Arncliffe, North Yorkshire
is a small village and civil parish the largest of Littondale's four settlements that was used for filming the village scenes in Emmerdale Farm from 1972 to 1975 before it was changed to Esholt in 1976. It is a quaint village in the Littondale area of the Yorkshire Dales.

Scenes from Arncliffe were still being seen in April 1976 a few months after we first saw Esholt in the shows village scenes. Even now Arncliffe still attracts Emmerdale fans after having not filmed there for 40 years, as well as being a general major tourist attraction in the Yorkshire Dales.

The villageEdit

Littondale is a small valley beside Upper Wharfedale, 3 miles beyond Kilnsey and its famous crag. It is part of the Craven district of the non-metropolitan county of North Yorkshire, England but is in the historic West Riding of Yorkshire. Arncliffe and Littondale from the north. Situated on a gravel delta above the flood-plain of the River Skirfare, Arncliffe's houses, cottages, and other buildings face in towards a large green, and outwards to green hillsides etched with limestone scars. A barn to the north of the green is a good example of the local style, with an unusual entrance, and a datestone of 1677.

Behind the village buildings are several small crofts, nearly one to each house, and beyond these, limestone walls climb the surrounding hills separating higher fields. St Oswald's church lies close to the river a little North of the village, and the road up the dale crosses the river past Bridge End where Charles Kingsley stayed, and Old Cotes, built in 1650, whose gabled porch has a 3-light window somewhat characteristic of late 17th-century houses in this area of the dales. A narrow, winding road climbs steeply southwards from the village, across the fells towards Malham. Paths also go towards Kettlewell and Starbotton.

Use in Emmerdale FarmEdit

The Falcon Inn

The Falcon Inn, the original set of The Woolpack

Arncliffe was chosen as the village to be used for the outdoor scenes for the fictional village of Beckindale in the then-new ITV soap "Emmerdale Farm", which was to be screened from October 1972 onwards. The local pub The Falcon Inn was to be used as The Woolpack and the village forge, shop, vicarage and church was to be used for the exterior scenes of those buildings in the fictional show.

Arncliffe was used as the filming location for the show from the first episode on 16th October 1972, and for the next 3 and a half years, but in the autumn of 1975, the decision was made by the shows production team to choose a village much closer to the Yorkshire TV studios in Leeds. Arncliffe was a long way from the studios and the overheads increased due to transporting the crew, equipment and cast to such a remote location making the journey to and from Arncliffe take up to 2 hours. Additionally, the cast and crew had to stay overnight on days of filming, and the expense of accommodating them at The Falcon Inn proved too much.

One of the crew members knew a village just north of Bradford called Esholt, a small industrial village which looked a lot like a North Yorkshire village. Esholt was just about a half-hour drive from the Leeds studios. A recce was done by the crew and the new village was chosen to be used for the village scenes in Emmerdale. In October/November 1975 the crew bade farewell to Arncliffe and started filming in Esholt. The first episode from Esholt was broadcasted on 26th January 1976


  • Some of the final scenes filmed in Arncliffe in late 1975 were edited into two episodes transmitted in April 1976, a few months after the first scenes filmed in Esholt were transmitted in the programme. The last episode which featured scenes from Arncliffe aired on 5th April 1976
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