North Yorkshire hits the silver screen

The North York Moors coastline plays a staring role in Daniel Day-Lewis’s new film Phantom Thread.

The film opened in UK cinemas on 2 February 2018 and features Robin Hood’s Bay, Staithes and Lythe, all of which are within the North York Moors National Park.

It tells the story of dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock, played by Day-Lewis, who clothed royalty and movie stars in the 1950s and it is said to have been the actor’s final role before his retirement from acting.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the area, the North York Moors and in particular, the areas chosen for filming are (and I hate saying this) stereotypically English. And in that I mean it's the image of England that people immediately call to mind *insert images of Gothic, misty moors, The Secret Garden and Sherlock Holmes*.

Robin Hood's Bay

Robin Hood's Bay

- The Rural Travel Guide

So, let's take a look at some of the beautiful scenery that features in the film with a few insights into what to do and where to stay when you visit the sets. As you can see from the photos I took when we visited last year, the stereotype was living up to its image (one of the benefits of visiting North Yorkshire in early Spring).

Robin Hood’s Bay

A favourite of The Rural Travel Guide, Robin Hood's Bay is an atmospheric and pretty fishing village that lends itself to drama with its rugged coastline, sweeping sandy bay and huddle of fishermen’s cottages lining cobbled streets that run down to the harbour.

The Bay still retains a ‘suspended in time’ feel and even the newer artisan businesses that have sprung up in recent years are eager to tap into the village’s heritage.

Homeware shop Berties of Bay is now making and selling gansey sweaters designed on a traditional Robin Hood’s Bay pattern, while a café in the former post office called Tea, Toast and Post is helping to revive the village’s custom for live entertainment by holding regular music evenings.

Some of the key romance scenes were filmed at the Victoria Hotel, which stands proudly at the top of the village and offers guests and diners a superb view overlooking the bay from the dining room or garden.

RTG tip: You can buy the best fish and chips in the World in Robin Hood's Bay. Make sure you leave room for them.

The clifftops above Robin Hood’s Bay

Staithes Harbour

Staithes Harbour

- Brian Nicholson

A significant stretch of the 109-mile Cleveland Way National Trail runs along the North York Moors coastline. By picking up the route at Robin Hood’s Bay and venturing north towards Whitby it’s possible to walk in Daniel Day-Lewis’s footsteps.

Along this stretch of the trail, walkers can soak up the great clifftop views and see why Robin Hood’s Bay was perfectly located for the rife smuggling activity that took place from 1700-1850.

RTG tip: If you'd like to know more about Robin Hood's Bay's smuggling past, take a Ghost Tour of the village at night. They're great fun.

St Oswald’s Church, Lythe

Set on a hill overlooking the sea, the Parish church of St Oswald is a landmark close to the coastal village of Sandsend, built on a site of worship that dates back to Vikings.

The church has a permanent exhibition of Viking and Medieval carved stones that were salvaged from the site and have since gained internationally renowned status.

Lythe Church.jpg

Lythe Church

- North York Moors National Park


The trailer shows Daniel Day-Lewis striding down the cobbled street of Staithes, another charming coastal village that makes the most of its fishing and art heritage.

From the small harbour there are fishing trips and nature tours where it’s possible to spot Minke whales, dolphins and porpoises, while for art lovers there’s a plethora of galleries and the annual Staithes Festival of Art and Heritage held in September.

Stay in Cowbar View Cottage, a recently renovated 18th century bolthole sleeping six, which was rented by the film crew while filming Phantom Thread.

Megan is the owner of Rural Roots Media, specialising in rural tourism, where her passion for travel, heritage and a great visitor experience inspired her to start 'The Rural Travel Guide'.

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