The Cotswold Gliding Club has over 150 members of all ages and over 75 gliders based on the airfield. Formed in 1964, the club boasts some of the best gliding facilities in the country.
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 80s. Being an active club, we host many events throughout the year including national gliding competitions (with over 60 gliders participating), global gliding meetings (we are hosting the 2023 International Vintage Glider Rally), and have other aviation events including ballooning throughout the year.
We have a range of two seater and training gliders, that will take you from an absolute beginner through to learning advanced soaring and cross-country flying.
Our welcoming mix of members makes this the ideal location for you to learn the basics of gliding and to become an active club member.
About our Airfield
Aston Down Airfield is a large gliding site with a 1500m main runway (about a mile) and over 100 acres of usable airfield.
The site offers excellent height for launches, making it easy to contact the abundant thermals that rise from the well drained Cotswold limestone, giving superb soaring conditions.
We can offer camping and caravanning on the airfield providing services hook-up and washing facilities.
About our Facilities
The club is based in an original 2nd World War control tower offering a large, comfortable 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 a BBQ area.
To support our gliding operations, we have rooms dedicated to flight planning, providing pilots access to weather forecasts, NOTAMS, flight planning and flight analysis software.
With fully WIFI enabled, we offer members and visitors a comfortable environment from which to watch gliding operations across the airfield.
About our Aircraft
The club has a range of aircraft accessible for members to fly including modern training and aerobatic gliders through to vintage single seaters. All of our gliders are available to fly for club members.
ASK 21 Dual Seat Training Glider
One of two ASK-21s owned by the club. Both are used daily to train new pilots to solo and for advanced training including aerobatics.
ASK 13 Dual Seat Training Glider
One of two ASK-13s owned by the club. This one has been extensively restored by the club making it one of the best K13s flying today.
DG500 Dual Seat Advanced Trainer
Our cross country trainer. Used mainly to instruct and prepare pilots for cross country flying but also course training if required.
ASK 23 Single Seat Glider
Our single seat glider used daily by both club and course members who are able to fly solo.
ASK 18 Single Seat Vintage Glider
A lovely example of a K18. In beautiful condition and easy to fly by early solo pilots. Loved by club members, particularly in light soaring conditions which it excels in.
Becoming a Member
We offer a range of membership options to make it easy and accessible for people of all ages and backgrounds to join the club. The club is run mostly by volunteers, with everyone involved in keeping the gliding operation running.
Whether you are learning to fly or are an experienced glider pilot, our membership options can provide you an inclusive and cost effective way of participating in the club. From temporary through to annual, we attract many new members every year wanting to be involved with the activities of the club. See our pricing and joining options below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cotswold Gliding Club is a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) and has provisions to support membership applications from those on low or modest incomes. Such applications will be considered sympathetically and objectively by the Club committee in accordance with an established process.