Compo’s Country Trail is a 20 minute helicopter flight available from The Huntsman at Holmfirth in West Yorkshire. The flight was named after ‘Compo’ the character played by actor Bill Owen, who took this starring role of William “Compo” Simmonite in the long-running British sitcom Last of the Summer Wine which ran from 1973 – 2010, filmed in and around Holmfirth. Compo’s character was a scruffy working class pensioner and the programme was centred on a group of older men displaying their youthful antics and jokes in Holmfirth and the surrounding countryside.
During the helicopter flight you will you will fly at around 1500 feet, covering the beautiful, rugged Pennine scenery and villages where this hugely popular series was set and filmed for over 35 years.
Departing from Saddleworth Moor you track over to the Holme Valley and Holme Moss, one of the iconic parts on Le Tour De France during its journey through Yorkshire including Holmfirth. Standing at 1,709 feet high and 4.7km in length Holme Moss was the most challenging climb for the cyclists in the 2014 UK section of the race. The persistence and steepness of the climb can be appreciated from the air rather than on foot!
Panoramic views of the northern end of The Peak District National Park can be seen during this section of the flight and progressing to Holmfirth the stone-built cottages nestled in the Pennine hills clearly display the quaint nature of the popular tourist village. The helicopter tracks towards Meltham, where Meltham Mills was the former base of David Brown Tractors factory opening in 1939 and closing operations on the site in 1988. Moving on, the flight covers the Colne Valley where the settlements of Slaithwaite and Marsden can be seen from the air, the latter settlement being where much of the filming was done for Last of the Summer Wine. The Huddersfield Canal and the Manchester – Leeds railway can also be picked out running along the valley bottom before they disappear into the famous Standedge Tunnel – Britain’s longest canal tunnel at 3.25 miles long and being One of The Seven Wonders of the Waterways. The route then takes you across The National Trust’s Marsden Moor Estate with it’s beautiful countryside and rugged scenery with more than 5000 acres of moorland before arriving back at the Huntsman, to complete a truly amazing flight.
After departing form The Huntsman you will track out via Holme Moss, The Holme Valley, Holmfirth, Meltham, Marsden and Slaithwaite in The Colne Valley, together with The National Trust Marsden Moor Estate.