A tandem jump is the way most people get into the world of skydiving. Strapped to an instructor and fully briefed about the jump, you get to experience freefall for anything up to a minute at some UK tandem skydive locations. This is usually enough to create such an adrenaline surge that you’ll be willing to go again straight away.
Across the UK there are a number of dropzones and skydiving locations to choose from. Each has its advantages in terms of location and scenery, so hopefully the following list of top 10 UK tandem skydive locations will help you to make your choice.
Headcorn Airfield is situated in the heart of the Kent countryside, also known as the Garden of England. The airfield is just outside the idyllic village of Headcorn with stunning views across the Weald, taking in Leeds Castle and even the distant shores of Calais. During your 12,000 feet descent, you’ll have time to take in these incredible views of this beautiful part of the English countryside.
Headcorn is also easily accessible, with trains leaving Charing Cross, Waterloo East and London Bridge stations every half an hour. By road you can take the M20 and follow signs for Leeds Castle and Headcorn.
One of the biggest dropzones in the UK, Hibaldstow is also home to the British National Championships in Formation Skydiving and a number of world-class skydiving teams. While it’s very unlikely you’ll be doing any formation work during a tandem dive, this is also a really excellent dropzone with first-rate facilities and instructors.
Situated in Lincolnshire, you’ll jump from around 15,000 feet at Hibaldstow, plenty of time to take in the beautiful countryside below.
Morecambe Bay, Cumbria
Situated just south of the Lake District on the north west coast of England, dropzones don’t come with much better or more varied views than this. During your freefall and descent you’ll have unrivalled views of the Cumbrian coast, the fells of the Lake District and Morecambe Bay itself. Watch the sun glisten off Lake Windemere as you and your instructor plummet towards the ground at 120 mph.
Just off the M6, the dropzone near Morecambe is easily accessible. And with the chance to get a video of your jump, backdropped by the stunning views, this is a highly recommended DZ and one of the best UK tandem skydive locations.
Strathallan, Central Scotland
Situated midway between the Scottish towns of Perth and Stirling in Central Scotland, Strathallan is just an hour away from both Edinburgh and Glasgow. As Scotland’s premier tandem skydiving centre you’ll be in good hands and, of course, you get to jump over some majestic Scottish scenery.
Far below, as well as the rolling hills of Scotland, you’ll also be able to see the famous Gleneagles Golf Course, which is nearby.
Close to London, Essex, Cambridge and Birmingham, this easily accessible dropzone has been operating for over 30 years and is regarded as one of the best UK tandem skydive locations. With jumps from 13,000 feet and freefalls of 50+ seconds, you’ll experience a huge adrenaline rush as you drop over the charming Suffolk countryside.
From this height, you’ll have incredible views in every direction across the county and far off into many others. The large landing area is also a comfort to any first time tandem jumpers, and with top instructors and the very best equipment, you’ll be in very safe hands for your jump.
Just west of Peterlee you’ll find Shotton Airfield, the only skydiving centre in the north east. Jumping from here you’ll have great views of the small city of Durham and off into the distance you’ll also be able to see the historic city of Newcastle. You might just be able to make out the St James’ Park stadium towering above the city.
To get to the DZ you’ll need to take the A19 Peterlee exit and head towards Shotton Colliery, which serves as a reminder of what this beautiful region was once famous for.
Dunkeswell Airfield, Devon
Harnessed to your instructor, you’ll fly up to 15,000 feet in one of the fastest and most comfortable climbing jump planes in the world. Then you’ll have the chance to jump out over one of the most scenic drop zones in the UK. With views of the North and South Devon coastlines, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset and the Bristol Channel into South Wales, it’s not often you’ll get to take all this in at the same time. Well worth a place in any top 10 UK tandem skydive locations list.
Located at Swansea Airport on the Gower Peninsula this is Wales’ only skydiving centre. Luckily, it’s a pretty good one too. On a clear jumping day the views over the peninsula are simply stunning. You’ll be able to take in the vast curving bays and jutting headlands of the South Wales coastline and marvel at the beautiful countryside inland.
The skydive centre here operates mostly on Bank Holidays and at the weekends, although they do the occasional Friday jumping session too. Just a few minutes from Swansea city centre, it’s also a very accessible DZ.
Situated on the very fringes of the West Midlands, the rural county of Shropshire has a big reputation amongst skydivers. Close to Manchester, Birmingham, Crewe, Stoke and Chester, tandem jumps at this DZ location have proven to be very popular over recent years.
Flying from Tilstock Airfield, the views over Shropshire into the Midlands on one side and Wales on the other are impressive. You’ll be jumping from around 10,000 feet and freefalling for around 30 seconds. Then you’ll have five or six minutes to let the adrenaline sink in, as you enjoy the view before landing.
Based in the scenic Vale of Belvoir, Nottingham’s Langar Airfield was originally used as a bomber base during WWII. Now it is used exclusively by British Parachute Schools who make around 30,000 jumps every year.
Jumping from 13,500 feet, freefall lasts about 50 seconds before around six or seven minutes of open canopy descent. This is a centrally located DZ and currently one of the most popular in the UK.