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Bicester Gliding Centre

central England's premier club for training and flying experiences

Nestling right on the edge of the town of Bicester giving access to retail outlets, including the Bicester shopping outlet among others. Hotels, restaurants and all other facilities all within walking distance! Bicester Airfield has been an active airfield for over 80 years - one of Oxfordshire's very first airfields! Gliding started here in 1956 with Windrushers Gliding Club and has continued ever since. Our club fleet of gliders includes two-seater gliders with dual controls for training beginners (all lessons are with qualified gliding instructors), and single-seaters for use by those who reach solo standard. And yes, almost everyone who takes up the sport of gliding goes solo - if you can drive a car, you can fly a glider! We specialise in value for money gliding holidays at all levels.

Photographs courtesy of Ron Smith Photography
Glider at sunset, Bicester Gliding Centre

Holiday Courses £650

Want an amazing way to spend five days. Whatever your experience level this is the best way to learn to fly.

Our five-day courses are simply a great way to learn to fly. Whether you are an absolute beginner, or have some experience, the continuity of flying over five days will ensure you make rapid progress. These courses are hands on! From the very first flight you can expect to be handling the aircraft. In the care of one of our highly experienced, BGA-rated instructors you will progress through a carefully structured programme of briefings, demonstrations and flights. If conditions allow, your instructor will take you on extended soaring flights, climbing to around 5,000' in thermal lift over beautiful Oxfordshire. We offer one of lowest pupil instructor ratios of 2:1. That's important to get the best out of this experience. All our instructors are professional BGA rated.

How much can you learn in a week?

Beginners

As a complete beginner you can realistically expect to be doing almost all the flying by the end of the course. You will almost certainly have mastered general manoeuvring and the winch launch. You will also be well on your way to learning circuit planning and the approach and landing. Faster learners may also have had an introduction to stalling and spinning.

Intermediates

For those with some experience, a holiday course is one of the best ways to consolidate and improve your gliding skills. The continuity of flying over five days ensures rapid progress compared to the stop-start of weekend flying. So, whether you want to go solo, complete a bronze badge, or improve your soaring , a week's course is the perfect option.

The aircraft

We fly the K13 aircraft for this course mainly because it gives plenty of feel and is the near perfect glider to learn to fly in. K21 aircraft are available for more advanced students.

What's included

All flying fees - including launches by winch, aero tow and motor glider

Instruction.

Log book and other documentation

Teas and coffees.

Glider on aerotow

One Day Gliding Courses £225

A day to remember!

Our one day courses are simply a great way to learn about flying. It's the ideal introduction or top up to more experienced pilots. The day is designed to get as much flying as we can to give you the best experience. If you are new to gliding its very likely you will have a good idea if you want to continue in this wonderful sport. We offer one of the lowest pupil instructor ratios of 2:1. That's important to get the best out of this experience. All our instructors are professional BGA rated. We fly in the k13 aircraft as it gives maximum feedback to new students.

How much can you learn in a day?

Beginners

This is more difficult to gauge than a week's course, but it's likely you will control the aircraft for a lot of the flight once airborne. But don't worry, you will always fly within your own limits! Our aim is to give you a day gliding that is absorbing and fun.

Intermediates

Naturally, this is the ideal way to get back into the sport if you have had a break. With our instructor ratio you are certain to get the best out of the day.

What's included

All flying fees - including launches by winch, aero tow and motor glider.

Instruction.

Log book and other documentation.

Teas and coffees.

High performance two seat glider

Gliding Experience £49

Feel like trying a unique experience?

An ideal gift for someone you love, or maybe you have a list of things you want to do? This really is a unique experience with two winch launches to give you a real idea of the unique way of flying that gliding is. The package includes a safety briefing and a dedicated qualified pilot to fly you. It's even likely you will take control of the glider! The most economical way of trying this wonderful breath taking sport Book now!

K13 glider flying by

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to worry about my weight, height or age?

Maximum weight permissible is 16st (101kg).

Maximum height permissible is 6ft 2in (188cm).

Must be 14 or older and under 18s must be accompanied by an adult

Are there any medical requirements?

You will be asked to sign a medical declaration you are not suffering from any condition that may cause a problem whilst flying such as blackouts

Alcohol must not be consumed before flying.

What about the weather?

We can do many things at Bicester, but we can't control the British weather. We are able to fly in most conditions, but it becomes unsafe in rain, low-cloud and strong winds. If we lose one or more days to the weather, the first thing we try to do is fly more on the remaining days. If we cannot make up the time, we will offer you a pro-rata refund, or the opportunity to join another course for the balance of days. The bottom line is we want to you to feel you have had value for money, whatever the weather.

Are the instructors qualified?

All our courses are run by fully-trained, qualified British Gliding Association qualified instructors. We follow the standard BGA training syllabus and training methods.

What type of aircraft do you fly?

We use both Schleicher K13 and K21 gliders. The K13 is a highly trusted glider used by a large number of gliding clubs for many years and is regarded as one of the best basic training gliders available. The K21 is a more advanced glider we use in the later part of training and in windy conditions. Depending on the course we also use one of our motor gliders in the early part of training to teach the basic use of the controls, we find this a productive way of enhancing the training.

Can my family accompany me?

Most certainty, we would be pleased to see them. We will need to give a safety briefing so they know where they can or not go with safety around the flying area.

How far is it to Bicester Village?

Only 10 minutes by car, we can always call a taxi for you.

