EUFCN Location Award 2022 Finalist: Portsoy

The picturesque harbour of Portsoy, situated in the North East of Scotland, was a perfect fit for the period drama Peaky Blinders to film their season finale, doubling as a historic harbour in French Canada.

Portsoy is one of the finalists of the EUFCN Location Award 2022, the annual prize for European filming locations organized by the European Film Commissions Network (EUFCN). The location was submitted by Screen Scotland.

The dark and twisted plotline of Peaky Blinders was amplified by the eerie and harrowing Portsoy. Exposed to the North Sea and arctic winds, audiences can feel the chilling and brutal elements that the actors were exposed to, and the remote isolation added a sense of danger that was to come for the characters.

The town of Portsoy falls under the local Aberdeenshire Film Office who welcomed the production and were able to provide full access to using the harbour for the shoot. Thanks to the frozen-in-time architecture and beautifully preserved Scottish port they achieved the desired aesthetic at a time where department budgets were being squeezed.


During the sixth and final season of the BBC gangster drama, the Peaky Blinders get involved with smuggling to prohibition era America, where alcohol has been made illegal.

Portsoy’s picturesque harbour doubled as Miquelon Island, a remote French-speaking territory in the Atlantic Ocean, off the east coast of Canada. Filmed in winter in the old part of the village, the seaside setting gave a frosty backdrop for the long-awaited showdown between Tommy Shelby and his nemesis Michael Gray.

Buildings throughout the 17th century fishing harbour were given a makeover to ensure they looked from the early 1900s. The Shore Inn pub was completely transformed into the fictional Hotel Lanaan. Wooden cladding and outbuildings were also added to other nearby properties.

Portsoy as Miquelon ©Matt Squire

Filming during Covid brought challenges for all productions, however filming in a small populated town meant the crew and talent were easily protected, and privatizing the location was made much easier due to few passers-by, and additional powers granted to local government in Scotland at the time. The protocols that were put in place will be beneficial for any future filming.

The hit TV series brought a huge buzz to the town and helped to place Portsoy and Aberdeenshire on the Scottish film locations map. Following the filming, the director of Peaky Blinders Anthony Byrne thanked the local residents and the film office for their role in facilitating the shoot.

Portsoy can offer productions an entirely private shoot, which was ideal for this project as set dressing was a giveaway to where the Peaky Blinders end up at the end of the series. If you haven’t seen it yet, sorry for the spoilers! And if you do watch it, we hope you get lost in the chilling and beautifully set storyline.

Filming PEAKY BLINDERS in Portsoy ©Matt Squire

The European Film Commissions Network is a non-profit association that supports and promotes the European film industry and culture. It currently represents 95 European film commissions and film institutions from 30 different countries.