Visit Goathland from York city centre!
More than just a set for a TV show! This charming yet typical moorland village is still most famous as the setting for fictional village Aidensfield in TV show, Heartbeat. The show itself is based on “Constable”, a series of books written by ex-Policeman Peter Walker. Written in the 1980’s they are based on his life as a Police Constable. Back in the 90’s the TV show that was based on the books and was watched by 20 million people (a third of the country at the time) and was beamed to millions around the Globe. Being particularly popular in Australia and Scandinavia.
Thanks to the TV show the village is possibly the most visited place in the North York Moors. 1000’s of people visit the village every week enjoying what was essentially the set for the series. Walking around the open grazing land that is the village greens you can still spot some of the old vehicles used in the show parked next to a shop still bearing the name Aidensfield Stores. Scripps Garage and Funeral Service (now a souvenir shop) still stands opposite the famous pub where you can sup a pint of ale as they would at the end of most episodes. There are also some lovely little tea rooms and gift shops selling heartbeat related gifts and other tourist related goodies.
More recently Goathland train station, a very quaint and old fashioned station just outside the village has helped to keep Goathland relevant for a new generation after being transformed into Hogsmeade station in Harry Potter and The Philosophers/Sorcerer’s Stone movie, its short appearance as the Hogwarts School station in the worldwide phenomenon attracts people from all over the world.
The Train station is towards the end of the North York Moors Railway route from Pickering and is one of the most popular stops on the route.
Whilst its fame as Aidensfield and Hogsmeade has done wonders for the local economy, it does little to highlight the more interesting history of this charming little village. Many people leave without realising is historic past.
Some suggest this village dates back to the Roman period and it could have been a Roman Military camp providing protection or relief for supplies heading to and from the nearby camp at Cawthorn and the a roman watch tower at Whitby.
It was also chosen by the Vikings as a good spot for a settlement and it is thought the name is derived from the Old Norse “Godas land”. Goda being a personal name, quite possible from the Viking who settled here.
Back in the Victorian era the ever increasing rail network arrived and the tourism followed. Goathland became popular among the countries wealthy elite as a spa resort and retreat. With the fresh sea air blowing in off the North Sea, the stunning surroundings of the Heather Moors and tree lined river valleys hiding numerous little waterfalls, Goathland made a great spot for regenerating the mind and soul.
On the Village greens you will spot little black signs asking you not to park on the grass. It is reserved for grazing sheep which can often be seen meandering through the village or hiding in the bus stop shelter. The signs bare the coat of arms of the Duchy of Lancaster who has traditionally owned the land here since 1399. It may rub many a Yorkshireman up the wrong way to know they are living on Lancastrian land but maybe fact that the current Duke of Lancaster is none other than Queen Elizabeth II may softens the blow somewhat.
Enjoy a visit to Goathland on our North York Moors and Whitby Tour departing York 4 days a week in high season. On this tour you also can enjoy the famous landscape of the The North York Moors and the Historic Towns Whitby, Pickering and Helmsley.