It’s possibly Britain’s most photographed village shop, but The Aidensfield Stores – the iconic store from TV’s Heartbeart – is up for sale.
The Goathland shop is on the market for a cool £495,000, a sum that could land you an eight-bedroom semi in the sleepy village – with change to spare.
But the princely sum doesn’t just get you the store, it also gets you a flat, a second shop – and a building that over the last 25 years has attracted millions of the show’s fans from all corners of the globe.
Owner Phil Hopkinson is selling up, as after a quarter of a century of squad cars and Greengrass, he says it’s time to “wind down”.
“We’ve basically been open every day since Heartbeat started, and living in Pickering, my car pretty much knows it’s own way to the shop now,” he said. “But it must be the most photographed shop in the country. If I had 20p for every time it’s been photographed I probably wouldn’t even have to open it.”
Along with wife Ros, Phil opened the store in 1989 when it was already a profitable business.
But the couple struck gold, as two years later the area was selected to film Heartbeat, which had been commissioned for six episodes.
The cameras finally stopped rolling six years ago on the series, which turned the village shop into a mecca for fans who made pilgrimages from as far away as Australia and Canada to see the shop, which featured in every episode.
Rosie Crux is a chartered surveyor for York-based Barry Crux and Company, the firm selling the shop, and feels the next owner could do a lot worse than keeping it as it is,
“It’s quite unusual for someone to stay in a business as long as they have, but it’s been profitable for them,” she said.
“It would be wise to continue with it the way it is but it could be suitable for another number of retail businesses.”
The property was only put on the market this week, but Rosie expects a “good” level of interest.
Mr Hopkinson said whoever takes the keys off him should leave it untouched.
“It might be Goathland, but it will always be known as Aidensfield - it has to stay as it is.
“You have to accept that it was, and still is, a piece of TV history.”