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Article published 11/11/2020

Caithness, Inverness-shire and the Cairngorms take on starring roles in award-winning Netflix series, The Crown, as it returns to screens for a fourth series on Sunday (15 November).

Featuring roughly 90 different locations across the UK including some grand estates and locations across the famous North Coast 500 driving route, the series heavily features the Highlands, which pose as royal residences and even locations further afield.

The Crown follows the story of Queen Elizabeth II, played by Oscar-winning actor Olivia Colman (a role previously held by Claire Foy) from her wedding to present day. Seasonh season four focuses particularly on the late 1970s through to 1990.

More than 70 million households worldwide have watched the royal drama since it began in 2016, according to Netflix.

Scottish locations featuring in The Crown season four are:

Ardverikie Estate
Kinloch Laggan, Newtonmore, Inverness-shire

Scenes set in the majestic Royal residency and the monarch’s favoured summer retreat, Balmoral Castle, are shot at Ardverikie Estate near Newtonmore. Originally made famous in BBC’s Monarch of Glen as the fictional Glenbogle Estate, the 19th century home is built in the same Scottish baronial style as Balmoral castle, making it the perfect, lavish backdrop for the series.

Rothiemurchus Estate
Rothiemurchus Centre, Aviemore

The famous Braemar Gathering, a traditional Highland Games, is recreated in series four slightly further north at Rothiemurchus Estate in Aviemore.  Traditionally, the Braemar Gathering takes place annually on the first Saturday of September in Braemar and has been part of the Royal calendar since 1832.  In 2020, the Braemar Gathering went virtual for the first time ever.

Lybster Harbour and Langwell Estate

Further north and situated on the famous North Coast 500 driving route, the Caithness and Wick areas are portrayed as many different locations in the series. Lybster Harbour and Langwell Estate are depicted as Leith Harbour and Grytviken in South Georgia, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic that was secured by the British during the Falklands war in 1982.

Dunbeath Estate
Dunbeath, Caithness

Dunbeath Estate in Caithness, close to the North Coast 500 route, is shot as the River Hofsa in Iceland.  The thrilling cliff edges and roaring waves make for a dramatic backdrop to depict the land of fire and ice. The 17th century Dunbeath Castle is a private residence, so not open to the public, however the gardens are open by appointment all year round.

Keiss Harbour & Ackergill Tower
Wick, Caithness

Keiss Harbour and Ackergill Tower, also situated on the North Coast 500 route, play a role a bit closer to home as they are depicted as Classiebawn Castle and Mullaghmore in Ireland.  Ackergill Tower operates as a hotel which is available for bookings all year round- perfect for exploring the North Highlands in the most regal way possible.

This series sees the rise of Margaret Thatcher (played by Gillian Anderson), elected as the first female Prime Minister, and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer (played by Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin).

The Crown makes a welcome return to Netflix and we look forward to seeing the dramatic landscapes and estates of the Highlands recreating pivotal royal moments from the past.

The impact of film and TV goes far beyond the production spend, with research finding that one in five visitors are inspired to plan a trip to Scotland after seeing it on-screen. The streaming platform’s ability to engage with a huge worldwide audience will help strengthen our on-screen presence and keep the Highlands, and Scotland, front of mind for potential visitors in the future.

Chris Taylor, Regional Leadership Director at VisitScotland

Caithness and Sutherland is rich in royal history; from storied Castles and historic villages where many a noble foot has tread, the area is a history lover’s dream.

Against the backdrop of rugged coastlines, white sandy beaches and majestic mountains, Caithness and Sutherland is a magical place to come and visit and experience the history of the northern Highlands and its ties to British royalty, which date back hundreds of years.

We are excited that The Crown will showcase Caithness and Sutherland to a global audience and look forward to welcoming visitors who want to come and see the locations and explore the wider area themselves.

Catherine MacLeod, Chair of Venture North, the tourism cooperative for Caithness and Sutherland

To find out more about the impact of Film and TV on Scottish tourism, take a look at our Film and TV research paper.

For any of your visitors who are interested by the The Crown and Royal Experiences in Scotland, we've created a brand-new blog on to show-case the Scottish locations featured and mentioned in The Crown.

For more information on the Scottish locations featured in The Crown season 4, please visit the Netflix media centre.

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