Nestled in the heart of the North York Moors National Park, the delightful village of Goathland is a fantastic hub for walkers and tourists, as well as being a beautiful place to live for its approximately 400 residents.

Many people visit the village because it was the setting of ITV’s long running drama, Heartbeat, in which it became the fictional village of Aidensfield. Set in the 1960s and based around the lives of the village police officers, the hugely popular show ran for 18 series between 1992 and 2010. It is still attracting visitors to the village today, perhaps due to the popularity of regular re-runs of the series on ITV 3.

Great British Life: Goathland is filled with pretty stone cottagesGoathland is filled with pretty stone cottages (Image: Ella Hill-Harnell)

Fans of the show will instantly feel at home as they wander through the village, having a pint in the Goathland Hotel, which was the Aidensfield Arms in the programme, or visiting Scripp’s, which was the Aidensfield Garage and has now been transformed into a gift shop.

Goathland has also found fame on the big screen, with its beautiful railway station used as the location for the Hogsmeade village station in the Harry Potter films.

The railway station lies on the North York Moors railway, on which steam services run on a 24 miles track stretching from Pickering to Whitby. Daily services start from 23 March and run until 3 November 2024. Special events are also held throughout the year such as Santa Specials trains and an annual steam gala, which this year will be held from 26-29 September.

Goathland boasts lovely pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops. Take a walk through the village and you are bound to come across some of the local sheep minding their own business and mingling with the passers-by!

Great British Life: Plenty to explore in Goathland the surrounding areas. Plenty to explore in Goathland the surrounding areas. (Image: Ella Hill-Harnell)


Goathland lies on the rugged, beautiful and wild North York Moors, a stunning part of the country. It is surrounded by high moorland, streams and waterfalls. In August the colours on the moors change and burst with vibrant purples and pinks of blooming heather.

The stunning scenery around the village offers an array of walks and opportunities to get away from it all and breath in the fresh moorland air.

A popular walk is the three miles Mallyan Spout/Beck Hole loop. Starting at the Goathland village car park the walk takes in a mysterious wooded chasm following the water at West Beck. A highlight is the impressive, cascading Mallyan Spout, which at over 60 feet, is the tallest waterfall in the North York Moors. This waterfall helped to put Goathland on the map as a tourist village in the nineteenth century, long before Heartbeat and Harry Potter!

Great British Life: The marvellous landscape of Goathland and the surrounding moors. The marvellous landscape of Goathland and the surrounding moors. (Image: Ella Hill-Harnell)

For history buffs, the Wheeldale Roman Road in Goathland is a fantastic place to imagine all the people who have trodden that road for hundreds of years. It is a mile-long stretch of ancient road which is widely believed to be of Roman origin, though may date from an earlier period. It is a reminder of the ancient history of Goathland, which is said to date to least the Viking period.

The land eventually passed to the Duchy of Lancaster, and one of the charming features is that the Duchy’s tenants had the right to graze their sheep on the village green, which still happens today, it is common to see sheep wandering around the village.

There are plenty of options for accommodation and dining if you plan to visit Goathland.

Great British Life: Sheep can graze on the green. Sheep can graze on the green. (Image: Ella Hill-Harnell)

The Homestead Kitchen was opened in November 2021 by chef Peter Neville and his partner, Cecily Fearnley. They have converted an 18th century farmhouse into a restaurant offering relaxed fine dining, with views over the rolling North York Moors, and a self-contained holiday cottage.

Goathland was popular as a spa retreat in the 19th century with the railway bringing Victorian tourists to enjoy the healthy waters and fresh air. A number of hotels sprang up to accommodate them and one large one remains, the charming Mallyan Spout Hotel built in 1892. It provides accommodation for visitors to this day, along with menus made up of local produce which are updated seasonally to reflect the ever-changing moorland landscape.

Goathland is nine miles from Whitby (approximately 20 minutes by car) and 14 miles from Pickering, a lovely market town with a wide range of shops and supermarkets.


Great British Life: Veronica Lewis outside Moor to Sea Goathland. Veronica Lewis outside Moor to Sea Goathland. (Image: Ella Hill-Harnell)

Veronica Lewis

'Whenever I’m out of the area and I drive back to Goathland on the A169 across the Moors and I see the Hole of Horcum, I take a deep breath and smile because I know I am close to home,” says Veronica Lewis.

Veronica and her husband, Lew, first moved to Goathland in 1986. They ran a succession of businesses in the village, including the Village Store, a tea shop and two bed and breakfasts. They moved to York for 23 years but came back to the village that they love two years ago and bought the shop, ‘Moor to Sea’ selling ice-creams, sweets and local crafts and curiosities.

'We came back because we love the scenery and the people,' Veronica said. 'There is a great community spirit in the village. We have lots of groups such as yoga, pilates and craft groups. The Village Hall hosts a craft fair every month in the summer.

'Every year there is also a Heartbeat weekend, with classic cars and some of the stars from the show come too. Last year people were queuing all the way up the village.


Great British Life: Goathland StationGoathland Station (Image: Mike Braham)

Give Hogsmead a helping hand 

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) is asking visitors, rail enthusiasts, and film lovers for vital support to repair Bridge 27A at Goathland Station, known as the filming location of Hogsmeade Station in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Donations will allow the necessary repair work on Bridge 27A. When completed, the reparation will once again allow visitors and volunteers to be able to safely access the station and experience the magic of Goathland Station.