Where Was The Traitors Filmed? (& Can You Visit?)

By Olivia Emily

5 months ago

Inside the BBC's iconic reality TV series


It’s finally here: the second series of The Traitors. Presented by Claudia Winkleman and based on the Dutch series De Verraders, the first series gained a cult following back in December 2022, seeing 22 ordinary Brits picked up and dropped off at a Scottish castle, where a £120,000 prize pot is up for grabs should they make it to the end. The show gained acclaim in particular for being a breath of fresh air and normality, harking back to a golden era of British reality TV, channelled again by the ITV reboot of Big Brother. But where is The Traitors filmed? And, more importantly, can you visit? C&TH reveals all…

Read the C&TH Responsible Tourism Guide

Where Was The Traitors Filmed? (& Can You Visit?)

The cast of The Traitors at the nightly roundtable

The cast of The Traitors at the nightly roundtable. (BBC/Studio Lambert Associates/Llara Plaza)

Where Is The Traitors Filmed?

The Traitors is filmed at Ardross Castle in the Scottish highlands, and this is where the contestants eat and socialise throughout the series. The first series was filmed here in May 2022, while filming for the second series took place in September 2023. Meanwhile, the challenges take place at different locations nearby, with the contestants transported in Traitors-themed Jeeps. For example, the final challenge in series one – involving a dramatic helicopter jump and a speed boat zipping across a vast loch – was filmed at Loch Glass, which is located approximately 30 minutes away from Ardross Castle by car.

Where Do The Contestants Sleep?

The contestants do not sleep at Ardross Castle, which series two has made clear. Instead, they are transported by Jeep back to an unknown hotel every evening. So where is it? We have reason to believe they stay in a hotel near Inverness Airport, instead, which is under an hour’s drive away. This explains why the contestants show up to breakfast in small groups rather than one by one – because they’ve travelled by car together.

We think they stay in Inverness because, in early 2023, The Traitors US presenter Alan Cumming revealed to The Daily Beast that ‘None of us stayed in the castle. None of us. [The contestants] all stayed in the airport hotel in the Inverness airport,’ he revealed, while he slept in a little house in Inverness.

‘How glamorous,’ he quipped. ‘You come to Scotland, and you stay in the Inverness airport hotel.’

Why, then, do we see Faithfuls being murdered in bedrooms that look like they’re in the castle? Dramatic effect, it seems. In series one, we saw contestants climb the stairs of the castle as if to go to bed, but it turns out this was all filmed for show, and the contestants were always transported to a different hotel in the evening.

Caludia Winkleman surrounded by two hooded figures and fire on steps of Scottish castle

The Traitors Series Two (c) Studio Lambert/Mark Mainz, courtesy of the BBC

On filming at Ardross Castle and in the Scottish highlands for series one, Claudia Winkleman said: ‘I thought I’ve been to beautiful places. I have never been anywhere more beautiful than the Scottish highlands in my life. It felt sometimes like we were in a painting if that’s not too cheesy.

‘On day two, we saw a double rainbow and everyone was like oh my gosh, and the crew were crying, there were baby deer, there was beautiful heather, there were ancient trees, and an ancient loch,’ Claudia added. ‘We were all taking pictures. I FaceTimed my kids to say “you’ve never seen anything like it’s magical”. And then by day four, there had been another three double rainbows. I mean, by the end of the three weeks where we had seen 50, it was like, “don’t care”. But it’s just the most beautiful landscape.’

Ardross Castle is situated in a rural area, lying 30 miles north of the nearest city, Inverness. Built in the Scottish Baronial style, Ardross Castle is set within over 100 acres of parkland and was built in the 19th century, mainly by Irish immigrants to the area; as a result, the surrounding village is named Dublin. Previously a hunting lodge for the 1st Duke of Sutherland, Ardross Castle has been privately owned by the McTaggart family since 1983.

Can You Visit The Castle From The Traitors?

Yes, you can visit Ardross Castle – if you have a wedding to plan or a corporate away day on the horizon, that is. If you’d like an experience much like that of The Traitors, Ardross Castle promotes its outdoor team building activities as a selling point. Think GPS treasure hunt, country sports, and throwback school sports sessions.

Likewise, if you’re looking for an iconic wedding venue, look no further: Ardross Castle has you covered. With space for up to 120 guests, every wedding is bespoke, with no cookie-cutter packages. Think strolls through rolling parkland, drinks in Italian gardens, dancing in the Great Hall – all in the knowledge that your new favourite reality TV show was filmed right there. 

DISCOVER MORE: ardrosscastle.co.uk

WATCH

Series two of The Traitors begins on BBC One on Wednesday 3 January 2024. Catch up with all episodes of The Traitors on BBC iPlayer. bbc.co.uk

Featured image: Claudia Winkleman in front of Ardross Castle, where The Traitors was filmed. (BBC/Studio Lambert Associates/Mark Mainz, cropped)