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Avebury Stone Rings

There has been good high pressure for the last few days. We flew for an hour or so as the sun was setting on Monday 12th October and then on the following day we flew from Denmead in Hampshire all the way to the Stone Ring at Avebury and back which is about 200kms in total. My brother Ben and our friend, Mark Morgan, joined us for the flight.

We flew up past Preston Candover before landing at Wadwick Farm where my friend, Rich, is a farmer and he promised us coffee if we popped in. The offer was too good to refuse and so, after an hour and a half of flying we swooped in to land in his stubble field and he met us in his tractor and coffee was served. He is building a house on his land and they were making good progress – we had a guided tour before taking off again, onwards towards the famous rings…

We flew up the most beautiful valley low over the ridges, over Coombe Gibbit (one of the best xc sites in the south)…

…and on towards Hungerford where we then headed west along the A4 towards Marlborough where we could clearly see the high street and the golf course.

From Marborough, we flew high over some race horse studs before reaching the rings at Avebury which were quite spectacular in this clear, autumnal weather.

We turned around at this point and we knew we needed just one more stop for fuel before reaching our cars which were now 100kms away. We we on the lookout for a suitable fuel station. We were all flying Bailey 4-stroke machines and just needed a good field that would allow us an easy take off. We spotted a Texaco garage just outside Ibthorpe and landed in another stubble field above it on a hill. Perfect for taking off again as it sloped gently down into wind. The garage man looked at me in disbelief when I told him we had to get back to Denmead (nr. Portsmouth) before nightfall. Once we had taken off, I flew over the garage and gave him a wave! I think he then understood?

It had been a grand day out and we landed as the sun was setting. We passed 3 balloons in the still evening air and got buzzed by a microlight heading for the Isle of Wight in the distance. It was a joy…