The following pages do not amount to a paragliding ‘Sites Guide’ in the conventional sense. Here in the Highlands we have the freedom of open space and plenty of it at that. The sheer mass of mountains and hills on our doorstep, coupled with the relatively small number of resident pilots and the unpredictability of the Scottish weather means that, often as not, decisions as to where to fly are made on the basis of a flick through a book of munros, a wide selection of OS Landranger maps and a glance at XC Weather.
That said, there are a number of places that local pilots have flown at and returned to. Sometimes more regularly than others. So what follows is a list of a few of the places that have been flown several times or more, together with some very limited information that may allow others to benefit from this collected experience.
As always, there are some general points to remember:
In Scotland, by law, everyone has the right to non-motorised access to most land and inland water providing they act responsibly. These access rights are exercisable above the surface of the land and so extend to air sports, such as hang gliding and paragliding.
Countryside users should follow the Scottish Access Code and full information on the can be found here: www.outdooraccess-scotland.com with specific information for free flyers here.
• Take responsibility for your own actions;
• Respect the interests of other people;
• Care for the environment.
At certain times of the year, deer stalking takes place across the highland estates. Stalking is an essential part of the management of the highland estates and many of those involved now publish information regarding stalking operations to allow hill goers to plan their days out accordingly. For more on this please see the Hillphone Service (www.snh.org.uk/hillphones/) which is supported by the National Access Forum and has been organised by Scottish Natural Heritage, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the participating estates.
When flying in the Highlands it’s important to be aware that there is a lot of military activity, particularly midweek and certain areas that remain a no-go for free flying pilots at specific times. For more on this see the Midweek Flying section of this website.
In summary, apply caution and common sense both on the ground and in the air and you won’t go far wrong!