Because we were so close anyway we went to see the James Herriott (aka Alf Wight) museum at Thirsk. The Wight residence, that also doubled as vet surgery, is furnished in 1950s style and the car used in the TV series is there as well as the sets for the series. The village has done very well out of its vet - it's now inundated by tourists.
We thought we'd continue the theme by going up into the moors and dales to get a feel for how farming life might have been in the past. I think the answer is 'pretty darn tough'. The day we went it was one degree on the car dash readout (or, as they say on the weather reports here, 'plus one degree') as we went over the Buttertubs Pass from Wensleydale to Swaledale. I'm sure it's beautiful in summer.