W - NW
+ Nil Wind

Clough Head

Status : OK
IMPORTANT - Restrictions on use
- Please ensure you follow any current BHPA/Government COVID guidelines (including refraining from flying if requested).
- DO NOT call at Hill Top Farm, pilot fees will be paid at the end of the year by the club.

- On flyable days the club will enquire re landing field availability and then directly inform pilots via radio/phone/Whatsapp etc.
- Usually one of the four landing fields shown on the map will be available, avoid landing in fields with stock in them.
- The landing fields may be closed for lambing or during hay making. If the bottom fields are closed (or you are unsure if one is available) then land on the fellside; a good place is next to the track north of Threlkeld Knotts (see map).

PARKING: Do not obstruct the main road or any tracks, gates or entrances. The farmer has specifically requested that we are careful where we park - this is a busy farm and there have been problems with inconsiderate parking.

Last Updated : 01/04/2022 at 17:02 by Chris Little
Last Reviewed : 01/04/2022 by Chris Little
Wind : W - NW    
Nil Wind : Yes    
Grid Ref : NY328231 Height (AMSL) : 1470' / 448m
Site Code : 17.06 Top to Bottom : 1017' / 310m


N Lakes - SE of Keswick


A large impressive site which is good in light wind or thermic conditions. The site gives easy access to the chain of high ridges running south towards Helvellyn.

Site Officer

Rick Livingstone : 07761187016

Postcode for Sat Nav Systems (read the Health Warning!)

CA12 4TS - This is the closest mail delivery point to the flying site and is positioned at:

Bram Cragg.The postcode centre is about 2km south of the parking area along the B5322

Getting There

From Penrith or Keswick, take the A66(T) and turn off onto the B5322 at Threlkeld. If travelling from the Ambleside / Grasmere direction take the A591 north and turn off onto the B5322 at St. John's in the Vale. The access track to the fellside begins at grid reference NY 316 231 (signposted 'Old Coach Road'). There is limited parking at the start of the track - do not block. The usual practice is to drive up the track passing through two gates (shut after use) to the open fell. The car parking area is 80m / 250' higher in a flat quarry (hidden from view)on the right of the steep and loose track (maintained by the Allerdale Council). The track is in poor condition so the alternative is to park on the main road and walk up.

Getting to takeoff

Make for a suitable take off area on Threlkeld Knots that rise above the quarry to the SE. The path is vague to start with but you will soon find a more definite track that can be followed to the take off area. In light wind / nil wind conditions it may be necessary to go right to the summit of Clough Head itself. This is a stiff 1180'/360m of ascent from the quarry.

Permission to use site

Hill Top Farm main access and three other local farms.


Consider the wind speed due to compression over the shallow summit slopes. Keep well forward and crab north if getting blown back. Pilots should be reasonably experienced to cope with certain conditions found at and around the site, especially during the spring months. Beware of scratching too close to the cliffs in thermic conditions or if the wind has a little south in it. St John's in the Vale valley has a lot of RAF activity, so it is advised to CANP this site before flying.

Take Off

The take off area is grassy and covers a large area. Its a matter of picking the best area given the previaling wind direction. Recommended practise is to make a few beats in the Threkeld Knotts area before making for the Wanthwaite Crags area. The scoop to the south of take off can be a bit sinky so its best to get a bit of height before making the traverse. You can usually get good lift over Wanthwaite but be aware that this area is pretty unforgiving. If the wind is south of west you may need to be careful here.

Landing Areas

One pound per pilot for landing in one of the four nominated fields (See Map below) see restrictions section for details.

A windsock is very useful in the bottom landing field - not least to show other pilots the correct field for the day. It can be lifty over the landing fields: prepare to be patient - the fields are separated by dry stone walls which are very unforgiving.

Care when top & especially side landing on the fellside due to hidden rocks.

In fresh winds there can be a significant venturi effect to the north of Threlkeld Knotts, so if landing here be ready to keep forward.


