Places in the Yorkshire Dales Made Famous by the Big Screen

Thursday 21st May, 2020 by Host & Stay

The Yorkshire Dales is a hugely popular place with stunning landscapes of rivers, valleys, vast moorland and rolling hills. It’s no surprise then that the Dales are often used as backdrops for films.

We bet you’ve seen the area pop up on the big screen so many times without even realising it! Do you recognise any in our list of famous films below?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at Malham Cove

First up is one of the most famous and iconic film franchises of all time – Harry Potter! Scenes in the Deathly Hallows Part 1 were filmed at Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Malham Cove is a 230ft cliff made of white limestone which is gently curved due to erosion by water and ice over millions of years. The top of the cove is a vast area of deeply eroded limestone pavement creating deep looking grooves and a pattern which is rarely seen in England.

Fans of the film will remember that this is where Harry and Hermoine pitched their tent and set up camp. This distinguishable landscape was used to create tense and atmospheric scenes as Harry and Hermoine prepare their final battle against ‘he who must not be named’.

Today Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales is a hugely popular place for tourists and climbers. Just a few years ago, the Cove wowed when it briefly became the tallest unbroken waterfall in England, following heavy rainfall which made the underground caves fill with water and begin travelling over the top of the limestone. You may also see a pair of nesting peregrine falcons flying around the cliff in the summer months as they’re protected by Malham Cove.

The Calendar Girls in Kettlewell, Burnsall, Skipton, Grassington and Ilkley

The Calendar Girls has delighted fans for over a decade now, and has gone on to become a hugely successful West End play too. The film follows the incredible true story of 11 ladies from a Yorkshire Women’s institute who raised money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Research by baring all.

Released in 2003, The Calendar Girls was filmed around the Yorkshire Dales and featured places like Kettlewell, Burnsall, Skipton, Grassington and Ilkley. The beautiful landscapes were captured throughout the film and are easily recognisable with their black and white sign posts. The film was so popular you can even buy a ‘Calender Girls Trail’ brochure in local shops and pubs with information on the landmarks and buildings used in the film.

Downton Abbey at Harewood

The village of Harewood featured in the popular Downton Abbey film which came out late last year. Already well known for its appearances as Buckingham Palace in the ITV period drama Victoria, Harewood House was used as the backdrop for scenes within the film.

This magnificent stately home was built in the 18th century and members of the Royal Family stay there when visiting Yorkshire. Keen lovers of Downton Abbey can visit Harewood House and enjoy contemporary art exhibitions, a rare Bird Garden, Farm Experience and over 100 acres of gardens.

Woman in Black at Halton Gill

Described as a ‘gem’ by Daniel Radcliffe himself, Halton Gill in Littondale was used as the setting for the Crythin Gifford scenes in the Woman in Black film. The Hammer Horror adaption chose Halton Gill as ‘the original buildings and stunning surrounding countryside combine to create a timeless quality.’

The production designer said ‘We wanted to try to find somewhere that had almost been untouched by time. It hadn’t been over-developed – all the houses are original from something like 400 years ago’.

The gothic ghost story was filmed back in 2010 and members of the cast and crew were spotted across the Yorkshire Dales. Residents of the cottage aren’t strangers to film crews however. The area was also used to film a series of Christmas adverts for TV chef Jamie Oliver and Sainsbury’s.

So there you have it – a selection of famous films featuring our very own Yorkshire Dales! Can you think of any others?


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