Are there places to eat nearby?

Yes there are a number of good pubs and restaurants nearby and the town of Bicester is a only good walk away or a short car drive and offer a complete range.

What about lunch?

We have a visiting sandwich van that comes everyday and we also have a small kitchen area where you can cook your own food. During flying there is always coffee available at the launch point.

What time do we normally start flying?

We start preparing for flying about 8:30 am and subject to the weather usually are flying by 9 to 9:30 am, training normally stops around 5:30 pm but often club members are still flying after this time. We will tech you how to handle gliders and will encourage you to become completely involved in the days flying by helping to prepare the gliders and take them out to the launch point.

What happens if I cancel or need to change my appointment?

If you need to cancel your appointment you must give a minimum of 7 days notice and you will need to pay the £15 administration fee to rebook. Should you cancel then you will have 14 days during which time you can rebook for another date between your cancelled appointment and the validity date of your voucher.

Once booked you cannot change the date unless approved by Bicester Gliding Centre and it will be subject to a £15 administration fee being paid before we can change the appointment for you. You must give a minimum of 7 days notice before your booked appointment.

Do you have accommodation at the club and recommend somewhere to stay?

We have very basic single and double rooms to rent with our club area plus a bunk house style area. Our landlord has some recently refurbished rooms on their part of the airfield. You can view these rooms here.

We can recommend a whole range of different styles and costs of accommodation from good B and B's to health spas where your partner could spend the day being pampered whist you enjoy flying.

Can I bring my own caravan or mobile home?

Sorry no this is not possible due to local planning restrictions.

Can I bring my dog?

You may but it must be kept on a lead at all times in or around the hangar and club house; for safety reasons dogs must not be taken on the flying field or perimeter track at any time.

Is there Wi-Fi at the club?

Yes, free Wi-Fi is available in and around the club house areas

Can I and my family use the club bar after flying?

Yes we would very pleased to see you and your friends and family in the bar but not until flying has finished for the day.

High performance glider on aerotow

Contact Us

By Telephone:

01869 252493

By Email:

enquiries@bicestergliding.com

Local area map

Our Address

Bicester Gliding Centre

Bicester Airfield

Skimmingdish Lane

Bicester

Oxfordshire

OX26 5HA

Ready to learn to glide

Local Accommodation

On-site Accommodation

We have very basic single and double rooms to rent in our club area, plus a bunk house style area. Contact us if you wish more information on these rooms. Our landlord has some recently refurbished rooms on their part of the airfield. You can view these rooms here.

Local Guest Houses

Local bed and breakfast accommodation is available at:

  • Manor Farm, Main Street, Poundon. 01869 277212
  • The Old School House, Mill Street, Stratton Audley. Website
  • West Farm, Launton Rd, Stratton Audley. Website
  • Watts Lodge, 100 Buckingham Rd, Bicester. Website
  • Hill View Farm, Poundon, Oxfordshire. Website
  • The Old Post Office, Church Road, Ardley. Website
  • Travel Lodge, Moto Service Area, Cherwell Valley. M40.
  • Almond Tree Hotel, 1 Murdock Rd, Bicester. Website

There is a wide variety of pubs, restaurants and take-aways in Bicester that will cater for most tastes. The following pubs can be recommended, however this list is not exhaustive and many other pubs and take-aways will be found in the area.

Local Pubs and Restaurants

The Black Bull, Launton. (01869 321340) Turn right at the crossroads in the centre of Launton at the Bull and drive down the cul de sac for about 500m, when the pub will be seen the right. (Do not confuse with the Bull located on the crossroads ). The landlord, Keith offers a wide range of pub meals and will usually serve meals later than most other pubs. Booking is advised. The Red Lion, Stratton Audley. (01869 277225) Located in the village on the far side of the airfield, take the Buckingham road and then the first right just past the airfield. A good village pub serving excellent food.

The Butchers Arms, Fringford. (01869 277363) Located in Fringford village to the north of the airfield. Take the Buckingham Road north and the Fringford turn is the second on the left. This is an excellent village pub serving good food.

The Red Lion, Stratton Audley. If you take the Buckingham Road north that the roundabout, you'll find the next turning on your right is to Stratton Audley, and the road takes you straight to this pub.

The Greyhound, Marsh Gibbon. (01869 277365) This pub is located in the centre of the village and has an exclusively authentic Thai menu. It is the real McCoy as the cooking is supervised by Thai wife of the publican. The same couple run the Thai restaurant, The Suwanna in the Causeway in the centre of Bicester. However, the pub food is identical and more reasonably priced than the restaurant.

The Trigger Pond, Bucknell. (01869 252817) A good village pub offering an excellent range of food with pleasant outside tables.

Yin Hong (01869 245818) Located in the main street in Bicester next to the Litten Tree, this is an authentic Chinese restaurant offering a wide range of excellent Chinese food. Booking is advisable. They also do a take-away service.

Shakils (01869 328807) An excellent Indian restuarant in Bicester, highly recommended for those who appreciate good Indian meals, and they offer a take-away service as well.

Take-Aways

Most of these establishments will deliver to the airfield, and have proved popular with members.

The Broken Fork, North St (01869 322618) This is a take-away establishment offering a wide range of food and pizzas

Wing On (01869 321821) This take-away provides excellent fish and chips as well as the usual range of excellent Chinese food.

Yin Hong (01869 245818) (also see restuarants above)

Shakils (01869 328807) (01869 248439) (also see restuarants above)