Gliding at Cotswold Gliding Club

Based in the heart of the Cotswolds and with over 100 members and 70 gliders, Cotswold Gliding Club offers some of the best soaring in the UK.

Our membership come from all backgrounds with our youngest pilots flying solo at 14 years of age and some older pilots flying well into their 80's. Being an active club, we host many events throughout the year including national gliding competitions (with over 100 gliders participating), social events and have other aviation events including ballooning throughout the year.

Our welcoming mix of members makes this the ideal location for people to learn gliding and develop their gliding interests in areas such as cross-country and glider maintenance as they progress.

We look forwards to hosting the VGC International Rally for 2023

Aston Down Airfield

Aston Down is an old WWII airfield, based between the towns of Cirencester and Stroud. It has two paved runways (the longest being 1500m) and is over 70 hectares in size. 

The site offers high winch launches and cost effective aerotows, making it easy to contact the abundant thermals that rise from the well-drained Cotswold soil. Having large landing areas makes the airfield perfect for beginners and makes it an easy site to learn and glide from.

The club has two hangars - one for club aircraft and one for private owners. It also has a purpose-built aircraft workshop and vehicle maintenance facilities.

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Making your stay enjoyable

The club is based in an original 2nd World War control tower offering a large, comfortable panoramic seating area with licensed bar and catering facilities. It has been extended to include purpose built residential accommodation, modern toilet and shower facilities. Outside we have picnic seating and BBQ facilities.

Our space allows us to host camping and caravanning on the airfield provide services hook-up and washing facilities.

Fully WIFI enabled, we offer members and visitors a comfortable environment from which to watch gliders flying across the airfield.

Our Aircraft

The club has a range of aircraft accessible for members and visitors to fly including K21 and K13 training gliders.

We have some single seaters that members and visitors can also fly once checked out.

Sat Nav Information

If you are using sat nav please use the postcode GL6 8HX to get to the entrance gate. This is a different postcode to the one for our postal address.  Please note that there is no access to the airfield from the western side even though navigation apps might incorrectly direct you that way.

We're easy to find, on the A419, midway between Stroud and Cirencester in Gloucestershire. From most areas of the country that means approaching from Junction 15 of the M4 south-east of Swindon and then travelling via Cirencester (view on Google Maps), or from Junction 13 of the M5, via Stroud (view on Google Maps). If you are coming from the south the best way is from Junction 18 of the M4 (map).

The airfield entrance gate is remotely operated. To gain access to the airfield press the call button on the keypad to speak to security. Tell them you are visiting the gliding club and they will let you in.

Airfield Access

The airfield entrance gate is remotely operated. To gain access to the airfield press the call button on the keypad to speak to security. Tell them you are visiting the gliding club and they will let you in. Turn right to follow the perimeter road to the clubhouse.

From Cirencester

Follow the signs for Stroud (A419). After about 6 miles you will come to the "Jolly Nice" cafe/shop (a former petrol station). Just after the Jolly Nice is a cross roads with a small slip road on the left. Take this slip road and go straight on down a lane. This lane is sign-posted Cotswold Gliding Club and leads on to the airfield.

From Stroud

Follow the signs for Cirencester (A419). On leaving Stroud you drive along a valley and after about 5 miles the road goes up a long hill. At the top of the hill there is a roundabout where you take the first exit. You will then see Aston Down airfield on your right. Continue past the airfield and turn right at a crossroads just before the "Jolly Nice" cafe/shop (a former petrol station). Turn immediately right again. This lane is sign-posted Cotswold Gliding Club and leads on to the airfield.

From Nailsworth

At the mini roundabout on the A46 in the centre of Nailsworth take the road sign-posted Minchinhampton. This is a right turn if you have come from the south. After 200m you go over a cattle grid and follow the road round to the right. Cows and horses roam Minchinhampton common and they have no road sense so take care. The road goes up a steep hill with several hairpin bends. This hill is passable with care when towing a glider trailer.

At the top of the hill carry on over Minchinhampton common until you get to a T junction. The signpost here is a local landmark called Tom Long's Post. Turn right and follow this road for about 3 miles until you get to a roundabout where you take the second exit. You will then see Aston Down Airfield on your right.

Continue past the airfield and turn right at a crossroads just before the "Jolly Nice" cafe/shop (a former petrol station). Turn immediately right again. This lane is sign-posted Cotswold Gliding Club and leads on to the airfield.

Public Transport

Aston Down is not well served by public transport. The most convenient railway station is Stroud, on the line between Swindon and Gloucester/Cheltenham. There are some direct services from London but otherwise you will have to change at Swindon. Taxis are usually available in Stroud which is about 6 miles from the airfield.

Alternatively, if you have a bicycle you can get off at Kemble and follow this 6 mile route through countryside to the airfield.