Downton Abbey and Its Yorkshire Connections.

A Life of Luxury

From the TV series that brought us some fantastic one-liners (“Does it ever get cold on the moral high ground?”), the cinematic film ‘Downton Abbey’ has been released.
We went to see it at our local cinema before the arrival of Covid-19 and its restrictions.
Watching the silver screen flicker into life is always something we enjoy … even more so when such an eagerly anticipated film shows off many parts of our fantastic county.

Fans of the series will know the drama is set in a fictitious location not too far from Thirsk.

The stunning stately home we’ve all come to recognise at Downton Abbey is actually Highclere Castle in Berkshire, yet the plot consistently refers to some of our favourite towns and places in Yorkshire.
The film continues this rather lovely theme, too, using a host of Yorkshire locations for this lavish spectacle of 1920s Britain.
So grab some popcorn and a fizzy drink and take a tour of Downton hot spots with us …

Bradford, West Yorkshire …

About 2 hours from us here at the Riviera Guesthouse.
The film uses the city’s Little Germany district due to its historical architecture. Nearby Keighley was used for some exterior shots in the film.

Harewood House, near Leeds …

About 1.5 hours from the Riviera.
Not far from Leeds, this country house has incredible gardens and its drawing rooms are featured in the film.

Beamish Museum, County Durham …

Okay so it’s quite a drive from Whitby (around 2 hours), but it’s worth a visit.
This award-winning outdoor museum was used for numerous scenes including those of Downton village itself.

Pickering Railway Station, North Yorkshire …

About a 30-minute drive away.
Part of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, one of the country’s leading heritage railways, Pickering Station is used for a number of shots in the film.
We can’t give too much away about this!
Also  you can hop on board a steam train right here in Whitby at the Railway Station.

Duncombe Park, Helmsley …

About a one hour drive from us.
This wonderful estate in the stylish market town of Helmsley was used for shots of the impressive drive in the film.

Wentworth Woodhouse, near Rotherham

About 2.5hrs drive from us.
Again, a bit of distance away.
This Grade I listed country house doubled as Buckingham Palace for some interior shots. The ballroom scene was also filmed here.
Other locations that are featured include Ampleforth College (a prestigious boarding school in North Yorkshire); while Thirsk and Ripon have mentions in the plot, it is thought several buildings feature in the film. Both market towns are about 1.5 hours drive from us.
So, if you love sumptuous, lavish costumes, old-fashioned aristocratic social etiquette and a whole heap of escapism, then Downton Abbey – The Movie is perfect for you.
It might refer to traditional silver service, bottles of wine with eye-watering prices and an era that is now gradually leaving living memory; however, it does Yorkshire proud.