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Film Sets, Books and Poetry - Yorkshire Arts Guide - Yorkshire.Com

Filming Locations in Yorkshire

You may have a sense of déjà-vu as you travel across Yorkshire for it has provided the perfect backdrop for many much loved and widely seen television and film productions. In fact, such is Yorkshire's close relationship with the film industry, that Bradford has recently been honoured with the title of the world's first UNESCO City of Film. 

And the story doesn't end there, Yorkshire has also produced and inspired some of the world's most influential authors, poets and playwrights.

Find out more about Yorkshire Film & TV


Famous Film Locations

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway

Step back in time and enjoy a train ride through the heart of Brontë country on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in West Yorkshire.

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and the surrounding towns and villages were used extensively in Edith Nesbit's famous story, and in the 1970s film, The Railway Children and several of the railway's trains also featured in the film.

NYMRNorth Yorkshire Moors Railway

Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone. Goathland Station was turned into “Hogsmeade” where the school of wizardry and witchcraft is based. The railway’s shop on the platform was transformed into the “Prefect’s Room” and the Ladies toilets became the “Wizard’s Room”.

Steam locomotives take visitors through 18 miles of stunning countryside, stopping at picturesque stations along the way, making it the most popular heritage railway in Britain.


Castle Howard - near York

Castle Howard - Mike KiplingBrideshead Revisited – Castle Howard featured as Brideshead, home to the aristocratic Marchmain family for the 2008 film and the 1981 ITV production.

A stunning location, the magnificent 18th century house is situated in stunning parkland, dotted with temples, lakes, statues and fountains.



Newby Hall - Ripon

Newby HallMansfield Park - during the summer of 2006 ITV's adaptation of Jane Austen's novel was filmed entirely on location at Newby Hall, with Billie Piper in the lead role. Last year Crusoe, starring Sam Neill and Sean Bean, was also filmed here.

One of England's renowned Adam houses, recently restored to its original beauty. The 25 acres of award-winning Gardens are full of rare and beautiful plants. All complemented by Newby's Adventure Garden for Children, woodland discovery walk and the miniature railway.



Holmfirth, PenninesLast of the Summer Wine – the world's longest running TV comedy was filmed in and around this picturesque Pennine town.

Visit the exhibition inside Compo’s house, where there’s a collection of photographs and memorabilia and a tea room next door, or opt for a guided 10 mile tour of the area. 



Thirsk, Malton & Pickering

World of James Herriot, ThirskAll Creatures Great and Small - the classic vet series. Re-runs are still shown across the world on cable and satellite.

The World of James Herriot is a unique tribute to the vet and author. Based in his original surgery, it takes visitors on a journey back to the 1940s.

Learn about being a vet in the interactive vet's surgery and farm and check out the exhibits in the only veterinary science museum in the country. Re-live the TV series in the three studio sets which include many original props.

Explore the surrounding countryside, taking in the famous view from Sutton Bank which James described as "England’s finest view”.



Farndale, North York MoorsHeartbeat - much-loved, nostalgia-filled 1960s police series.

Goathland, a bracing moorland village, is the setting for the fictional village of Aidensfield. There is a station on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and walkers can enjoy a stroll to Mallyan Spout, Beck Hole, Darnholm, Grosmont and the Roman Road.

Take a Heartbeat coach trip in the1958 vintage Bedford which features in the programme! The tours run from Whitby three times a week from the end of July to the end of October.

Purchase your very own Heartbeat DVD here.


Esholt - near Shipley

Emmerdale – visit the Woolpack Inn and wander round the original Emmerdale village.

Emmerdale expert Margaret Boyce actually worked on the programme; her knowledgeable talks and walks will give you the inside track on this great British soap.


Kettlewell and The Yorkshire Dales

Yorkshire DalesCalendar Girls – filmed in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. Enjoy breathtaking scenery and fascinating market towns and villages in locations such as Kettlewell, Burnsall, Skipton, Settle and Ilkley Moor.

Local guide Malcolm Hanson was an extra in the film. Request one of his guided visits for coach parties and hear his behind-the-scenes stories whilst enjoying the delights of the beautiful countryside.


Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

As part of the 40th anniversary celebrations, the KWVR is publishing a book which describes the making of the film as seen through the eyes of the railway volunteers who were actually involved forty years ago. It will include around 70 colour and B&W photographs, many of which have never been published before, showing the railway and all of the stars during the making of the film.

Oakwell Hall - Birstall

Oakwell HallWuthering Heights – a new adaptation of Emily Bronte’s epic novel was recently aired on ITV. Oakwell Hall is one of the main locations.

A beautiful Elizabethan manor house, set out as a family home of the 1690's and surrounded by 110 acres of Green Flag award winning country park.

Charlotte Bronte was a regular visitor and Oakwell Hall featured as Fieldhead, the home of the heroine in Charlotte's novel, Shirley. Lost in Austen also filmed here.


