Happy Valley: What are the nearest prisons to Sheffield and how far away is Scoopalicious ice cream parlour?

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The latest series of the hit crime drama Happy Valley is meant to be set in Sheffield, despite being filmed outside the city.

That again left many BBC One viewers confused and disappointed on Sunday night, asking why there are scenes supposedly set in a Sheffield prison even though there is no jail in the city, and why the Scoopalicious ice cream parlour some 40 miles away in Bolton was featured.

The episode had lots of people searching for HMP Sheffield, yet the nearest prisons to Sheffield are in Doncaster and in Retford, Nottinghamshire. Doncaster is actually home to four prisons: HMP Doncaster, HMP Lindholme, HMP Moorland, and HMP Hatfield. HMP Ranby in Retford, which is about a 50-minute drive from Sheffield via the M18 and A1(M), houses around 1,050 inmates.

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Hungry viewers in Sheffield were also Googling Scoopalicious, which is an ice cream parlour in Bolton. It’s a long way to travel from the Steel City for your ice cream fix but thankfully Sheffield has no shortage of great ice cream shops, including Granelli’s on Broad Street, Our Cow Molly in Dungworth, and Whip Kelham in Kelham Island.

Sarah Lancashire as Police Sergeant Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley. Despite the third series of the hit BBC drama supposedly being set in Sheffield, most of the scenes were  filmed in and around Halifax. Photo: BBCSarah Lancashire as Police Sergeant Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley. Despite the third series of the hit BBC drama supposedly being set in Sheffield, most of the scenes were  filmed in and around Halifax. Photo: BBC
Sarah Lancashire as Police Sergeant Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley. Despite the third series of the hit BBC drama supposedly being set in Sheffield, most of the scenes were filmed in and around Halifax. Photo: BBC

Series three of Happy Valley, starring Sarah Lancashire, was largely filmed in and around Halifax, despite the action supposingly having shifted to Sheffield. This has led to some viewers in the Steel city complaining that the city isn’t showcased. There was similar disappointment last year when many scenes for the new Full Monty TV reboot were shot in Manchester, despite the film being one of Sheffield’s most famous exports, though there was also extensive filming for the upcoming Disney+ series within Sheffield.