Herriot Country

Food & Drink

The Yorkshire Tour Guide

Herriot Country has so many interesting places and local charms that it can often be difficult to know where to start. That is why many people prefer to find a local expert tour guide to make their visit more interesting and enjoyable.

That’s where someone like Howard Smelt-Webb, The Yorkshire Tour Guide comes in. Providing a bespoke service with his local knowledge of the area on either a walking or chauffeur-driven tour, Howard and his team share their passion and their enthusiasm for all things Herriot.

Howard was once a police officer in the area for over 30 years so he knows this ‘beat’ very well and especially since he is from a farming background where James Herriot (Alf Wight)  was the vet to the family farm.

Howard and his team will take you to famous tourist attractions like the World of James Herriot to country tearooms, historic pubs, boutique shops, on scenic walks where you can take in Yorkshire’s finest views.

Your tour will include the many market towns, the rugged North York Moors, the Yorkshire Dales, the city of York and the North Yorkshire coastline. It will include many of the locations where James Herriot practised and from where the stories that he included in his multi-million-selling books emanated and where the films and TV series All Creatures Great and Small were made.

You will be introduced to local craftsman, Country folk, farmers, welcoming pub landlords and ladies, enjoy delicious local food and drink and all in the company of your very own local guide up providing you with the insights and access to hidden gems all around Herriot Country.


Be chauffeur driven in one of our vehicles – we have a wide range available to suit your individual needs including saloon cars and multi seat vehicles.  Uniquely, the multi seat vehicles come with a separate Tour guide as well as the driver ( if required ) to ensure you get the most out of your day. Prices vary depending on individual requirements and type of vehicle. 

Fern Cottage Thirsk

Alf Wight OBE (James Herriot) lived two doors down from Fern Cottage at Skeldale Veterinary Surgery. Little did he know then, when he joined the practice, that years later his prowess as an author with his stories of life as a vet would bring him worldwide acclaim.

Fern Cottage is still two doors down to what is now the World of James Herriot based in that original home and veterinary surgery. A member of the Herriot Country Tourism Group, Fern Cottage offers a very comfortable Four Star Gold Award self-catering holiday cottage for two people. Set in the garden of a late Victorian townhouse it has been updated and furnished to a high standard and is a cosy haven close to the centre of Thirsk that includes many personal touches that help to make your holiday special.

Perfect for your visit to see the home of James Herriot and to experience the locations and attractions that are featured in the original BBC and new Channel 5 All Creatures Great and Small TV series which are all within easy reach in and around Thirsk in Hambleton, Richmondshire and the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. Thirsk has a regular market and a great choice of restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops to explore.

After your travels discovering Herriot Country you’ll return to your peaceful haven at Fern Cottage to relax and enjoy the peaceful garden in spring and summer or in winter snuggle up in front of the real warming fire.

Your Herriot neighbours on Kirkgate continue to welcome people from around the world and you’ll be right in the heart of the All Creatures Great and Small action.

27 Kirkgate, Thirsk, North Yorkshire YO7 1PL

Tel: 01845 527056

Mobile: 07915607911

Email: bookings@ferncottagethirsk.co.uk


Kirkgate House Hotel Thirsk

Only a few yards from the World of James Herriot, Kirkgate House Hotel is one of Skeldale Surgery’s nearest neighbours and continues to welcome James Herriot fans from around the world.

A three-storey Georgian townhouse, Kirkgate House Hotel offers a range of en suite accommodation all with high ceilings, wooden furnishings, tea and coffee making facilities, flatscreen TV and free Wi-Fi. Local ingredients are part of the menu options for the hearty English Breakfast served each day which also includes continental and vegetarian options. As guests travelling by car discover, Kirkgate House Hotel has its own car park, there is an attractive patioed garden area and the hotel bedrooms are accessible by stairs, which may not be suitable for guests with reduced mobility.

Thirsk is the real town (Darrowby in the stories) where Alf Wight and Siegfried Farnon ran their veterinary practice on the same street as Kirkgate House. It’s a perfect base for visitors to the World of James Herriot, close to the North York Moors National Park, the White Horse of Kilburn and the stunning views from Sutton Bank, James Herriot’s favourite view. There’s a weekly market in Thirsk and regular meetings at Thirsk Racecourse which is only a ten-minute walk from Kirkgate House Hotel.

