In the earlier episodes, when George Ward (Stuart Golland) was in charge of the Aidensfield Arms, it was mentioned on several occasions that the fire in the bar had never been allowed to go out since the pub first opened. This was based on the real-life tradition at The Legendary Saltersgate Inn on the Whitby-Pickering road near the Hole of Horcum, a few miles from Goathland, where the Aidensfield village scenes were filmed. It was said that the fire at the Saltersgate stayed lit for over two hundred years, reputedly because an early publican had killed a customs officer and buried his body beneath the fireplace, and then lit a fire to avoid the hiding place being detected.
Derek Fowlds and William Simons were the only main cast members who remained with the show over its entire run.
The reason none of Nicholas Rhea's original stories were adapted for this series, was because some of the real Greengrass' activities were rather bizarre, and because one of his reminiscences was a near duplication of a James Herriot story (the one about the dog who was put to sleep because he was thought to have been attacking sheep, only to be proven innocent after the fact, when the real culprit was shot to death somewhat later, after he had died).
The real Greengrass was a real chameleon who had the ability to switch to a proper courtroom voice whenever he was brought to trial.
The series is named after the song "Heartbeat", which peaked at number thirty in the UK for Buddy Holly in 1959, and then posthumously in 1960. A cover version of the song was performed by Nick Berry, who starred as Police Constable Nick Rowan, and was used as the theme tune for this series. It reached number two on the UK singles chart in 1992.
The first season was broadcast post-watershed in the UK (after 9 p.m.) and featured more adult material than was present in later episodes, such as a brief shot of Niamh Cusack topless and a scene of a man hanging from a tree.
Although it has never been mentioned on the show, Aidensfield has a charter from King Henry VIII that allows the people to maintain their own churches.
Peter Benson (Bernie Scripps) and Geoffrey Hughes (Vernon Scripps) appeared on Doctor Who (1963).
The title "Heartbeat" was created using the two original main characters occupations, A doctor(Heart) and a Police officer(beat).
The main filming location of Goathland saw a massive increase in tourism due to the popularity of the series.
Geoffrey Hughes' final appearance as Vernon Scripps in season sixteen, episode thirteen, "Sleeping Dogs", was broadcast on May 6, 2007. Hughes passed away on July 27, 2012, at the age of sixty-eight.
Season sixteen, episode four, "Another Piece of My Heart", was given an warning before airing on ITV due to it's "Containing scenes of domestic violence."
Set during an unspecific point of the 1960s, the series actually ran for eight years longer than the decade it was set in.
Charlie Brooks, who played Julie Langley-Smythe in season sixteen, episode four, "Another Piece of My Heart", was set to return to the series as a regular cast member, but was not able to return, due to reprising her role as Janine Butcher on the BBC soap opera, EastEnders (1985).