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Lybster transformed for Netflix drama The Crown


By David G Scott

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LYBSTER harbour was a hive of activity today as preparations continued for filming key sequences in popular TV series The Crown.

Set-builders were busy erecting and painting various building façades on the quayside to transform the scenic location into Port Leith in the Falklands where Argentinians were discovered salvaging scrap metal in 1982 – an incident that proved to be a precursor to the Falklands War.

A construction team working on a set for the Netflix series The Crown at Lybster on Thursday. Picture: DGS
A construction team working on a set for the Netflix series The Crown at Lybster on Thursday. Picture: DGS

Lybster joins Keiss as Caithness locations chosen for the hit Netflix series. Keiss harbour will be transformed into the site where Lord Mountbatten was assassinated at Mullaghmore in Ireland 40 years ago.

Odel Hodgson, who works at Waterlines visitor centre beside Lybster harbour, said that the crew arrived on Monday morning. "It's putting Lybster on the map and it's great to see," she said.

Ms Hodgson said there has been an upsurge of tourists in the area which she believes could be related to "all the excitement of the filming".

Kathryn Carter, left, and Odel Hodgson from Waterlines Heritage Museum sited by the harbour in Lybster. They both think the film production will bring recognition for the village and will benefit the community.
Kathryn Carter, left, and Odel Hodgson from Waterlines Heritage Museum sited by the harbour in Lybster. They both think the film production will bring recognition for the village and will benefit the community.

She said: "It's lovely to watch them working away. This is something that doesn't happen every day of the week. They're trying to make the harbour look like a site in the Falklands in the 1980s and they're making a really good job of it.

"A lot of it has been made down south and they're putting it together now like a big jigsaw. I can't imagine what the budget for this must be like, but it must be enormous. They [the film crew] are staying at B&Bs all over the county and as far as Brora. It's really good for us all."

The 'LOC' sign points towards Lybster harbour so crew members can find the location.
The 'LOC' sign points towards Lybster harbour so crew members can find the location.

Steven Swan, proprietor of the Portland Hotel in Lybster, agreed with that sentiment and said that some of the film crew were staying at the hotel.

"It's a really great thing for the community as a whole. There are so many local businesses that they're involved with and it'll put a lot of money into the community," he said.

Mr Swan added that apart from the crew staying at his hotel the production company is "making good use" of the facilities.

"They're even using us as a make-up and costume change centre."

The Portland Hotel in Lybster is currently being used by crew from the big budget production. Pictures: DGS
The Portland Hotel in Lybster is currently being used by crew from the big budget production. Pictures: DGS

Fishermen at the harbour have been notified and alternative arrangements been made for siting their boats.

Lybster residents received letters notifying them of the filming, due to start on September 18 from 8am until 7pm. Similar letters have gone out to Keiss residents.

Lybster harbour is a location for Netflix series The Crown.
Lybster harbour is a location for Netflix series The Crown.

Production of the award winning drama, starring Oscar-winner Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II, is up to the fourth season and will focus on the Falklands War.

Access to the harbour will be restricted to the public, as outbuildings are constructed and scrap metal is delivered to the site, but access for fishermen and for staff and visitors at Waterlines will be as normal.


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