91. Taking to the skies over the Cotswolds

A hot air balloon flying over Lypiatt Park, near Stroud.One of the best ways to admire the true beauty of the Cotswolds is from the air and there are some great options for doing so, be it in a hot air balloon, glider, light aircraft or helicopter.

Here are a few of the options available to adventurous people looking to get an aerial view of the Cotswolds:

Ballooning in the Cotswolds has been offering Champagne hot air balloon flights over the Cotswolds since 1985. With launch sites at Cirencester, Stroud, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham and Gloucester, the company flies throughout the year but the main flying season is from March to the end of October with flights taking place early morning and late afternoon or early evening. People enjoying a hot air balloon ride over the Cotswolds can see this enchanted rural landscape from a different perspective with its panoramic views, hidden villages, wooded valleys and gently undulating hills. A flight with Ballooning in the Cotswolds includes a celebratory glass of Champagne and a flight certificate.

Ballooning Network, which operates in the South West of England and Wales, offers seasonal hot air balloon flights from the stunning Westonbirt Arboretum, just two miles from the famous Cotswold town of Tetbury. The National Arboretum includes 600 acres of beautifully landscaped countryside and more than 18,000 specimen tress and a flight over Westonbirt will carry you over the tips of the treetops, placing a breathtaking spectacle at your feet, and a view that changes with the seasons. 

Cotswold Gliding Club, which is based at Aston Down Airfield, midway between Cirencester and Stroud, is one of the most progressive gliding clubs in the UK with its large airfield and excellent training fleet.
The sport of gliding is one of the most exhilarating ways of reaching the skies. The sensation of floating in the air in almost silence is an unforgettable experience. It is also one of the most cost-effective ways of learning to fly. As a great introduction to gliding, the club offers a Gliding is another great way to get an aerial view of the Cotswolds. trial flying lesson which is ideal for almost anyone. Age is no barrier and the club has flown visitors ranging from their early teens to their 90s. One-day courses and five-day courses are also available.

Kemble Flying Club is a microlight aircraft flying school located at Cotswold Airport, seven miles south-west of Cirencester. Established in 1995, the club is now a great success and has its our own hangar, picnic area, reception, lecture rooms and offices. With experienced and qualified instructors, it specialises in training both new pilots and instructors.
The Cotswold Flying School is a small, friendly flying training organisation based behind the fire station at the Cotswold Airport at Kemble, near Cirencester. The school is Civil Aviation Authority approved for flying training and also to conduct ground school exams. All roads lead to the Cotswolds...even from the sky.The flying training and aircraft hire is available in a modern four-seat Cessna 172 SP, a modern, comfortable aeroplane that's a long way from some of the old aircraft that can be found in most flying training organisations. Students can be trained for their Private Pilot's Licence and also for their night rating. 

Cotswold Aero Club is based at Gloucestershire Airport at Staverton, midway between Cheltenham and Gloucester. One of the oldest flying clubs in the UK, it has the professional yet relaxed attitude for flying and learning to fly, whether it is for training pilots or a trial lesson. 

Skysport UK, an enthusiasts' flying club for British Beagle aircraft, has one of its two bases at Kemble. Its aircraft are available for hire and for air race training. 

Cotswold Helicopter Centre, also based at Cotswold Airport, Kemble, offers professional helicopter charter services, training and helicopter sales and management. Whether you are looking for a gift, helicopter sightseeing tours, a lesson, a transfer to a sporting event or a VIP charter, they could have the perfect solution.

More information

Ballooning in the Cotswolds

Ballooning Network

Cotswold Aero Club

Cotswold Flying School

Cotswold Gliding Club

Cotswold Helicopter Centre

Kemble Flying Club

Skysport UK
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