From the spectacular limestone landscape of Malhamdale to the waterfalls of Aysgarth Falls, for centuries the area we now know as the Yorkshire Dales National Park has provided inspiration to poets, writers, artists and musicians.
Read ‘Dales On Film – A Short History’ below to see how film and TV makers have fallen in love with it, too.
How we can help film makers
The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority owns less than 1% of the 841 square miles (2,179 square km) of land within the National Park. The National Park is mostly in private ownership, so you’ll need to obtain permission from the individual landowners if you want to film here.
Our knowledge of the area and land owner contacts could be useful. We can assist you to try to find out who owns the land where you looking to shoot. In the first instance contact the National Park Authority via the Communications Team.
Andrew Fagg – Media Officer
Andrew is the primary contact for all media enquiries, including filming requests. Andrew is available during office hours on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Please contact Mark Sadler on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- Phone: 01969 652374
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Sadler – Communications Manager
Mark is available during office hours from Monday to Friday.
- Phone: 01969 652394
- Email: email@example.com
What We Need To Know
If you are looking for landowner information so that you can gain consent to film, just let us know:
- Grid references
- Date(s), time
- Likely size of cast and crew
- Any equipment and vehicles
With support from our Ranger Service we will endeavour to identify and contact the relevant landowner(s) to seek their permission to put you in touch with them.
If you are unsure of exactly where you want to film, then our team may be able to suggest options, subject to your brief.
We may also be able to make Rangers available for recces and to assist on shoot days with/without vehicles, subject to availability.
All these services will be subject to a fee to cover your use of our staff time/resources. Fees are negotiated on each individual case but indicative costs can be found below.
If you do want to film or take commercial photographs on land that is owned or managed by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, fees will vary depending on the nature of the request, location, crew and cast size, environmental sensitivity and the amount of National Park Officer time it takes to set up your shoot.
If you are filming on one of few sites in the National Park owned by the National Park Authority land, in addition to the details above, we will require:
- Your risk assessment
- Signed licence agreement
- Proof of public liability insurance up to £5 million
You may also require planning consent from the National Park Authority if your set requires alteration to existing buildings, any temporary structures or your filming period goes beyond Permitted Development rights.
Filming on YDNPA-owned sites: £500-£2,000 per day (Subject to nature of the production, i.e. an educational documentary will be charged less than a commercial feature film)
National Park staff time: From £50 per hour/£250 per day
Vehicle costs (inclusive of fuel): From £50 + per day
Please note that ALL revenue earned by the National Park Authority from filming is reinvested into conservation projects in the National Park.
Filming is allowed without permission on public land, including public roads.
If you want to fly a drone for commercial filming purposes you will need landowner permission in the first instance. You will be required to provide evidence of pilot qualification (A2CoC and GVC), a detailed risk assessment, flight plan and public liability insurance.
Dales On Film – A Short History
The towering dramatic gorge of Gordale Scar has always drawn filmmakers.
It featured as the entrance to the secret valley of the Mystics in The Dark Crystal (1982), the first fully-animatronic feature film, directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, the creators of the Muppets.
More recently, eagle-eyed watchers of season two of Netflix’s fantasy series The Witcher (2019) will have spotted both Gordale Scar (where Ciri is chased by a monster) and nearby gladed waterfall Janet’s Foss.
The fantastical ‘lunar landscape’ of limestone pavement at the top of Malham Cove naturally made an appearance in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010). And the Cove was also seen in the 1992 feature film version of Wuthering Heights starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche, alongside locations such as Grassington village, the moor above at Yarnbury, and Aysgarth Falls.
As well as shooting scenes around Malham, Kevin Costner – as the title character in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) – fights Little John at Aysgarth Falls and is seen swimming at Hardraw Force by Maid Marion.
Back in 1951, Bette Davis visited the area to shoot Another Man’s Poison, which featured Malham village and Malham Tarn. And in a spectacular opening sequence in Slipstream (1989), actor Bob Peck, playing the part of an android on the run, is chased by a microlight across the limestone pavement at Malham.
In the 2003 hit film Calendar Girls – starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, and based on the true story of a group of Yorkshire women who fell upon the idea of an alternative WI calendar in order to raise funds for Leukaemia Research – Kettlewell, as the village of Knapely, takes centre stage. Settle, Skipton and the real annual shows at Burnsall and Kilnsey also feature.
In 2012 came the film ‘Lad: A Yorkshire Story’ set in Ribblesdale and around Arcow and Dry Rigg quarries.
Various interior scenes of Channel 5’s recent period drama Anne Boleyn (2020) were shot on location at historic Bolton Castle, the 14th-century castle located in Wensleydale. In real-life, Mary Queen of Scots (first cousin once removed to Anne Boleyn’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth I) was held prisoner there in the 1560s.
Small screen, big love
Thirty years after the BBC1 aired its final episode of the hugely popular Yorkshire-Dales based veterinary series All Creatures Great and Small, a whole new series arrived on our screens in 2020.
The new Channel 5 production was an immediate hit, and a second series and Christmas special swiftly followed.
The original series was mostly filmed in Askrigg. Other locations included Swaledale, Arkengarthdale and Langthwaite. The new series has seen Grassington regularly turned into fictional Darrowby.
At the start of 2022, Channel 5 announced that it had recommissioned the show for a further two series.
The Dales has also been the star of many popular documentary series in recent years, including the much-loved Our Yorkshire Farm (Channel 5), which followed the life of the Owen family farming at remote Ravenseat.
The three-part series The Yorkshire Dales (BBC2) saw adventurer and writer Paul Rose head to Wensleydale, Swaledale and Wharfedale. While in BBC4’s Winter Walks writer and poet Lemn Sissay visited Dentdale, Yorkshire peer Sayeeda Warsi took us through Wharfedale, and author and broadcaster Alistair Campbell headed to Langthwaite.
The Yorkshire Vet (Channel 5) follows life in the former veterinary practice of James Herriot (aka Alf Wight) in Thirsk, taking viewers all over the Dales. In December 2022, the team filmed at Aysgarth Falls and we are looking to seeing those shots in 2023.
Dales and Lakes (More4) was filmed at various locations but perhaps the most memorable was Bleak Bank farm on the shoulder of Ingleborough not far from the A65.
The 2014 Tour de France Yorkshire leg, on various channels, made the Buttertubs pass world famous.
Going back a little further, in 2004 the Restoration series (BBC2) made Gayle Mill nationally famous for a time.
This is far from an exhaustive list, as many many more film and TV producers have found their ideal location in the Dales.