Last Tango in Halifax Caroline and Kate

FILM AND TV

Halifax and other parts of Calderdale have become a hotbed of filming activity for the small screen. Discover it all on a literary and TV trail during your stay.

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A STARRING ROLE

In recent years writer and director Sally Wainwright has provided Holdsworth House and the surrounding Yorkshire landscapes with a starring role on the small screen.

Wainwright's TV creations showcasing Halifax and Calderdale include Last Tango in Halifax, Happy Valley and the Brontë drama To Walk Invisible.

Holdsworth House has also been used for filming Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Great Britain, the BBC's The One Show and ITV's All Star Mr and Mrs. TV casts and crews, as well as many celebrities performing at local theatres often stay at Holdsworth House.

Last Tango in Halifax film locations
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LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX

Holdsworth House was used as a film location for the BAFTA-winning series Last Tango in Halifax. Written by Sally Wainwright and created by Red Production Company for the BBC, Holdsworth House was shown in the final three episodes of series two.

Stars Anne Reid (Celia), Sarah Lancashire (Caroline) and Nicola Walker (Gillian) were amongst the cast who arrived with film crew for a week. The plot saw Caroline and Kate spending a romantic weekend away at the hotel and ultimately choosing it as the wedding venue for Alan and Celia. Filming took place in the restaurant, hall and gardens. Chef was required to produce a selection of dishes for the characters to tuck into on screen and our wedding brochures were used when they discussed wedding plans.

Guests can book a Last Tango in Halifax overnight break at Holdsworth House to follow in the footsteps of the stars.

ANNE LISTER - "GENTLEMAN JACK"

In 2019 a new BBC/HBO production, written and directed by Sally Wainwright, will air about prolific diarist Anne Lister, who lived at nearby Shibden Hall in Halifax.

Anne Lister was born in 1791 and was a landowner, traveller, industrialist and student. Lister has become posthumously famous for her diaries, which ran to more than 6600 pages and detailed almost every moment of her life.

As a lesbian living in a prejudiced era, Lister kept her sexuality a secret from society at large but wrote prolifically about her love life, in secret code, in her diaries, which have been painstakingly transcribed by Halifax biographer Helena Whitbread. Lister eventually defied convention by living with her female lover.

The TV production, entitled "Gentleman Jack", is so named because this was how people of the time referred unkindly to Lister. The primetime drama will run to eight parts and stars Suranne Jones, with much filming taking place at Shibden Hall itself.

Shibden Hall, Lister's ancestral home, is around three miles from Holdsworth House. It is set in around 90 acres of stunning parkland that forms Shibden Park, which was landscaped under the direction of Anne Lister. Visitors can enjoy the cafe, miniature railway, boating lake, pitch and putt course as well as trails, play area, orienteering course and woodland. The Hall itself has been preserved by Calderdale Council and is a museum for a highly recommended visit during your stay at Holdsworth House.

Shibden Hall, Anne Lister portrait 2
Shibden Hall Halifax
Ackley Bridge filmed in Halifax

Ackley Bridge

Ackley Bridge is a grip-tight- to-your-seats drama about a school, it's teachers and the multi-ethnic, multi-faith community it serves. The Channel 4 show, now into its second series, is filmed across the road from Holdsworth House at the former St Catherine's school, which was also used to film the CBBC programme Hank Zipzer, starring Henry Winkler.

As well as some of the stars being a familiar sight around the hotel, elements of Ackley Bridge have even been filmed at the hotel, when the script has called for a bar or restaurant setting.