Aysgarth Falls - Yorkshire Dales

Yorkshire DalesKevin Costner's Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves. Aysgarth Falls and the stepping stones were used as the location for the famous fight between Kevin Costner's Robin Hood and his friend Little John.

Near the village of Aysgarth, the River Ure tumbles over a series of broad limestone steps.Although not particularly high, Aysgarth Falls is one of Wensleydale's most famous beauty spots, with pleasant riverside walk linking the upper, middle and lower falls.


Whitby Abbey

Whitby AbbeyPerched dramatically on the cliff top, Whitby Abbey provided inspiration for Bram Stoker’s gothic novel. Both Dracula (1931) and Count Dracula (1977) were filmed here.

Dominating the picturesque seaside town of Whitby, the Abbey is one of England’s most important archaeological sites.

The town itself, with its cobbled streets, picturesque houses and sandy blue flag beach is a great place for all the family to explore.


Film Tours include:

Heartbeat Tours

Discover Yorkshire's beautiful landscapes on a vintage bus which itself has starred in this iconic TV programme. Coastal and Country Coaches run Heartbeat tours from Whitby to Goathland with full commentary.

Calendar Girls Tours

Join Malcolm Hanson, a former extra in Calendar Girls, who runs various guided tours in Yorkshire including the Calendar Girls Country tour.

Whitby Dracula Tours

Follow in the footsteps of Bram Stoker as tour guide Harry Collett takes you through Whitby's cobbled streets in search of Dracula.

Bradford becomes the world's first UNESCO 'City of Film'

Bradford, UNESCO City of FilmBradford is proud to be the first ever UNESCO City of Film.

Speaking about his hometown becoming the first ever UNESCO City of Film, Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire screenwriter, Simon Beaufoy, said: "This is superb news for Bradford and is testimony to the City’s dedication to the film and media industry...".

Bradford is now part of the UNESCO (United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) Creative Cities Network.

Bradford City of Film is a partnership between Bradford Council, the National Media Museum and Screen Yorkshire. Its bid to become the world’s first UNESCO City of Film was produced with the support of the University of Bradford and Pace plc and in collaboration with a range of partners from film organisations, creative industries, commerce and education.

Bradford has been the location for several iconic movies including Billy Liar, The Railway Children and Yanks as well as acclaimed TV productions such as the Red Riding Trilogy, all of which were set in and around the City.

As the world’s first UNESCO City of Film, Bradford’s successful bid demonstrated its status by showcasing:

  • the City’s rich heritage in film production and its significant contribution to the film industry’s technical development
  • its inspirational film locations and its diverse society its celebration of film and its commitment to sharing understanding and enjoyment of film through the National Media Museum and the City’s annual film festivals.

With its designation as UNESCO’s only City of Film, Bradford will now be able to:

  • encourage more film makers and enthusiasts to come to Bradford and, in turn, boost the City’s local economy
  • build Bradford’s local and international profile and give the community and visitors an exciting and inspiring place to enjoy film
  • enhance people’s film making knowledge and develop their film making potential.

Bradford is now only the third British city – after Edinburgh City of Literature and Glasgow City of Music – to receive a UNESCO designation as part of its Creative Cities Network. The Network is designed to promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities in both the developed and developing world. These cities promote their local creative industries and share interest in UNESCO's mission towards cultural diversity.

World famous films which have been made in Bradford include:

  • Room at the Top - starring Simone Signoret and Laurence Harvey
  • Billy Liar - starring Sir Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie
  • Yanks - starring Richard Gere
  • The Railway Children - starring Jenny Agutter
  • The Dresser - featuring Oscar winner Albert Finney
  • Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life – produced by Steve Abbott
  • Rita, Sue and Bob Too – starring Kulvinder Ghir
  • Fairytale: A True Story – starring Harvey Keitel and Peter O’Toole
  • Private Function – starring Michael Palin
  • My Son the Fanatic – starring Rachel Griffiths
  • L.A Without a Map – starring David Tennant
  • Blow Dry – starring Alan Rickman and Natasha Richardson
  • Like Minds – starring Toni Collette

Well known TV productions which have been made in Bradford include:

  • The Red Riding Trilogy - various sites within Bradford
  • The Royal - St Lukes Hospital, Bradford
  • Emmerdale - Burley-in-Wharfedale
  • Spooks: Code 9 - Bradford Police Station and other locations in Bradford
  • Wuthering Heights - East Riddlesden Hall
  • Sunday Life - Dalton Mills, Keighley
  • Each year, the National Media Museum hosts the following film festivals in Bradford:

  • Bradford International Film Festival
  • Bite the Mango
  • Bradford Animation Festival
  • The Written Word

