Family ‘totally disappointed’ after 50 mile journey to real life ITV Emmerdale village

A family were left totally ‘disappointed’ after traveling around 50 miles to visit the real-life village Emmerdale is modeled on.

Emmerdale fans Chris King and Zoe Brodie traveled all the way to Esholt, a village near Guiseley, Leeds, for a day out with their two-year-old son Ronnie. They said they wanted to check out the location behind the popular ITV soap.

Esholt was the location used to film Emmerdale’s external shots from 1976 until 1996. Filming then moved to Harewood, where a replica of Esholt was built for filming.

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The village has the real-life Woolpack pub featured in the show, and frequently had fans visiting on coach tours before the pandemic. But Chris and Zoe were left bitterly ‘disappointed’ by their visit in the rain on Thursday, LeedsLive reports.

Zoe, a social care worker, said: “It’s really disappointing, it’s nothing like Emmerdale.”

It was a dreary day in Esholt, a village between Shipley and Guiseley

Chris, a lorry driver, added: “It is but from 25 or 30 years ago. It looks like the Emmerdale from the 90s. We thought we’d have a look around, recognize it all and have some food.”

The dreary and cold weather did not help. They were also disappointed The Woolpack wasn’t serving food on the day of their visit.

The couple have three children in total, aged 21, 14 and two. They spent their time wandering around the small village with their youngest son Ronnie in his pram and a big umbrella, looking at the sites and hoping to recognize locations from the show.

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Zoe said: “We didn’t know what to expect, we thought it was going to be a bit bigger. It’s bigger on the telly I suppose, it always looks bigger on the telly.

“We thought we’d see a few things that were familiar, like oh here’s where somebody [an Emmerdale character] lives, you know what I mean? Or this is where the garage is but there’s not anything like that.

“It is a bit disappointing. We are a bit like, well this is a bit s***. I mean it’s very picturesque, the buildings are really quaint. If only the weather was better.”

The couple were pleased to have their picture taken outside The Woolpack but were gutted it wasn’t serving food

Chris said: “We weren’t really expecting to see the actors as I know they’ve built a set in Leeds, haven’t they? So it’s all filmed over there now. So we weren’t expecting to see the stars or anything like that. I think on the telly now, there are more new builds aren’t there?”

The Rotherham couple were happy they got to have a picture in front of The Woolpack, however.

When filming took place in the village, the Esholt pub was originally called The Commercial Inn but was changed to The Woolpack as the landlord reportedly grew tired of having to switch the signs over for filming.

External filming originally took place in Arncliffe in the Yorkshire Dales.

Filming today takes place in the Harewood House estate in north Leeds. Filming for the fictional market town of Hotten takes place in Otley.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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