Calderdale & Happy Valley Filming Locations

Calderdale & Happy Valley Filming Locations

There are many things you might spot on a visit to Calderdale, including cyclists, wildlife, nightlife - and film crews.  Since the era of the silent movie the area has drawn those who want to catch it on film to use it as a backdrop and a catalyst for stories of the human condition.  For a small place Calderdale packs a lot in. Our steep folded hills and valleys provide pockets for busy towns and thriving communities. 

The moors or woodland just a mile or two up the road can seem remote and wild and the scenery is stunning – millstone grit, moorland, crags, wooded valleys and rushing water.  But if you look, there are signs of man everywhere.  Not just in the towns – in the countryside there are reservoirs, wind farms, pylons, even the ubiquitous dry stone walls.  People are very firmly at the centre of the landscape, despite its seeming wilderness; and their stories are embedded.

The traditional and modern sit next to each other in Calderdale.  The old mill buildings of the nineteenth century now house the latest technology.  Walkers and cyclists have always been here and these days sport the latest high tech gear.  With its contrasts of old and new, light and shadow, valley bottom and tops, Calderdale becomes more than a backdrop, it enters the very fabric of the tales that people tell. 

It is because of Calderdale’s stunning landscape and close proximity of town and country that the area lends itself so well to TV and film.  Feature films such as the silent screen classic Helen of Four Gates (1920) and feel good film Fanny and Elvis (1999) have showcased the beauty of Calderdale.  In more recent times the area’s dramatic backdrop created the perfect setting for Last Tango in Halifax and gritty police drama Happy Valley.  Series producer Sally Wainwright says:

“West Yorkshire has become increasingly important to me as I’ve got older.  There’s real depth to the landscape – it’s so awe-inspiring.  Now I see Calderdale – Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Ripponden, Sowerby Bridge and Elland as really beautiful”.

For more information on the amazing film and TV in Calderdale download your Film Trail here.

Copies of Film Trail are available at Calderdale’s Visitor Centres and attractions.

Thanks to local writer Anna Turner who provided the information for the Film Trail.

Take a tour of the Happy Valley.

Published at 24 Mar 2016

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