Site Guide - Devil's Dyke

5500ft + 4500ft just north of launch!
Airspace information is provided for guidance only - please verify using current charts before flying site.
Southern Hang Gliding Club
710 ft
LAT: 50.88496, LONG: -0.2135


The Devil's Dyke is probably one of the UK's most popular hang gliding and paragliding sites and with this comes the inevitable overcrowding issues. The popularity of this site is due to its close proximity to London, its location in the South East, its good facilities (the Devil's Dyke pub and restaurant at the top of the hill) and the popular Truleigh Run - a series of bowls extending 4km in a westerly direction from take-off.

The Main Bowl
The Main Bowl
A view of the main bowl at the Devil's dyke with the lush green grass indicating that summer is just around the corner!
25 May 2015

Over the years, fatal accidents have occurred and a contributor factor in some of these has been due to overcrowding. The Devil's Dyke is popular with model flyers also, so the Southern Hang Gliding Club has established rules to maximise on safety. On busy days a marshalling system may be established to limit the number of pilots in the air. All that being said, it's possible to turn up on a good flying day to find no-one else is there, especially mid week!


The Southern Hang Gliding Club has designated take-off areas for hang gliders and paragliders. The paragliding take-offs are mainly directly in front of the pub. The preferred hang glider take-off is in an area referred to as the Paddock; this is the area between the earthworks and the barbed wire fence just south of the pub. Gliders can be slid under the barbed wire fence or carried over the large style.

As the wind veers more to a northerly direction, although not an official take-off, hang gliders can launch directly from the behind the bowl as this gives an in to wind take-off direction; as well as easy access to the northerly ridge (series of bowls extending to Truleigh Hill).

Looking Down at the Dyke
Looking Down at the Dyke
I managed to find a thermal and slowly climb high over the Devil's dyke and slowly drift over the back.
25 May 2015

Top Landing

The main hang glider top landing area is the area referred to as the Paddock (see above). This can be a daunting landing area and can seem quite small. The approach needs to be careful and always be on the lookout for straying members of the public. It's recommended not to fly behind the trees at the rear of the Paddock for risk of becoming pinned.

An alternative and much easier and safer top landing is the large field behind the bowl. The only hazards are rotor from the earthworks and fort in northerly winds, occasional cattle that graze there and the South Downs Way public bridleway (horse riders and mountain bikes etc.).

Bottom Landing

The Southern Hang Gliding Club has a designated area for bottom landings next to the road and barn that can be seen from take-off. It's the small patch of ground boardering the road. When the bottom landing field is in crop, pilots must land in this area. When the field is not in crop the entire field is available for bottom landings. Occasionally, the farmer will leave farm machinery in this field and/or set aside landing area. Any landing approaches when this is the case should consider possible rotor from this clutter - best stay clear of it!


In a northerly wind, be aware of top landing approaches behind the fort earthworks as it's an area likely to be in rotor. In westerly winds, the site can still be flown, but be aware of rotor kicking off from the spur on the western side of the bowl!

The Devil's Dyke is popular with members of the public; it's common to find them in landing areas and on occasion flying kites, quadcopters and many other things not indicative to a safe landing. Always have a polite word with these people and ask them to move on.

The Paddock top landing can become turbulent in northerly winds as the air is interrupted by the pub.

The air can accelerate across the Paddock so to avoid being pinned avoid going behind or overflying the trees at the back of the Paddock.


The entire car park at the Devil's Dyke is now National Trust. Parking can get very busy on nice a summer's day with visitors coming to enjoy the fantastic views the Devil's Dyke has to offer (and to watch the flying!). There is now an all-day parking charge of £2. If you are a National Trust member, parking is free.

The Truleigh Run
The Truleigh Run
A view of the Truleigh Run from looking from Truleigh Hill towards the Devil's Dyke.
24 Jan 2015


Club rules state that when thermalling, 360 in a clockwise direction (right hand turn) when below 1000ft above take-off - this is for safety reasons; particularly on busy days.

Pilots must not fly over the modellers bowl if below 250ft above take-off. The modellers bowl is the small bowl to the north of the pub.

When the marshalling system is established; take-off will be restricted, so please speak to a club official on the day.

