With Trainspotting 2 on the horizon, we take a look back at the locations found in the original film and novel
Although director Danny Boyle filmed the majority of his 1996 film adaptation of Trainspotting in Glasgow, the story is firmly set in notorious Edinburgh neighbourhood, Leith.
Here, Leith local and Trainspotting tour guide, Tim Bell, chooses five of the many must-see locations from the book and the film that any true fan should tick off their bucket list.
Irvine Welsh has travelled a long way since he was getting used to life in the ordinary lane back in the 1980s, working for the council and writing Trainspotting.
The further and longer he has been away from Leith, the more he’s lost his ear for the nuances of his native lingo. He says as much, himself – it’s natural. But the power of his best and most famous book has not weakened.
Part of this is because he puts his fiction right on location. It’s a gift for a tour guide.Trainspotting is where literature meets location meets history.
Some people in Leith were furious that the film took their story away from Leith – Boyle makes it a pan-Scottish story. Just as many Leithers were pleased that the film didn’t draw even more unwelcome attention to their home town.
The people who come on the tour feed my project, with their own insights and questions. Come and be one of them.
Found over Calton Road. This is where Renton starts his journey down Leith Walk in the episode Trainspotting at Leith Central Station. It’s also the most distinctive Edinburgh location in the film. Start at The Black Bull pub.
Pennywell shopping centre
— NESW (@NEStreetwork) May 11, 2016
Can be found on Pennywell Road, Muirhouse. Scene of the foul toilet in the bookies, made into ‘The Worst Toilet in Scotland’ in the film, although the sequence wasn’t shot here.
Queen Victoria statue
— Charles Paterson (@charlesp_sky) May 22, 2016
At the foot of Leith Walk. Head here for a fine view of what was Leith Central Station (below and beyond the clock tower) and the scene of the eponymous utterance. Oh, and this is where Spud runs into Begbie and Lexo before going on a shoplifting spree through Woolworths, now the British Heart Foundation.
2 Wellington Place
Welsh lived in one of the upper flats. Read the episode Deid Dugs on the grass opposite for a whole new sense of location.
Port o’ Leith pub
— Mecha Carassius (@mechacarassius) April 13, 2016
You can’t leave Leith without a visit to Port o’ Leith pub on Constitution Street. This is one of the places Welsh met fellow wannabe authors when he was drafting Trainspotting, so it’s a sort of spiritual home of the book.
Find out more about Tim Bell, his book and his Trainspotting tours on his website – leithwalks.co.uk
Tim will be giving guided tours as part of this year’s Leith Festival (11-19 June) – leithfestival.com
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Main image: iesse / Flickr / CC