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Gliding, flights and lessons nationwide

Try one of our gliding lessons and find out what it feels like to soar with the birds and play with the clouds! The art of silent flight is a truly mesmerising experience that is by no means the poor relation to powered aviation. Indeed, aficionados love this way of getting airborne because silent flight is like nothing else on earth.

We've got a full range of glider flights on offer using both winch and aerotow launch methods, as well as some options for you to take to the skies in a motorised glider. However you get up there, once you're around 1000ft above the ground, it's just a case of you, your expert pilot and the whistling sound of the wind as you glide. Read more...

Gliding Oxfordshire

Bicester, Oxfordshire

Special Offer Was £79 NOW £69

Nationwide Gliding Voucher


Save £10 Was £99 NOW £89

Motor Gliding Warwickshire

Long Marston Airfield, Stratford-upon-Avon

Special Offer From £69

Gliding in Warwickshire

near Bidford upon Avon

From £85.00

Gliding Lincolnshire

Near Grantham

From £52.50

Gliding over the Black Mountains

Powys, Wales

From £95.00

Gliding Bedfordshire

Near Dunstable

From £125.00

Gliding Buckinghamshire Experience

Near High Wycombe

From £99.00

Gliding Dartmoor

Brentor Airfield, Tavistock

From £79.00

Gliding Experience Hampshire

Near Alton

Special Offer Was £109 NOW £85

Gliding in Corby

Brigstock, Northamptonshire

From £48.00

Devon Gliding Experience

Umberleigh near Barnstaple

From £90.00

Gliding in Essex

Ridgewell Airfield, Sudbury

From £40.00

Gliding in Peterborough

Crowland Airfield

From £75.00

Gliding in Kent

Near Ashford

From £98.00

Glider Lessons North Wales

Near Wrexham

From £89.00

Northamptonshire Gliding Club

Near Brackley

Special Offer Was £95 NOW £79

Gliding in Surrey

Near Croydon

From £85.00

How do gliders actually fly?

One question that everyone asks is 'If there's no engine, how does a glider fly?’ Well, without giving you a long-winded physics lesson the answer is quite simply - the wings! The compact fuselage combined with the large wingspan gets these graceful planes up in the air.

Of course, you'll need a little bit of help to launch and there are basically three methods for that. First is the winch launch. The ground crew will hook you up to the metal cable with the other end attached to the winching machine around 1000 yards away. As the machine whirrs into life, it takes up the slack and then starts to pull you over the ground and then into the air, before the cable is released.

The second method is called the aerotow. This is quite cool, as it involves a tug plane towing you up into the air. It's quite exciting as you'll be behind the light aircraft and the advantage here is that you can be released at a higher altitude for your lesson.

In both cases it's quite a noisy and a bumpy ride (and in fact you can reach speeds of up to 60mph for take off!) but then you'll rise gently into the air and keep ascending until reach your launch ceiling height and your pilot instructor releases the cable.

In search of ‘lift’ in your glider

After that, it's a simple case of 'what goes up must come down'. As gliders only have the forces of lift, drag and weight (there's no thrust as there's no engine), it basically means you are descending the whole time you’re gliding. On these lessons you'll soon learn the holy grail of gliding is ‘lift’.

Seeking lift is what makes it all so thrilling and yet serene at the same time. 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 'thermals' (bubbles of warm rising air) gives you lift as you circle round, gaining height - just like birds with their wings stretched out do.

If you have the chance to take a glider flight from an airfield near the mountains (we've got gliding schools on the edge of the Black Mountains in North Wales, for example) you might well be able to experience ridge lift from the air that is forced upwards when it reaches a natural obstacle (like hills) on the landscape.

Take a look at our video of gliding over the Black Mountains to get a taste of that sensation of ‘ridge lift’!

Try a self-powered motor glider

And we nearly forgot to mention the third method - motor gliding. This is where the sailplane has its own engine so can take off under its own steam, as it were. Once at altitude it's time to cut the motor and start soaring. Whichever type of gliding lesson you go for, it's going to be an amazing aerial experience 1000ft off the ground!