Our Yorkshire Dales Adventure Part 1 – All Creatures Great and Small

The hubby, daughter, dog and I have just returned from a week holidaying in the Yorkshire Dales. We live in North Yorkshire ourselves but it’s such a huge county with lots of slow country roads that you can easily travel for several hours and still not have left it! We stayed n a small market town called Hawes, which we’ve visited several times before.

The Yorkshire Dales is James Herriot country. I remember watching the TV series back in the 1970s/1980s and really enjoying it so I was a little unsure about the C5 remake but, my goodness, have they done an amazing job on it. I absolutely love it and the cast are fabulous. It’s heartwarming, funny and the scenery is simply stunning.

We took a drive to Grassington one day which is Darrowby in the C5 version of the programme. It’s only 22 miles from Hawes but the roads are slow and narrow so we’re talking a one-hour journey! The original series was filmed in Askrigg and Thirsk but there has been more development in these towns in recent years and the roads around them in particular did not lend themselves to the 1930s authenticity of the series.

There’s a great article in the Yorkshire Post online about some of the shop transformations here.

It was a wet soggy day (the whole holiday was wet and soggy) so the photos are a little dull but I had a chance to pose outside the building used for the exterior of Skeldale House where the veterinary practice is based and the vets live.

The actual house used in Grassington doesn’t have pillars outside – these are added for the filming along with metal railings and shrubs – but the location is so recognisable on the top corner of the market square that we knew for sure we had the right building. The scenes inside Skeldale House are shot in a studio.

‘Skeldale House’ is the one on the top right by the lamp post

I also posed outside The Drovers Arms which is really called The Devonshire. If you look closely at the frosting on the windows in the second photo, it says The Drovers Arms.

We actually had our lunch in there (and it was delicious). The walls are covered with photos of the cast. As with Skeldale House, only the exterior here is used. The inside was too modern for filming but the inside scenes are within a pub rather than a studio – The Green Dragon Inn at nearby Hardraw. We’ve been there before but didn’t get a chance to visit this time.

Grassington is a very pretty Dales village with lots of cafes and gift shops although there were quite a few closed the day we visited which was a shame. We didn’t think a Tuesday was a typical day for closures but presumably it’s not busy enough out of season (even in half term) to justify the full-time opening hours. One of the closed shops had some fabulous All Creatures Great and Small signs in the window and a wonderful painting above the door.

Although not featured in the series (or at least I don’t think it is), I couldn’t resist taking this photo of The Cake House. Who doesn’t love the idea of a Cake House? It was a café, but also closed so I couldn’t gaze at or sample the cakey loveliness.

On our journey back to Scarborough at the end of our holiday, we stopped off in Thirsk where some filming took place in the second series. James and Helen queued outside the Ritz Cinema shown here.

We would have liked to visit the James Herriot Museum in Thirsk – the World of Jame Herriot – but, being an indoor museum, dogs can’t go in (except assistance dogs), so we’ll hopefully visit another time.

And if you love All Creatures Great and Small, you might also love my Hedgehog Hollow series. There’s a vet, lots of stunning countryside, and hedgehogs.

Watch out for Part 2 of our Yorkshire Dales Adventure – It Shouldn’t Happen to an Author – coming soon.

Big hugs
Jessica xx 

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