All Creatures Great & Small – Filming locations from Series 3
Updated: Jan 3
Back in 2021, when series 1 of the remake of All Creatures Great and Small first aired I blogged about the locations used in the TV series. You can still read this blog on the link below:
We are now 3 seasons in and with series 4 due to start filming in the Spring, I thought I would write another blog to cover new locations which have appeared since.
Jackie Smith, the production designer on All Creatures Great and Small explained to Screen Yorkshire how the locations have become so important in making the series the success it has become, (with series 2 outperforming shows like Downton Abbey in the US).
“The majestic beauty of the Dales provides rich pickings for location scouts, with Yorkshire’s literary history evident at every turn. Yorkshire is distinct from other regions because of the diversity it offers. The architecture of its gritty urban textile towns contrast with the grandeur of its stately homes and mansions”.
But with the popularity of the show, Series 3 just about to air in the United States and the latest Christmas Special gaining huge viewing figures in the UK, I thought it was worth shedding some further light on locations for fans of the series who plan to visit the region.
Without the need for spoiler alerts, it is no secret that James and Helen finally tie the knot in series 3. But where were the wedding scenes shot?
The exterior of the church where guests were seen arriving for the service and Helen is escorted to the church door were actually filmed in Arncliffe. The Church of St.Oswald sits on the River Skirfare beneath the limestone crags of Littondale. The distinctive church tower dates to the 15th century and holds 3 bells, but whilst some of the church dates to a century before, much of what you see is from restorations in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Arncliffe village has featured many times in the filming of the new All Creatures Great & Small. The back of Skeldale House is a yard in Arncliffe, the village green features regularly having been one of the location for the Darrowby Show and a regular drop off point from the old bus to Darrowby, where James collects his parents on their visits from Glasgow.
The Falcon Inn in Arncliffe is also featured in the series, many forgetting that it also played the original Woolpack pub when the British TV soap Emmerdale Farm first started!
But the actual wedding was filmed in a church 12 miles away. The interior of St.Michael & All Angels Church in Hubberholme was where James and Helen took their vows. The tiny historic church is in Langstrothdale was originally a forest chapel for the Norman hunting forest which existed in the Dale.
The church is famous for a number of things – the playwright and author J.B. Priestley stated the church to be “one of the smallest and most pleasant places in the world”. His ashes were scattered in the churchyard. Also of note are the pews, carved by Robert Thompson, the “Mouseman of Kilburn”. Several of his trademark mice can be seen carved in the pews.
During the wedding scene you can also see the Rood Loft, a wooden platform separating the Nave from the Altar (a Rood Screen is likely to have sat below it too once). This is only one of two lofts to survive in Yorkshire and this one apparently dates to 1558.
The church is about 5 minutes drive from Yockenthwaite, where the farmhouse which plays Helen Aldersons farm is located (another stop on my All Creatures Great & Small Tours).
It is worth also noting that earlier on in the series Helen was to be married to Hugh Hulton, played by Matthew Lewis. Helen stands Hugh up at the altar and as we all know the wedding doesn’t go ahead. James ends up driving to the church to collect Helen.
The location of this little church is St.Wilfred’s Church in Burnsall, about 4 miles from Grassington on a country lane overlooking the River Wharfe. Both the interior and exterior were used for the cancelled wedding in the first ever Christmas Special.
Incidently, I did meet Matthew Lewis at Headingley a few years ago after his Harry Potter fame, when he was a guest at a corporate do for a cricket test match – he was a lovely bloke.
The Renniston Hotel
The restaurant where James takes Helen to on a date is actually a fortified manor house called Ripley Castle just outside Harrogate. The castle is a Grade 1 listed 14th Century house and has been the home of the Ingleby family for over 700 years.
The castle grounds are wonderful to explore and from late spring to autumn, private tours can be taken of the castle itself to learn about its wonderful and varied history. When I trained as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide, we actually had our graduation at Ripley Castle and I have taken many visitors to visit, sometimes arranging show arounds by Sir Thomas Ingleby himself.
The Seabright Saunders Estate
Seigfried visits the Seabright Saunders Estate to look after the racehorses in series 3 and again in the series 3 Christmas Special. The location for the estate is a private stately home called Sawley Hall in Nidderdale, which has been lovingly restored by its current owners.
The house was chosen for its traditional Georgian splendour as well as the 950 acres of parkland, but most importantly it has one of the few surviving original stable blocks in Yorkshire.
I have been lucky enough to attend a couple of events at the property as my wife used to work with the couple who own the property many years ago. I was able to speak to the owners recently about the filming requirements there. They explained that the Christmas special was filmed in June 2022 on one of the hottest days of the year. Even the fake snow was melting and it was so hot that “Samuel West even had to go for a lie down”.
Apparently they gave rooms in the house across to the production team to use a as a green room and by all accounts Callum Woodhouse was “a good laugh” and very similar in real life to his character Tristian. It’s great to get a bit of an insider track on the production.
The Ritz Cinema
When James takes Helen to the pictures on a date, the cinema featured is actually The Ritz in Thirsk. This cinema built in the 1930’s would have been frequented by the real life James Herriot – Alf Wight – the vet who wrote the books under the pseudonym James Herriot and lived and practiced in Thirsk for many years.
If you want a proper fix of James Herriot, The World of James Herriot Museum is also in Thirsk. It is the real Skeldale House Veterinary Practice which has been converted into a museum celebrating the James Herriot books, films and both the original TV and recent TV series as well as the real life of Alf Wight.
The Drovers Arms
It is well documented that the exterior if the Drovers Arms is the Devonshire Arms in Grassington. There is even a little shrine in the corner of one room with lots of photos of the filming of the series in the town. The pub also serves a range of one of my favourite beers – Timothy Taylors (from Keighley), but have changed the name of their Golden Best to Drovers Best.
In the first couple of series, the interior scenes were shot at The Green Dragon in Hardraw near Hawes but sadly the pub has closed down citing financial struggles from lost revenue during covid. The Drovers Arms interior featured in this year’s Christmas Special when Tristan is chatting to Maggie and discovers how large his bar tab has grown to! But this was actually shot in another great little Yorkshire Dales pub, The Craven Arms, a 16th Century inn with exposed wooden beams in Appletreewick.
The scenes of James returning to Glasgow in series 2, were not shot in Glasgow, but an area of Bradford called Little Germany. This area was where wealthy merchants and mill owners build their large imposing warehouses in the 19th Century whilst Bradford was a mecca for textiles.
The now quiet area was transformed into a busy bustling city scene with period vehicles and a raft of extras. Keighley Station also doubles up as Glasgow train station in this episode.
Oakworth Station – also on the Keighley and Worth Valley railway features throughout the seasons with James collecting Tristam from college there and also Mrs Hall seeing her son off to war.
A fantastic day out exploring the locations
I hope you have enjoyed the blog (and have had chance the to visit my previous blog). Between the two I have detailed many of the locations from the series which I personally am a huge fan of.
If you wanted to visit the locations with a bit more luxury as part of a driver guided tour in a 4x4 vehicle I can help.
I offer a full day tour with collection and drop off from your hotel or accommodation. As well as showing you the sites featured in the All Creatures Great and Small remake, I can also help bring the Yorkshire Dales to life explaining the history and heritage of the area and can even making a stop to visit a local farm to experience real country life!
I’d love to show you around! See some pics below from my previous All Creatures Great & Small Tours.
For more details visit – www.realyorkshiretours.co.uk