Don’t panic – Dad’s Army marches into East Yorkshire

By | Category: Travel destinations
Marching through Walmington-on-Sea ( Bridlington) during the making of the film

Marching through Walmington-on-Sea ( Bridlington) during the making of the film

As the remake of the 1970s sit com Dad’s Army hits the big screen (see it from February 5th 2016) eagle-eyed cinema goers may spot that the fictional Walmington-on- Sea is now the Yorkshire seaside town of Bridlington.

Bridlington in East Yorkshire was where Captain Mainwaring and his friends could be seen in action filming the remake last year with cries of ‘Don’t panic, Permission to speak and ‘they don’t like it up em’… Cast members Bill Nighy, Tony Jones and Sir Michael Gambon joined more than 300 extras to create a stirring St Georges day parade among other memorable scenes. The local tourist board, Visit Hull & East Yorkshire, has plans to run a trail around the main sights featured in the film later this spring. But in the meantime, visitors can meander round this unspoilt seaside gem on their own, soaking up the gardens, tasty fish and chips and finishing off with a show at renowned The Spa, Bridlington.

the marina in Hull

the marina in Hull

The setting of the film in this pretty spot nicely directs public attention to East Yorkshire in the run up to Hull’s big moment next year as City of Culture 2017.

Tipped by Just about Travel a few years ago as one destination that visitors should put on their bucket lists, it was renewed as one of our tips for 2016 given the Dad’s Army film and it being named City of Culture. When it was reviewed in our “A Day in…” series back in 2011, Adrian  – on his very first trip there – was surprised at how much there was to see and do in the city which has been often on the receiving end of so many sour grapes.

Often overshadowed by more glamorous Yorkshire cities like historic York and lively Leeds, Hull will get its year in the spotlight and visitors may find there is more to Hull than meets the eye.

Museums Quarter building, Hull

Museums Quarter building, Hull

Hull – its proper name is Kingston upon Hull – is defined by the Humber Bridge which spans the river, and is always a glorious site even on a grim Yorkshire day. The bridge once held the world record as the longest single span suspension bridge. More than 100,000 vehicles use the bridge each week now. Despite the area’s industrial image, a walk along the river itself is surprisingly rural with parks and woodland and a good supply of cosy pubs to stop off in.
Back in the centre, despite heavy bombing in the last war and the more recent scars of recession and decline, Hull has an interesting mix of architecture. Don’t miss Holy Trinity Church, and at the heart of the Historic Old Town and at the edge of Trinity Square there is the Hands on History museum which was once Hull Grammar School, school of William Wilberforce, Hull’s most famous son. Wilberforce, an MP for Hull and Yorkshire, was responsible for leading the fight that led to the abolition of slavery. You can also see the font where he was baptized at the Holy Trinity Church.

Other free museums include the Streetlife Museum of Transport, where the family can climb aboard a tram or take a carriage ride, and Hull and East Riding Museum of Archaeology where you’ll find a life-size woolly mammoth. It is also home to Hepworth Arcade where Mr. Marks and Mr. Spencer had one of their first penny bazaars and is one of many quaint shopping arcades that sell vintage clothes, fashions and quirky gifts. Or head to Hull Marina and the retro Fruit Market area, home to the UK’s only Museum of Club Culture. Dinostar, Hull’s Dinosaur Exhibition, is a must for children.

 Hull Marina, East Yorkshire, UK. Picture by Les Gibbon©Hull News & Pictures Tel: 07971 546747

Hull Marina, East Yorkshire, UK.
Picture by Les Gibbon©Hull News & Pictures

There is a great Hull Ale Trail which takes in some atmospheric Yorkshire drinking dens such as Ye Olde Black Boy, the city’s oldest pub first licensed in 1729.

The year of Culture 2017 will be presented as seasons:

Season 1: Made In Hull (January – March)
Season 2: Roots and Routes (April – June)
Season 3: Freedom (July – September).

Season 4: Tell The World (October – December)

The full programme for the first season will be released in September 2016, with key events announced earlier in 2016

Beverley Minster

Beverley Minster


This part of Yorkshire is also home to Beverley, an historic market own some nine miles from Hull whose crowning glory is its awe-inspiring Minster. With historical buildings, cobbled streets, and lots of good shops, cafes and pubs, it is also home to the famous Beverley Races with several meets each year. Much loved is Ladies Day when the local ladies don’t miss the opportunity to don a hat (This is when the Beverley Hat Company shop in Lairgate comes into its own) Don’t miss the many trails in Beverley that will let you explore the darker side of the town (Beastly Beverley Trail) and the Minister Trail with its fascinating insight into the church’s 16th century misericords, Saxon chair and atmospheric medieval carvings.

enjoying the beach at Walmington-on-Sea (sorry, Bridlington)

enjoying the beach at Walmington-on-Sea (sorry, Bridlington)

Further afield are the lovely Yorkshire Wolds, much loved by local artist David Hockney who uses the light and views from his native countryside in many of his works. You can walk, cycle or motor through this gently undulating landscape taking in quiet towns, chalk hills and sweeping coastline.

For more about  Hull and East Yorkshire, click here or go to

Dad’s Army premiers at the Odeon Leicester Square in London January 26th and is in cinemas from 5th February. But if you are lucky enough to live in Bridlington, it opens there two days ahead of the rest of the world on February 3rd


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