In this post you’ll uncover some iconic film and TV shot in the beautiful area of Yorkshire. From magical films, such as Harry Potter, to the world’s longest running sitcom, Last of The Summer Wine, in this post, you’ll find some of Yorkshire’s truly beautiful locations, preserved for generations to come.
Where: West Yorkshire
Based on the Edith Nesbit’s book published in 1906, The Railway Children is among many people’s favourite childhood films. After the disappearance of their father, three children move to Yorkshire with their mother where they attempt to uncover the true reason for his disappearance. Most of the film was shot in West Yorkshire, from the new family home in Oxenhope to the doctor’s house in Haworth.
Where: The Woolpack
Originally titled “Emmerdale Farm” before its renaming in 1989, Emmerdale is a long-standing soap opera set in a fictional village in the Yorkshire Dales. In fact, it is the UK’s second longest standing soap opera (after Coronation Street). The series originally focussed on the lives of the characters living on the farm, but over the years this focus shifted towards residents in the nearby town which initiated the name being shortened. The Woolpack, the local inn featured in the series, (pictured) is the second oldest TV soap pub and the only one to have changed locations as part of the storyline – it’s original filming location being in Arncliffe before it moved to Esholt.
Entertaining audiences for 37 years, Last of The Summer Wine is officially the World’s longest running sitcom. The series follows the tales of three elderly men, who are yet to ‘grow up’, on their adventures in the Yorkshire Dales. Last of The Summer Wine was filmed in and around Holmfirth. Sid’s Cafe (pictured), located in the town, has become a popular tourist destination as a result of its regular appearance in the series.
It would be unjust to discuss film and TV shot in Yorkshire and not mention Count Dracula. It is said that Whitby inspired Bran Stoker’s famous novel, however, the Abbey was not featured in the book as many believe. Although, it was featured in the BBC’s mini-series in 1977.
Where: North Yorkshire
Based on the memoirs of Alf Wright, who retold his tales as a Yorkshire vet under the pen name James Herriot, this series was loved by many for its beautiful landscapes and touching stories. The television show, shot in North Yorkshire, cast local people to play the roles of farmers in an attempt to maintain a natural authentic feel to the show.
Where: York Station
This iconic movie retells the true story of two athletes competing in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddel, a Scottish Christian, and Harold Abrahams, an English Jew overcoming prejudice. The scene where Lidell and Abrahams get off the boat train in King’s Cross was in fact shot in York Station. For those of you wondering what a “boat train” is, it is a train that transported someone to or from a port to connect with a ferry or ship.
Where: Castle Howard, North Yorkshire
This much-loved television series, based on Evelyn Waugh’s novel in 1945, was loved by many. Parts of Castle Howard, in North Yorkshire, represented the elegant Brideshead Castle in both the 1981 series and, more recently, the film in 2008. The historic house is regarded as one of the finest stately homes in Britain. If you want to relive some of the series’ fondest moments, Castle Howard is open to the public.
Where: Cartwright Hall, Bradford
Monty Python played a pivotal role in changing the shape of British comedy and was loved across the globe for their humorous sketches. Monty Python’s ‘The Meaning of Life’ is possibly their most popular film and its iconic song was filmed at Cartwright Hall in Bradford. The Meaning of life would turn out to be the troupe’s last film together.
Where: Aysgarth Falls (pictured) and Hardraw Force
The man who stole from the rich and gave to the poor has been one of Britain’s favourite folklore stories for many years. One of the most famous adaptions of this story has to be “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”, starring Kevin Costner, in 1991. Did you spot some iconic places in the Yorkshire Dales? The duel with Little John was filmed in the beautiful Aysgarth Falls and the scene where Marion caught Robin going for a swim was shot at Hardraw Force, the largest single drop waterfall in England.
Set in the 1960s, Heartbeat captured the public’s attention for 18 years, with a staggering total of 372 episodes. Goathland, in North Yorkshire, was home to the fictional town of Aidensfield and the garage pictured above was used as Scripps Funeral Service (the sign was added for fun!).
