Microlight flights 

Some of our famous landmarks we can see on one of our many flight routes with a brief history.

Microlight flights Lessons 


Just some of the many landmarks we can see on some of our different flight routes  with a brief history on each landmark. 

 Just a few thumbnail pictures of landmarks with history of the land marks shown below Scroll down to see land marks and a brief history 

 Bolsover Castle



Bolsover occupies the hilltop site of a medieval fortress built by the Peverel family. The wealthy Sir Charles Cavendish - who already owned several other great mansions, including one only a few miles away - bought the old fortress in 1612 and began work on his Little Castle project.

His son William - playboy, poet, courtier and later Civil War Royalist general and first Duke of Newcastle - inherited the Little Castle in 1617 and set about its completion, assisted by the architect John Smythson.

What resulted was a kind of 'toy keep', housing tiers of luxurious staterooms. The exquisitely carved fireplaces, and richly-coloured murals and panelling of its miraculously preserved and beautifully restored interiors still take the visitor on an allegorical journey from earthly concerns to heavenly (and erotic) delights.


The Venus Fountain 

William also added the vast and stately Terrace Range overlooking the Vale of Scarsdale, now a dramatic roofless shell. To show off his achievement, in 1634 he invited King Charles I and his court to Love's Welcome to Bolsover, a masque specially written by Ben Jonson for performance in the Fountain Garden. Finally he constructed the cavernous Riding House with its magnificent roof and viewing galleries, among the finest surviving indoor riding schools in the country and a landmark in British equestrianism: here he indulged his passion for training great horses in stately dressage.
The Venus Fountain, with 23 new statues, plays again for the first time in centuries, and the 'Caesar paintings' commissioned by Cavendish and depicting Roman emperors and empresses have also returned to Bolsover.


 Chatsworth House


 Chatsworth House as seen from above

Chatsworth is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family. The house architecture and collection have been evolving for five centuries.

The house has over 30 rooms to explore*, from the magnificent Painted Hall, regal State Rooms, newly restored Sketch Galleries and beautiful Sculpture Gallery. In the Guest Bedrooms, meet an Edwardian Lady's Maid who will be revealing the secrets of her mistress's suitcase of clothes, or dress up in one of our period costumes.


Chatsworth has one of Europe's most significant art collections. The diverse collection has grown with each generation to live here, and the Devonshire Collection encompasses Old Masters, contemporary ceramics, artefacts from Ancient Egypt, modern sculpture and computer portraits to name but a few. The Old Master Drawings Cabinet opened in 2012 to showcase selections from over 2000 pieces within the collection, many of which have not been publicly displayed within living memory. Find out more about the Devonshire Collection.

 Sutton Hall Ruin


 The imposing shell of a grandiose Georgian mansion built in 1724-29, with an immensely columned exterior. Roofless since 1919, when its interiors were dismantled and some exported to America: but there is still much to discover within, including traces of sumptuous plasterwork. Set amid contemporary garden remains, including ha-ha ditch and parish church.

 Sutton Hall 

 Hardwick Hall


Hardwick Hall is one of Britain's finest Elizabethan houses built for Elizabeth, Dowager Countess of Shrewsbury, who moved in to her latest creation in October 1597.

Bess of Hardwick, as history recalls her, rose from humble origins to become on of the most powerful people in the court of Queen Elizabeth I. She married four times, each time gaining more wealth and her fourth husband was the Earl of Shrewsbury, one of the richest and most powerful of the English nobles of the time. 

For many years the Shrewsburys were responsible for the guardianship of that unhappy Queen Mary Queen of Scots. The dynasty created by Bess included many powerful descendants including the Dukes of Devonshire, Newcastle, Portland and Kingston. 

Hardwick Hall as viewed through the ruins 

The house itself stands in a commanding position overlooking the surrounding countryside next to the ruins of Hardwick Old Hall. The original Old Hall may have dated from the 14th century, but the ruins you can now see were, curiously, built only a few years before the 'New' Hall alongside. 

The story is that Bess had a furious dispute with her husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury, and in 1584 had to leave their home at Chatsworth. She came to the Old Hall at Hardwick and largely rebuilt it as a place for herself to live. However, when the Earl died in 1590 her finances became much more secure and she immediately began the construction of the 'New' Hall. The Old Hall was abandoned and gradually became a ruin.

With its massive windows and fine proportions it is an impressive statement of the power and wealth of its creator who made sure the statement was made quite clear by having her initials ES carved on stone letters at the head of the towers! The hall was notable for the size of its windows and the amount of glass used, which was far more than in similar houses of the period.

