WITH our breathtaking scenery, dramatic weather and vast history, Scotland presents a unique backdrop to dozens of television series. 

There are, of course, the well-known classics filmed on our shores – with Shetland, Balamory, Taggart and River City to name just a few favourites.

But there are also a number of household names that people may not realise were shot in Scotland.

Here, we look at the six famous television programmes you might not realise are filmed in Scotland: 

The Crown

The hit Netflix drama, starring Olivia Colman, Matt Smith and Claire Foy is set in several locations across Aberdeenshire.

Cruden Bay acts as the Castle of Mey’s beach – with Slains Castle doubling as the Castle of Mey itself in the popular series about the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Greenock Telegraph: Slains Castle in The CrownSlains Castle in The Crown

The real 16th century Castle of Mey – the Queen Mother’s Home in Caithness – with its corbelled turrets and stunning gardens is now a five-star visitor attraction. 

Ardverikie House in the Highlands also proved as the perfect stand-in for external shots of Balmoral Castle throughout every season of The Crown.

Waterloo Road

The trials and tribulations of the staff and pupils at the Waterloo Road school ran for seven years in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, before relocation up north to Scotland.

From 2013, the class moved to the former Greenock Academy school in Inverclyde for the drama’s final three series – before eventually coming to an end in 2015.

Greenock Telegraph: Waterloo Road was filmed in the old Greenock Academy from 2011 to 2015Waterloo Road was filmed in the old Greenock Academy from 2011 to 2015

Lindores Manor Hotel in Greenock was also used as the school boarding house during the three series. 

Locations in Lochwinnoch in Renfrewshire and Glasgow Caledonian University were also used as backdrops. 

The move was made by the BBC as part of a plan to boost TV production across the home nations.


Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes spent two weeks filming in the Scotland for ITV’s historical drama Victoria.

The Queen travels north to Scotland in episode seven of the second series of the drama, providing the chance to highlight the spectacular landscape of Perthshire and the Highlands.

Greenock Telegraph: Blair Castle in PerthshireBlair Castle in Perthshire

The episode was filmed at Blair Castle in Perthshire – a castle actually visited by Queen Victoria several times. 

Downton Abbey 

In the 2012 Christmas special of the historical period drama series saw the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants head north to Duneagle Castle. 

The fictional home of the Marquess and Marchioness of Flintshire, however, was filmed on location at Inveraray Castle, near Inveraray in Argyll.

Greenock Telegraph: Inveraray Castle played host to Downton AbbeyInveraray Castle played host to Downton Abbey

The nail-biting two hour special was shot across the grounds of the real-life home to the Duke of Argyll and his family – where visitors can explore the history-filled interior and 16 acres of lawns, flowerbeds, park and woodland. 

One of Us

This one is a little bit confusing. The BBC1 thriller is set in the Highlands which, as we know, is a beautiful location for film and TV backdrops alike.

But One of Us, in fact, was actually filmed in Peebles in the Scottish Borders.

A stunning town, Peebles plays host to the dramatic scenes of a double murder which rocked the lives of two families living in the fictional village of Braeston. 

The four-part thriller was also shot partly in Edinburgh, with locations in the capital including Waverley Court, Rodney Street Tunnel, Tolbooth Tavern, The Sheep Heid Inn and the Royal Mile Tavern.


Okay – this one you probably did know was filmed in Scotland based on the plot and costumes used.

The mystical and spell-binding saga is shot across the country, from ancient standing stones and dramatic castles to magnificent stately homes and breathtaking landscapes. 

Greenock Telegraph: Outlander is filmed across ScotlandOutlander is filmed across Scotland

The story starts with standing stones at Kinloch Rannoch in Highland Perthshire, with Doune Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Aberdour Castle and Pollok Country Park among the other locations for the popular series.

You can view all the locations here.