SCOTLAND has been voted the world’s best destination for cinema lovers in a poll in the United States.

Readers of the newspaper USA Today and 10 Best picked Scotland as the best destination for “set-jetters” – tourists who visit the setting for scenes from their favourite movies.

Scotland came out ahead of New Zealand and Austria in the online vote to be crowned the “best cinematic destination”.

They listed the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which carries the West Highland Line over the River Finnan and was seen in the Harry Potter films, and Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian, which was used in The Da Vinci Code starring Tom Hanks, as must-sees for cinephiles.

Blockbusters Skyfall, Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises all feature scenes shot in Scotland.

Scotland also forms the setting and backdrop for the hit US television series Outlander.

Poll organisers said: “When you think about how often Scotland features in iconic film franchises – Harry Potter, James Bond, Braveheart and The Da Vinci Code to name a few – it’s no surprise this country came in first place.”

Petra in Jordan, which was featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, was runner-up in the vote.

New Zealand, which provides the spectacular backdrop to two blockbuster fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, was rated third by pollsters. Tourism body VisitScotland described the poll win as a “fantastic accolade”.

VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead said: “This is a fantastic accolade for Scotland, which has beaten some of the world’s most iconic film locations to take this award.

“Given our country’s incredible and unique scenery, our range of spectacular buildings, as well as the warmth of our welcome, it is no wonder that it continues to attract some of the top film-makers from all over the world.

“Set-jetting, where people visit their favourite filming locations, is hugely popular.

“Scotland’s victory in this USA Today poll is further testimony to this country’s growing reputation as one of the world’s greatest film sets.”

Scotland’s landscapes and historic landmarks will also play a major role in an upcoming film version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which stars Michael Fassbender as the over-ambitious king and Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth.

Also in the pipeline is Victor Frankenstein, starring Scot James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, which also uses Scottish locations.