Hardwick contains a remarkable collection of 16th Century furniture and paintings and the visited part of the hall is fully furnished. Perhaps the most notable items on view are the large collection of huge tapestries and of needlework that cover many of the walls of the rooms and staircases. Many of the tapestries are original to the hall and were probably chosen by Bess herself. 

The house stands within a country park containing rare breeds of cattle and sheep and the walled and enclosed gardens around the house include a herb garden, orchard and decorative gardens. There is a cafe and National Trust gift shop. 



 Mam Tor Iron age Fort

 Mam Tor From Above

 Mam Tor is a famous viewpoint and landmark, rearing up above the valleys of Hope and Edale. Known as the 'shivering mountain', it is comprised of shale and the East face is a dramatic and loose expanse of crumbling rock. The area below the face is constantly on the move and each period of heavy rain undermines the loose shale and causes it to slip further down the valley. The former A625 main road from Stockport to Sheffield once went down this way but was swept away by a landslide in 1974 and has not been rebuilt.

On the top of the hill was a large Iron Age fort, and the fortifications can still be seen. However, the site was almost certainly occupied long before this. The trig point on the summit of the hill is placed on top of a tumulus which probably dates from the Bronze Age, and a bronze axehead has also been found here. Unfortunately the tumulus is now hard to make out because erosion has forced the National Trust, who own the hill and the nearby Winnats Pass, to pave the summit area.



Mam Tor hill Fort

 Mam tor Iron age fort As It would have looked

The ramparts can be followed most of the way around the hilltop, and there are clear remains of two gateways on the paths leading from Mam Nick and from Hollins Cross. Excavations have shown that the original ramparts had a timber pallisade on top, but later the timber was replaced by stone. There are also the foundations of many hut circles within the defences and pottery has also been found, which indicates that this was a fully-fledged village rather than just a defensive site.

The views from the summit of Mam Tor are superb, with a fine view of Edale and Kinder to the north and Hope valley to the east, and a splendid ridge leading from the summit down to Hollins Cross and along to Lose Hill. Mam Tor looks particularly impressive when approached across the limestone moors from the direction of Peak Forest. 

The escarpments around Mam Tor and nearby Lord's Seat and Rushup Edge seem to attract winds at all times and this has led to it becoming the most popular local centre for hang-gliding and paragliding.


Derwent Dams & lady Bower

 The Industrial Revolution and urbanisation of the 19th century created huge demand for water in the industrial cities of the East Midlands and South Yorkshire. The proximity ofSheffield and its neighbours to the Upper Derwent valley were thus factors in the decision to dam the valley to create the Howden and Derwent reservoirs.


The neo-Gothic solid masonry dam was begun in 1902, a year after Howden was started, and proved a mammoth task. The huge stones that formed the walls of the dam were carried along a specially created railway from the quarries at Grindleford. Over 1,000 workers lived in a specially constructed self-contained town called Birchinlee[1] or "Tin Town". One of the metal huts was preserved and moved to the village of Hope, where it is now a hairdressing salon. The workers that died during the construction of the dam were buried in Bamford Church.

The reservoir was first begun to be filled in November 1914, and overflowed for the first time in January 1916, with the water almost immediately passing into supply. The dam can support a total of 9.64 million cubic metres of water.

Only two years after the dam's completion in 1916, it was decided that the flow from the reservoir was insufficient to support the surrounding population. As a result, between 1920 and 1931 the rivers Alport and Ashop were also diverted from the Ashop valley into the reservoir using tunnels and a Venturi Flume.

The diversion helped hold back water during the construction of the Ladybower Reservoir to the south, which was constructed between 1935 and 1945.


The Major Oak




 The Major Oak is located a 10-15 minute walk through the woods from 

Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre near the village of Edwinstowe.

There is a surfaced path to the Major Oak and it is signed from the Visitor Centre.

Type of tree

The Major Oak is a Quercus Robur, the English or pendunculate oak.  

This forest veteran is a huge oak tree thought to be around 800 years old. In a 2002 survey, it was voted "Britain's favourite tree".

According to local lore, its hollow trunk was used as a hideout by Robin Hood's men, though if Robin was - as legend suggests - active in the 12th or 13th century, this tree could only have been a sapling then. So it must have been another, much older oak that hid the outlaw.

Today, the world famous tree weighs an estimated 23 tonnes, its trunk circumference is 33 feet (10m) and its branches spread to over 92 feet (28m).

About the name

The earliest recorded name for this remarkable oak, dating back to the mid 18th century, was the Cockpen Tree.

The hollow interior is said to have been used to pen cockerels ready to be used in the now illegal sport of cock fighting. Later it was known as the Queen Oak.

