Flying to lunch at Compton Abbas Airfield

I’m finally getting a bit of time to myself to write up some of the posts I’ve had sitting in my drafts folder for months. First up is a trip we did waaaaay back in May to Compton Abbas Airfield down in Dorset. It’s been a while since I’ve done an airfield review and I’m happy to be able to recommend this one whole-heartedly.

We took the Gwenn the Dimona and on the way down flew over my old home town of Frome in Somerset. Just outside Frome is the stables where I learned to ride as a child, and where we kept our first pony, Oliver. You can see the stables in the photo below – it’s the group of farm buildings towards the bottom of the photo, with the rectangular sand arena. That arena wasn’t there in my day, but I recognised the outline of the fields we used to ride in and the drive we used to ride Oliver down when we only had time for a quick ride. It all looked so small compared with my ground-based memories of the place.


Compton Abbas is situated in the Dorset countryside not far from Shaftesbury, on top of a ridge bordered on one side by trees. On our approach to the airfield the guy in the tower warned us that there was a lot of turbulence because of a crosswind coming in over the trees, but we’d come that far so we decided to brave the bounciness and try landing anyway, as others seemed to be managing to do so. There were a few villages/houses to dodge round for noise abatement in the circuit, so I monitored our position on the GPS (an iPad-based one, not the basic one you can see in the photo below!) and said “left a bit, right a bit” while Lee did the flying.


Having landed and switched the engine off, you immediately feel the tranquility of being in the picturesque English countryside. The views are amazing – such a fantastic spot for an airfield.


There’s plenty of parking space, even for our long wings!


I think we had the best of the summer in May… my summer dress wardrobe has gone back into hibernation now!


There’s a lovely cafe/restaurant with loads of outdoor seating right next to the runway – perfect for watching the planes coming in.




For lunch I had macaroni cheese. I am invariably thrilled to find macaroni cheese on a menu, and simple though it is to make at home, I can never resist it. This was served with delicious homemade garlic bread and all in all it was a highly satisfying lunch.


Lee had his usual!!


The white part of the building is where you pay your landing fee (a very reasonable £10, or £6 for microlights).


Here’s the view as we lined up for take-off after lunch.


Compton Abbas isn’t far from my parents, so on the way home we gave them a flypast. My dad sent us this great pic afterwards – you can see me clearly!

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Finally, here’s a view of Westbury on the way home. The white blob on the hill is the Westbury white horse, which you can see a better view of in this post.


Pilots – here’s a link with all the information if you’re thinking of flying in – you can even PPR (and cancel PPR) online, which is handy. I believe the airfield is now closed on Mondays, but it’s open the rest of the week. I think I might fly here for my qualifying cross country flight when I come to upgrade my pilot’s licence.

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