Flights From Devil's Dyke

TypeDateLaunch TimeGliderSiteDuration (h:m)CommentsHeight Gain (ft)Distance (km)Hours (h:m)
HSun, 11 Oct 202011:37Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke00:57NNW; 15-20mph; Got stronger during the flight. Thermic. Top landed, very pronounced wind gradient - caught a few people out.1,066397:26
OSat, 09 Dec 201710:05Other Devil's DykeWNW 5 mph; my very first flight on a paraglider - flying Tandem with Luke. A very short (2 mins) and enjoyable sled ride to the bottom landing field. My hang glider never made it off the car roof!093:51
HSat, 01 Jul 201709:45Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke00:30Arrived early to avoid the crowds and to get the best of the wind. By 09:30 the sky was overcast with a 10-15mph wind coming from the nw. Some thermals available. Top landed in the large field next to the Paddock.66692:20
HMon, 10 Apr 201711:30Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke00:39NNW 15-20mph - spring like thermals; wind dropped throughout morning. Flew to Truleigh Hill then returned to scratchy conditions. Eventually bottom landed and was joined by various others shortly afterwards.46291:11
HSun, 13 Nov 201611:15Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke02:25New personal best for flight duration! NNW 15-20 mph. Truleigh ridge worked all day. Some punchy thermals, but difficult to stay with them. Almost made cloud base that was estimated to be 1600ft amsl. Landed in large field as Paddock was busy. Some stats from the track-log: Max Speed: 80 km/h; Total Distance: 71.3 km, Out and Return: 8.25km, Greatest Distance between two points: 4.18km.5874.1890:32
HSat, 05 Nov 201612:15Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke00:41With a forecast for moderate winds gusting, I wasn't too eager to launch. Instead, I'd check the glider over after its recent service. Eventually I was convinced to launch and flew to Truleigh and back two times followed by one overshoot in the Paddock and one successful landing (I think my first in the Paddock on this glider and the first time since my accident!).28588:07
HSun, 02 Oct 201609:50Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke01:11Early start was required. Wind dropped off throughout morning. After 3 attempts I scratched all the way down to Truleigh Hill; soared with a bird of prey, then returned to a very busy Devil's Dyke. Couldn't get high enough to top land so elected to bottom land as the sky was getting busy with traffic - hang gliders and paragliders.20087:26
HSun, 18 Sep 201612:15Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke00:03After hours of waiting around (having arrived at 8am); the skies filled with paragliders. I decided on a top to bottom. With a touch of east in the wind, timing take-off was critical.086:15
HSun, 24 Apr 201612:15Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke01:21Windy NNW-N; 15mph-20mph, gusting more? Flew to Truleigh Hill and pushed out over Small Dole. Spring thermals, very rough and sinky at times. Top landed in the bowl. Aborted another flight when the wind picked up more.96385:28
OSun, 17 Apr 201600:00Other Devil's DykeArrived with the intent to fly, but with the light winds and the skies periodically flooding with paragliders, I opted not to fly today. So, the glider was rigged and de-rigged without flying.084:07
HSat, 16 Apr 201616:20Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke00:40Waited most of the afternoon for the weather to come through. Launched after rain and slowly made it to Truleigh and back. Wind was moderate and at times felt like it had a bit of east in it. Top landed on the wheels when I got dumped in the large field at the back.60084:07
HSat, 27 Jun 201509:45Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke00:05W 5-10mph; with hints of thermals. Didn't connect with anything and bottom landed.500.7480:25
HMon, 25 May 201510:30Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke00:33W-WNW, 10-15mph, switching off and on. Punchy thermals, short trip over the back and returned for an easy top landing in the large field.1,13580:20
HSat, 16 May 201513:15Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke01:43W-WNW 10-20mph. Day started off too windy so I waited for conditions to improve. Great low save as I was destined to be first to bottom land but wasn't; ended up bottom landing. First on U2 - no problems!65079:47
HSat, 24 Jan 201514:00Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke00:38Rough windy day 15-20mph NW, gusting. Small punchy thermals present. Scratched to Truleigh and back. Top landed in large field.3003.777:04
HSun, 18 Jan 201514:35Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke01:40After a poor start to the day (forgetting my harness), conditions improved and I launched into a northerly wind and did the Truleigh run 4 times before top landing in the large field. (TQ257109-TQ219111)3743.7476:26
HFri, 05 Dec 201414:15Wills Wing U2 160Devil's Dyke00:45First flight on the U2. Launched and it started to light drizzle (WNW 15 mph). Top landed in the large field.30074:46
HSun, 23 Mar 201410:45AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:55WNW 20-25 mph; thermic with some storm activity. Major crash as I popped the nose when top landing in the paddock. Pilot ok, but glider a complete mess!1,47369:59
HSun, 16 Mar 201411:15AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:49WNW - 15-20 mph. Spring like thermals. Harness and hang position adjusted. Bottom landed, but feel I've got the harness technique sorted now23269:04
