BGGC Inclusive Gliding Holiday Courses

Inclusive 5-Day Gliding Courses at the Bristol and Gloucestershire Gliding Club

If you have ever dreamed of what it might be like to soar with the birds a 5-day gliding course with the Bristol and Gloucestershire Gliding Club can help you to realise that dream.

Our airfield is situated on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment and overlooks the stunning river Severn valley - an ideal location for a weeks gliding holiday.

Your course instructor will introduce you to the joys of flight without an engine in one of our fleet of dual control training gliders. Whether you are just interested in seeing if this is for you, already know you want to learn to fly,  or want to build on existing aviation experience, a  5 day gliding holiday, inclusive of all flying fees, is a great way to start.

If the weather is not suitable for flying during your course we will use some of the time for ground lectures, or you may wish to take advantage of the attractions in the local area. The BGGC is situated within the Cotswold Wildlife Corridor, adjacent to the Cotswold Way. Nearby you can stroll through Woodland Trust walks or in the National Trust Woodchester Park. Further afield are the historic docks and Canal Museum at Gloucester and a variety of  Roman remains and other historical sites through the county.

Suitable for Beginners or Improvers

Your course will commence with initial briefings on airfield safety, ground handling and an introduction to the 2-seat training glider and its controls, following which you will soon be preparing for your first flights.  To provide you with a flying start we commence with 2 x 2000 foot aero-tow launches, providing all important glider handling time.  Following this you will normally launch using the clubs powerful winch to take you  to 1200 feet or more.  On a good day you might then be able to use thermals to climb to 5000 feet, or soar for up to an hour using the "ridge lift" off the Cotswold Edge.

Working as a small team you, the course instructor, and up to two other course participants, will work together in order to make the most of each flying day.  A typical day will consist of briefings, glider preparation, field set up and then lots of flying (weather permitting of course).

Your British Gliding Association (BGA) endorsed instructor will follow a well tried syllabus, initially to teach the basic glider handling skills before moving on to launching, circuit planning, approach and landing.  We will not normally be able to get a novice to a solo standard in a week, but with a following wind you should be able to launch, fly a circuit and land without the instructor touching the controls.  If you have previous experience you might get to progress to the more advanced training associated with stalling, spinning, launch failures and maybe even fly solo.

Inclusive Content

Your inclusive course fee includes:
  • All flying instruction, ground briefings and lectures over 5 days
  • A package of flights, which includes 2 x 2000 foot aero-tow launches, up to 20 subsequent Standard Training Flights and/or 5 hours of flying (see Notes 1, 2, 3)
  •  Welcome Pack including Logbook, Progress Card, Gliding book, and a soaring hat
  • Four weeks membership of BGGC from the start of the course, allowing you to fly at club member rates for a period after course completion
Not included:
  • Accommodation (see Note 3)
  • Meals
  • Travel to and from Nympsfield
  • On-site accomodation fees (£20/night for a basic double room)
  • Basing your own tent or caravan on-site (£5/night) (see Note 5)

Schedule and Costs

Courses run once a month from April to September, and run Monday-Friday inclusive.

A non-refundable deposit of £100 is payable on booking, with the full course fee due 28 days before.  A 5% discount will be applied to the full course fee for courses booked before 1st April 2020.

To book or check availability please call or email the office.

Number Start Date  Cost
1  20th April 2020  £600
2  18th May 2020  £650
3  15th June 2020  £650
4  20th July 2020  £650 Fully Booked
5  17th August 2020  £650 Fully Booked
6  21st September 2020  £650

Notes and Ts&Cs

  1. A Standard Training Flight normally comprises a winch launch and up to 20 mins flying. BGGC may substitute Aero-tow launches for winch launches or vice-versa, at the instructors discretion. If this is necessary then one Aero-tow flight will be considered  the equivalent of 3 Standard Training Flights.
  2. If weather conditions allow extended soaring flights, then total flying time may exceed 5 hours, in which case each additional 15 mins of soaring, over the 5 hour allowance, will reduce the number of winch launches allowed by one.
  3. In the case of bad weather preventing completing the allowed flying, then attendees may either take their allowance by returning during the remainder of their temporary membership, or alternatively a refund of 10% of the course fee will be given for each lost flying day after the first.
  4. The BGGC has limited, basic, accommodation on site - please enquire of the office to ascertain availability.   There  are also many local B&Bs - a list will be sent out with your course information.
  5. Attendees are welcome to base their own tent or caravan on site for a small fee. Showers and toilets are available in the clubhouse and chemical toilet waste disposal facilities are available. Unfortunately we are not able to provide electric hook-up facilities.
  6. Please note that participants must be between 4ft 9ins and 6ft 4ins tall and weigh less than 100Kg. For safety reasons you must be able to get into and out of the glider with minimal assistance (this is roughly equivalent to getting in or out of a bathtub). If in doubt please call us.
  7. Cancellations less than 7 days from the scheduled start date will be charged a fee of £400,  if between 7 days to one calendar month from the start date £200. Cancellations greater than one calendar month from scheduled start will incur a fee of £100.
  8. We can train students from the age of 14 upwards, but minors (under 18 years old) who wish to attend a course unaccompanied will need their parents or guardian's permission - please discuss with the office when booking.
  9. Dogs are welcome on site but must be kept under control and away from the active part of the airfield


