1. Emmerdale (Farm) 1972-present
Yorkshire’s soap, Emmerdale Farm first hit our screens in 1972 and concentrated on the farm and surrounding village. The soap has been filmed in three different locations during its time. It started off in the village of Arncliffe, high up in the Dales, which posed as the ficticious place of “Beckindale.” Filming then moved to Esholt near Bradford from 1976-96 for outside shots of the village, including the legendary Woolpack Inn. From the mid-nineties to the present day, Emmerdale is filmed at a purpose built set, modelled on Esholt in the grounds of Harewood House. Other locations used in the soap have been Otley, (Hotten), Meanwood Road, Leeds (Tate Haulage) and Creskeld Hall in Bramhope, which is Home Farm.
2. Heartbeat 1992-2010
The police drama, Heartbeat burst onto our screens back in 1992 and for a while Sixties mania hit a certain part of the North Yorkshire Moors. Goathland, previously noted for its barren moorland, sheep and steam railway became a mecca for nostalgia-loving tourists. They wanted to see “Aidensfield” in all its glory, complete with pub, garage, shop and police station for themselves. To actually see Ashfordly police station they would have had to travel several miles west to the then disused Otley Courthouse. The moors, roads, sheep and Whitby were all real enough though!
3. All Creatures Great and Small 1978-80 & 1988-90
The Thirsk-based veterinary was based in the fictitious Dales village of Darrowby, which was represented by several places in North Yorkshire. Firstly the opening credits saw James Herriot and Siegfried Farnon drive over the bridge and past the pub in Langthwaite. The Kings Arms Hotel in Askrigg was used as Darrowby’s village drinking hole, where James would go after a hard day’s vetting and he would actually marry his fiance’, Helen at Holy Trinity Church in Wensley. On market day the vets would go to Hawes Cattle market and visit Mrs Pumphrey at her home in Ellerton Abbey.
4. Queenie’s Castle
Older residents of Leeds will remember the Quarry Hill flats, which were built on the site of what is now the West Yorkshire Playhouse. This rather austere looking building, constructed in the 1930’s came with its own launderette, nursery and shopping facilities. It was also the setting for the 1970’s sitcom, “Queenie’s Castle.” This was written by Keith Waterhouse, ran from 1970-72 and starred Diana Dors as “Queenie Shepherd.” The series profiled the lives of the residents of a Leeds tower block in the early 70’s. Shortly after the series finished the flats were demolished and became the Playhouse and BBC building. The community is still remembered by former residents to this day.
5. Last of the Summer Wine
Last but not least, the longest ever running sitcom in the world. While Holmfirth is recognised as the spiritual home of “Lotsw,” filming locations cover quite a wide area of West and South Yorkshire. While most of the familiar locations are in Holmfirth, such as the Cafe and Auntie Wainwright’s shop throughout its many episodes, filming has taken Foggy, Compo and Clegg to Spurn Point, Scarborough, Grassington, Sheffield and even the Franco-Belgian coast!