HSat, 15 Mar 201410:30AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke01:26WNW 15-20mph. Thermic, wind backing westerly. Still struggling with new harness - probably hanging too low. Bottom landed.53168:15
HMon, 11 Nov 201314:15AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:21NW; but strength dropping off from earlier. Lots of traffic over the pub. Hard to see with low sun, so top landed. Landing field was obstructed with glider and a family and I stalled a wing trying to dodge. Somehow got glider back into wind, skidded across ground, flared, tapped a tree and landed.20064:13
HMon, 11 Nov 201312:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke01:15NW, strong to start with. Everyone flying the pub hill so I ventured along to Truleigh and spent most of my flight clear of traffic. Good top landing in the paddock.50063:52
HTue, 10 Sep 201318:15AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke01:00NW-WNW; gusty (10-22mph) and rough below 300ft ATO. Smoothed out higher. Top landed in paddock as the sun began to set.48461:26
HSat, 01 Jun 201313:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:18NW; got weak almost as soon as I took off. Bottom landed avoiding the crop again.14060:08
HFri, 31 May 201316:30AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke01:03NNW 10-15 mph. Thermic. Made it to Truleigh Hill, but didn't get much above ridge height. Came back to a sky full of paragliders. Struggled to get enough height for a top landing so ultimately landed at the bottom.35059:50
HSat, 25 May 201313:30AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:13NW, 5-15 mph. Thermic cycles. Launched into a cycle. Thermalled for a while, flew with a buzzard, then top landed when the lift cycle stopped.55058:47
HThu, 23 May 201319:30AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:03A quick top to bottom after a storm passes overhead.058:23
HSat, 29 Sep 201212:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:30WNW, backing W and strength increasing.1,4002.1555:11
HTue, 22 May 201215:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:4020-25 MPH; NNW; Truleigh Run20053:06
HMon, 21 May 201218:30AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:45Lovely afternoon flight after work; missed approached at the Dyke and an interesting slalom between all the cattle in the landing field. Went around and top landed.20052:26
HSun, 15 May 201113:30AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:5510-20 mph; WNW-W; friend from work took photos of me in the air.97447:03
HSat, 14 May 201113:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke01:0515 mph, thermic, bit gusty WNW; lift everywhere! Getting down was the challenge!1,56246:08
HSun, 27 Feb 201100:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:35WNW; scratchy conditions16041:23
HSun, 26 Sep 201000:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:2645939:03
HSat, 25 Sep 201014:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:501,22038:37
HMon, 16 Aug 201000:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:45NW-WNW (10-20mph) smooth and concluded with a top landing36737:25
HMon, 31 May 201000:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:3022035:10
HSun, 14 Mar 201010:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke01:001,22332:45
HSun, 14 Mar 201001:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke01:0679731:45
HSat, 30 Jan 201000:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:05Very, very busy. Almost had a mid-air. I simply did a top to bottom029:27
HSat, 17 Oct 200900:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke00:30N; moderate - high pressure dominating (1030 hPa); not very buoyant.28529:22
HFri, 16 Oct 200900:00AirBorne Sting 3:168Devil's Dyke01:00N; strong and gusty. Initially overcast but clearing. Air was rough in places.52528:52
HWed, 08 Jul 200900:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:4052424:26
HSun, 22 Feb 200900:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:10Light, paragliders, good bottom landing.5221:48
HSat, 07 Feb 200900:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:42Great flight, top landed in the paddock with no problem!26021:38
HTue, 09 Dec 200800:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:09Arrived and no-one else there. Walked to Truleigh and watched a kestrel. Came back to launch to see Nick. Cloud was low, felt very strong. Nick launched, then shortly later I did. It was very rough, so I stayed away from the hill. Ended up bottom landing and am please to report that landing was perfect (no bent aluminium this time).020:56
HSat, 06 Dec 200812:30Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:22Took off from the bowl (where I landed previously). Conditions dropped off more, ended up bottom landing (Flared too early, landed heavily bending my first upright slightly). Home for a new one.9820:47
HSat, 06 Dec 200810:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:35Took off from paddock. Soared main ridge, crossed Pylons topping height up when I could. Almost got to Truleigh, but decided not because there were many paragliders at that end. Came back to the Dyke, belly top-landed in a cowpat.10820:25
HWed, 12 Nov 200815:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:12Almost same as previous flight, good bottom landing, but busy with paragliders.3619:50
HWed, 12 Nov 200811:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:13(Video) very busy with paragliders, hard to stay up, had to do emergency manoeuvres to avoid a paraglider. Bottom landed.3919:38
HThu, 16 Oct 200800:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke01:05Wave like wind. Strong then weak.21619:25
