Flying Site Reviews

Ditchling Beacon

Located on the South Downs between Burgess Hill and Brighton.
 
This one is generally our local flying site and the one generally closest to us all.
 
You can park your car in the National Trust car park directly at the top of the hill (Ditchling Road).
 
You are able to fly either side of the car park depending on the wind conditions.
 
This slope works well from a NE - N - NW. The big bowl to the East of the Car park provides some slope into wind through the wind directions above. You just need to walk round till the wind is in your face.
 
Its a fairly steep slope with strong lift with anything above 10 mph.
 
There are two fences. One directly in front of you and one behind you. There is a little stye in the fence which you can hop over and fly in front of the fence. This is particularly good when the cloud base is low or you have a model that doesn't penetrate into wind too well.
The fence behind comes into play when attempting a landing. If you need more space then wander along eastwards where the landing area is wider.
 
Hazards:
  • Full size gliders
  • Horses
  • Cattle
  • Cow and Dog crap
  • People - Walking, jogging, on bikes or walking up the tracks and over the stye.
Car parking fee's apply or FREE if you are a National Trust member (remember to display your badge)
 
This car park gets very full. If you want to park their, go up early or late in the day especially if its the weekend.
 
all in all this place is a superb place to slope soar. I would give it a 8 /10.
 

Itford Hill

Works well in a Westerly wind but will also work in a WSW wind.
Located on the Newhaven road about 1 mile from the Beddingham roundabout A27.

Itford Hill Map
 
Park along side the road (on the extended verge) and follow the South Downs Way footpath up to the top.

It is a trek but once you get beyond the second gate the paths becomes a gentle amble to the top. Shouldn't take you any longer than twenty minutes to walk to the top.

At the very top you will find a clump of trees to find some rest bite from the wind. A natural wind break.

Launching is easy and the slope lift reliable and strong. The landings are a little more difficult unless you walk back a little further up the hill and land outside of the lift.

We sometimes fly from a little down the slope but this means landing are made while still in the band of lift. Not a problem to some people but worth a mention.

You could opt for the shorter route back to the car park. head West and make your way down the front of the slope and you will be back in ten minutes.

Given the walk from the bottom and the sometimes difficult landing issues, I will give this slope a 6/10.

When you up there it is beautiful and you can get out of the breeze if you want to.

Looking out over the valley.




The clump of trees provide some shelter


The Long Man of Wilmington


This location offers a variety of slopes in various wind directions. Currently we have only flown here on a NW wind but there are slopes that work in SW and W wind directions.

The Long Man Map

The nearest car park is within 15 - 20 minutes walk from the very top. Its relatively small, rough and muddy. The walk up follows the South Downs Way and is a easy walk up to the top. At the top you will be met with an amazing views of Sussex / Kent and the Arlington Reservoir.



Having trudged up the hill and following the South Downs Way you need to branch off to the left about two thirds of the way up the hill, basically following the edge of the North Westerly facing bowl. When you get to the top you will find a stye to go over and then through a gate at the top which will give you access to the flying site.

Its a steep bowl with strong lift but plenty of opportunity to get out of the wind and enjoy some relief from the possibly biting NW wind. Landing was easy when we visited the site with a wide and deep expanse of grass area to land on.

If you have wondered why it called The Long Man or The Wilmington Giant.....

Now that's just showing off!



Hopefully we can report on the flying on the other slope based up at The Long Man in the future.

This site for me gets a 8/10.


Well worth the effort I think.......


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