Yorkshire to the Lake District, locales spanning Dracula to Peter Rabbit via Harry Potter and James Herriot

Photos from a trip to the north of England during winter 2023/2024.

Whitby, North Yorkshire – Dracula was here, just don’t ask about his grave

In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a ship with the vampire aboard is wrecked at Whitby, and Dracula bounds ashore in the shape of a large dog. You can read of how a visit to Whitby inspired Stoker to start work on his novel, in How Dracula Came to Whitby.

Whitby Abbey stands above the town. It’s now in ruins, but was a grand monastery, rebuilt after destruction by Danes, and then destroyed in 1540 during the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII.
Thanks to Dracula, Whitby attracts goths; must help too the local gem is jet, a shiny black stone formed from ancient wood
In Saltwick Bay, just south of Whitby: wreck of a trawler, the Admiral von Trump – which sank in mysterious circumstances in 1976, with two of the five-man crew drowning
In the novel, Dracula ran up steps towards St Mary’s Church; but if you visit, best not ask about his grave!

Herriott country – Thirsk; and Grassington

You may not have heard of Alf Wright, but the books he wrote under the pseudonym James Herriot – about the life of a country vet – became hugely popular, resulting in a movie, and two tv series, one of which is still “current” [new season being filmed as I write], titled All Creatures Great and Small.

The original veterinary practice is in Thirsk, and is now a museum.
With Thirsk now much busier with traffic, modern shops and suchlike, the current All Creatures Great and Small is filmed in Grassington, in the Yorkshire Dales

Gordale Scar

Also in the Yorkshire Dales, the impressive gorge at Gordale Scar has been a locale for a few tv series and movies, including Victoria – with soldiers during the reign of Queen Victoria; and The Witcher; this video intersperses footage from the Witcher [Ciri being chased by a monster, apparently] with a visitor’s clips.

Waterfall in Gordale Scar
Stream below Gordale Scar

Malham Cove – Harry Potter camped here

At nearby Malham Cove, there was a huge waterfall during the last Ice Age, and atop it there’s a rather otherworldly looking limestone pavement. Harry Potter and Hermione camped on this unlikely land; though the actors didn’t visit, with scenes they filmed combined with footage taken by the movie crew. A Wuthering Heights movie, filmed in 1992, also included a scene here.

Stream below Malham Cove; emerges from ground below the cliffs of the former waterfall

Aysgarth Falls – Robin Hood locale

As described here, there was a scene in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves filmed at Aysgarth Falls. It looks a bucolic setting in images from this; yet I don’t reckon Robin Hood and Little John would have battled above any of the cascades in conditions as we went, when the river was in spate.

The lower fall at Aysgarth

Wordsworth country – the Lake District

White Moss Cottage near Grasmere was once owned by renowned poet William Wordsworth; now can be rented for short stays through Airbnb. And it’s excellent; we stayed there.
A view from Loughrigg Fell, above the cottage. Wordsworth was among many writers and artists inspired by the Lake District scenery
A sheep admiring the view
The Langdale Pikes from above Blea Tarn

Peter Rabbit helped buy Lake District land

Tarn Hows is among the most scenic locations in the Lake District, and the land around here now belongs to the National Trust, in large part thanks to the generosity of Beatrice Potter, known as the author of children’s tales with characters including Peter Rabbit, and clearly a multi-talented, fascinated woman with a love for the countryside (Wikipedia entry).

Tarn Hows on a winter’s day
Rainbow over rolling landscape by Tarn Hows

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