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Askrigg village centre, with "Skeldale House" to the right

Darrowby is a fictional village in the North Riding of Yorkshire, England, which was used by James Herriot as the setting for his surgery in his book It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet. The book inspired the television series All Creatures Great and Small, from which the following information is drawn.

Darrowby is a composite of Thirsk, Richmond, Leyburn and Middleham.[1] (Until 2017 Thirsk had a public house named The Darrowby Inn, to recognise this.) It was Askrigg, in Wensleydale, however, that was used for filming scenes set in Darrowby in the series.

In the first three series of the television series, the surgery's phone number was "Darrowby 85"; for the final four series it became "Darrowby 385".


The Skeldale House veterinary surgery of central characters Siegfried Farnon and James Herriot is on Trengate.[2] Although the vets are based here, they travel all over the Dales.

Darrowby Church is a few hundred feet from the surgery, beyond the small market cross. Everyone at Skeldale attends Sunday service when possible.

The local pub, the Drovers Arms, is located on the opposite side of Trengate, a little further up the hill. (The Drovers was made out to be located near the church in the early series, as evidenced in the episode "The Name of the Game".)

The Darrowby Hotel and Drovers Arms are amongst the inns in the village.

The Plaza is the local cinema.[3]

Mr Edwards' carpentry shop is located on Market Street.[4]

Bob Howell's Music Shop is where Siegfried buys Tristan the acoustic guitar he had been admiring.[5]

The village butcher is A. Bainbridge and Sons.[6]

Sandra's ladies' hair stylist is located directly across from the surgery,[7] a few doors up from Roland Partridge's cottage.

The Darrowby constabulary has consisted of P.C. Claude Blenkiron ("Nothing Like Experience" and "Be Prepared"), P.C. Smith ("Golden Lads and Girls"), P.C. Leach ("Pups, Pigs and Pickle"), P.C. Goole (1983 and 1990 Christmas Specials and "Mending Fences") and P.C. Hicks ("Food For Thought").


In the first three series, only once was a railway station mentioned, at Tristan’s arrival. That was filmed at Leyburn railway station on the Wensleydale Railway. All other visitors travel by bus, arriving at Darrowby bus stop (filmed in Redmire village, Wensleydale).

In series 4, the station (and superior city) is called Mannerton, filmed at Goathland on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

From series 5, those travelling to Darrowby by train have to alight at neighbouring Rainby Halt. Finghall Station a few miles east of Leyburn was given a makeover as Rainby Halt (its sign saying "Alight here for Darrowby") for filming the series.


The local newspapers are The Darrowby and Houlton Times[8] and the Daily Dispatch.[9]


Annual events in the village include the Darrowby and Houlton Show (featured in "Judgement Day" and "Ace, King, Queen, Jack") and the Vegetable Show ("Hampered").


The local cricket team, based in Rainby, is featured in the episode "The Name of the Game", when they play arch-rivals Rainby. The annual Gentlemen v. Players match can be seen in "Big Fish, Little Fish".

Darrowby Golf Club is situated on the fell top.



  1. ^ James Herriot's Yorkshire (1979), James Herriot, St. Martin's
  2. ^ As mentioned by Siegfried Farnon in the episode "Plenty To Grouse About"
  3. ^ As revealed in the episode "Nothing Like Experience"
  4. ^ As mentioned by Tristan Farnon in the episode "Knowin' How To Do It"
  5. ^ As seen in the episode "Charity Begins at Home"
  6. ^ As seen in the episode "Home and Away"
  7. ^ As seen in the episode '"Advice & Consent"
  8. ^ As seen in the episode "The New World"
  9. ^ As seen in the episode "A Cat in Hull's Chance"