'All Creatures Great and Small' Doesn't Stray Far From the Source Setting — Details
PBS Masterpiece's 'All Creatures Great and Small' transports audiences to the charming village of Darrowby, but where was the show filmed? Here's the scoop.
PBS's original show, All Creatures Great and Small, is based on the series of books by James Herriot (born James Alfred Wight OBE FRCVS) of the same name. The stories are based on Herriot's life experiences as a Yorkshire veterinarian in England during the late 1930s. Previously, the BBC adapted the stories for television from 1978 to 1990.
The stunning fictional town at the center of All Creatures is Darrowby Village, which, unfortunately, is mostly fictitious. However, for those inclined to visit the English countryside, here's everything we know about where All Creatures Great and Small is filmed, and what time period the show is set.
Where is 'All Creatures Great and Small' filmed?
Per Masterpiece, the show is filmed in the Yorkshire Dales, a similar location to where the books are set. While the village of Darrowby is unfortunately fictional, PBS creates television magic with some funding from Screen Yorkshire. The first season (or "series" in the UK!) consists of six episodes and a Christmas special. The show's first season was filmed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the publication of the first book in the James Herriot series.
The series premiered in the U.S. on PBS in January 2021, with the second and third seasons premiering in January of 2022 and 2023, respectively. According to Radio Times, the show was renewed fourth season in January 2022 as well. The show reportedly moved filming locations for the second seasons, including several farms and Little Germany. Season 3 also features additional locations, including Arncliffe, North Yorkshire; Grassington; Harrogate; Summerbridge, North Yorkshire; and Pateley Bridge.
According to Town & Country Magazine, the village of Darrowby finds its stand-in with a place called Grassington in North Yorkshire, England. Actress Rachel Shenton, who plays Helen in the series, told the magazine, "[W]e also shot in and around the Dales. The Dales are miles and miles of beautiful, undulating countryside, and it really is breathtaking. It's peaceful and unspoiled, and it's a part of England that hasn't got as much attention as it should really."
Actor Nicholas Ralph, who plays James Herriot, mentioned that the beautiful, lush green atmosphere looked "like a painting." He remarked, "I remember reading the books, and the way [James Herriot] describes it, and I thought, 'Well, sure, it's lovely....' But when I was on the train ... going into the Yorkshire Dales, my eyes were just glued to the window because it's so picturesque and beautiful ... It really does just look like a painting."
What is the time period in which 'All Creatures Great and Small' is set?
The period of All Creatures Great and Small is set during the late 1930s and early 1940s. The period was chosen as the realistic-to-life period author James Herriot began his career as a country veterinarian after graduating from Glasgow College. In life, he practiced in Thirsk, Yorkshire, and his historic home has been restored to its original 1940s visage. Today, his home and veterinary practice are museum fans can visit.
Fans of the original series can look forward to a beautiful, mostly accurate retelling of their favorite books. For new fans, they'll be delighted to experience the lush atmosphere of Darrowby Village onscreen!
All Creatures Great and Small airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on PBS.