HMon, 29 Sep 200800:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:15Very windy to start with. Air lumpy. Self launched, scratched. Flew the spur in front of the pub with an Airborne Fun. A Paraglider joined in the fun. As usual, dropped off and ended up bottom landing. The Airborne Fun also joined me at the bottom.24218:20
HWed, 16 Jul 200800:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:10Another quick top to bottom at the end of what looked like a good day to fly.317:19
HWed, 11 Jun 200800:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:02A quick top-to-bottom at the Dyke, perfect landing in centre of landing square.317:09
HSun, 29 Jul 200700:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:26Strange day. Very buoyant air in cycles. Gained good height in a good cycled then failed to top land when it switched off and bottom landed in the crop. Bottom landing field mostly unavailable due to the amounts of farm machinery left in it.57717:07
HSun, 12 Nov 200612:15Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:23Wind swung to west, tried top landing, went too far back, landed behind pub.015:53
HSun, 12 Nov 200610:30Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:37Light'ish north west wind. 2 top landing attempts, landed 2nd.26215:30
HSat, 29 Apr 200600:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:45Very lifty with some sink. Flew to Pylons several times but did not have bottle to cross them. Landed in large field at the back.26514:35
HSat, 04 Feb 200600:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:15Very light, no other hang gliders, good nil wind in the bottom landing - flight was much better than I'd planned!10013:50
HSat, 17 Sep 200513:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:25Northerly wind decreasing, got stuck in sink, bottom landed and flared way too early on landing - parachuted down!18013:35
HSat, 17 Sep 200511:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:35Almost smack on north. Flew to pylons and back, lost height and ended up bottom landing!16013:10
HSun, 13 Jun 200400:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:25Only on pub hill, eventually went down but didn't land in crop!27511:10
HThu, 08 Apr 200400:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:05Weak lift again and landed at bottom. Paraglider landed in a tree and I assisted!5910:45
HSun, 07 Mar 200400:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:05Weak scratchy lift, first flight on this glider!010:40
HTue, 23 Sep 200300:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:25Strong W/NW. Waited on hill for the wind to drop.28810:35
HSat, 30 Aug 200300:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:05Light to moderate westerly - prolonged top to bottom7210:10
HThu, 26 Sep 200215:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:05Light conditions - top to bottom.310:05
HThu, 26 Sep 200211:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:35NNW Flew past pylons - bottom landed.30010:00
HSat, 22 Dec 200100:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:40WNW - gusting 20-28mph, hard work penetrating, probably a little too strong for flying.30009:08
HThu, 06 Sep 200100:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:45NW mainly flying on the hill in front of the pub. Busy air, landing at top in large field.25508:28
HTue, 04 Sep 200100:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:10Flew to pylons, didn't get to above take-off height. Bottom landed.007:43
HThu, 21 Jun 200100:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:00Arrived at 15:00, sea breeze pulled wind off hill - no flying!007:33
HSun, 17 Jun 200100:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:40Very strong ridge lift, flew to pylon then returned for a top landing.45007:33
HSat, 02 Jun 200114:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:52NW getting stronger, moving north. Couldn't top land as conditions were difficult.45006:53
HSat, 02 Jun 200113:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:05Light wind, top to bottom in the rain - followed another glider during my flight!1506:01
HFri, 15 Dec 200000:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:03NW. Flying only on the pub hill as conditions did not permit crossing to the bowl.002:56
HSat, 07 Oct 200000:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:03Very light. Getting dark; quick top to bottom!002:53
HSun, 12 Mar 200014:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:04NW,NNW light. Very crowded with paragliders!002:50
HSun, 12 Mar 200011:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:03NW,NNW light. Very crowded with paragliders!002:46
HWed, 29 Dec 199914:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:10NNW (10mph) maintained for a while then bottom landed.002:43
HWed, 29 Dec 199912:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:25NNW (15-20mph) first top landing!30002:33
HSun, 19 Dec 199911:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:15North, very cold, snow on ground, cleared ice from wings, bottom landed again!10002:08
HTue, 09 Nov 199900:00Airwave CalypsoDevil's Dyke00:25Strong north (15-20mph), gusty, bit rough, got worse, bottom landed.30001:53
HFri, 19 Mar 199917:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:15Moderate NNW winds, CPC soaring qualifying flights30001:10
HFri, 19 Mar 199914:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:20Moderate NNW winds, CPC soaring qualifying flights30000:55
HFri, 19 Mar 199912:00Aeros Target 16Devil's Dyke00:30Moderate NNW winds, CPC soaring qualifying flights30000:35