Caernarfon to Carlisle : Castles, Viaducts, Lakes and Crashing a Wedding… A day to remember!
DAY THREE – Distance approx. 260 nautical miles (3 hours flying time)
We set off from Caernarfon airport around 11am it was a relatively short day so was good to get a couple of hours admin done before we departed. Our destination today was Warwick Hall, near Carlisle. Some of the group planned to stop off at Manchester Barton to refuel and a great pic of the art deco control tower, we had plenty of fuel so would wait until we got to Carlisle.
“Manchester Barton was runner up for my favourite airfield due to it’s beautiful historic original Control Tower; it makes you feel like you are going back in time even though you are right next to a big city. The skill I brushed up on the most on the trip was Radio Work – passing through so many different airspaces in such a short space of time keeps you on your toes!” – Capt Smyth
Set the heading around the Coastline of Northern Wales, past the Wirral and up to Liverpool with great views of the Albert Dock. We flew over the top of the RAF Woodvale, through the airspace of RAF Warton then inland for some castle spotting first Clitheroe Castle (built in 1186 by Robert de Lacy), then Hellifield Peel Castle then West to follow the Settle to Carlisle railway Northbound giving us an amazing view of Ribblehead Viaduct! Then to the Lake District.
“For me the highlight was my route my from Manchester Barton to Carlisle, via the Settle and Carlisle railway line. After leaving Manchester Barton (having had a decent lunch for once), I chose to follow the Ribble River to Settle, and then follow the railway up the Ribble Valley to Ribblehead. We flew over and around the famous Ribblehead Viaduct, following a local train. I have travelled across the viaduct many times in various trains, including some hauled by steam engines. I have also walked around the viaduct and surrounding area, as well as producing several watercolour paintings of the Viaduct. It is interesting how different it looks from the air. After some interesting pictures taken by Neil, we followed the railway line down the Eden Valley to Carlisle for refuel. On to the most interesting landing site and hotel at Warwick Hall” – Capt Langdon
As you can imagine the views of the Lake District were stunning. We flew over some of the famous parts of the lakes; Coniston Water, Kendal, Keswick before reaching Lake Windermere! We were keen to land somewhere in the Lake District and with a bit of searching, we found Storrs Hall Hotel which is located on Lake Windermere. We took the opportunity to fly the length of Windermere before landing on the lawn at Storrs Hall Hotel. We treated ourselves to a fabulous afternoon tea. Whilst sitting there enjoying our most decadent lunch, we saw a bride and a groom walk around the side of the house. After we congratulated them, they asked if they could have some photos by the helicopter we said of course! I decided to take them up for a flight in the helicopter as a wedding day treat. What a way to celebrate your wedding day than with a helicopter flight! Plus, we got some great pics of the helicopter from the wedding photographer too!
“Flying over the Lake District was epic”
Once we finished a very pleasant afternoon at Storrs Hall Hotel, we began the journey to Carlisle Airport for fuel before landing at our final destination for day three – Warwick Hall on the bank of the river Eden. Flying on through the Lake District towards Carlisle which took us directly over the Hall, so we had a quick look at potential places to land after refuelling. We met up with the rest of the team at Carlisle Airport and then a quick hop into wonderful Warwick Hall, just 2 miles south of the airport. Not the biggest of lawns and landing spots but we managed to squeeze all 4 helicopters in as we were all staying there. What a perfect end to an amazing third day of our tour!