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As seen on screen, Harrogate's starring roles

With historical buildings, breath-taking landscapes, interesting architectures and some of the most idyllic rural settings in Britain, an amazing variety of films and television shows are made across this stunning part of Yorkshire.


In 2018 a bold new portrayal of Hercule Poirot, played by John Malcovich, stalked the Harrogate district in search of a suspect in ‘The A.B.C. Murders’.   

Knaresborough stood in for larger fictionalised version of nearby Embsay, Ripon Spa Baths became Bexhill train station and much of the action took place at Newby Hall which played the family home of the protagonist.

Newby Hall near Boroughbridge is no stranger to the screen. The delightful House and Gardens have been the backdrop to many momentous events appearing in ‘Mansfield Park’, ‘Robinson Crusoe’ and long running favourite ‘Heartbeat’.

Most recently, Newby Hall appeared in ITV drama ‘Victoria’, starring Rufus Sewell and Dr Who star - Jenna Coleman.

The secluded and delightful countryside around Plumton Rocks near Harrogate was used in the recent adaptation of 'Swallows and Amazons', a tail of childhood play, adventure and imagination perfectly suited to such a wonderful landscape.


The Montpellier Quarter in Harrogate is known for its independent shops and genteel tearooms.  In action thriller ‘Hunter’s Prayer’, starring Sam Worthington, brutal gun fights played out among its streets where it doubled for urban Switzerland.  Several other local locations appeared in the film including the gates for the Studley Royal estate, now part of the National Trust site at Fountains Abbey.

Fountains Abbey itself has seen plenty of history changing events both fictional and actual.  From the cellers under the houses of parliament in the recent BBC drama ‘Gunpowder’ starring Kit Harrington, the final showdown between good and evil in cult classic ‘Omen III: The Final Conflict’ featuring Sam Neill.  Between the two, Alan Bennet’s ‘The History Boys’ also shot scenes amongst the ruins.

The extraordinary and iconic formations of Brimham Rocks in Nidderdale Area or Outstanding Natural Beauty have been featured in countless films and programs, Barbara Taylor Bradford’s ‘A Woman of Substance’ starring Jenny Seagrove, popular children’s TV series Roger and the Rottentrolls and the music video for “You Win Again” by the Bee Gees being just three of their numerous appearances.

The Jacobean stately home of Goldsborough Hall on the outskirts of Knaresborough was used as the country home of Conservative MP Alan B’stard as infamously portrayed by the late Rik Mayall in the satirical comedy The New Statesman.

In Paddington 2 the film’s epic steam train chase scene came to an end with exciting crash from the viaduct along the Nidderdale Greenway into the River Nidd (somewhat enlarged courtesy of cinema magic).

A decade ago the Michelin starred Yorke Arms featured in the original series the BBC’s comedy docu-drama ‘The Trip’ starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. The series saw Coogan roaming the beautiful wetlands at the top of Gouthwaite Reservoir in search of a phone signal (not necessary any more with Nidderdale boasting excellent 4G reception).

This list may seem exhaustive but it continues, the new series of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ while filmed in neighbouring Wharfedale shot several scene and locations around Pateley Bridge and Ripon Race Course features in the third episode of the series.  

Film crews are often in Harrogate and rumour has it some of the locations listed about will be appearing on screens again very soon.  Next time you are out about around the Harrogate district and you think something seems familiar, you are probably right…