For the happy few who enjoy the luxury of helicopter travel, a home helipad is a must have. Rupert Bates doesn’t have to imagine as he takes to the air
A Request for properties on the market with their own helipads was not pure indulgence. Well, maybe a little. unfortunately, estate agents did not read between the blades and invite me to visit the houses with the mode of transport transparent.
A helicopter is certainly one of the finest ways to travel these days. Bob Weston, chairman of housebuilder Weston Homes, picked me up in his twin squirrel whirlybird last month and I must say a hop from sussex to the Cotswolds should be obligatory for the more zealous members of the Campaign to Protect Rural england. the view from our lofty perch is a vast patchwork quilt of green fields, with the only blots on the landscape provided by solar farms – some so shockingly ugly you’d like to shove them where the sun don’t shine. We need to preserve acres for natural beauty and homegrown food but the south of england buried under concrete? Not from my cockpit.
Agents at the exalted end of the property market are used to potential buyers asking if there is somewhere to park their chopper and locals trading celebrity purchaser gossip watch the skies with the diligence of the most devoted twitcher.
stepping out of a helicopter in a Cotswolds field causes the drinkers to pour out of the neighbouring pub, phone cameras at the ready. Blank, disappointed faces greeted me. At the very least I had hoped for “David Beckham has let himself go a bit”.
Hail a helicopter – strutt & Parker take me to the Aldburgh estate in North Yorkshire. For £6.7 million you get a farmhouse and two cottages and, more importantly, a cracking pheasant shoot and two-and-ahalf miles of salmon and sea-trout on the ure. After great sport you can flock to the Black sheep Brewery in Masham.
savills can then take the controls and fly me down to Longparish in Hampshire; just don’t frighten the trout on the test. the Longparish estate, on the market for more than £15 million, has more than 2,700 metres of fishing, a family shoot, a Grade Ii*listed country house and 177 acres – a mix of water meadows, farmland and woodland.
Longparish House has some French château flourishes and was once owned by the Hawker family; among their number was Colonel Peter Hawker, author of Instructions to Young Sportsmen, first published in 1814 and still regarded as one of the best introductions to young people taking up shooting and fishing.
the final leg is to North Wales, where Carter Jonas is looking for a tenant or investor for Ruabon Moor (7,125 acres), which once held the record for the highest number of grouse shot per acre in Britain and is currently home to an abundance of black grouse, with red grouse numbers making a revival, too. No sign of a twin squirrel, however.