Where: East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley
Set in the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800’s, the series follows Richard Sharpe as he works his way up the ranks to become in charge of the 95th Rifles, an elite detachment of marksmen. Much of the series was shot in Crimea and Turkey, however, East Riddlesen Hall, in Yorkshire, was featured in the episode titled ‘Sharpe’s Justice’.
Where: Fountains Hall
The Secret Garden tells the story of an orphaned girl who is sent to live with a grieving uncle. When exploring the grounds of her uncle’s mansion, she finds a neglected garden she is determined to restore. Much of the film was shot at Fountains Hall, in North Yorkshire.
Based on the true tale of the supposed discovery of fairies in Cottingley, a small village in Yorkshire, in the 1920s. The film follows the story of two girls who are convinced of the existence of fairies and when they finally manage to take a photograph of some, with the support of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the magician Houdini, they take the nation by storm. In the real-life tale, the photos are widely accepted as being faked.
Where: Goathland train station
Who could forget the excitement of Harry getting off the train for the very first time or the touching moment when Hagrid gave Harry the photo album of him and his parents towards the end of The Philosopher’s Stone? These great scenes were all filmed at Goathland’s train station, in Yorkshire (also used as Aidensfield station in Heartbeat).
Where: Kettlewell, North Yorkshire
This film portrays the real-life story of a group of friends, in Yorkshire, who raised a huge amount of money for charity, after the death of one of their husbands, by posing for a semi-nude calendar. It is reported that the real-life Yorkshire ladies raised over £3 million.
Where: Elland Road (home to Leeds United FC)
The film follows the struggles of Prince Albert and his fear of public speaking on his ascent to the throne following his brother’s abdication. Elland Road, the home ground of Leeds United Football Club, and Odsal Stadium, in Bradford, were used as the set for the old Wembley Stadium during the film’s opening scene.
Where: Moor Close Farm, Muker
Based on the classic novel by Emily Brontë, one of the three Brontë sisters, the film follows the story of a poor boy who is taken in by the Earnshaw family. The Brontë Sisters grew up in Yorkshire and used many of the local areas as inspiration for their writings. Moor Close Farm, located in Muker, a small village in the Yorkshire Dales, was used as the filming set for Wuthering Heights (it’s worth noting that the actual location of the novel is fictitious).
Where: Halton Gill
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, The Woman in Black follows the story of Arthur Kipps, a Lawyer, who is sent to Crythin Gifford, a remote village, to put a deceased ladies affairs in order. Halton Gill, in the Yorkshire Dales, was used as for some of the fictitious village’s scenes.
Where: Mostly Leeds
Based on the true story of a notorious Birmingham gang in the late 19th century, the series follows the tales of Tommy Shelby on his rise to become one of the most feared people in the region. Although historians dispute its historical accuracies, it does beautifully portray Britain almost 100 years ago. The majority of the series was shot in Leeds, with some areas in Liverpool also being used.
Where: West Yorkshire – mostly Calder Valley
Happy Valley follows the tales of Catherine Cawood, a strong-willed police sergeant, in Yorkshire, who is struggling to come to terms with the death of her daughter. The majority of the series was filmed in West Yorkshire, predominately Calder Valley. A former West Yorkshire police station was even used for some of the scenes.
Where: North Landing Beach, Flamborough Head
Who hasn’t heard of Dad’s Army? The original series, aired between 1968 and 1977, was much loved by many – so it will come as no surprise that it made its way to ‘the big screen’ in 2016. North Landing Beach in Flamborough Head was the set of a scene that witnessed a fierce rifle fight with a few German soldiers.
Feeling inspired to visit your favourite film or TV sets? View our range of Yorkshire cottages here.
Sources: Paul Townsend, Nick Wise, Tim Green, Ben Sutherland, AdamKR, dvdbramhall, Sarah Davison, Robyn Edge, Tim Parkinson, Danny Pricey, Ben Sutherland, Kitchner, LUFC83, Row17, Tim Green, Lawrence Holmes, William Bartlett, Gordon Hatton, Johnteslade
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