Ivinghoe Beacon – Buckinghamshire, England - Atlas Obscura
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Buckinghamshire, England

Ivinghoe Beacon

Model aircraft soar over 360-degree views of the countryside at the start of England's oldest road. 

Ivinghoe Beacon is an imposing gateway to the hills of the Chilterns, a local landmark beloved by nature lovers and model aircraft enthusiasts thanks to its steep chalk hill walking trails and windswept panoramic views of the English countryside.

This iconic hill marks one end of the Ridgeway National Trail, considered to be the oldest road in Britain. The ancient trackway is now a hiking path that stretches 87 miles long. It heads southwest from Ivinghoe toward Avebury, passing many ancient and prehistoric sites along the way.

Adding to the intrigue of this unique place, the uphill wind of Ivinghoe Beacon also makes the slope a popular site for hobbyists flying radio-control model aircraft gliders, known as “slope soaring.” It has been a destination for model aircraft enthusiasts for the past 40 years.

Although the Ivinghoe Beacon is actually fairly close to the nearby villages of Ivinghoe and Aldbury, it has an isolated, remote feel, and has been used as a filming location for such fantasy movies as Harry Potter and the new Star Wars.

Know Before You Go

Parking is free, with fantastic views. The Beacon is part of the Ivinghoe Hills Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its wildlife.

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