Hang Gliding and Paragliding
With stunning scenery and the spirit of adventure around every turn, it's no surprise that some of the UK's best hang gliding and paragliding launching areas are here and with plenty of taster days throughout the year, getting quality airtime is easy.
The sport of paragliding has come a long way from the early days of a few hops whilst sprinting down steep hills. Flights of up to 100km lasting 5 or 6 hours are regularly made in the UK and the Dales and South Pennines are amongst the best areas in the country for it.
Paragliders fit in a rucksack and consist of a comfortable harness for the pilot suspended below an arc of cloth that's inflated by moving forward into wind. They fly in light winds and are controlled by two brake lines and the weight shift of the pilot.
Hang gliders have a more traditional wing supported by rods and wires and fly in light to moderate winds. The pilot lies below the wing and controls flight by moving relative to the glider's control frame.
First things first, this is flying so training is definitely needed. There are several schools in the area that provide all the tuition you need to fly by yourself. Often you could be flying solo within eight days and they supply all the equipment you need to get you started. You can take a day's course first to see if you like the activity before committing to a longer course. The flying season is mainly March to October.
Find Out More
Find out more about the sport and how to take it up from a paragliding club:
Dales Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club
Once you're more experienced, you'll find plenty of jump off points around Yorkshire. The valleys, peaks and crags of Marsden Moor in wild and windswept West Yorkshire is a natural airsports magnet. Home of the Marsden Moor Soaring Association, enjoy kite flying and model flying at its most extreme from Buckstones Edge. This dramatic location, with its magnificent views and drop-off, also makes it an ideal paragliding and hang gliding jump off point.