Why are film crews flocking to the Harrogate district?


Last updated May 13, 2022
Netflix crew filming at Crescent Gardens for a film starring Phoebe Dynevor.
Film crew at Crescent Gardens filming a Netflix movie starring Phoebe Dynevor.

Whether it is fantasy films or period dramas, the Harrogate district has become a hotspot for film crews to shoot big productions.

This past year has seen Harrogate town centre and Fountains Abbey play host to major film and television stars, including Simon Pegg and Bridgeton star Phoebe Dynevor.

Earlier this week, Pegg was spotted shooting a scene for his upcoming film Nandor Fodor and The Talking Mongoose on Crown Place.

Simon Pegg pictured filming Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose at the Crown Plaza in Harrogate.

Simon Pegg filming in Harrogate on Monday.

While the district can offer picturesque scenes for Netflix and film productions, local industry officials say there is more to Harrogate which attracts crews.

Film crews love Harrogate

Chris Hordley is production liaison and development manager at Screen Yorkshire, a body which helps production companies film projects in the region.

The organisation helps major films get off the ground in Yorkshire by giving them location options and helping find crew members to support shooting scenes.

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Mr Hordley said while Harrogate is a perfect place for fantasy films, period dramas and other series, its hospitality is part of the reason why production teams keep coming back.

“They love it.

“A lot of the feedback we get is that it is well placed for hotels. If they [the crew] are not from Yorkshire, they get places to stay over.

“They will say to us: ‘I loved it so much that I booked a weekend for my family’. We get that a lot.”

He added that the ability to get from the centre of Harrogate to another location, such as Newby Hall near Ripon, in a short space of time was also part of the appeal.

“You can also get to lots of interesting locations in a short time. It’s a good place.”

More productions to come

Areas of the district have hosted many major productions over the years.

The Nidd Gorge viaduct was used to film a scene in Paddington 2 and Plumpton Rocks and Fountains Abbey feature in the The Witcher, a popular Netflix series.

Plumpton Rocks and Fountains Abbey both star in The Witcher.

Mr Hordley said Screen Yorkshire has a database of around 1,500 locations in the region, which they offer to production companies.

This includes landscapes, historic buildings, private businesses and major cities like Leeds and York.

Mr Hordley added that Yorkshire and Harrogate is often used to portray a different place because of the history and heritage locations.

“A lot of what we do is portraying Yorkshire as somewhere else.

“Yorkshire and Harrogate is really good for storytelling for past and present, feature and fantasy.”

All Creatures Great and Small

Mr Hordley pointed to All Creatures Great and Small, which is filmed mainly in Grassington but also in Harrogate as an example of a successful historical series that has put the district on the map.

More recently, Simon Pegg’s upcoming film, Nandor Fodor and The Talking Mongoose is a film based on the story of the para-psychologist from the 1930s and was shot in Harrogate.

When asked whether people in the Harrogate district can expect to be on television screens more in the future, he said:

“You absolutely can.

“We have been working hard on more projects. There are projects that will be happening in Harrogate.”

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