    • Whitby AbbeyBrontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth is now a museum in tribute to the famous Brontë sisters who lived and wrote in the parsonage during their time there. A visit to this setting will bring their most famous works to life including Wuthering Heights written by Emily Brontë and Jane Eyre written by her sister Charlotte.
    • Whitby Abbey inspired the Irish writer Bram Stoker to create the spooky setting for his book Dracula when he stayed in the fishing town in 1897.
    • W H Auden – Born in York in 1907, Wystan Hugh Auden published about four hundred poems, including seven long poems (two of them book-length). His poetry was encyclopedic in scope and method, ranging in style from obscure twentieth-century modernism to the lucid traditional forms such as ballads and limericks. The tone and content of his poems ranged from pop-song clichés to complex philosophical meditations, from the corns on his toes to atoms and stars, from contemporary crises to the evolution of society.
    • Kate Atkinson – Born in York, Kate’s first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year. Since then, she has published another six novels, one play, and one collection of short stories. She is a comic novelist whose style often juxtaposes mundane everyday life with fantastic magical events.
    • Margaret Drabble – Born in Sheffield and attended school in York, Margaret has published seventeen novels to date. Her third novel, The Millstone (1965), brought her the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1966, and Jerusalem the Golden won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1967.
    • Barbara Taylor Bradford – Born in Leeds, Bradford's books have sold more than eighty-one million copies worldwide in more than ninety countries and forty languages. Ten of her books have been made into miniseries and television movies, making her the No. 1 best-selling author of women's fiction over the last 30 years.
    • Philip Larkin - During the thirty years he spent in Hull, Larkin produced a significant body of poetry. In 2003, almost two decades after his death and despite controversy about his personal life and opinions, Larkin was chosen as "the nation's best-loved poet" in a survey by the Poetry Book Society, and in 2008 The Times named Larkin as the greatest British post-war writer.
    • John Godber – Born in West Yorkshire near Pontefract. In 2005 he won 2 BAFTA'S for a film he wrote and directed on location in Hull. His plays are performed across the world, Bouncers being the most popular.
    • Shandy Hall, Coxwold, North Yorkshire. Explore this medieval house, formerly home of Laurence Sterne, 18th century author of Tristram Shandy. The house is over 500 years old and is as eccentric as its former occupant. The house is full of memorabilia which portrays the writer's life.
    • Ted Hughes – Born in West Yorkshire in 1930. Hughes, consistently described as one of the 20th century's greatest English poets, was also a prolific children's author and translator. He was married to the poet Sylvia Plath and became Poet Laureate in 1984.
    • JB Priestly - Born in what he described as an "ultra-respectable" suburb of Bradford. His father was a head teacher whilst his mother died young. On leaving grammar school Priestley worked in the wool trade of his native city, but had ambitions to become a writer. He was to draw on memories of Bradford in many of the works he wrote after he had moved south. As an old man he deplored the destruction by developers of Victorian buildings such as the Swan Arcade in Bradford where he had his first job.
    • Winifred Holtby – Born to a farming family in Rudstone, East Yorkshire, Holtby was a prolific journalist and wrote for more than 20 newspapers and magazines, including the feminist journal Time and Tide and the Manchester Guardian newspaper. She wrote a regular weekly column for the trade union magazine The Schoolmistress. Her books during this period included a critical study of Virginia Woolf and a volume of short stories, Truth is Not Sober.
    • Susan Hill – Born in Scarborough in 1942, her hometown was later referred to in her Novel 'A Change for the Better' (1969) and some short stories especially "Cockles and Mussels". Her Novels are written in a descriptive gothic style, especially her ghost story The Woman in Black, which was written in 1982. The novel was turned into a play in 1987 and ran for an extended season in the West End of London.
    • Ian McMillan – Born in Barnsley he is a British poet, journalist, playwright and broadcaster who has continued to live in Darfield. He started performing on the live poetry circuit in the 1970s. He has had several volumes of poetry published for both adults and children. He is an enthusiastic advocate of poetry. In addition he has had journalism published in Q magazine, Mojo magazine and writes a weekly column in his home town's local newspaper.
    • Alf Wight (James Herriot) - born in Sunderland in 1916 and moved to Thirsk in 1940, Alf worked as a vet for 30 years before writing his famous books under his pen name James Herriot. Books to read: Vets in a Spin, Vets Might Fly, All Creatures Great and Small and All Things Bright and Beautiful
    • Alan Ayckbourn is one of the most prolific and widely performed of English language playwrights and a highly regarded theatre director. He is the Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough where he premieres the majority of his work - predominantly in the world-famous Round auditorium. Go and see: Relatively Speaking, Bedroom Farce, How The Other Half Loves and Intimate Exchanges.
    • Alan Bennett, renowned dramatist and actor was born in Leeds and went to Oxford. His main works are Beyond the Fringe, Forty Years On, Getting On, Talking Heads, A Private Function, The Madness of George III, The Wind in the Willows (adaptation).
    • Joanne Harris -  born in Barnsley in 1964 and now living in Huddersfield, Joanne was a teacher for 15 years during which time she published 3 novels including Chocolat (1999) which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.