Best Places in the UK to Fly Your Drone
By Dom at Eversure,
19 October 2018
Drones are increasingly popular in the UK so we’ve decided to put together a list of some of the best (and safest) places to fly your drone, and get some cracking photos along the way.
We will say this: It is vitally important that you adhere to all UK drone laws, both national and locally enforced ones.
Always check whether it is safe and legal to fly your drone before you do so. Fly safe!
Isles of Scilly
A short hop by ferry, or even a flight from Southampton Airport will get you to St Marys Island, capital of the Scilly’s, and in the heartland of stunning coastlines, incredible weather and ample opportunites to drone your way around the quiet beaches and heathlands. From St Marys, you can head out to some of the quieter islands, making sure you don’t miss St Agnes, the southern-most populated island of the archipelago. Here you’ll be to fly in more peaceful surrounds. Head to the famed lighthouse from 1680 and take try taking some 360s (from a reasonable distance). Then travel north to St Agne’s sister island, Gugh. Connected by a natural tombolo, Gugh is a great place, to send your drone up as high as possible, and try and get some bird’s eye shots of the islands, and just how remote they are.
We’re sticking to the coast with our second pick, but one on the mainland and with a prehistoric difference. The rock formations, pebble beaches and constantly eroded cliff faces along the so-called “Jurassic Coast’ are some of the most spectacular in the UK. Now as this is a heavily protected area, specific drone exclusions do apply here, so check before you fly.
After making sure it’s safe, flying off the coast of Chesil Beach is a good start. This naturally forming barrier beach offers a great ‘track’ for you to fly your drone over, showing the English Channel on one side, and the East and West Fleet lagoons on the other (that’s right, we have lagoons in the UK).
If you get bored with that (weirdo), then definitely head to the Isle of Portland, and specifically to the Portland Bill Lighthouse, to capture some great 360-degree shots of a classic lighthouse right on the edge of the cliffs, there’s nothing quite like it.
Often overlooked are the sweeping hills and sparsely populated villages of rural Buckinghamshire. The biggest threat to your drone here is the ever-increasing population of one Britain’s most beloved birds, the Red Kite. But steer clear of them and you’ll be able to get some cracking shots of the Thames. Begin close to Hambledon village. The village itself is as picturesque a village you’ll find, they do have strict drone policies, but on the outskirts of the village you can really let fly and follow the twisting Thames through to Hambledon Lock; this area really is a stunning location for aerial photography. From here, head west towards Henley and you’ll reach the rather famous, Temple Island, possibly the most extravagant fishing lodge ever built. Designed by James Wyatt in the late 18th century this folly marks the start line for the Henley Regatta boat race and is now an iconic structure synonymous with the Thames. From the banks of the river, you’ll be amazed at how a 360-degree flyby of such a small landmark will look so impressive, the footage will look like it was taken in ancient Greece (minus the high-tech super yachts dotted around, but you know, ignore those.)
Another lesser known rural area of southern England, but this time the other side of London. High Weald, provides a great opportunity to capture aerial shots of the true British countryside, in a corner of Kent not many people manage to get to. Start in Royal Tunbridge Wells, a gem of a market town (you won’t find many opportunities to drone here, though, far too busy). Use it as a base and head south-east toward Bewl Water, where you can really stretch your drone’s wings. You’ll get some brilliant shots following the shores of this impressively large body of water, that almost looks like a small sea it’s so large, sticking to the edges of the lake you can get some great aerials of bobbing row boats tied up to posts and flocks of geese and ducks gathering in the shallows.
Heading further south still, you’ll get to the small village of Bodiam, home to the impressive Bodiam Castle. Now this is a protected National Trust are, so you will not be able to enter the Castle grounds and use your drone, but a short walk to the south east of the castle, off the National Trust land, you’ll be able to get an awesome shot of the castle and it’s moat (pro tip: try getting there for the sunrise, the early morning rays make this medieval site look genuinely epic.)
Another often overlooked area here, the Cairngorms, seat between the Highlands and the not-so-highlands (sometimes called the lowlands) the Cairngorms are genuinely home to some of the most spectacular landscape in Europe.
Head to Perth and takes the A9 north until you reach the central area of the Cairngorms and what will be your ‘basecamp’, Braemar. Tucked in a valley alongside the River Dee, this large village is an ideal place to stay whilst you can explore the surrounding area. A quick look through the Cairngorms website will provide several hikes of varying levels of difficulty that you can use to get some brilliant shots with a drone across the valley. Do check for any drone exclusions, but another great spot would be of Braemar Castle, a daunting and mysterious late-medieval-age fortification that would be a great focal point of a drone shoot.
If you can, head west from Braemar to the equally beautiful, but slightly more daunting, Ben Macdui. If you haven’t heard of it before, your forgiven, but it’s actually the second highest mountain in the UK. You’ll be able to get some stunning photos and film from the surrounding Loch Eanaich. One thing to be aware of (apart from local drone laws) is the wind! As you can imagine, the weather around here can be unpredictable, so do keep an eye on the forecast, so you don’t get caught out.
For more adventurous hikers, have a look out for the Packhorse Bridge in Carrbridge, an almost fairy-tale looking bridge will give you an opportunity to take some really cool photos, that few others will have had.
With all these places to explore, be sure to get your drone covered with our amateur
drone insurance policies.
Alternatively, if you have camera equipment that you'd like to insure, then head to our Camera Insurance page and take a look at our cover levels.