There’s no better way to appreciate the beauty of Cornwall’s ancient landscape than from above, (unless of course you’re investigating its ancient trackways and ley lines, in which case you’ll definitely want to be on the ground). Booking a helicopter flight will give you an opportunity to see the landmarks that litter the peninsula, from the megaliths to the modern, from Tintagel to the Eden Project.
Choosing a reliable flight operator will ensure that your flight is both safe and enjoyable. I’ve created this guide to help you make an informed decision when booking your helicopter tour of Cornwall. You’ll get a better understanding of what to expect from each flight and how to maximize your experience.
The different types of helicopter rides you can take in Cornwall
There are several types of helicopter rides you can take in Cornwall, including scenic flights, charter flights, and sightseeing tours. Scenic flights typically involve flying over the coast and countryside, giving passengers a bird’s-eye view of the area’s natural beauty. Charter flights are private flights that can be customized to suit the needs of the passengers, such as flying to a specific location or providing aerial photography services.
Sightseeing tours are organized tours that take passengers to popular tourist destinations. Some helicopter companies in Cornwall may also offer specific experience such as Coastal Helicopter Adventure, Scenic Flights over Land’s End, or Experience flights for those who just want something general and non-specific, perhaps leaving it up to the pilot to decide where to fly.
Where to find the best places for a helicopter ride in Cornwall
There are several popular places in Cornwall for helicopter rides, including:
- The Eden Project: A helicopter ride over the Eden Project offers stunning views of the biomes and surrounding countryside.
- St. Michael’s Mount: A helicopter tour of St. Michael’s Mount allows you to fly over the island and the castle, with views of the coast and sea.
- Land’s End: Helicopter rides over Land’s End provide an aerial perspective of the rugged coastline, cliffs and iconic landmarks.
- The Isles of Scilly: Helicopter flights to the Isles of Scilly offer a chance to see this archipelago of islands from the sky and enjoy the beautiful beaches, cliffs and lighthouses.
- Falmouth: A helicopter ride over Falmouth offers a view of the town, the harbour, and the coast.
- Newquay: A helicopter ride over Newquay allows you to see the famous beaches and the surrounding countryside, including the cliff and the famous surf spot.
What to expect from your helicopter tour of Cornwall
Before your flight you’ll be given a safety briefing during which the pilot will provide a safety briefing to ensure that all passengers are aware of emergency procedures and how to properly use safety equipment. The pilot will be experienced and qualified, with a thorough knowledge of the area and the ability to provide commentary about the sights you are seeing during the flight.
The helicopter will have vomfortable seating with large windows to ensure that all passengers have a good view, and providing photo opportunities galore. Some companies may also provide you with aerial photography services.
The duration of the flight can vary depending on the route and the company, but most flights last between 20 minutes to 1 hour and the cost of a helicopter tour of Cornwall can vary depending on the company, the route and the duration of the flight. It’s a good idea to check with the specific company for their prices and any special offers they may have
Helicopter rides can be affected by the weather, so some flights may be rescheduled or cancelled due to poor visibility or high winds.
Popular Destinations for Helicopter Rides in Cornwall
The Eden Project is a set of large domes containing plants from around the world, located in a reclaimed quarry. From the air, you can see the biomes and the surrounding countryside, it’s an interesting contrast of the man-made structure with the natural surroundings.
St. Michael’s Mount is a small tidal island connected to the mainland by a causeway. It’s home to a medieval castle and a small village. You can see the island, the castle, the coast, and the sea, and it’s a great way to appreciate the island’s isolation and how the castle was strategically built to protect the island.
Land’s End is the westernmost point of mainland England. You can take in the rugged coastline, cliffs, and iconic landmarks such as the Longships Lighthouse. The flight over Land’s End allows you to appreciate the raw beauty of the area and understand the power of the sea.
The Isles of Scilly are a group of islands located off the coast of Cornwall, so it’s a bit further to fly and that will push up the cost. However, you may find it’s worth it for the view of the archipelago of islands, the beautiful beaches, cliffs, and lighthouses. It’s an opportunity to take in the remoteness of the islands and the natural beauty of the area.
Falmouth is a historic port town located on the River Fal. On your helicopter ride you’ll be able to see the town, the harbour, and the coast. It’s a great way to appreciate the town’s maritime heritage and how it’s situated between the river and the sea.
Newquay: Newquay is a seaside town located on the north coast of Cornwall. From the air, you can see the famous beaches, the surrounding countryside and cliffs, including the famous surf spot. See the town’s surf culture and the rugged beauty of the coast on your aerial tour.
6 Tips For The Best Helicopter Rides
A little planning will make the experience more enjoyable and ensure you get your money’s worth.
- Arrive early: Give yourself plenty of time to get organised and prepare before your flight.
- Dress comfortably: Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes.
- Bring a camera: Make sure to bring a camera or a smartphone with a good camera – and that it’s fully charged!
- Keep your ears open: Listen to the pilot’s commentary and ask questions. They may point out interesting things that you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.
- Keep safety in mind: Always wear your seatbelt and follow the safety instructions provided by the pilot.
- Enjoy the ride: Take in the views and enjoy the unique experience of flying in a helicopter. You may not do so for a long while afterwards.
How Much Does it Cost?
The cost of a helicopter tour or flight experience over Cornwall will vary depending on the tour company, the duration of the flight, and the type of helicopter used. However, on average, prices range from about £60 to £200 per person for a short helicopter ride, to several hundred pounds or more for longer or more exclusive tours. It is best to check with different tour companies and compare prices and options to find the best deal for you.
Prices will vary depending on the location, and the tour type. for example, some of them might include a tour of an specific location, like Land’s End, or St Ives, and others might be more flexible on the tour route.
Below you’ll find a selection of UK-wide rides and tours and the current prices.
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Airfields in Cornwall
There are several general aviation airfields in Cornwall where helicopters operate.
- Newquay Cornwall Airport: Located near the town of Newquay, this airport is a major hub for general aviation and serves as a base for several flying schools. It also has scheduled flights to London and other destinations.
- Perranporth Airfield: Located near the town of Perranporth, this airfield is used primarily by light aircraft and gliders.
- Lands End Airport: This airport is primarily used by general aviation aircraft, including private and charter flights.
- Bodmin Airfield: Located near the town of Bodmin, this airfield is used primarily by light aircraft and gliders.
- Truro Airport: This airport is primarily used by general aviation aircraft, and it is also used by flying schools and air ambulance services.
- St. Mary’s Airport: Located on the Isles of Scilly, this airport serves as the main transportation link for the islands and is used by both scheduled and general aviation aircraft.