All Creatures Great and Small is a BBC television series which aired between 1978 to 1990. It was based on books of the British veterinary surgeon Alf Wight under the pen name of James Herriot. There were 90 episodes and a remake premiered in 2021. The remake was made by Channel 5 and coincided with the 50th anniversary of the publication of Alf Wight books.
The TV series was known for its beautiful scenery around the Yorkshire Dales. The 2021 remake got mixed reviews, but overall was a success. Like many remakes, people were worried it wouldn’t live up to the original. Some people thought it was even better than the original.
Both series of All Creatures Great and Small were filmed across a range of beautiful locations in Yorkshire. Yorkshire Countryside is famed for its beauty and the Yorkshire Dales National Park attracts over 4 millions visitors every year.
The original 1970s series used Askrigg in Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park as its filming location for fictional village Darrowby.
The Channel 5 remake used the historic market town Grassington in the southern Dales for the filming location of Darrowby. Here you the exterior of the local pub Drovers Arms can be found here. The interior of pub however, is filmed in the Green Dragon Inn, a 13th century pub in the Yorkshire village of Hardraw.
Grassington is also the location for the cycle shop, Handleys Booksellers, G F Endleby Groceries, Darrowby Hardwares, Skeldale House and J. A. Dean, Drapers and Hosiery.
Where is Skeldale House?
For the first series in the 1970’s they use Cringley House in Askrigg, near Leyburn as the location for the Skeldale House veterinary practice. In 2013 Keith and Lisa Wright bought the Grade II-listed building and officially renamed it Skeldale House:
Channel 5 remake:
Skeldale House in the remake can be found facing the main square in Grassington, Skipton:
The rear of Skeldale was filmed in a village not too far away called Arncliffe.
The World of James Herriot
Many people wonder if Skeldale House a real place. In reality Alf Wight ran his veterinary practice from 23 Kirkgate in the village of Thirsk. His books reimagined it as “Skeldale House” in the village of “Darrowby”. That original building is now home to a museum, The World of James Herriot.
James Alfred Wight (James Herriot)was born in Sunderland and graduated from Glasgow Veterinary College in 1939. After graduation he moved back to England to become a veterinary surgeon in Yorkshire. He was a vet almost 50 years. If Only They Could Talk was his first published book in 1970. Over the decades, the series of books sold some 60 million copies. He received an OBE in 1979 in honour of his achievements.
All Creatures Great and Small Tour
Here are Brit Movie Tours we have put together a great All Creatures Great and Small tour for 2023 and beyond. You can join other fans and visit over 15 filming locations from both the original BBC series from the 1970s and the current Channel 5 remake. The tour takes a maximum of 16 people by mini coach on a beautiful picturesque tour of filming locations across the Yorkshire Dales. The tour stops for lunch at The Drovers Arms which was featured in many of the episodes of the new series. To learn more about the tour and book, click here.