Sandy Bay

Please park with consideration to the holiday park customers. You will probably be asked for a £5 parking fee so please pay this without protest. Parking should only be in the spaces up by the corral style fence and not anywhere by the caravans​.

Pilots should make a good assessment of the beach landing options. The beach has now been eroded down to bedrock and local pilots suggest "beach landing is only possible on spring tides at low water". At mid to high tide times there is little or NO bottom landing. Even if it is possible to land on the beach there are now large boulders strewn there and no access back to take off apart from a long walk back via Budleigh.

Be aware that this formerly safe site has suffered further severe coastal erosion. Because there is no reasonable access to or from the beach take off should NOT be attempted without the presence and guidance of one of the few local pilots who now, rarely, attempt to fly there. It is not suitable for inexperienced pilots. An experienced visitor recently described it as the worst take off in the world. If the true wind is only slightly off to the South i.e 170 deg., Beer Head or Branscombe should be used. Wind direction on the cliff face is very misleading.

Directions

Follow signs from Exmouth to Sandy Bay Holiday Park (now known as Devon Cliffs ) and drive in through the main entrance. We have no right of free access, but it is unusual to be denied entry. Please do not park in parking bays allocated to the holday homes and do not walk through the separately fenced West Down View residential caravan site. Take-off is just East of the stile or West of the stile according to the wind direction, as shown on the map.

Owners

Nigel Lee & Devon Cliffs - Upper & Lower Takeoff. Nigel Lee - Top landing.

Guidelines

Closed in school spring & summer holidays. Never overfly the Holiday Park or World of Country Life or attempt to land there. The World of Country Life has animals easily frightened by paragliders & Hawkridge Birds of Prey within the site has a public demonstration arena with free flying hawks & owls. They train their birds, even in winter.

Before flying it is necessary to check with the Hawkridge Birds of Prey office 07843098727, to confirm that your flight plan will not conflict with their activities. If in doubt whether anyone has called ask on either of the Condors' Telegram groups. The Birds of Prey operator, Richard Beech, asks that we do not fly above the cliff top until we reach the golf course when his birds are training/flying, normally several times a day e.g. 1100,1300 1500.

As a guide, if the wind is off to the East and it it not possible to reach the main cliff there is unlikely to be an objection, as the gliders are out of sight of the birds & animals. The take-off used for past 30 years has slipped into the sea, leaving an overhung face producing rotor at launch height in most conditions. Usually no longer possible to inflate at the back of coast path and walk glider through rotor and is not suitable for HG launch. The 'new' upper take-off seems more benign but has only been used since August 2011 but it is often subject to rotor, particularly when wind is off to South or East.

In winter months, staff lock the barrier at around 4pm-make sure your car is on the right side!

Bottom Landing

Beach land near Budleigh & organise a lift back. Land away from other beach users (fishermen, nudists etc).

PG Side-Slope Landing

None

Top Landing

The field East of the stile. The landing can be very rough particularly when wind is off to the south. If you have obtained clearance to land at the back of the field this may be the smoothest option in other wind directions. PGs can land near the cliff front in favourable conditions. Work out your approach carefully and avoid the rotor. Pilots used to be regularly dumped here and conditions have not improved. Rotor extends to 150ft AGL over the landing field in strong winds.

XC Potential

Coastal ridge runs to Budleigh Salterton.

Hazards

DO NOT OVERFLY RIFLE RANGE ON STRAIGHT POINT WHEN RED FLAGS FLYING (right of take-off). Beach at west of Budleigh is a semi-official nudist beach. Mobile phone coverage is patchy near the cliff top.

Grid Ref: 
SY040806
Owners: 

Nigel Lee & Devon Cliffs - Upper & Lower Takeoff. Nigel Lee - Top landing.

Takeoff Height: 
450ft
Landing Height: 
450ft
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