In 1790, Major Hayman Rooke, a noted antiquarian from Mansfield Woodhouse, included the tree in his popular book about the ancient oaks of Sherwood. It thus became known as The Major's Oak, and later simply The Major Oak.


Because of its national importance, conservation measures to the tree have been carried out continually since 1908.

In Edwardian times, metal chains were used to support its weighty branches, and lead sheet attached to protect the trunk.

In the late seventies, these measures were replaced by large wooden struts, supporting the heaviest branches.

Today, slender steel poles prop the sprawling limbs of this forest giant. Tree surgeons check the oak periodically and carry out remedial work as needed.

Crooked Spire Chesterfield 


 St Mary and All Saints, the Crooked Spire Church, was built in the late 13th Century and finished around 1360. It's the largest church in Derbyshire. The Spire stands 228 feet from the ground and leans 9 feet 5 inches from its true centre. The Spire was built straight and the reason that it 'twisted' may be the amount of green timber used during its construction. Then 32 tons of lead tiles were placed on top - enough to bend anyone's back!


 Chesterfields Crooked Spire 

  Creswell Crags


 Cress well Crags as seen from above

Creswell Crags is a limestone gorge studded with caves and smaller fissures. The caves were used by Ice Age hunters as a seasonal camp over 45,000 years ago. These hunters came following herds of mammoth, bison and reindeer as they migrated to their summer grazing lands. Creswell Crags was at that time one of the most northerly places in ancient man's territory.


 Just one of the Cave Entrance's  

 Archaeologists, exploring the caves, have found fossil animal bones including mammoth and hyena, and flint stone tools left behind by the hunters.


View Inside one of the caves 

The earliest known cave art dating back 12,000 years was recently found in Church Hole cave.

Cave tours are one of the most popular activities on the site. An experienced guide takes you from the Museum and Education Centre on a short walk into the limestone gorge and to Robin Hood Cave, the largest of the caves.

Most of the caves, however, are not open to the public and are protected by metal grills to preserve the rare archaeological deposits that remain inside.

At the east end of the gorge is the Museum and Education Centre. Visitors can go back in time with the "Age of Ice" exhibition that explains Creswell Crags' rich history.

Cresswell Model Village 



YEARS ahead of its time, at the turn of the 20th century Creswell Model Village was considered to be a living example of superior accommodation for the village's colliers.

And now, thanks to a multi-million pound project funded jointly by Bolsover Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, Meden Valley Making Places and Villagate Properties, the Victorian estate is proving once again to be a model living environment for those who are making it their home.

Originally built in the 1890s, the 281 homes were thought to be a considerable advancement on the ugly, squat rows of back-to-back houses traditionally built for miners.

They were a breakaway from the traditional rows of terraced housing and followed what was described as the modern principle.

The chairman of the Bolsover Colliery Company, Emerson Bainbridge, was largely responsible for the scheme.

He said: "There was no reason why the miners should not have a village where three things could exist successfully – the absence of drunkenness, the absence of gambling and the absence of bad language."

Architect Percy Houfton decided that he would build his houses in two concentric circles at a cost of 200 each.

Within the inner circle there would be a large green, a bandstand, a children's playground and rustic seating.

In the early days a cricket ground and a clubhouse were provided along with a shop – a branch of the Bolsover Co-operative Society – and allotments were available for rent at four shillings a year.

Speaking at the time, Mr Houfton said: "The company has tried to make the lives of the workmen as pleasant as possible, and to give them such an interest in the place where they live that they are happy to spend their leisure time in their own village."

And more often than not this was the case. Families who lived and brought up their children in the village were content.

Elmton with Creswell Local History Group's Enid Hibbert clearly remembers her childhood in the village.

"We didn't have all the modern amenities that they have nowadays, but everybody knew you and you felt safe," she said. "It was real community spirit."

A 1913 Times newspaper article gave an impression of what life was like when the estate was in its prime.

'The village has its own school, its institute and workman's club and its bowling green, cricket and football grounds and a brass band,' it said.

'And there are nursing, dress-making and ambulance classses, Boys Brigade, Cadet Corps and Boy Scouts.'

Several designs of housing made up the estate, but basically they fell into two categories – those with and those without kitchens.

There were no bathrooms, and toilets, which were emptied weekly, were outside.

"Housework was much harder as there were no vacuum cleaners or automatic washers and washing was a full day's job," said one former resident."

Outside, the green was split into two – the top and the bottom parks. The Top Park incorporated the bandstand and various intersecting pathways, while the Bottom Park was home to the children's play area.

As the years passed, the houses underwent some modernisation but the loss of coalmining jobs, culminating in the closure of the pit in 1991, caused a decline, leaving empty and unfit properties.