The site gives excellent XC potential with routes to the south along the Helvellyn Range and on towards Ambleside and Kendal and routes over the high fells heading south east towards the Howgills and the Yorkshire Dales. In nil wind or light wind conditions the site offers the potential for some great triangle flights. The site is often considered an 'afternoon site' after the sun has warmed up the cliffs. Although the sea breeze can occasionally reach Clough Head, it doesn't present any particular hazard, but (as usual) kills the thermals. Avoid any ground skimming over the lower slopes especially during the lambing period (Feb - May). Clough Head is a valued hang gliding site which poses few problems but there are limited landing opportunities between Helvellyn and Seat Sandal (forest and water). Do not get too low.

XC potential

The site gives excellent XC potential with routes to the south along the Helvellyn Range and on towards Ambleside and Kendal and routes over the high fells heading south east towards the Howgills and the Yorkshire Dales. In nil wind or light wind conditions the site offers the potential for some great triangle flights.
See notes on site status


Click on the photo for a full size image.

An aerial view of Clough Head looking SE. The car parking quarry can be seen in the lower left of the picture with the track to take off leading diagonally right up the fell side. Take off is generally in the area around the track just before the snow line. Photo reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner, Andrew McMahon. More pictures can be found on his web site.
Looking up to Clough Head from down in the valley. Take off can seen in the centre, the 3 lower gliders are below takeoff
Looking down on the site from a glider. Takeoff is at the bottom of the picture; the car park quarry is over on the right and the landing area to the right of the car park.
Looking further round to the east with Blencathra in the background. The takeoff areas are marked by gliders. Photo by Dave Horne
The alternative to landing on the fell are the 4 fiields in the valley in the centre of the photo as the quadrants of a cross. This photo was taken in July when the grass was being cut.


Local Information - Pubs/Food etc

Nearest pubs to the site - for post flying debriefing only! You may find details of other facilities here

No pub details are available for this site. Send your recommendations to the webmaster.


This page shows records for this site. Some of the older records are not very detailed. More recent records may have an igc file available You can right click and download this to your PC. You can then use IGC Flight replay to view the flight.

Declared Out and Return  
Distance : 32.7km
Date : 07/08/2009
Pilot : Mike Cavanagh
Notes :
FAI Triangle  
Distance : 34.3km
Date : 25/05/2013
Pilot : Steve Etherington
Notes :
IGC File : Right click to download
Open Distance XC  
Distance : 140.8km
Date : 21/04/2010
Pilot : Burkitt Rudd
Notes : Landed Aberford - between Leeds and Selby - 152.2km via 3 turn-points. Click here for more details.
Out and Return  
Distance : 35.8km
Date : 31/08/2014
Pilot : Rick Livingstone
Notes : A clever use of turn points to push the out and return distance a little further
IGC File : Right click to download
Hang Gliding
Open Distance XC  
Distance : 93.3km
Max Height : 5000ft
Date : Unknown
Pilot : Ian Ferguson
Notes : Ed Cleasby provided the much needed retrieve!

Data Resources

Follow the links to see the site in Google Earth and Google Street view. To access the former, you will need to have Google Earth installed on your PC. You can also upload your flights to GE - use GPS Dump (Links Page) to convert a variety of GPS file formats to a GE kml file.

Link Resource Type Notes
Google Earth Google Earth - Car Park
Google Earth Google Earth - Car Park 2
Google Earth Google Earth - Sample Flight 1 Kitt Rudd's flight to Appletreewick near Skipton in the Yorkshire Dales - March 2008
Google Earth Google Earth - Sample Flight 2 Ridge running for beginners. Ian Henderson's first trip down the ridge to Grasmere. It was the thermal over the quarry that finally gave me the confidence to go.
Google Earth Google Earth - Take Off
Street View Google Street View - Parking The beginning of the track up to Clough Head. The track is deteriorating, only go past the gateif you have a 4x4 or you don't care about your car. Please be considerate when parking your car and allow room for people in the bungalow.

Clough Head Map


Clough Head Map