All Creatures Great and Small, aired in the seventies and eighties, was one of the UKs most popular TV series and regularly attracted well over 20 million viewers.
The colourful tales of the British veterinary surgeon were based on the best-selling books written by Alf Wight under the alias of James Herriot. The stories, which spanned over 90 episodes, described the ordeals of a young vet based in the Yorkshire Moors just after the Second World War.
Although the books were set in the Yorkshire Moors the filming took place in the Yorkshire Dales. The Yorkshire Dales was chosen as the location to film the series as there is an immense amount of protected land that is untouched by modern living making it far easier to film a period drama such as this.
In the novels the James Herriot’s veterinary practice was located in the fictitious village of Darrowby. For the TV series they chose Askrigg in Upper Wensleydale to be Darrowby. It is in Askrigg that they used the village pub, The Kings Arms, to be James Herriot’s local, The Drovers Arms. The Kings Head is still recognisable as The Drovers Arms and there is many a tell-tale sign of the filming that once took place here with numerous photos plotted around the bar.
There are many other locations across the Yorkshire Dales National Park that might be recognisable to a fan of All Creatures Great and Small. Across the moors overlooking the wooded parkland close to Castle Bolton you can recall the moment young James Herriot proposed to Helen. Or perhaps you remember the all too famous opening credits and the infamous splash which can be found on the old Langthwaite road which joins Low Row in Swaledale to Langthwaite in Arkengarthdale – two of the most Northerly Dales.