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Tan Hill  -  hang gliding and paragliding

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There may be cattle in the big field at the bottom so please don't over fly them or land near them. If you see them or the young calves getting distressed then stop flying. To check if it's okay to fly check the sign on the gate or website. It sometimes closes for lambing during April and May (precise closure date varies dependent on the date of Easter and the condition of the ewes, but is about 10th April: reopening is always 1st June).  If the notice on the gates says closed then do not fly! Please ask anyone who is ignoring the sign to stop flying immediately.

Wind Direction / Details

0.75km ridge, 90m high.



Tan Hill is suitable for CP and above in the correct wind direction and conditions for soaring.  Do not fly Tan in a southerly wind direction, due to rotor experienced from Rybury.  Look at the 


As with Rybury, the farmer here is particularly worried about pilots flying unaccompanied and the possibility of a casualty lying untended on the hill.  You must not fly unaccompanied on this site – there is a £50 penalty (payable to Oxfam via the farmer) if you do.  Your companion must be visible and close –a friend on Milk Hill will not do.

The Easterly bowl is a Sight of Special Scientific Interest and must not landed on, or be walked across to reach take-off.  See access note under ‘Location’ and on the map.

The farmer is also very concerned about damage to fences.  Use the gates, or styles.  Do not climb any fences.

All vehicles must pay £1.50 (to a different farmer) at the clearly sign posted toll box to use the track, this toll is payable even if you do not fly.



OS Grid Ref SU 085 646, Landranger 173, Pathfinder 1185.

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Just before the barn.


The route up to take-off is especially sensitive because of the SSSI in the easterly bowl. Enter the downs through the little gate by the barn. Turn left, walk around the bottom of the field beside the fence until you come to a stile; only past the stile can you head off up the hill.  This route is shown on the site map.  It can also be accessed by walking up to Rybury hill fort and following the path up to Tan.

Take Off

Approximate elevation 260m/853’ AMSL.

Anywhere along the top of the ridge.  Not in the easterly bowl (the SSSI).



Top landing is allowed either in front of, or behind (best) the top fence.  When you land behind the top fence use the footpath gate to get back to take off.  Do not climb any fences.

Slope landing can be difficult due to the undulations and occasional obstacle.

The bottom landing area is anywhere in the field beyond the fence at the bottom of the slope.  Use the styles, or the gate to get back to take off.

In the right conditions it is possible to ridge soar to Milk.  Before you try this consider that there is no landing from the time you cross the first fence that runs down the slope, until you cross the fence that bounds the west side of the southern take off area marked on the Milk site map.  You are crossing the SSSI.  Do not land in the SSSI.  We also do not have permission to land on the spur below the SSSI.  We have been told that this area is used by ground nesting birds.



Tan is at its most dangerous when the wind is light.  Strong punchy thermals near the ground are very dangerous.  In thermic conditions it is recommended that you do not fly unless you can reach a safe height to recover from a collapse, and that means thermalling.  Just soaring in thermic conditions is asking for trouble.

Note that strong winds produce rotor from the hill in front.

Slope landing can be difficult due to the undulations and occasional obstacle.

The top landing behind the fence was new for 2005 and untried.  Avoid landing in the East corner of the field because you are likely to find rotor from the ‘spine back’.  Also, be aware of possible rotor at the West end.



Please study your Air-map carefully. A rough guide is to fly towards and climb to base before Silbury Hill and then fly towards Marlborough. Then follow A345 towards Swindon.

When the wind is southerly the entire Tan/Milk bowl can be flown. Don’t land where you shouldn’t and beware of rotor from the ridge south of Milk.  Note that in flying to Milk you cross the SSSI (see Sensitivity).  From the fence at the edge of the Tan take-off slope you may not land until you are past the fence at the edge of the Milk Hill southerly take-off slope.

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