With sheep wandering around a picturesque village you could well believe you’d stepped back in time to the 1960s when looking around Goathland.
It’s no surprise that this area is known as Heartbeat country – you can feel that old world essence all around you as you wander around. I guess it also helps that it’s peppered with vintage cars too!
Goathland had been on our list of places to go for so long (as lifelong Harry Potter Fans we had to visit the train station!) but it managed to remain elusive. We lived in Yorkshire – how hard could it be to visit? Hard enough obviously!
This past summer we managed to finally make it there and managed to be there on a stunning day. Although we’d gone for the Harry Potter connection both me and James loved the fact that we were also in Aidensfield and it brought back so many memories of watching the Heartbeat TV show! We had to explain to the kids all about it!
Read on to learn more about these Heartbeat filming locations and see how you can also visit!
What was Heartbeat?
If you’re reading this you might be wondering what on earth Heartbeat was or what Aidensfield is. In the 90s it was a really popular British tv show, based off the novels ‘Constable’ by Nicholas Rhea, that went on for 18 years!! Yikes!
Shown on Sundays it was a typical homely show that was good for families but interesting enough that it was something everyone wanted to watch each week!
It was set in the 1960s around the fictional town Ashfordly and village of Aidensfield. The main characters were policemen who worked the area and the villagers, some of whom were quite the characters!
First off it was PC Rowan who was played by Nick Berry (previously he’d been ‘Wicksy’ in Eastenders) and his wife Dr Kate Rowan (played by Niamh Cusack) who were the main characters. Later series had PC Walker played by Jonathan Kerrigan and PC Mason played by Joe McFadden.
Think Call the Midwife but about police and made in the 1990s!
Where did they film Heartbeat?
Heartbeat was mostly filmed around the small, picturesque village of Goathland in the North Yorkshire Moors.
The Yorkshire countryside was the regular backdrop to the series and you’d often see cars driving around the roads through the moors.
Sometimes real life places such as Whitby would feature as well and there was even a spin off TV series called The Royal which was set in Scarborough.
Can you visit Aidensfield?
Yes! Although Aidensfield is fictional you can visit the real life location which is actually the town of Goathland in North Yorkshire.
It’s easily reached by car, by an organised tour or even on the North Yorkshire Railway which has steam trains! See below for more details on how to get to Goathland.
Heartbeat Filming Locations – what to see
Goathland isn’t a terribly big place to visit so you can catch quite a few of the locations from the Heartbeat tv show. Here are some places to look out for:
Aidensfield Arms (Goathland Hotel)
What British tv show doesn’t have a recognisable pub as the central place? Heartbeat was no different and you’d often catch the main characters in the Aidensfield Arms after a days work was done.
In real life the Aidensfield Arms is actually the Goathland Hotel.
In the earlier seasons of the show the interior was filmed inside the hotel too but as it got more popular a replica was made in a tv studios to allow for more filming without disruptions. The exterior was used throughout the show though!
Nowadays you can stop off at the pub and have a meal or a drink. You can even stay over at the hotel too!
Aidensfield Garage (Scripps Garage)
Just opposite the Aidensfield Arms is Scripps Garage, a vintage looking garage that anyone watching the show would recognise. It was taken over by Bernie Scripps in season 5 giving it the new name and was often frequented by Greengrass and his schemes!
Nowadays the garage is actually used as a gift shop which also sells small refreshments as well – something we were grateful for on a very warm Septembers day when we visited!
Outside is a number of vintage signs, pumps and old cars too for some photo opportunities.
This is a great place to go if you’re looking for some Heartbeat memorabilia and souvenirs too- there’s loads in the shop!
Near the car park is a small collection of shops and a tea room so definitely check those out.
Aidensfield Stores, one of the shops, is shown in the tv show and you’ll often find classic cars outside and plenty of people taking pictures as well.
It’s another place that you can pick up some souvenirs of the village or some snacks if you’re in need of them!
The Railway Station at Goathland is an absolute delight and it’s well worth the short walk downhill to it from the village (just leave some energy to get back up the hill!)
It’s become much more popular recently as a filming location for the Harry Potter films (where it was Hogsmeade Station) but it was also used in the Heartbeat show as well.
One episode it featured in was the end of series 16 when a train dramatically runs over PC Walker! All was good – he survived!
The train station has a wonderful old world feel to it and it wouldn’t be out of place in the sixties or even earlier – it gave me Railway Children vibes!
If you’re lucky a train will arrive while you’re looking around but if not there’s a really nice little gift shop there too and a cafe to give you the energy to get back up the hill! (It’s not all that bad – it was just a very warm day when we went!)
You can also take the steam train to other places in North Yorkshire, such as Whitby or Pickering and that’s an adventure in itself!
How to get to Goathland (Aidensfield)
Goathfield is situated directly in the North Yorkshire Moors so it’s fairly remote.
The best way to get to the village and to independently explore is coming by car. It’s around 40 miles (1 hour) from York, 10 miles (20 mins) from Whitby and 25 miles (40 mins) from Scarborough.
There’s a large car park in the village but if that is full there’s another one just next to it. There’s also car parking at the train station but that is tiny and really for people using the train so I recommend the village car parks.
Buses also go through Goathland – you’ll want the 840 Coastliner which goes between York and Whitby. If you decide to get the bus check the frequency of the service and when the last bus is!
Many people choose to do an organised bus tour to the town as part of an exploration of the area. Here are some tours to check out:
- Heartbeat TV Locations Tour – from York
- Moors, Whitby & North Yorkshire Steam Train – from York
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway goes through Goathland and stops at the railway station. They have a number of different ways that you can enjoy the area – check out their website here for tickets.
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