Those of us who are hooked on BBC One’s Happy Valley have been admiring the show's wild locations. Set in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, the nail-biting crime drama follows the personal and professional life of Sergeant Catherine Cawood, who battles family trauma alongside her gruelling workload as a police officer. Series writer Sally Wainwright was born in Huddersfield and grew up in Sowerby Bridge, so the West Yorkshire settings are close to her heart and play a key role in her stories. Here we look at some of the scene-stealing locations...


Warning: Contains season three spoilers

Hebden Bridge

Canal, houseboats, trees and buildings

Much of the storyline is filmed in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, a market town set at the confluence of the River Calder and Hebden Water. Hebden Bridge stars as the home town of protagonist Sergeant Catherine Cawood, who lives on Hangingroyd Lane with her sister Clare, a recovering addict, and her grandson Ryan. Despite a traumatic bereavement, Catherine remains a committed officer, attempting to uphold the rule of law in difficult environments and deprived communities, where drugs and desperation run rife.

Rochdale Canal

Ryan (Rhys Connor) as a young boy with his father Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton)./Credit: Red Productions, Ben Blackall, BBC

The path by Rochdale Canal Bridge Number 5, Luddenden Foot is the stage for a particularly tense scene in season one, when young Ryan visits his violent father Tommy, who is hiding out on one of the houseboats. Away from the screen, this stretch of canal from Sowerby Bridge offers a tranquil and pretty walk.

Stone bridge over canal
Rochdale Canal Bridge Number 5, Luddendenfoot./Credit: Humphrey Bolton

Buck Park Quarry, Denholme

Sarah Lancashire at Buck Park Quarry, Denholme./Credit: Lookout Point, James Stack, BBC

Sarah Lancashire is formidable as Catherine Cawood, and season three starts with her on excellent no-nonsense form, following the discovery of a body at Baitings Reservoir. Buck Park Quarry in Denholme plays the role of Baitings Reservoir and presents a bleak, muddy landscape.

Ryburn Valley High School, Sowerby Bridge

Ryan and Rob argue in front of football goal
Ryan Cawood (Rhys Connah) and Rob Hepworth (Mark Stanley)./Credit: Lookout Point, Matt Squire

In season three, Ryan has grown into a strapping and occasionally surly 16-year-old. He plays on the school football team, where he locks horns with Rob Hepworth, a teacher with anger issues. Their altercation on the pitch was filmed at the Ryburn Valley High School, where Ryan's other school scenes take place.

Bath Place, Boothtown

Ann Gallagher (Charlie Murphy) and Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) in a scene from series three, episode three, shot in Bath Place, Boothtown, Halifax. / Credit: Lookout Point, Matt Squire

As season three unfolds, Catherine is on the trail of organised crime – and the arrest of one suspect leads to personal injury. This scene is filmed in Bath Place, Boothtown, a suburb of Halifax – one of many towns formerly dominated by the mill industry. Home to Saint John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox church, Boothtown has had a Serbian community in the area since the 1940s.

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Warley Moor Reservoir

James Norton at Warley Moor Reservoir
Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton) looks over Warley Moor Reservoir, Calderdale./Credit: Lookout Point, Matt Squire

In the penultimate episode of season three, Tommy pedals his way to Warley Moor Reservoir, having successfully broken out of prison. As he stands drinking in the landscape and fresh air, he raises his hands in elation, perhaps cheering the view of water and moor. Or just his great escape. Also known as Fly Flatts, the vast body of water is a 90-acre drinking-water reservoir built in 1872 and located near Ovenden Moor, Mixdenden. Halifax Rowing Club uses the site, making it the highest sailing club in the world, at 410 metres.

Cold Edge Road, Wainstall

Cold Edge Road, above Wainstall, a moorland road heading to Oxenhope
Cold Edge Road/ Withens Road above Wainstalls./Credit: Chris Heaton

Cold Edge Road / Withen Roads near Wainstalls is a scenic moorland road that heads past Warley Moor Reservoir to Oxenhope. It is used for a number of drone shots and driving scenes, including a harrowing scene in season one, when young police officer Kirsten McAskills pulls a suspicious white van over for a background check.

Stones Drive, Ripponden

Two men confront each other beside cars
Amit Shah as Faisal Bhatti and Mark Stanley as Rob Hepworth./ Credit: Matt Squire, BBC

Another storyline in season three features aggressive teacher Rob Hepworth (Mark Stanley), who lives on an estate with his diazepam-addicted wife Joanna and their two daughters. Pharmacist Faisal Batty and his family live in the same neighbourhood. These scenes were filmed at Stones Drive, Ripponden, which has beautiful views over the Ryburn Valley.

Park Wood Crematorium, Elland

Park Wood Crematorium
Park Wood Crematorium, Elland. /Credit: Humphrey Bolton

Tommy's mother Lynn Dewhurst is buried at Park Wood Crematorium in season two, episode two, an event that Catherine Cawood decides to attend, with dramatic consequences.

Warley View, Halifax

Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton) in Warley View, Halifax./Credit: Lookout, Matt Squire, BBC

Tommy is helped by gangland criminal Darius Knezevic in season three, who finds him a safehouse to lie low in, located in Warley View, Halifax. But is Tommy capable of keeping a low profile, or will his hatred of Catherine drive him into a public showdown?


Sloping green fields
Sloping fields above Luddenden./Credit: Humphrey Bolton @geograph

During a hasty evacuation from the safe house, a suspicious Tommy violently assaults Knezevic's gang in the car on Wainstalls Lane before fighting tooth and claw (and knife) with Zeljko Knezevic on the sloping fields above Luddenden. Their brutality is in marked contrast to the peaceful, pastoral setting.

Hepstonstall Cemetery

Gravestones at Hepstonstall Cemetery
The cemetery in Heptonstall, Yorkshire featured as the site of Becky Cawood's grave./Credit: Getty

Catherine regularly visits her daughter Becky's grave, which is located in the churchyard of St Thomas the Apostle in Hepsonstall, where poet Sylvia Plath is buried.


The final episode of Happy Valley aired on Sunday 5 February 2023 at 9pm on BBC One.


Maria Hodson is production editor at BBC Countryfile Magazine, alongside Margaret Bartlett. Since moving to Bristol in 2014, Maria has made every effort to escape into nature and loves all things wild and watery, from surfing and swimming to paddle-boarding and kayaking. Her adventure highlight in recent years was sea kayaking around remote St Kilda, off the coast north-west Scotland, in 2016. Most weekends, however, are spent exploring the great outdoors with her small child and doing accessible walks. Favourite family adventures are bird-watching at Slimbridge Wetland Centre and exploring the Forest of Dean, as well as an annual pilgrimage to see the starling murmuration on the Somerset Levels.