Charming home of James Herriott
"Old market square"
Much about Thirsk makes you think it could well have been one of the villages James Herriott drove through in the TV series All Creatures Great and Small. Well I don’t think you ever saw it there but it is indeed the home of the real Herriott whose actual name was Alf Wight. This is an old market town with an old cobbled square in the center of town with a picturesque old clock tower in its midst.
Being a town of less than 10,000 residents it still looks and feels what it is, a small Yorkshire village. You can stroll from the Clock Tower down Kirkgate Street past the Herriott Center, the early 18th century home of the Lords of the Manor and the 15th century church where the real Herriott and his wife were married.
The market square is still the focus of business and I suspect social life as it is ringed with pubs, cafes, bakeries and bookshops. Quite a few old pubs still ring the market place and several more are on the periphery. This preserves the old feeling of the place but of course there are some signs of the encroachment of the modern as well. We had a drink at one, the Aspire which is very modern. Another, the Three Tuns, is now a Weatherspoon’s facility so I avoided it entirely. Some serve excellent meals and we ate at a couple which I detail in my restaurant tips. There is still a market here on Mondays and Saturdays and it evidently thrives even today.