7 Buccaneers Locations to Visit in Scotland
We all love a period drama set amongst grand castles and elegant estates, that’s why we’ve been paying close attention to The Buccaneers TV series recently released by Apple TV. Although The Buccaneers is set in London, our scenic Scottish homes and estates were just too good for the producers to pass up. That’s right, it’s all filmed here in Scotland! Now that the last episode has aired and having visited some of these incredible filming locations in person, we can finally talk about the stunning Scottish locations that feature across all eight episodes.
This Georgian mansion and 6,000-acre estate makes an appearance in The Buccaneers TV series as a grand London townhouse. Located in Gorebridge just south of Edinburgh, Arniston House has been in the Dundas family since 1571 and it is a spectacular location to visit to soak up the lush countryside away from the busy city and get a feel for what life was like centuries ago.
Head on a 90-minute tour of the house and delve into the family history of Arniston, as well Scottish and world events that relate back to this majestic home. If you loved The Buccaneers so much you want to immerse yourself even more, why not treat yourself to a cosy cottage stay on the estate? Or if you’re looking for a Scottish venue for the big day, look no further!
Gosford House is the definition of a hidden gem. It only took me about 30 minutes to drive there from Edinburgh, nestled behind grand gates overlooking Gosford Bay in East Lothian.
The house was designed in an impressive neoclassical style by renowned Scottish architect Robert Adams, and its grandeur and detail make it an ideal backdrop for filming The Buccaneers. Inside, the rooms are outfitted with an incredible array of artwork and sculpture, from Italian Renaissance artists to Dutch masters. A particular highlight is the marble entrance, surprisingly bright with beautiful pink and orange hues. The symmetrical marble staircase over a huge fireplace in the centre is designed to look like a Venetian bridge, which eagle-eyed viewers will spot throughout the series, as well as also being used in Outlander and The Princess Switch. The house is privately owned, but there are public open days and events throughout the year which are well-worth keeping an eye out for – the history and stories of the house include Jacobite rebellion, art enthusiasts, an army base in WWII and American connections.
Another grand location I was able to visit was Newhailes House, and it did not disappoint! This stunning Palladian home has been in the Dalrymple family from the 1700s all the way through to 1997 when it was taken into the care of the National Trust for Scotland. The house has been carefully frozen in time to preserve the centuries old antiques, tapestries, paintings and more that you can find in every room throughout the house. My favourite room had to be the library. This room was once home to largest private library in Europe and housed incredible collections of literature, stories, tales and a history of the house too. It was also a key room used in the filming of The Buccaneers, and with its tall ceilings, roaring fireplace and timeless character, it fits right in.
The grounds of the estate are a popular place for dog walkers, the kids will love exploring the Weehailes Adventure Playpark, and there are plenty of family-friendly events and festivals to enjoy here too.
So, if you’ve fallen in love with The Buccaneers, you’ve probably also become obsessed with the stunning sea views, cliffs, beach horseback rides, romantic sunsets and ruined castles featured in the series. If this is you, then you need to visit the rugged coastline of East Lothian ASAP. Iconic spots featured in the series include the Bass Rock in North Berwick and Seacliff beach just a little further along the coast. Seacliff beach is the perfect destination to lose yourself and embrace your inner period drama self, with mesmerising skyscapes as well as the view to the romantic ruin of Tantallon Castle, which stands in for Tintagel Castle in the series.
Located just a stone’s throw away from Edinburgh, Preston Hall is a majestic estate that comprises a grand stately home, a picturesque walled garden, and acres of lush countryside grounds to admire. The walled garden was particularly pretty to see. Carefully crafted with flower beds, a range of plants and tree species, dated architecture and a serene atmosphere, you can see why it was a chosen location to film at. Lucky for me I got a cracking day amidst the winter weather to see the gardens in all their glory. The blue skies and sun rays really enhanced the detail of the gardens and greenhouse.
Keep your eyes peeled for a range of events held throughout the year here, including festive crafts and Easter extravaganzas. Or if you’ve been inspired by the grandeur of The Buccaneers, why not host your magical day here with a Preston Hall wedding?
Make sure to keep an eye out for the wild pheasants that roam across the estate too!
My favourite trip by far was to the renowned Hopetoun House. Located in the picturesque South Queensferry overlooking the Forth Bridges, this impeccable stately home is so historically accurate and well-preserved, it feels as if you’ve been transported back in time. With key attention to detail, and a large variety of historic antiques throughout the house, Hopetoun truly is a director’s dream when it comes to filming locations and has been a chosen backdrop to many a film and TV series. The magic doesn’t stop indoors though. In fact, the magic starts on the drive up the long, grand driveway to the house. The exterior of Hopetoun really made my jaw drop. The size and scale of the house up close is immense, with intricate detailing and 17th century aspects giving the house a special character that made it perfect to star in The Buccaneers.
If this period drama has left a lasting effect on you as much as it did on me, why not scout it out as a potential wedding venue? I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Glasgow’s grand architecture and street grid system mean it’s been used as a filming location stand-in for New York many times, including in World War Z and Indiana Jones. The Buccaneers follows suit with filming locations across the city and it doesn’t take much imagination for anyone who visits to be taken back in time and across the Atlantic. Just a short walk across the street from the train station, you’ll recognise the impressive edifice of Glasgow City Chambers and the surrounding side streets as stand-ins for New York locations in the series. It’s definitely worth popping your head inside, where they also made use of the solid marble staircases, intricate mosaics and sparkling chandeliers. Nearby, the University Cloisters are also worth a trip for any Buccaneers fan. The iconic arches and surroundings were used to film some of the iconic ballroom scenes in the series.
We hope you loved The Buccaneers TV series as much as we did, and that this has inspired a visit or two to some of Scotland’s stately homes and grand mansions. And if you haven’t seen the series yet, we highly recommend you get watching!
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