You need to be a member of a gliding club affiliated to the British Gliding Association (BGA), the sport’s governing body. If you attend a course, you become a temporary member of the Midland Gliding Club and the BGA for its duration and for a period of time after. If you subsequently become a full flying member, you become a shareholder in the club. Residential courses are usually professionally led and offer the best opportunity for learning quickly.
Compared to power flying, gliding is relatively inexpensive. As a club member you can hire club gliders. The first five minutes is included in the launch fee and then it costs a few pence per minute. It’s a great way to enjoy solo flying without owning your own aircraft. A launch costs a few pounds but then you are not paying for any fuel while you fly. All our instruction at weekends is free.
Gliding is an adventurous air sport and as such is not as safe as travelling on a commercial airliner. If you are looking for a totally risk-free sport, gliding may not be right for you. But on the same basis neither would horse riding or skiing! Being in control of an aircraft isn’t for everyone.
The Long Mynd is 1500’ above sea level so it is usually four or five degrees C colder than at sea level. So, it pays to be prepared, especially in the winter. Dress for the outdoors and have a warm hat and gloves. You should not wear a baseball cap as the peak can obstruct your ability to see other gliders when flying. You are advised to wear sunglasses even on a dull day. Strong shoes or boots are advisable.
We have nine rooms available, some of them with ensuite facilities. These can be booked in advance. Most of them are double beds, two have four bunks and one is two singles. All include linen and duvets in the price.
MGC is a winch only site. We use a powerful winch to launch gliders to between 1000’ and 1300’ above the airfield (around 2500’ above sea level), and a smaller winch to retrieve the launch cable. This system is almost unique in the UK and allows a potential launch rate of 20 gliders per hour.
For some staying close to the airfield is what they want to do. But for many the lure of flying great distances using only the power of the sun and the wind is the challenge. It is not uncommon now in the UK to fly 300 or 500 kms in a single flight. There have been flights of over 1000 kms, the UK record being 1108.7 kms. The world record was set in South America in 2003 by Klaus Ohlmann, 3,008 kms.
Most gliders do not have engines. They rely on using the power generated by the sun and the wind. A strong wind blowing directly onto a ridge provides lift as the air flows over the hill. In the summer columns of rising air, caused by warm air being less dense than the air around it, create thermals. Sometimes waves form in the air in the lee of mountains. Getting into one of these can carry gliders to very high altitudes.
If we are away from our site and fail to find lift, we usually land the glider at a nearby airfield, gliding club or sometimes in a suitable field. A cut crop field or one with grass is usually OK. As gliders are relatively light we don’t usually do any damage and the glider can be taken apart and put into a trailer to return it to the club.
We provide ground school training for days when the weather is not suitable for flying and our excellent indoor glider simulator is always available no matter what the weather. In addition, there are lots of things locally to interest family and friends:
• Shropshire Tourism, Church Stretton.
• Top things to do in Church Stretton.
• National Trust Carding Mill Valley.
• Church Stretton Golf Club.
• Mountain bike hire.
• Long Mynd Archers, Church Stretton.
• For a wide range of information about the county go to Virtual Shropshire.
• For some information on leisure drives around Shropshire try the Shropshire Promotions site.
• Much More Books Ltd, Much Wenlock – Over 40,000 books to browse through!
• Much Wenlock Museum and Visitor Centre – Much Wenlock Museum tells the story of the town and surrounding area, the links between Dr. William Penny Brookes and the modern Olympic Games, and the geology of Wenlock Edge.
• A rally driving experience – Shropshire Rally School.
• Shropshire in the Doomsday Book – fascinating site for the historians amongst you.
• Acton Scott Working Farm Museum – farming before the combustion engine.
• RAF Museum, Cosford.
Shropshire is blessed with some of the best pubs and B&Bs in the country. We are not able to make recommendations but we do know that these places are definitely worth a look:
• The Castle Hotel, Bishops Castle
• The Crown, Wentnor
• The Inn on the Green, Wentnor
• The Bridges, Ratlinghope
• Shuttocks Wood, B&B, Bishops Castle
The Long Mynd is a range of hills just west of Church Stretton in the middle of Shropshire. The word Mynd in Welsh means “hill” so you can see we are not far from the Welsh border country or “Marches”. The Mynd is 1450 feet high, so in the winter it can get snowed in and the roads to the club are steep and sometimes very difficult, if not impossible, to negotiate. They are not gritted in winter. However, there are always ways to get here, even if it means leaving a car at the bottom and having a short walk up the hill from Asterton.
We strongly advise calling the club first if there is any concern about the weather to check the road conditions.
Post Code: SY6 6TA
Grid Ref: SO403915
X: 340300m Y: 291500m
Lat: 52:31:07N (52.5186) Lon: 2:52:51W (-2.8808)
What Three Words: sheets.curly.slung
**Driving up the Mynd**
There are three roads up the Mynd to the Gliding Club. These are:
• from the west, via Ratlinghope. Longer than the others, but not so steep.
• from the east, via Church Stretton, up the Burway. Steep.
• from the west, up Asterton. Short, but very steep.
All the roads, once you are on the Mynd, are narrow, and single track in places. If you have a good tow vehicle, all are possible (assuming good driving conditions!). Some are easier than others, though.
For detailed routes go to the **Getting Here** page from the **Gliding Experiences** menu
**Route 1: Ratlinghope**
This is the easiest route for a trailer, though it is also a little longer than the others. Click here for details.
**Route 2: the Burway**
This is via Church Stretton, just off the A49. If approaching from the south, turn left at the traffic lights on the A49, or right if coming from the north. Go over the railway bridge up the main road to the cross roads. Go straight over and follow the road for about two miles to a fork with a finger post. This road is single track and very steep at the bottom but does have passing places.
At the fork bear left to the gliding club, for a couple of miles. You will see it on the left.
**Route 3: Asterton**
This is the shortest, but also the steepest, and you do need a pretty good tow vehicle to get up it. If coming from the south, it is faster than going via Church Stretton. You can see the route from the A49 by searching for Asterton on Google maps