Flight Schools

Part of today’s post comes from Ivinghoe Beacon, which featured in my last post – ‘At the Third Visit’. For more information on the Beacon, click on the link above to read the Wikipedia entry. Situated on the edge of the Chiltern Hills, which stretch across parts of Herts, Bucks and Beds counties, there are superb views from the Beacon to the North over a vast low-lying  area towards Leighton Buzzard (and ultimately Milton Keynes), and closer at hand towards Tring, Luton and Dunstable, and the Dunstable Downs.

Post349_DS75188_origThe underlying rock here is Chalk as you can see in the first image of the Beacon showing the walk from a parking lot over easy ground leading to the top of the Beacon. It’s a place we visit several times a year. To stand on the top of a hill and survey the land below has always been a delight for me. When I was a boy, which is over half a century ago, my father and I would come here on a Saturday sometimes from our home in Rickmansworth near the end of the Metropolitan Line and sit on the top of the Beacon and listen to the Skylarks overhead. A visit to this spot always brings back happy memories of childhood.

Ivinghoe Beacon is a popular spot for flying radio controlled Model Aeroplanes. The Ivinghoe Soaring Association fly their planes from here and on a good day there will always be planes in the air. And not only model ones, because Ivinghoe Beacon is very close to the flight path for commercial aircraft approaching Luton Airport.

_DS77375_BW2And then there is a third type of plane to be found in the air. About five miles from the Beacon, land at the foot of Dunstable Downs is home to the London Gliding Club. If you sit on the edge of Dunstable Downs you will look directly down onto the Gliding Club.

DSC_0685_WPSitting there, ice cream in hand, watching Gliders take to the air and land is a very peaceful way of spending part of an afternoon.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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10 Responses to Flight Schools

  1. Adrian Lewis says:

    Beautiful piece of countryside, Andy, and I like the way the white (chalk?) tracks carry my eye across the picture, starting from the large dark bush on the left. Adrian

    • LensScaper says:

      Yes, that is a chalk track, Adrian. The Ridgeway long distance path starts from here actually heading south-west to Avebury. A chalk Lion is carved out of the Dunstable Downs to publicize Whipsnade Zoo. I remember being very puzzled as a small boy when deep trenches were dug in our road to put in mains sewers to find that under the topsoil the ground was all white chalk.

  2. oneowner says:

    Beautiful place and such wonderful memories. I’d love to go up in one of those gliders.

    • LensScaper says:

      I think the same, Ken. Never been in one, but a patient did once offer me a ride, but I knew too much about his less than perfect heart and chickened out!

  3. ShimonZ says:

    sounds very peaceful… and delightful too.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Shimon. Sitting up there on a summer’s day, the air is still, maybe you’ll be lucky and hear a Skylark – but they are not nearly as common as they were when I was a kid. And there’s just the faint swish of the traffic.

  4. Len says:

    Love that middle image Andy. Nicely composed and super B&W choice.

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