Solberge Hall Hotel
A traditional country house hotel nestled, in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside
Hill House Farm Cottages
4 barn conversion cottages ideally located between the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks
James HerriotAll Creatures Great & Small
Alf Wight, the creator of James Herriot, was born in 1916 in Sunderland. The son of a shipyard welder he grew up in Glasgow, where he qualified at the Glasgow Veterinary College. He returned to England in 1939 and began his career as a vet’s assistant. He worked from the now famous Kirkgate Surgery in Thirsk, which achieved renown as the fictional town of Darrowby.
In 1941, Alf met his wife Joan and they soon married at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Thirsk. After years of listening to Alf relate the amusing tales of his days in the dales attending to animals, it was his wife that finally pushed him into putting pen to paper. He bought himself a typewriter and each night, whilst watching television, he would type out a chapter.
Within a short time, his winning style and amusing anecdotes were being read avidly all over the world in the 'James Herriot' stories we've come to know and love.
In 1970 ‘If Only They Could Talk’, Alf’s first book was published under the pseudonym of James Herriot. Alf came to choose his pen name whilst typing his book in front of a televised football match against Birmingham City. Jim Herriot, Birmingham’s star player and a fellow Scot, caught Alf’s attention and from then on, all his stories of life as a Yorkshire vet were told by James Herriot.
These wonderful books relate years of real-life experiences - he tells his readers affectionately of the animals he dealt with and expressed his admiration of the farmers he met during his years as a vet.
All Creatures Great & Small
In 1978 his fame grew even more when the BBC created the popular series, “All Creatures Great & Small”, a programme which ran for a total of 13 years and spread the name and popularity of James Herriot even further. Two feature films were also produced.
Alf Wight has made this area of Yorkshire that lies between the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales into “Herriot Country” famous worldwide. Selling over 10 million copies of his books, translated into over 40 languages, it is no wonder that millions of visitors come to visit this beautiful area each year. As Herriot so wonderfully describes,
“I looked across to where Darrowby huddled far below between its folding green fells, …[in]… the best kind of sunshine - not heavy or cloying but clear and bright and clean as you find it in Yorkshire.”