Classic XC routes

Tom Payne has written a fantastic tool for XC planning which is currently in beta version here It’s a fantastic for route planning and works well on smartphones too. If you use it in conjunction with Michael von Känel’s excellent thermal and tracklog map then you’re onto a winner 🙂

How to break 300km (weekends and Bank Hols only though…) 🙂

Anyway I’ve had a bit of fun over the last couple of days and have created some routes that I’d love to fly sometime! I rather suspect that many of them will be only in my dreams, but hey ho, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming 🙂

So here they are – enjoy! And if you make any interesting routes yourselves using XC Planner, let me know the URL for them and I’ll add them to my list here…

Just plain silly 🙂

S: Butser South to Middlesborough (407km!) (Thanks to Richard Chambers)

SW: Nant-y-Moel to Scarborough (362km) (Thanks to Mark Cousins *)

WSW: Nant-y-Moel to Norwich (342km) (Thanks again to Mark Cousins *)

* I’ve added these two flight to this category because I believe that the wind strength you’d need in order to do these flights would be such that it would be too windy to take off. But you never know, hopefully someone will prove me wrong!

Record breaking!

N dropping: Hundred House > Heol Senni > Pandy > Hundred House (115km, 378 XC points if declared, 298 if not)

SW: Corton Denham to Norfolking chance (311km) (NB. weekends only)

SE: Golden Ball to Anglesey (290km) (Inspired by Colin Hawke)

NW: Long Mountain to Worthing Pier (284km)

S: Long Knoll to somewhere oop North (278km)

NNW: Llangollen to Swanage (276km)

SSW: Milk Hill (or Golden Ball) to Grimsby (275km)

W: Malvern (Beacon) to Southwold (274km)

ENE: Hambledon Hill to Lands End (267km)

NW: Long Mynd to Worthing Pier (263km)

NW: Bradwell Edge to Walton on the Naze (263km) (This is a 7km extension of Richard Carter’s record breaking 256km flight of 9/8/2011)

SSE: Golden Ball to Great Orme (260km) (thanks to Colin Hawke)

Sky gods!

SW: Rybury/Milk Hill to Brancaster, Norfolk (250km)

NE: Ubley to Penzance (244km)

NW: Selsley to Eastbourne Pier (214km)

NNW: Llangollen to Bath (186km)

NW: Frocester to Brighton Pier (185km)

W: Butser West to Margate (183km) (Thanks to Richard Chambers)

E: Malverns (Kettle Sings) to Haverfordwest (182km)

NE: Corndon to Haverfordwest (175km)

NW: Selsley to Worthing Pier (169km / 105miles!)

SSE: Golden Ball to Welshpool (169km / 105 miles)

W: Malvern W (Beacon) to Cambridge (166km / 103miles)

Ambitious mortals 🙂

E: Pandy to Haverfordwest (156km)

NNW: Leckhampton to Bognor Regis (156km)

NW: Selsley/Frocester to Arundel (152kms declared, 205 points) (see article)

NE: Ubley to Plymouth (147km)

NNE: Leckhampton to Weymouth (142km)

NNW: Uffington to Barnham (105km declared, 141 points). Then carry on to Littlehampton (see video)

ESE: Malvern (Kettle Sings) to Aberystwyth (125km)

NW: Combe Gibbet to Brighton Pier (117km)

NNE: Westbury to Sidmouth (112km)

NW: Liddington to Bognor Regis (110km)

WSW: Frocester to Milton Keynes (108km)

SW: Milk Hill to Milton Keynes National Bowl (104km)

NNE: Hundred House to Porthcawl (80km)

NNW: Westbury to Swanage (79km)

WSW: Rybury to Twyford (72km)

XC Virgins

NW: Batcombe (aka Telegraph Hill) to Swanage (46km)

NNE: Monksdown to Lulworth Cove (42km)

NW: Bell Hill to Swanage (37km)

S: Mere to Bath (Combe Down) (29km)

I’ll add a few more in due course, in particlar Hugh Miller’s excellent “Classic 100’s” which were published in Skywings last year.

9 Responses to “Classic XC routes”

  1. I’ve got two for you, both from Butser

    The first one is probably impossible by paraglider but might just be possible on a rigid hang glider. The hardest part might be getting away from the hill in the first place! Those that have been on Butser South will know what I mean.

    The second flight should be possible in theory, the parts have been done separately, just not linked together. Timing is key, the sea breeze will make or break the flight.

    • Cheers Richard, I’ll add them to the list 🙂 I’ll have to let Nev know about the 400km route!

      • Nev probably knows about Butser as he is a Skysurfer. He has probably already discounted it for various reasons that I’m not good enough to see!

  2. Hi Tim

    Any chance for us newbies to add in some easy xc tasks to try? I am well up for getting into my xc this season and could do with any tips 🙂

    Shame about the wind yesterday!



    • Jamie, just fly the big ones as far as you can 🙂 There’s no shame in “only” doing 20km in your early XC career!

      The main tip (once you’ve got thermalling sussed obviously) is to go to hills where there’ll be lots of keen XC pilots. Don’t be intimidated by them though, let them find the thermals and just generally pimp off them! But do try and analyse what they’re doing – that way you’ll learn.

      Another big tip is to get in the air! Sounds obvious, but I’ve helped on some “XC virgins” days and so often I and others have been up and away before the XC virgins have even got their kit out! One thing you don’t want to worry about on your first XCs is airspace, so choose sites/routes that allow this. Obviously with Lynham gone it makes life a lot easier from many of the sites in our area.

      South Wales is good in this respect, and also because if you lose a thermal you’ll often find yourself able to soar another ridge which gives you a second chance. However big distances tend to be harder in Wales (because you have less vertical ground clearance) which is why seasoned XC hounds are very happy with smaller lowland hills (eg. Liddington, Rybury, Mere etc…)



    • Jamie, Bell Hill to Swanage is a good one to aim for, about 42km. I have always missed the last thermal and decked around Wareham but I will do it this year! The great thing about this flight is the airspace is easy and the end is the sea, so even though the distance isn’t the biggest, you have flown as far as even the sky gods could 🙂

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