Ivinghoe Soaring Association

This proper ISA Club site can be found here:


Welcome to Graham's defunct ISA Home Page. The ISA was formed way back in November 1977 when models were quite different. Sure enough, there were quite a few fliers who used to turn up on the Ivinghoe slopes then but we never really knew one another - then the Association was formed and everything changed - we actually started talking to one another! Since 1977, the ISA has gone from strength to strength and I think at one time (1990s) we could boast over 300 members.

We still are possibly the largest soaring association in the UK. These days (2019) our membership reaches about half at 140 year on year (265 back in 2000). Being such a large association we have expertise in the whole range of slope flying disciplines with Cross Country flying (UK style), Thermal Soaring (F5J) and F3F and foamie electric thermal soaring on our flat field at Hockcliffe - we have members who participate in National and International Competitions.

Aerial Shot


Pimple We fly on the Ivinghoe Hills, near the Dunstable Downs in Bedfordshire where full size sailplanes are flown. We share our slopes with Red Kites btw that often interact with our sailplanes. The site is about 60km north west of London. We pay an annual Licence Fee to the National Trust.

On our downland hills, licensed for ISA use and administered by the National Trust, we have slopes that fly almost all directions. Some better than others, of course, the best slope is the West face with the trig point on the top showing 231m (758ft a.m.s.l.) on the map. Our slopes for North, North East and South are pretty good too. On a fine summer weekend with a west wind the hills can get rather busy, not with fliers these days but especially  numbers of walkers and day trippers who make their way to 'The Beacon' for the spectacular views over the Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire countryside.




In recent years our flying has attracted BBC and Channel 4 for pieces on our pastime as well as motion picture film crews who shot parts of Killing Eve, Harry Potter and Star Wars as well as many other snippets like Catweazle on our slopes. On these occasions we had to abandon the hills of course. Trouble is, it seems to be happening more and more...

Our members were involved with the making of Walking with Dogs for Channel 4 which featured Victoria Pendleton with he Dobermans and in December 2019 a BBC1 Countryfile edition which featured Buckinghamshire with our members providing the modelling section of the program (flying begins at 43:30 mins in). These were not long items but the 5 minutes or so of our flying was a way of demonstrating to the public what we actually do. we received good reports on these UK only TV programmes.


Update: January 29, 2020 19:32 Z

Graham Woods