey Chabert and Scott Wolf. Read on to learn all about where the movie was filmed, including a castle where you can book your own stay if you want.
‘A Merry Scottish Christmas’ Was Filmed in Scotland & Ireland over the Summer
“A Merry Scottish Christmas” wasn’t filmed in Canada, like many other Hallmark movies. This one was filmed mostly in Scotland and Ireland, including at a majestic castle where fans can book their own stays. Filming was done over the summer, wrapping in early July.
In an interview with the Hartford Courant, Andrew Gernhard — owner of Synthetic Cinema International — shared that his production company made four Hallmark films in a row starting in November to try to get them finished before the strike. “A Merry Scottish Christmas” was the last one and it was finished just in time.
“Starting in November, we made four Hallmark films in a row,” he said. We made ‘A Biltmore Christmas’ in North Carolina, then we made ‘Where Are You, Christmas’ and ‘Mystic Christmas’ back to back, both in Mystic, from March until May. Then we went to Ireland and Scotland from May to July for ‘A Merry Scottish Christmas,’ which we finished on the last night before the strike.”
A major setting for the Hallmark Christmas movie was Duns Castle in Berwickshire, Scotland. A2ZFilmingLocation shared a photo comparing a film scene with the castle to an original image, showing it to be the same location.
Actress Kellie Blaise, who plays Sara Morgan, shared a series of pictures on Instagram of their unique filming location, writing: “And that’s a wrap 🎥 what a dream to get to film and stay in this 14th century Scottish castle @dunscastle with such a beautiful team of people.”
Based on her post, filming wrapped in early July.
Much of the filming occurred both inside and around Duns Castle in Berwickshire, Scotland.
Duns Castle’s website notes that it’s a 14th-century castle located on the Scottish Borders, approximately 30 miles south of Edinburgh.
In the movie, the cast is portrayed as the residence of Jo Morgan, the mother of estranged siblings Lindsay and Brad Morgan.
Throughout the movie, Duns Castle takes center stage in pivotal scenes, both inside and outside the castle walls. It’s been family-owned since 1696, and guests can visit from the around the world to see the movie’s setting for themselves. A variety of castle rooms are available for reservation, and there’s additional guest space in cottages on the grounds. Accommodations are available throughout the year.
Chabert told People about filming at the castle: “ One of my favorite moments was we arrived at the castle where we were filming in Scotland. It was a long day, and we were very hurried to start shooting before the sun went down. And we were shooting a scene where we’re starting inside the castle and then we walk out the front. And as we’re filming, I realized that all of our kids were playing in the front yard. And it almost took me out of the scene because it was such a flash to me being a kid and having just met Scott… The full circle moment of that was really heartwarming for me.”
The Scottish countryside that envelops the castle also plays a prominent role in the film “A Merry Scottish Christmas.” Castalkie reported that in July 2023, the cast and crew extended their filming locations beyond Scotland to include Ireland. This was most likely a strategic decision to enhance and complement the Scottish settings portrayed in the film.
On June 30, Synthetic Cinema posted a series of behind-the-scenes photos and revealed they filmed the movie in both Ireland and Scotland.
They wrote, in part: “From the epic locations, to the festive set design to the beautiful and culturally immersed wardrobe, to the gorgeous cinematography, and stellar performances — EVERY aspect of this production was brag worthy! … Hats-off to Dustin Rikert for successfully traversing this highland mountain of a movie!”
In an interview with People, Chabert and Wolf were excited to share that they were reuniting in this movie after 23 years.
Wolf commented, “Working with Lacey on ‘Party of Five’ was one of my favorite experiences ever. Reuniting after all of these years to tell such a beautiful story together is a dream that I’m so glad is coming true.”
Chabert shared the following on Instagram only a few days before the movie’s premiere, writing: I’m so excited that I finally get to share this with you! Reuniting with @iamscottwolf for #AMerryScottishChristmas for @hallmarkchannel was a dream come true! Scott is forever family to me and this reunion with him was pure joy. I hope you love the movie on November 18! #countdowntochristmas”
“A dream come true! I’m so thrilled to be reuniting with one of my dearest friends @iamscottwolf for a very special @hallmarkchannel #CountdownToChristmas movie!” she wrote in another post.
Wolf did the same, writing: “So excited to (re)share this with all of you. I love my forever sister Lacey with all of my heart, and this most special reunion was a dream come true. The first time we’ve worked together since #partyoffive and it was like no time had passed. (Time has passed 😁)I hope you feel all of the love we poured into this one. ❤️❤️ Catch the premiere on November 18th!@hallmarkchannel #countdowntochristmas”
Director Dustin Rikert shared his own post on Instagram, writing: “Cheers to the good people of Ireland. ❤️”
The X account SleepyKittyPaw shared that some of the Ireland scenes were filmed in Wicklow, Ireland.
Meet the Cast
Hallmark’s synopsis reads: “When estranged siblings, Lindsay and Brad Morgan travel to Scotland at Christmas to reunite with their mother Jo, a big family secret is revealed.”
Lacey Chabert plays Lindsay. She’s a favorite among Hallmark fans and a record-breaking star. According to her bio, she starred in the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Original film “The Color of Rain,” which set a record as the highest-rated and most-watched original film in Hallmark Mysteries’ history. Additionally, she headlined the network’s signature mystery movie franchise, “Crossword Mysteries,” which fans still want new installments of to this day.
Chabert also took on the roles of both executive producer and lead actor in the highly successful “The Wedding Veil” trilogy in 2022, alongside Alison Sweeney and Autumn Reeser, and its sequel trilogy in 2023. Her most recent project involves executive producing and starring in “The Dancing Detective: A Deadly Tango” on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
Scott Wolf is Brad. According to his bio, he’s a highly regarded actor in both stage and screen productions. With a TV career spanning two decades, he gained widespread recognition for his breakout role as Bailey Salinger in the award-winning drama “Party of Five,” where he starred alongside Matthew Fox, Neve Campbell, and Lacey Chabert.
Following his success on “Party of Five,” Wolf featured in the drama “Everwood,” sharing the screen with Treat Williams from “Chesapeake Shores,” Chris Pratt, and Emily Van Camp. He then took on lead roles in two ABC series, “The Nine” and “V,” before joining the CBS hit “NCIS.” Subsequently, Wolf starred for two seasons in TNT’s “Perception,” where he collaborated with Eric McCormack and Rachael Leigh Cook. His most recent TV stint includes a four-season run on the NBC series “The Night Shift.”
Also starring in the movie, according to Hallmark’s press release, are:
- James Robinson (Mac Bell)
- Kellie Blaise (Sarah Morgan)
- Fiona Bell (Josephine)
- Gerry O’Brien (Graeme Stewart)
- Tom Doonan (Hamish)
- Laura Hughes (Elspeth Abernathy)
- Andy Peppiette (Danny)
- Chris Mchallem (Angus Ryan)
- Tiernan Messitt-Greene (Charlie)
- Deirdre Monaghan (Local Woman)
- Eilidh Murphy (Young Josephine)
- Ali White (Dr. Amerila Bell)
- Iggy Bownes (Morgan Family Driver)
If you miss the premiere, you can catch it again on these dates:
- Sunday, November 19: 6/5c
- Friday, November 24: 10/9c
- Saturday, December 2: 4/3c
- Thursday, December 7: 8a/7c
- Friday, December 15: 6/5c
- Sunday, December 24: 8/7c
- Thursday, December 28: 12/11c
READ NEXT: Hallmark’s Full Christmas Lineup for 2023