The estate once more became an example, but this time for the wrong things. Parts of it eventually degenerating into a haven for vandals and addicts.

But even though things were not looking good, there was still a future for the village.

And now some six years later, the restoration work is almost completed. Families are moving in and new life is once more being breathed into the development.

Lifelong Model Village resident and current secretary for the Tenants and Residents Association, Val Neeve, said she had seen a lot of changes over the years.

"The Model Village is now fully restored and looks almost like it did when I was a child," she said. "And already a new spirit is beginning to emerge from a more diverse community."

To coincide with the completion of the work, Elmton with Creswell Local History Group has produced a booklet outlining the history of the estate with reflections from previous residents.

Priced at 1.50, copies can be obtained by telephoning 01909 720943 or 01909 721695.

The group has also taken possession of two working boots that had been hidden for years under the floorboards of one of the houses until they were discovered by workman Nigel Burkinshaw.

"Though they are not a pair they are a genuine historical artefact related to the village," added Mrs Neeve.



 Welbeck Abbey

 Welbeck Abbey A MOD training colledge from 1954 until 2005


Welbeck Abbey was founded as a monastery in 1153. When Henry VIII became Supreme Head of the Church of England in the 1530's, he dissolved the monastery and Welbeck Abbey was bought by a member of the King's court.

Bess of Hardwick's youngest son, Sir Charles Cavendish, bought the Welbeck Estate in 1607. Since then the estate has continued to be handed down through the family.

Family members include the 5th Duke of Portland, the famous 'burrowing duke.' The 5th Duke spent his time and wealth at Welbeck, commissioning an impressive range of buildings which included a maze of underground tunnels. The Gas Works, which was built about 1860, lit his underground structures and is now home to The Harley Gallery. The large circular features in the garden mark the foundations of original gasometers.

The Gallery is named after Edward Harley, who married Charles Cavendish's great-granddaughter, Lady Henrietta, the greatest heiress of her day.

Edward Harley was one of the greatest bibliophiles and collectors of his age. His collecting habits led to an extensive fine and decorative art collection. Some works are still in family hands but the rest were sold and his manuscript collection was bought by the nation and helped found the British Library. Edward bought the famous horse, "The Bloodied Shouldered Arabian" and shipped him over to Britain. It is said that every racehorse in Britain is descended from him or another horse, "The Darley Arabian".

The family have retained a passion for horses and horseracing and in the 1880s their winnings from racing amounted to what would be around £30,000,000 in today's money. The Duchess at the time, Duchess Winifred, made sure that some of the money went to building a set of almshouses, which she named "The Winnings" and which are still in use today. She also used her position to promote her love of birds and helped found the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Welbeck Abbey remains a private family home. During August and September, The Harley Gallery runs tours of the Abbey's State Rooms to see objects from the Cavendish-Bentinck family art collection, The Portland Collection, in their historic setting.


Thorpe Hall 



 Thorpe hall South front

Thorpe hall - an Elizebethan manor house built in 1570 by the Sandford family, and bought by the Osbourne family around 1636 as part of the Thorpe Salvin manor (they were the family who were to become the Dukes of Leeds by 1694, and gave their names to the two 'Leeds' pubs around here), and now looked after by English Heritage. Only the south front remains standing. The public records also record the 'Athorpe family of Thorpe Hall Thorpe, Yorkshire' who became the first resident lords of the manor in Dinnington in 1678, and who's falcon containing family crest was indicated by the Falcon pub there.

The actual entry is:

Athorpe family of Thorpe Hall
Thorpe, Yorkshire
Dinnington, Yorkshire
Morthen, Yorkshire

 Rother valley Country park


Rother valley country park 


he Rother Valley Country Park is a country park in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, close to its border with Sheffield and Derbyshire. It covers 3 square kilometres (740 acres), has four artificial lakes, recreational activities and nature reserves. The majority of the park is on the site of a former quarry, with the main excavation sites filled by the artificial lakes, There is still much of the original quarry machinery below the water.

The park was officially opened on 27 May 1983, at a cost of £4 million. The park aimed to provide an area for recreational pursuits, encourage wildlife to return to the area, and provide a flood protection plan for the areas downstream. When the construction was finished, the lakes were filled with fresh water from The Moss (about 2.5 km away) because the River Rother was so heavily polluted at that time.

The park was formerly meadows before the quarry opened and started excavation. At the eastern side of the lake stands the Bedgrave Mill courtyard, where the visitor centre is located displaying the flood defence map and the original mill mechanism "flour into grain" exhibition from when it was a water mill, also there is a craft centre and "The Stables" cafe there.

Some of the many sports at Rother valley country park 

Jet ski at Rother valley  



Sailing Rother valley 


Over head cable 

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