Guide to screen locations marks Scots TV pioneer anniversary

Cruden Bay has featured as a location on Netflix show 'The Crown'
Cruden Bay has featured as a location on Netflix show 'The Crown'

As Scotland marks the 130th anniversary of the birth of the Scottish “pioneer of television”, the national tourism organisation has launched a guide aimed at set-jetting TV fans, including locations in Aberdeenshire.

'TV Set in Scotland', produced by VisitScotland, contains details of more than 60 television programmes, which have either been filmed in Scotland or have Scottish links.

The guide references some of the TV programmes which have showcased Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire on the small screen, including The Crown, the Netflix drama about the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II, filmed in various locations in Aberdeenshire including Cruden Bay and Slains Castle; Roughnecks, about the lives of workers on a fictional oil rig and filmed in and around the Granite City; and Stonemouth, where the coastal town of Macduff plays the key destination role.

The 36-page book is dedicated to inventor and engineer John Logie Baird who was born in Helensburgh on 13 August, 1888 and is considered one of the fathers of television and the first to show TV pictures to the world.

'TV Set in Scotland' will be available free of charge in attractions and VisitScotland iCentres throughout the country and for download at

From milestone documentary, Night Mail, to Agatha Christie adaptation, Ordeal by Innocence, the guide delves into the animations, documentaries, dramas, sitcoms and soap operas which have been filmed in or inspired by Scotland over the past 80 years.

In a specially written foreword, Peter May, author and co-creator of Gaelic soap opera Machair, says Scotland’s “breathtaking scenery” makes it the “envy of the world”.

He writes: “Filmmakers and TV companies from far and wide make the annual pilgrimage to Scotland to fill their viewers’ screens with stunning images of snow-peaked mountains, silver beaches and turquoise seas. Scotland presents a unique landscape and culture for those film and TV companies as settings not only for documentaries, but for top-rated timeless dramas.”

In keeping with the ‘TV guide’ style, the book also has a selection of film highlights and contains special sections on Outlander, Doctor Who and famous Scottish small-screen characters, including Scrooge McDuck from DuckTales and Scotty from Star Trek.

'TV Set in Scotland' aims to capitalise on the growing trend of set-jetting following research showing that one in five visitors to Scotland have been inspired to visit the country after seeing locations on the big and small screen.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland’s scenery and built heritage, together with our diverse and rich culture have attracted countless filmmakers over the years.

“I welcome this new guide which maps out the locations of some of the great television shows that have been filmed in Scotland and will encourage TV fans of all ages to come and explore our fantastic on-screen locations in real life.”

Jenni Steele, Film and Creative Industries Manager at VisitScotland, said: “The list of television shows and locations featured in TV Set in Scotland is not exhaustive, but this fun and informative guide, which contains firm fan favourites alongside little-known gems, serves as a starting point for visitors wishing to explore the many on-screen locations and nearby attractions.

“The impact of filmmaking in Scotland goes far beyond production spend. Scotland’s appearances on TV have the potential to reach huge global audiences and, with research finding that one in five visitors are inspired to visit after seeing it on-screen, the opportunities for the tourism industry are immense.”

The latest figures show that spend on film and TV in Scotland in 2017 reached £95 million – the highest level since records began – and a £26 million increase on the previous year. Over the past decade, spend has increased by more than 300%.

VisitScotland previously published 'Set in Scotland: A Film Fan’s Odyssey' which focused on the many films shot across the country.

For more on TV and film productions shot in Scotland and to download TV Set in Scotland go to: