There they were, Compo and Clegg, sitting at a table in the sunshine across the road from the White Horse pub while Wesley in his oil-stained overalls chatted to them.

What a surprising sight to come across, this bunch of actors and the TV crew who were bustling around them. Surprising for me, at least, but not for the people of the village of Jackson Bridge, near Holmfirth, who are quite used to scenes from Last of the Summer Wine being filmed there.

The location must be fairly familiar to the wider public, too, because the place was busy with people laden with cameras and the roadsides were packed with cars.

A few moments watching the busy scene, waiting for the command of "Cut!" before I could go past and set off up the hill, made an unexpected, interesting start to this walk on an end-of-May day when the sun beat down from a cloudless sky. Small wonder the part of Yorkshire which they call Summer Wine Country is so popular with television viewers. It's lovely to look at and a pleasure to stroll through.

My route took me first up the hill from the heart of the village, looking down on the beck with its clear, iron-rich waters running over terraces of rusty stones, and the still surface of the mill race. Soon the climb was over and I had turned off the road to walk between low walls and enjoy the clear, sharp view of fields and hills.

An ancient walled path snaked down to a bridge across the linking stream between fish ponds and then climbed up the other side between a wood and fields to a cluster of houses alongside a church.

From here it was road walking for a while (there was quite a bit of that on this walk, but the only traffic on them seemed to be bikes and horses) down to the valley bottom. There I joined the path that wound up alongside a pleasant stream running through bluebell-scented woods.

The air above the stream was thick with clouds of newly-hatched midges, rising in clouds in the patches of sun-light.

Eventually I reached a flight of wooden steps near a cluster of cottages, then turned away from the stream to climb up stone steps in the hillside to the open fields above. The distant views here were superb all round. I sat on a wall and ate my sandwiches, and a horse in the next field came up and eyed the food greedily. I pretended to ignore it. Cheese and chutney shouldn't be part of a horses diet, anyway.

On the trail again, I followed the field path down to a quiet lane and walked along it for a while before hitting the fields again — a succession of long, interlinked fields, populated with cows which I eyed watchfully as I proceeded — on the way to the pretty village of Hepworth.

From there, I dropped steeply to the valley bottom, crossed a gentle beck, and climbed the other side to yet another road. From here it was the home stretch, on the Kirklees Way past a brace of small reservoirs to descend back to Jackson Bridge.

Compo, Clegg and Co had gone. The heart of the village was quiet except for the stream cascading over its waterfall and sparkling on the rust-coloured stone slab below.

Step by Step

  1. With back to White Horse pub, turn left and walk up hill with mill pond below on right. Go round bend at top and on to next bend with Lee Mills facing. Go sharp left along footpath (hidden signpost) to right of houses, follow path between walls, descending to cross foot-bridge and climb up other side. Eventually with church ahead, go right towards houses then left to road near church.
  2. Turn right along road and go steeply down hill to bottom. Just past right-hand bend follow footpath sign on left to stream side. Follow path up-stream for a mile or so, to wooden steps near cottage. Go up steps, turn left, then take next left heading for some stone steps climbing up hillside. At top, go ahead over two stiles (with wall to left) to reach road.
  3. Turn left and walk along road. Pass end of Dean Lane on left and look for next metal gate on left with a stile immediately past. Go over that and up wall side to stile into next field. Follow grassy path ahead through three more fields. On going over fourth stile, with farm ahead at far side of field, turn sharp right over another stile then go straight on to another next to gate. Turn left down lane into Hepworth, taking right fork at houses.
  4. Turn right at road and walk along it for a few yards, looking for yellow waymark arrowhead on stone post on left immediately before gable end of a house. Go down steps (look out for interesting well behind house) and follow path to valley bottom, swinging right to foot-bridge. Across that, take path to left, soon climbing to right to meet road.
  5. Cross, and go up lane ahead forking right on Kirklees Way. Follow lane past farm on right and reservoir on left to road. Go ahead down this to Jackson Bridge, turning left down South View.

Fact File

  • Time for four-mile walk: two hours taking it gently.
  • Going: easy, but a bit muddy in places along stream path.
  • Map: OS Pathfinder 714, Holmfirth and Saddleworth Moor.
  • Getting there: drive to Huddersfield then take A616 Sheffield road off ring road through New Mill to Jackson Bridge.
  • Parking: small car park on eastern side of stream, to left of bridge which crosses to pub. Otherwise roadside.
  • Toilets and refreshments in Jackson Bridge.