Book a gliding lesson and find out what it feels like to soar with the birds and play with the clouds! Silent flying in a glider is utterly mesmerising and it’s by no means the poor relation to powered aviation. We have a full range of flight durations at glider schools and clubs around the UK, offering winch launches, aerotows and self-launching motorised gliders too. Glider flights FAQs
• Gliding with Burn Gliding Club near Selby, Yorkshire • Experience the 'Pennine wave' & power station thermals • See the very best of 'God's own county' from the air • Feeling brave? Try the mile-high glider flight!
• Glider flights from Talgarth Airfield in Powys, Wales • Aerials of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park • Area is renowned for impressive thermals • This Welsh airfield is 970ft above sea level
• Fly gliders at Wycombe Air Park formerly RAF Booker • Large fleet of sailplanes make up this active club • Good range of flight durations available • Delightful on site restaurant & bar for spectators
• Taster glider flights at Husbands Bosworth in Leics • Winch, aerotow or motorised flights available • A long-established club with a great atmosphere • Aerotows release at 2500ft for extra glide time!
• Gliding experiences at Saltby Airfield near Grantham, Lincs • See the Lincolnshire countryside from the air • Winch, aerotow & motorised glider flights offered • One day glider experience ideal for budding pilots
• Founded in 1930, it's one of the oldest UK clubs • Dynamic Gliding club with over 150 active members • Go Gliding from nr Ashford over the Kentish Downs • Excellent clubhouse with food, rooms and camping
• Winch launches to get you airborne in North Wales • Soar over scenic Llandegla Hills on your gliding lesson • Perfect choice for 'making a weekend' of it • Enjoy 1 x long cruise or 3 x shorter flights
Gliding is a totally unique way to get airborne that should be tried at least once in your life! It’s very different to flying in a light aircraft or a helicopter. After the take-off, the quietness in the cockpit (save of the sound of the wind whistling) is amazing - as are the views.
Who it’s not for
If you’re scared of flying, gliding might not be for you. The take-off can be quite bumpy and winch launches in particular pull the glider at a very steep angle. It's a fantastic aerial challenge to take on though!
It all depends what type of glider flight you book. We have winch launch and aerotow flights that start under £50, all the way through to pilot taster days with multiple flights in one day.
How do glider planes get in the air?
Aerotow - the glider is pulled up by a tug plane using a cable, then released. Winch tow - the glider is taken up by a cable attached to a motorised winch on the airfield, then released. Motorised - the glider uses its own engine to take off, then the engine is switched off.
How high will the glider go?
For these trial lessons the release heights are as follows:
Winch tows 1000ft, aerotows generally between 2000-2500ft and motorised gliders power to around 2500-3000ft.
How fast will I be flying in the glider?
Modern gliders can reach speeds of up to 150mph, but on taster flights you’ll be cruising at something between 50 and 90mph.
What is all this talk of thermals in glider flying about?
Thermals are the holy grail for glider pilots! If the pilot finds a pocket of air that’s rising faster than you are coming down, that’s uplift and you’ll ascend. Catching these bubbles of warm rising air (thermals) give you lift as you circle around gaining height - just like birds with their wings stretched out do. Note that quite often trial lessons avoid thermals as the slow spiralling can set off motion sickness.
How long do glider flights last?
Gliders can easily stay aloft for five hours and go higher than their initial launch height, thanks to thermals. For these beginner lessons you can expect: winch glider flights to last 5-10mins, aerotow glider flights 15-20mins and motorised glider flights are generally around 25-30mins.
What’s the take off like in a glider?
Bumpy. Gliders are on grass runways being pulled by a cable and it get pretty noisy and rattley too. Winch tow take offs are more aggressive than aerotows and motorised gliders, as the angle is more aggressive. But once you’re up there, it’s really peaceful and surprisingly quiet
How old do you have to be to fly a glider?
In the UK you can’t go solo in a glider before the age of 14. Trial lessons minimum ages are usually around 13 years of age due to minimum height (5ft) and weight (45kg), but please refer to each glider lesson page for full details.
What are the height and weight restrictions for gliders?
As well as the minimums of 45kg and 5ft, there are maximums of around 100kg and 6ft2”. These limits can differ according to the type of glider flown, so please check with each lesson listing.
Can I bring a camera?
Some pilot instructors don’t allow anything loose to be in the cockpit during the flight. If you are allowed it must be attached to your via something like a lanyard or wrist band.
Why do I have to wear a parachute when gliding?
For safety and mainly because glider seats are designed to be sat in with a parachute on. The parachute pack weighs about 7kg. You get a full briefing on it all before your flight.
Is it comfortable inside the glider cockpit?
Yes. The seating position is bit like reclining in a bath and you get a great, unobstructed view. And of course there’s no engine noise.Many first time glider flyers comment on how smooth and peaceful it is. It can get hot in there, even on a dull day, so suncream, sunglasses and hat (not baseball cap) are advised.
Where do I sit in the glider?
Training gliders are two-seater tandems. You get the prime seat in the front, with no wing struts or propellor to block your bird’s eye view, whilst your pilot instructor sits behind. In some motorised gliders it’s a side-by-side seat configuration.
Can I fly the glider?
Yes. All the training gliders used for lessons are dual controlled, so if you’re up for it, you can have a go!
Are there glider lessons near me?
Yes! We specialise in glider experiences and have excellent relations with glider clubs and airfields around the UK. So whether you want to soar thermals over the Black Mountains, or want to look down on suburban Surrey from your glider, you can. Here are just some of the places you can glide in the UK: