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About

About Us

Our Philosophy

  • To give you memorable experiences to take into your everyday life
  • To build up self confidence in a relaxed atmosphere
  • To allow you to let go of your inhibitions and expand your horizons
  • To give you enjoyment through a learning experience.

All roads lead to Rome some are safer than others.

Our history

The Mid Wales Paragliding Centre is the longest established BHPA (British Han-gliding & Paragliding Association) registered school (number 363), serving the Whole of Mid and West Wales, The Centre was first established by Steve Griffiths back in 2003 and over the years has built up a first – class reputation by bringing you adventures in the skies.

We offer BHPA rated experiences and training packages to total beginners as well as flying holidays abroad for qualified pilots, at carefully chosen locations throughout the world to bring the best flying conditions at the time of year we visit. We have put together some of the most sophisticated training packages on the market today based on the experiences and depth of knowledge, we have experienced over the years.

We only use certified and up to date equipment as your safety is paramount to us. When it comes to Tandem flying and teaching, we are constantly making assessments on the weather and conditions, also on our clients human performance to make sure we keep you safe. You can rely on our 1st rate safety record and be confident we will bring you a first-class experience.

During your training we follow a long-standing training syllabus developed over many years to make your training as safe as possible. Practical sessions are backed up by theory sessions so we can fully understand the interactions between the different forces and elements involved in flight.

All Mid Wales Paragliding Centre all our instructors hold a current BHPA license in their respected discipline. They also hold current first aid qualifications as this is one of the mandatory safety requirements required by our association. BHPA

Over the years we have made lots of happy smiles and created new exciting opportunities, that make better and safer pilots.

Meet the team

Chief flying instructor 🙂 Steve Griffiths

Hello there, I have been involved in the sport since 1998 and over the years have gained a huge amount of experience and knowledge from this amazing sport, Teaching, flying, guiding abroad and acrobatic flying. One of my achievements in the sport was when I got my acrobatic Flying Display license from the UK Civil Aviation. All this knowledge has come from many years of personal experience, travel and hard work.

I have over 4000 hours flying in all sorts of conditions from demanding and strong to tranquil and mellow, “We used to follow the thermals and travel to the best places to fly far for the time of year we were there”. On each trip we had over 50% of the students beating their personal bests by flying further and better than they ever had before.

By gaining this expert knowledge, I now transfer what I have learnt to my colleges, friends and students. Since 2007 I have been working full time in the school teaching people to fly and running trips and holidays abroad.

I have flown in many amazing places to include Austria, Brazil, France, India, Italy, Lankawi, Malasia, Monoco, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and of course the UK.

Air Experience Instructor: Martin James

Martin used to work in the building trade and after learning to fly he packed in his job and went flying full time.

Martin has 20 years flying experience behind him and had flown in many exotic places throughout the world to include Peru, India, France, Monaco, Spain, Morocco and Turkey.

Martin is a great help in the school and is a licensed Air Experience Instructor. He helps with the Tandem Experience flights and also the paragliding and paramotoring training. He is a very chilled out kind of guy and can communicate well with the students making him a valuable asset to our team.

Guide: James Toole (Jim)

Jim is passionate about the sport and has flown many hours in the 12 years he has been flying. He helps us with our fly guiding service we offer on our courses abroad. Jim is based in Morocco and this is where he does most of his flying. He has over 900 hours in the air and has been flying for 9 years. It’s a privilege to have him working with us as he is a great pilot and a close friend.

Location

Our location is one of the contributing factors that make our school so unique. We are lucky enough to be in one of the more carefully selected this area as the best location in Wales because of its reliable wind patterns coming in off the sea. The close proximity of the Cambrian Mountains and the short amount of traveling time for suitable sites makes this a fantastic area to learn to fly.

Being situated in the gulf air stream we are in one of the best areas in the UK for the type of flying conditions needed for this sport. Throughout the summer we get regular sea breezes and light winds flowing in from the sea that brings favorable flying conditions to the mountains in our area.

Our base

Penfagwyr Urchaf is a 5-minute drive from the seaside village of LLanon which is situated between Aberystwyth and Aberaeron on the Cambrian coast line od Ceredigion. its is from here (by appointment only) we conduct the classroom and theory side of things before heading out to the hills to fly. We are a 5-minute drive from the nearest beach and In the summer months at the end of the flying day we can often find ourselves on the beach having a barbecue and chatting about what a great day out had by all.

The flying

Our flight training is carried out in the Cambrian Mountains. Being high up and about 10 miles inland we have some of the best views you can find in our local area. On clear days we can see as far north as the llyn peninsular and the highest mountain in Wales Snowdon. looking south we see the coastline stretch all the way from Borth to Cardigan bay.

We have several friendly training sites situated around 1500ft above sea level within a close proximity of each other so we only have a short walk or drive should flying conditions change. We will occasionally use the ridges and hills further away during certain wind directions to give us opportunities for every wind direction.

Aberystwyth town

Aberystwyth town is the home to the University of Wales and the National Library. It is nestled between three hills and two beaches, and hosts some castle ruins, a pier and a harbor. It is a University town with some seven thousand students, ensuring it is vibrant throughout the year and not just during summertime.

The seafront

The seafront hosts Victorian / Edwardian buildings mostly 4/5 stories high. The wide promenade protects the buildings from the ravages of the Irish Sea and offers space to sit, soak up the sun and view the surrounding hills and mountains. On a clear day you may see the tallest mountain in Wales, Snowdon.

The habour

The harbor was once one of the busiest in Wales and is fed by the rivers Ystwyth and Rheidol (which incidentally, is the steepest river in Britain). Aberystwyth is now the centre of local rural life and is visited by many to sample the numerous cafés, bars, and restaurants including, Chinese, Indian, Italian and Medi

Cliff railway

The Aberystwyth Electric Cliff Railway is the steepest electric cliff railway in Britain. It climbs Constitution Hill another one of our flying sites from the northern end of the towns promenade with trains running every few minutes during the spring, summer and early autumn. ride to the top and get a birds eye view of Aberystwyth and grab a coffe and a snack in the cliff top cafe.

The Cambrian Mountains

The Cambrian Mountains around Aberystwyth supply a stunning back drop and are where most of our training is conducted, There are big green grassy slopes which are perfect to train on and they give great Panoramic Sea views which can be seen for miles. We often fly with the red kites (birds of prey) that have been introduced back into this area.