Today, we’ll be taking you on a tour across the South Coast – looking at some of the best locations to fly your drone. There are many beautiful drone spots along the South Coast, however if you’re up to date with UK drone laws, you’ll know that sadly you can’t just fly anywhere.
Many local areas are governed by environmental protection acts, meaning that drone flying can be limited to certain times of the year (i.e. nesting season). In addition to this, many locations need further permission from the landowner – especially in protected areas. That being said, qualified drone pilots are often able to apply for the landowners permission, so as long as you’re aware of the local laws and regulations when planning your drone flight, flying in these areas doesn’t have to be out of reach!
South Downs Way
South Downs Way, South Coast UK
Located in the south-east of England, within the South Downs National Park, South Downs Way is one of 15 national trails within the UK – it’s also the only national trail found within a national park! The massive 160km trail starts in Winchester and ends by the cliffs of Eastbourne, making it easily accessible to anyone residing on the south coast.
At the time of this article, there are no official restrictions on recreational drone flying in South Downs Way. Whilst this is likely to change in the future, drone pilots should always follow the current UK laws and regulations – otherwise, they risk harming the reputation of other drone users in the area.
The South Downs Way trail goes past the chalky Jurassic Coastline Cliffs, making this walk the perfect escape from day-to-day life. Once you’ve found your perfect take-off spot, make sure to be mindful of animals, nesting birds and the strong coastal winds.
Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove
Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, Dorset UK
This historic site is one of the UK’s most popular coastal spots. Located on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, the beautiful drive to this location from Bournemouth will only take you around 50 minutes (depending on traffic).
The location is owned by the Lulworth Estate, who unfortunately no longer allow recreational drone flying on their sites. However, qualified pilots can apply for and purchase a photography licence through their website – just make sure to watch out for seagulls and the sea breeze!
The Solent (from Southsea in Portsmouth, UK)
A local spot close to our offices in Emsworth, the Solent is the water between the south-coast and the Isle of Wight. The Solent offers stunning views of vast waves, with the bonus of having the picturesque Isle of Wight in the background.
At approximately 20 miles long, the Solent touches upon several counties, with much of the foreshore being owned by the Crown Estate. Fortunately, the Crown Estate grants permission for drone flying on its shores, so long as pilots are operating to the latest CAA rules and regulations.
For take-off and landing spots away from shore, Fareham offers some ideal locations. Fareham Borough Council allows for recreational drone flying (similar to the Crown Estate), so long as you’re following the rules (don’t forget to keep your drone in sight at all times!).
When flying in this area, make sure to keep away from the local airport (flight restriction zone), and check if there are any local events that might restricted your flying.
The New Forest
The New Forest, Hampshire UK
Set in the county of Hampshire, the New Forest (also known as William the Conqueror’s hunting ground) is one of the largest areas of heathland in the UK – with over 40 established walking routes.
The New Forest is managed by Forestry England, who like most landowners provide drone flying permissions on a case-by-case basis. Aside from being qualified (either with an A2 CofC or GVC), drone pilots will also need to consider:
- Bird nesting season (February – August)
- Sensitive and protected wildlife habitats
- Presence of forest animals (for take-off and landing sites)
One of the easiest spots for drone flying in the New Forest is in ‘Telegraph Hill’, which is well worth checking out!
Best Places To Fly Your Drone
Out of all of the places to fly your drone on the south-coast, our favourite is the Solent. Whilst we’re a little biased as it’s our local spot, the reduced restrictions mean it’s the perfect place for beginner flyers looking to practice their drone flying.
Interested in becoming a drone pilot?
iRed® offers a range of drone training courses for new and existing pilots, and is one of the few CAA approved training centres on the south-coast. Whether you’re looking to expand your drone business, or are just starting out and need to get qualified – we’re here to help.
To learn more about our courses, get in touch with our learning advisors today on 01243 370 296 or email [email protected]
Article written by Adam Williams