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How many other people will be on each course?

A. Normally 3 people will take part in each course.  This is sensible number which balances achieving a reasonable number of flights and allowing you to operate as an independent team.

Q. What happens if the weather interferes?

A. Clearly we cannot arrange perfect weather.  For that reason the the BGGC will provide a 10% refund for each full day on which flying is not possible after the first lost day.  Alternately the unflown element (up to 20 winch launches or 5 hours which ever is first) may be undertaken during ‘normal’ instruction periods (weekends and non-course weeks) during the temporary membership period.

Q. What type of aircraft is used for training?

A. The BGGC operate three 2-seaters.

    • ASK21: A popular and easy to fly trainer.
    • Grob 103:  A higher performance training aircraft requiring a little more skill to fly effectively.
    • DG505:  A high performance XC aircraft that is also used for training.

Q.How long is each flight?

A.The duration of each flight depends on the type of launch and whether soaring weather conditions exist. In still air a typical winch launched flight will last around 7-12 mins and an aero-tow launched flight around 15 mins. The duration will vary depending on the exercises being taught and the skill of the student! If soaring conditions are present then these times will normally be extended by use of rising air from thermal or ridge lift (see here for more details). We generally limit training flights to less than hour as this optimises the students learning capacity. More experienced pilots often soar for several hours, and you may well see some of our club members disappear off cross-country for 5 or 6 hours while you are flying.

Q.Can I take further aerotows?

A.Beyond the initial (inclusive) aerotows training will normally take place on the winch.  There are circumstances, particularly when the wind has a substantial southerly component, when we cannot use the winch.  In these circumstances where it is possible to fly by aerotowing then this will be used, with a 2000 foot aerotow equating to 3 winch launches.

Q.Is food and Drink available on site?

A. The club also has a simple members kitchen in which you may prepare your own drinks/meals if staying on site. We also have a members Bar which, as a temporary member, course attendees will be welcome to use.

Q.What is there to do when I am not flying?

A. Gliding is a collaborative sport, so on flying days you will be preparing your training glider for the next lesson, helping your fellow course participants to launch and then assisting with the return of the glider after their flight. On good soaring days there may be other club members flying their own gliders and you will have the opportunity to assist in the overall operations at the launch point.

On non-flying days, where the weather intervenes, there will be ground lectures for part of the day and at other times you will be free to enjoy the local area. Your instructor will advise on whether flying is likely to be possible that day, if so you would be advised to stay on or near the site so your course can take advantage of any periods of flyable weather.

Q. Is accommodation available on site?

A.The club has two twin rooms on site offering simple accommodation. The rooms each have a washbasin but are not en-suite (there are members toilets and showers elsewhere in the clubhouse). Please contact the office regarding availability.

Q.Is it possible to camp on the site?

A. Yes.  The site has  space available for either caravans or tents.  The site is set in an exceptionally attractive area with many opportunities for appreciating the local wildlife and wild flowers.  If you are on the right courses you’ll be able to find the elusive ‘Bee Orchids’.  Being sandwiched between the Woodchester Valley and the Cotswold Way offers many walking opportunities. Please note, no electric hookups are available.

Q.What should I wear ?

A. You will be spending flyable days out in the fresh air. You should bring layers of clothing suitable for both warm and cold weather and a lightweight showerproof jacket.  Waterproof shoes or boots are a good idea in case the grass is wet. Clothing suitable for walking or hiking is ideally suited to a gliding environment. We will give you a sunhat to wear outside and when flying. You should bring sunglasses, corrective spectacles for near and distant vision (if required) and sunblock.  A drinking water container would also be useful as it is easy to become dehydrated when out on the airfield.

Q. Can minors (under 18) attend the course?

A. Accompanied children are welcome, but those under 14 must be supervised by a parent at all times.  Minors over 14 can also attend as students (with permission of parent or guardian), but we would not normally expect them to stay overnight, on-site, unaccompanied.