There’s a wealth of attractions in Herriot Country and by taking an All Creatures Great and Small circular tour from Kirkgate House Hotel you can visit the locations in the books, films and TV series. Start at the World of James Herriot of course…

If Alf Wight OBE (James Herriot) hadn’t lived so close, he would surely have stayed at Kirkgate House Hotel!

Kirkgate House, 35 Kirkgate, Thirsk, YO7 1PL,
T: 01845 525015 Email: info@kirkgatehousehotel.co.uk

Cedar Retreats West Tanfield

Herriot Country is blessed with gorgeous countryside and is perfect for an escape and that’s where Cedar Retreats comes in.  Set in six acres of beautiful countryside 10 minutes from the A1(M) and six miles from the cathedral city of Ripon and only 11 miles to the World of James Herriot in Thirsk.

Cedar Retreats offers contemporary, beautifully furnished, fully equipped, high quality accommodation with a lake at its centre. Each Retreat has either two or three bedrooms, a master bedroom with en-suite shower room and a further double bedrooms with shared family bathroom, open plan living area with French doors onto decking and private hot tub. It is ideal for a romantic break, family get-together or a getaway with your best friends.  

Five minutes to the lovely village of West Tanfield, there are riverside walks, it has an abundance of amenities nearby including local shops and pubs. Within half an hour are larger supermarkets and small towns to explore. It is perfect for a tranquil break in outdoor living and close to local attractions and heritage sites including the World of James Herriot, Thirsk, Newby Hall near Ripon, Fountains Abbey, Lightwater Valley, Forbidden Corner, Aerial Extreme, plus fishing, horse riding, golf or one of the many walks that Herriot Country’s Yorkshire Dales has to offer.

James Herriot had many farming customers in the area and Cedar Retreats makes a perfect starting point for an All Creatures Great and Small tour of Herriot Country .

Cedar Retreats, West Tanfield, North Yorkshire HG4 5LH

T: 01677 470284
E: sales@cedarretreats.co.uk
E: enquiries@cedarretreats.co.uk

Directions from the A1 North

From the A1 southbound take the A61 towards Ripon. Take the A6108 towards Masham / Thirsk and onto West Tanfield.

Directions from the A1 South

From the A1 northbound take the A61 towards Ripon. Take the A6108 towards Masham / Thirsk and onto West Tanfield.

Directions from the M6

From the M6 leave at junction 4A and join the M42 motorway. At junction 11 continue forward onto the A42. Then join the M1 motorway. Leave the M1 at junction 32 to join the M18. Leave the M18 at junction 2, then join the A1(M) motorway. Continue forward onto the A1. Take the A61 towards Ripon and then the A6108 onto West Tanfield

The Station Café Bar Richmond

The Station Café Bar Richmond is in the heart of this historic, restored and redeveloped building created by the Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust. The Café Bar is a vibrant hub where visitors can enjoy locally sourced ingredients, prepared on the premises and served by a friendly local team.

From breakfast, morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea, and early evening meals the Station Café Bar is perfect when visiting the Station for book browsing, viewing the regular art exhibitions, artisan shopping or taking in a film at the cinema. Meet your friends, enjoy the buzz and the fabulous food and drink.

There’s something for everyone in a community that remembers the original All Creatures Great and Small which was filmed in and around the area.

Image Credits: Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust, Stuart Boulton.

The Station Café Bar, Station Yard, Richmond, North Yorkshire DL10 4LD

Tel: 01748 825967

Email: restaurant@thestation.co.uk


Sandburn Hall Hotel York

Sandburn Hall Hotel is due to open in Spring 2021.  The hotel will boast 40 beautifully designed, light and spacious rooms and suites with magnificent views across the lakes and woodland, or access out to the courtyard garden.   On arrival, guests will be greeted by the stunning open plan reception and café -bar, boasting a traditional oak beam ceiling.   The hotel concept continues the principle of quality workmanship and styling that Sandburn Hall is built on, creating an elegant country feel whilst staying true to our Yorkshire roots and heritage.  Sandburn Hall is ideally situated in the beautiful countryside, just outside of York. 

The perfect base from which to explore ‘God’s own Country’ - Herriot Country.

Sandburn Hall, Flaxton, York, YO60 7RB  

Telephone: 01904 469922

Email: info@sandburnhall.co.uk

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