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Where is Shetland filmed? Scottish mainland and Shetland Islands filming locations for the hit BBC series

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BBC crime drama Shetland is back with a fifth series having enjoyed global success since it first aired in 2013.

Read on to find out where the popular BBC series – which stars Douglas Henshall, Alison O’Donnell and Steven Robertson, and continues tonight  – was filmed…

The BBC’s Shetland drama is set on the northern Scottish island
BBC

Where is Shetland filmed?

When the BBC series first hit TV screens in 2013 viewers were as impressed by the scenery as the incredible storyline.

Despite the story largely taking place on the Shetland Islands, most of the filming is done on the Scottish mainland.

The cast were spotted filming in Lerwick and elsewhere on the Mainland island of the Shetlands
BBC

Which parts of Shetland were used?

For the fifth series of the crime drama, the cast was spotted filming in Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland Islands and the only town in the entire Isles.

Shooting took place in the Lodberries area, and in particular on Commercial Street, according to the Shetland Times.

Cameras also turned on Wester Quarff, a small village five miles south of Lerwick.

Douglas Henshall revealed how locations in Scotland were chosen because of their similarity to Shetland
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Which parts of mainland Scotland feature?

In the past, the film crew have used Renfrewshire in the Scottish Lowlands, Irvine Beach in North Ayrshire, Ayr on the west coast of Ayrshire, and Barrhead, a town near Glasgow.

Douglas Henshall revealed in an interview with the Daily Record: “My character’s house is actually in Kilbarchan (Renfrewshire), the interior of a couple of crofts are here (Irvine, Ayrshire) and the police station is in Barrhead (near Paisley).

“There’s a fish factory where a lot of the story happens, too, and that’s in Ayr.”

He added: “We’ve found some places that pass as Shetland. Avoiding trees, mainly, but with similar landscapes.”

TV viewers have been won over by the beautiful scenery in the show
BBC

Where are the Shetland Islands?

Some of the murder mystery is filmed on location on the Scottish archipelago – the name for an extensive group of islands.

The Shetlands Isles are made up of more than a hundred islands, 15 of which are uninhabited, and it has a population of just 22,000.

While the islands are technically part of Scotland, they are 80km to the northeast of Orkney on the mainland and are actually closer to Norway than Great Britain.

The Mainland is the largest island, with Unst, Yell and Fetlar following close behind.


When does Shetland start on BBC One?

Shetland will return to BBC One for series five on TONIGHT (February 12, 2019) at 9pm on BBC One.

Like previous series, it will be comprised of six hour-long episodes.

The drama is set in the Shetland Islands, north of Scotland but most of the filming actually takes place in mainland locations such as Renfrewshire, Ayr, Barrhead and Irvine.

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