Literary and film days out in Yorkshire

Days out

Posted by Clare Willcocks on 12th January 2020

It’s possible, when exploring Yorkshire, that you’ll experience an uncanny feeling that you know this familiar landscape without ever having visited it before.

But you do know it – sort of. Yorkshire has provided locations for some of our best-loved films and TV shows, including Dracula, Harry Potter and The Full Monty.

With its romantic moorland, stunning beaches, imposing castles and industrial heritage, it is no wonder that Yorkshire provides the backdrop for so many works of fiction. We’ve chosen some of the most iconic novels, films and TV series to give you some ideas of literary and film days out in Yorkshire.

Holiday cottages in Yorkshire

Harry Potter in the North Yorkshire Moors

Goathland station

For those intrigued by fantasy and magic, a family day out aboard a steam train on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a must. Meander through stunning countryside and rolling hills, calling in at Goathland Station, better known as its alias ‘Hogsmeade’ in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Pop into the ladies’ toilets, the unlikely location for the ‘Wizards’ Room’ in the film. 

Don't miss: Wood-panelled carriages, friendly uniformed conductors and historic touches which make the journey itself a magical experience for children and big kids alike.

Other Harry Potter filming locations in Yorkshire include: 

  • Malham Cove
  • York Train Station

Special mention: Magic and wizardry aside, enjoy a wander through the olde-worlde village of Goathland where the TV series Heartbeat was also set.

Stay in a cottage nearby:

Stay in Goathland

Picturesque Brontë Country

Bronte Country

The rugged West Yorkshire Pennines with their windswept moors have inspired many well-known novels. Nestled in their heart is the picturesque village of Haworth, which was once home to the Bronte sisters, where you can stroll down cobbled streets, visit quaint shops and stop for afternoon tea in one of the welcoming cafes. 

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway offers another scenic steam adventure and is the best way to experience the breathtaking landscapes of Wuthering Heights of which there's been quite a few film adaptations, the most recent being Andrea Arnold's 2011 revision. Make a few stops en route and follow in the footsteps of Heathcliffe and Catherine on one of the spectacular walking trails.

Don't miss: The world-renowned Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, where you can learn more about the lives and works of the Bronte sisters.

Special mention: The railway also takes in Oakworth Station, the setting for the classic 1970s film The Railway Children. With exciting events throughout the year, the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is perfect for couples and families. Visit their website here to start planning your literary journey.

Stay in a cottage nearby:

Stay in Haworth

Bram Stoker's Dracula in Whitby

Whitby Abbey

Romance and fantasy aren’t the only genres to have been inspired by Yorkshire’s varied landscapes. Its extensive coastline of family-friendly Blue Flag beaches and quaint seaside towns may get you thinking of happy holidays and long days spent in the sun. But don’t let the colourful beach huts and donkey rides distract you from a dark and sinister connection...

Towering above the charming beach town of Whitby are the imposing remains of Whitby Abbey, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, dreamt up while Stoker was holidaying in the seaside town. 

It would take all day to name every single vampire film that this book inspired. Nowadays, the abbey is managed by English Heritage and is one of England’s most important archaeological sites. Spend a morning soaking up the gothic splendour and enjoying the stunning views before taking a stroll along Whitby’s white sandy beach.

Don't miss: The climb up the 199 steps to the abbey which is mentioned in the famous novel.

Stay in a cottage nearby:

Stay in Whitby

The Full Monty in Sheffield


Yorkshire’s abundant industrial heritage has provided the backdrop for countless award-winning British films, the most famous of which may very well be The Full Monty, which follows six men laid off from one of Sheffield’s once-successful steel mills as they form a male striptease act. Still proud of its industrial past, Sheffield is now a vibrant cultural hub. Mixing high street shops with trendy independent boutiques, award-winning galleries and family attractions, it’s a great place for tourists, young and old alike.

Don't miss: If you’re feeling adventurous you can experience the reality of coal mining 140 metres underground at the National Coal Mining Museum near Wakefield. A wonderful family attraction, the museum includes hands-on exhibits, underground tours and even a stable yard with ponies.

Special mention: Another film celebrating the region's impressive industrial heritage is Brassed Off. Filmed at several locations in South Yorkshire, it tells the story of a brass band formed during the decline of the mining industry. 

Stay in a cottage nearby:

Stay in Sheffield

The Calendar Girls in Kettlewell

Nudity seems to be a running theme in Yorkshire comedies, with the internationally acclaimed Calendar Girls being filmed in charming Kettlewell in the Yorkshire Dales. The quaint village also welcomed another huge event when the Tour de France passed through in July 2014. Why not combine a visit with a walk or cycle along one of the many trails through the awe-inspiring scenery of the Dales?

Don't miss: Take a trip over to the magnificent reservoir at Great Whernside - the perfect summer day destination, ideal for walking and picnicking with fantastic views. 

Stay in a cottage nearby:

Stay in Kettlewell

With a wealth of great places to visit in Yorkshire, from historic castles and abbeys to modern cities and family-friendly beaches, you can't fail to be inspired by Yorkshire. They say there is a book in everyone; perhaps your visit will sow in your mind the seeds of the next best-seller or blockbuster movie.

If you'd like to explore the county's famous cities and scenery, we have a range of beautiful holiday cottages in Yorkshire to provide the perfect base.

Holiday cottages in Yorkshire

Other films set and filmed in Yorkshire (many of which are based on books and plays) are: Brothers In Trouble, Amongst Giants, God's Own Country, My Son The Fanatic, Fanny & Elvis, Bait, Before Dawn, Inbred, The Darkest Light, East Is East, West Is West, Yasmin, The Selfish Giant, Catch Me Daddy, Four Lions, Wuthering Heights, Lady MacBeth, My Summer of Love, Summer, Looking for Eric, The Incident, to name a few.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.