W - NW
|Status Message :||Covid-19 November/December 2020 lockdown. Site Closed.|
|IMPORTANT - Restrictions on use|| £1 per pilot for landing in the nominated field (See Map below)
The site is often temporarily closed particularly during the lambing season (1st February - 1st May). Check before flying
|Last Updated :||28/08/2020 at 11:05 by Rick Livingstone|
|Last Reviewed :||25/05/2020 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.
Chris Little : 07966153668
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
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.
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.
One pound per pilot for landing in one of the four nominated fields (See Map below) During Covid this is the right hand field closest to the road
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 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.
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|
|Pilot :||Mike Cavanagh|
|Pilot :||Steve Etherington|
|IGC File :||Right click to download|
|Open Distance XC|
|Pilot :||Burkitt Rudd|
|Notes :||Landed Aberford - between Leeds and Selby - 152.2km via 3 turn-points. Click here for more details.|
|Out and Return|
|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|
|Open Distance XC|
|Max Height :||5000ft|
|Pilot :||Ian Ferguson|
|Notes :||Ed Cleasby provided the much needed retrieve!|
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.
Clough Head Map