SCOTLAND is no stranger to being a star of the screen, with a raft of big-name TV shows and movies having been filmed here in recent years.

It has become an in demand shooting location for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, as well as global streaming giants such as Netflix and Prime Video, particularly when it comes to making crime dramas, thrillers and historical fiction.

Think Outlander, Outlaw King, The Crown, Good Omens, Tetris and The Rig. Not to forget hit series such as Screw, Vigil, Shetland, Annika and Karen Pirie.

The latest to join that illustrious list is The Buccaneers, an eight-part Apple TV+ series inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton’s unfinished final novel of the same name, published posthumously a year after her death in 1937.

Set in the Gilded Age, it centres on “a group of fun-loving young American girls” as they “explode into the tightly corseted London season of the 1870s” in search of affluent husbands. They soon rip up the rule book when it comes to stuffy Victorian tradition.

Kristine Froseth, Alisha Boe, Josie Totah, Aubri Ibrag and Imogen Waterhouse play the titular group of effervescent and fearless women. The stellar cast also features Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks and Mia Threapleton, who co-starred with her mother Kate Winslet in the award-winning I Am Ruth.

Although set across New York, London and Cornwall, The Buccaneers - not to be confused with the swashbuckling 1956 pirate adventure of the same name - was shot entirely in Scotland, using everything from city streets and country homes to beaches, rugged coastlines and waterfalls.

Each episode is based around a different “hero house” - a venue filled with opulence and wealth - to provide distinct chapters in the unfolding story. These fictional abodes include Brightlingsea Townhouse, Honourslove, Runnymede and Tintagel Castle.

“I felt so lucky to be able to draw inspiration from the many beautiful country houses and castles in Scotland,” says Amy Maguire, production designer on The Buccaneers.

“The settings of some of these houses were breathtaking - cliff top castles, natural coves, lochs stretching out of sight - not to mention the stunning grandeur of the buildings in both Glasgow and Edinburgh. We were truly spoilt for choice when piecing together our American and British worlds.”

It often took more than one location to nail the look and feel that the production was looking for. Honourslove used interiors at Touch House, Stirling; the walled garden and greenhouse at Preston Hall, Pathhead, Midlothian; and the hedge maze at Scone Palace, Perthshire.

To create Tintagel Castle, meanwhile, scenes were variously shot at Culzean Castle in Ayrshire; Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfriesshire; Hopetoun House near South Queensferry; the Cloisters at Glasgow University; and the chapel in the grounds of Murthly Castle, Perthshire.

As the series progresses it moves through the seasons, with a spring wedding in New York, holidays spent at a Scottish hunting lodge and then New Year’s Eve in London.

“We wanted to keep the audience on its toes, give them a treat each week, with the girls having an entirely new experience in an entirely new world,” says the show’s executive producer Beth Willis.

Here, we list some of the key locations to keep an eye out for when The Buccaneers begins this week.


The grid-style layout and grand Victorian architecture have seen Glasgow become a popular choice to play various US cities, including Philadelphia (World War Z), San Francisco (Cloud Atlas) and New York (Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny).

It is back in action for The Buccaneers with Cochrane Street depicting Manhattan’s famed Fifth Avenue and a majestic doorway on St Vincent Street serving as an entrance onto Madison Avenue.

Glasgow City Chambers - which, over the years, has stood in for both the Kremlin and the Vatican on screen - is used in interior shots as the staircase, landing and great room of Grosvenor House in London, where a debutantes’ ball takes place in the opening episode.

Look out for the distinctive exterior too in a scene where one of the characters performs a daring manoeuvre out of an upstairs window.

Drumlanrig Castle, Thornhill, Dumfriesshire

While visiting the beach near Tintagel Castle, one of the protagonists of The Buccaneers has a pivotal encounter. The real-life location in Cornwall, which is connected to the legend of King Arthur, wasn’t used for filming. Instead, many scenes were shot at Drumlanrig Castle.

Outlander fans will recognise the castle and gardens as the fictional Bellhurst Manor, aka the Duke of Sandringham’s estate.

Drumlanrig has welcomed an impressive clutch of famous faces over the centuries, from Bonnie Prince Charlie and Robert Burns to astronaut Neil Armstrong and musician Noel Gallagher.

Hopetoun House, South Queensferry, near Edinburgh

Prolific is the word that springs to mind when it comes to Hopetoun House and its upcoming role in The Buccaneers. It variously stands in for Brightlingsea Townhouse, Tintagel Castle and Honourslove, as well as being used for exterior countryside shots.

In the past, the 18th-century property and its surrounding 6,500-acre estate has had star turns in Outlander and Belgravia, as well as the Netflix romcom The Princess Switch: Switched Again.

Gosford House, Longniddry, East Lothian

Its neoclassical architecture and spectacular grounds have made Gosford House a strong draw for TV and film productions, including The Little Vampire, The Awakening, Castles in the Sky, The Secret Agent, Case Histories, Tommy’s Honour and Outlander.

It appeared in another Edith Wharton adaptation, The House of Mirth starring Gillian Anderson and Eric Stoltz, in 2000. The Buccaneers use it as the Closson family house, while the boating pond doubles as the grounds of Runnymede.

Manderston House, Duns, Berwickshire

This Edwardian mansion, set among 56-acres of formal gardens, previously enjoyed roles in the TV drama Belgravia, as well as the films The House of Mirth, The Awakening and Man To Man.

The Buccaneers sees it stand in as the home belonging to the St George family with the bedrooms, bathroom, parlour, entrance hallway, stairs and ballroom all used. It also features in the Apple TV+ series as a New York post office.

Carolside House and Gardens, Earlston, Berwickshire

This elegant Georgian mansion, which sits in a wooded valley in the Scottish Borders, is another picturesque location in The Buccaneers. The gardens and lawn, veranda, breakfast room and sitting room were all utilised to help create Runnymede.

Best of the rest …

Tintagel Castle is the home of the Duke of Tintagel - aka “the most eligible bachelor in England” - and a clutch of Scottish landscapes were used to create the splendour of the estate.

These included Seacliff Beach near North Berwick, East Lothian; Portencross Castle, West Kilbride, Ayrshire; and St Abb’s Head/Pettico Wick Bay at Eyemouth in Berwickshire. Eagle-eyed movie buffs will recognise Seacliff Beach from the 2018 movies Outlaw King and Mary Queen of Scots.

The countryside around Tigh Na Blair Farm at Comrie, near Crieff, Perthshire, can be spotted in a scene involving a carriage. Elsewhere, Cove Harbour Cottage at Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, stood in as the exterior of a Cornish Inn.

Stichill Linn, a waterfall on the Newton Don Estate, Kelso, Roxburghshire, became a swimming pond as part of the Runnymede set.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) building on Moray Place in Edinburgh; Arniston House at Gorebridge, Midlothian; and Newhailes House, Musselburgh, East Lothian, were used for a mixture of Brightlingsea Townhouse interior and exterior shots.

Barnbougle Castle at Dalmeny Estate, South Queensferry; Ardverikie Castle at Kinloch Laggan, Newtonmore, Inverness-shire (aka the fictional Glenbogle in Monarch of the Glen); and Murthly Castle in Perthshire are among the locations for scenes set at a Scottish lodge.

The Buccaneers begins on Apple TV+ from Wednesday, with new episodes weekly