Glasgow’s George Hotel, where ‘Trainspotting’, ‘The Big Man’, ‘Taggart’ and Other Shows Were Filmed

Glasgow’s George Hotel might not be a household name, but its elegant interiors have graced the silver screen more times than you might think.  From gritty dramas like “Trainspotting” to the long-running detective series “Taggart,” this iconic hotel has played a silent yet crucial role in shaping cinematic history. Let’s peek behind the curtain and explore the fascinating story of the George Hotel and its unexpected journey into the world of film and television.

The George Hotel boasts a rich history that stretches back to the 19th century.  Initially built as a series of townhouses, the building was later transformed into a railway hotel, catering to travelers arriving at the bustling Glasgow Central Station.  Its prime location and stunning Victorian architecture quickly made it a popular choice for both visitors and locals alike.  Over the years, the hotel has undergone various renovations and expansions, evolving into the grand establishment we see today.  With its ornate details, sweeping staircases, and luxurious ambiance, the George Hotel exudes a timeless charm that has captivated filmmakers for decades.

One of the George Hotel’s most notable on-screen appearances was in the 1996 cult classic “Trainspotting.”  The film, known for its raw portrayal of Edinburgh’s drug scene, used the hotel’s opulent interiors to create a stark contrast with the harsh realities of addiction. 

In the 1990 film “The Big Man,” starring Liam Neeson, the hotel’s grand ballroom was transformed into a boxing venue, showcasing its adaptability and spaciousness.  The hotel’s corridors and rooms have also featured in numerous episodes of the long-running detective series “Taggart,” seamlessly blending into the show’s depiction of Glasgow’s urban landscape.

The George Hotel’s appeal to filmmakers lies in its ability to transport viewers to a different time and place. Its classic architecture and elegant interiors provide a sense of history and grandeur, offering a unique backdrop for storytelling.  Whether it’s portraying a luxurious setting or a gritty underworld, the George Hotel effortlessly adapts to the needs of each production, contributing to the overall atmosphere and visual storytelling.

Beyond its cinematic fame, the George Hotel remains a beloved landmark in Glasgow.  It continues to welcome guests from all over the world, offering them a taste of luxury and a glimpse into the city’s rich history.  So, the next time you find yourself watching a film or TV show set in Glasgow, keep an eye out for the familiar features of the George Hotel. You might just be surprised at how often this unassuming star of the screen has stolen the show.

#6 Mr. Peter Fox, former ballroom champion and owner of the George Hotel, 1998.

#8 A circular room with curved doors. Used as the hotel room for the London drug deal in ‘Trainspotting’.

#11 This section of the hotel on the second floor was supposedly haunted.

#12 The Cocktail Lounge–one of the seven bars which operated on the premises.

#13 Lounge bar with sprung dance-floor. Used as location in various films and TV series like ‘Taggart’.

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Written by Kevin Clark

Kevin Clark is a historian and writer who is passionate about sharing the stories and significance behind historical photos. He loves to explore hidden histories and cultural contexts behind the images, providing a unique insight into the past.

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