Holmfirth and the Holme Valley have been popularised as ‘Summer Wine Country’. Last of the Summer Wine was first seen in January 1973, as a one-off Comedy Playhouse episode. The response was so good that a six-part series was commissioned. The rest is history, with the whimsical Summer Wine becoming the UK’s longest running comedy programme. Its larger-than-life characters, going back to their second childhoods, have proved to be an irresistible formula in the hands of writer Roy Clarke.
The cast have become familiar faces around Holmfirth. So much so that when Londoner Bill Owen (lovable rogue ‘Compo’) died in 1999 at the age of 85, he was laid to rest overlooking the little town he had grown to call home. As a sign that this affection is reciprocated, there are plans afoot to erect a statue of Compo in the town. With Bill Owen’s son Tom having joined the cast, who knows; perhaps the series has plenty of life in it yet.
Visitors come to Holmfirth in droves, in search of film locations such as Sid’s Café and Nora Batty’s house. But Holmfirth takes TV fame in its stride, for this isn’t the first time that the town has starred in front of the cameras. In fact, Holmfirth very nearly became another Hollywood. Bamforths – better known for its naughty seaside postcards – began to make short films here in the early years of the last century. They were exported around the world. Local people were drafted in as extras in Bamforth’s overwrought dramas. Film production came to an end at the outbreak of the First World War and, sadly, was never resumed.
Holmfirth town, much more than just a film set, is the real star – along with the stunning South Pennine scenery which surrounds it. By the time you have completed half of this walk, you are but a mile (1.6km) from the Peak National Park.
The Village also has a variety of Pubs, Wine Bars, Cafe’s, Restaurants and Shops, not forgetting good old Fish & Chips. There is also a local swimming baths, tennis club and park in the village with additional activities like Horse Riding, Golf & Fishing further afiel
Eating Out – The choices are endless (all within a 40 minute walk). Choose from Yorkshire pub grub, tapas, Indian, Chinese, Italian, fine dinning or for those who wish good old fish and chips!
Drinking Out – Holmfirth has a variety of pubs and wine bars all within the village area – so should your tipple be a pint of beer, a cocktail or simply an orange juice you’ll be well catered for.
The Last of the Summer Wine exhibition – Head to the most famous steps in the country – Those leading to the cottage of the fearsome Nora Batty – which is only a short walk from the farm into the village centre.
Holmfirth Picturedrome – Holmfirth’s very own live music venue. Check out what’s on during your stay!
Leisure Facilities – Holmfirth Pool and Fitness Centre. Situated in the village, open 7 days a week.