Millions of people have been fascinated by the tales of a Yorkshire Dales vet in the books by James Herriot (real name Alf Wight). His novels If only they could talk and It shouldn’t happen to a vet tell tales of the many characters and wonderful locations found around the fictional Darrowby in North Yorkshire.
The TV series All creatures great and small helped bring the story to life further showing the places in the books that James Herriot and his boss Siegfried Farnon and his brother Tristan frequented.
Our tour today allows you to see these locations in the flesh visiting Thirsk as well as a number of locations in beautiful Wensleydale & Swaledale.
Our tour will start in the market town of Thirsk (Darrowby in the books), with a visit to the actual vetinerary practice where Alf Wight worked. It has now been turned into a fascinating visitor attraction – James Herriot World. This is a real treat and the house hosts a TV studio, agricultural displays as well as many parts of the house being refurbished to show what the house would have looked like in the 1950’s.
From Thirsk we will travel through Wensleydale visiting the market town of Masham, Jervaulx Abbey a wonderful early gothic Cistercian Abbey and Middleham with its Castle where Richard III spent his childhood. We'll continue past Aysgarth Falls and Castle Bolton before stopping at Askrigg where the Kings Arms Pub featured as Darrowby’s Drovers Arms and Herriot's surgery was based in Skeldale House in the TV series (now a B&B!).
We will visit Hawes – the Yorkshire market town which was used for Darrowby Cattle market in the show and stop at the Wensleydale Creamery for cheese sampling, before ascending over Buttertubs Pass with its spectacular views into Swaledale.
We will pass through beautiful typical Dales villages such as Muker and Gunnerside and take in wonderful scenery with miles of dry stone walls and hundreds of field barns in lush green fields and wild flower meadows. We will stop for a walk around the village green at Reeth before arriving in Richmond with its rich history, Georgian market Square and Norman Castle.
This is a great day where we have the flexibility to stop and really get to know Herriot Country.