TWO iconic Dales pubs are the unlikely stars of a new Christmas advert for the upmarket southern retailer Waitrose.

Interior scenes for the ad were filmed at the Green Dragon Inn, Hardraw, near Hawes, while the main exterior shot of a snowbound hostelry features the Tan Hill pub near Kirkby Stephen.


Although the film lasts for just one minute 30 seconds, the production company spent six days making it after setting up a base in the Dales village.

The Green Dragon was closed to customers during the filming and the village transformed from summer tourist destination into a winter wonderland using artificial snow.

It is Waitrose's first black and white advert and was inspired by real life events at Tan Hill - said to be England's highest pub.

The hostelry is often snowed in and dozens of times guests and other customers have been trapped inside, sometimes for days.

The ad shows how, when a snowstorm hits the area, a generous act of Christmas spirit brings the community together in the most unexpected of festive meals.

Filming took place in various Dales locations, including Muker in Swaledale and Appersett west of Hawes.

In Hardraw, the production company took over both the Green Dragon and St Mary and St John's Church next door.

Churchwarden Susan Foster said: "After negotiating a reasonable fee, we allowed the production company use the church for storing costumes and for make-up and things like that.

"We knew it was for a Waitrose advert for Christmas. The crew transformed the exterior into a winter scene, complete with false snow.

"Although there was some disruption, the village responded well. For example, local sheep farmer Hannah Fawcett and her partner Andrew allowed the production company to park their large vehicles on one of their fields.

"It was quite a big operation - there were lorries and buses for the cast and crew and a catering truck."

The Green Dragon, which boasts the highest single-drop waterfall in England in its back yard, was reopened under new management after the film crew left.

Matthew Kitchen, a member of the family that now runs the historic inn, said the film crew spent six days there.

The ad's interior footage show people enjoying an impromptu Christmas dinner cobbled together using Waitrose produce.

The retailer's customer director Martin George said: “As our ad depicts, eating together is a way to share not just food but friendship and community spirit.”