Day 5: KERA’s All Creatures Tour heads to where else but…. ‘All Creatures G&S’ in the Dales!

Thirsk, North Yorkshire. Photo: Bill Young

Yes, I bounded out of bed this morning fresh off a 2.5 mile walking of the walls around the city of York so, combined with the fact that we were headed to the Yorkshire Dales and the filming locations for All Creatures Great and Small, this is going to be a great day all the way around.

As the series is based on the series of books about a Yorkshire veterinarian written by Alf Wight under the pen name of James Herriot, our obvious first stop was the James Herriot Museum in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. We were more than pleasantly surprised by a visit from Alf’s son, Jim Wight. Jim, a retired Yorkshire vet himself, had the wonderful opportunity to work alongside his Dad for 25 years practicing veterinary medicine in the Yorkshire Dales.

Jim Wight talks to KERA’s All Creatures Tour group. Photo: Bill Young

The museum is a wonderful step back in time to when Alf and family lived in the home that doubled at the veterinary practice for a number of years.

Alf Wight’s vet practice. Photo: Bill Young

The second highlight after meeting and spending time with Jim was the photo opp at the end of the tour with Jim and a beautiful statue of Dad that stands over the garden at the World of James Herriot Museum, the vet’s home and surgery in Kirkgate, Thirsk.

Alf Wight in the garden at the World of James Herriot Museum. Photo: Andrew Lannerd

The statue was unveiled in 2014 by Christopher Timothy, who played James Herriot in the original 1978 drama series. At the time, Mr Timothy said: “I think Alf would have been touched, but ultimately he would have been horrified, he certainly wasn’t a self-publicist, he hated all the attention.

Alf’s son, Jim said for that reason, he and his sister had been reticent about the idea of having a statue made, but changed their minds on seeing the completed artwork. He said: “When I saw the statue, I nearly jumped out of my skin.”

Next, it was off to the village of Grassington in Upper Wharfdale with a number of familiar sites used for the fictional village of Darrowby in All Creatures Great and Small. The Devonshire Inn was rebranded as the Drovers Arms while the village bakery, Walkers, was used as the Darrowby Cycles property. The Stripey Badger book store became the greengrocers G F Endleby and the Rustic Rabbit became the Higgins Bakers.

Devonshire Inn, aka Drovers Arms. Photo: Bill Young

Sadly,  the rainy mist dimmed what would have been the most picturesque views available on Planet Earth but it did not dim the groups enthusiam after spending the day in the Yorkshire Dales and the filming home for All Creatures Great and Small.

Tomorrow, which is our final day before heading back to London, it’s a final night in York then a brief stopover at the not-too-be-missed Belvour (pronounced Bever) Castle and a tour of the house and gardens before heading to London for one final night. More tomorrow….



In: Drama,Locations,Odds & Sods