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One of the great joys of flying is being able to spot historic places from the air. From stately homes surrounded by acres of landscaped gardens to earthworks highlighted in fields by the late afternoon sun, echoes of the past are everywhere and there’s always something interesting to see that you might not spot from the road. Today, we share some of our favourite photos we’ve captured on flights around the south of the UK.

Best known for its world-leading university, the historic city of Oxford is just as magnificent from the air as it is on the ground. Its dreaming spires and beautifully manicured college lawns are easy to spot from the air, as are its most distinctive landmarks. The round building is the Radcliffe Camera, part of the Bodleian Library (where parts of Harry Potter were filmed).

Aerial view of Carfax Tower


This imposing stately home is Cliveden in Buckinghamshire, once the home of Nancy Astor. It’s now a luxury hotel, but its gardens are managed by the National Trust.


Medieval field systems

Ridge and furrow is the term used to describe the ridges you can see in fields, and is what’s left of Medieval field systems. In days gone by, individual families would manage their own ridges, with the crop planted along the top of it and drainage ditches either side. This farming technique has left a distinctive mark on the landscape, and it’s visible in numerous fields across the country, particularly in Warwickshire and Northamptonshire.

Charlecote Park
Nestled alongside Wellesbourne Airfield is Charlecote Park, a beautiful National Trust house surrounded by a deer park in which Shakespeare is alleged to have been caught poaching.


The Castle Inn
The Castle Inn was built as a folly on a spot commemorating an important moment in the Battle of Edgehill. The Castle has commanding views over the surrounding countryside, where the battle took place. It’s recently been refurbished, and makes the perfect place for a spot of lunch after one of our gliding experiences at the nearby gliding club.


Sezincote House

Sezincote is an unusual stately home in Gloucestershire. Its distinctive look is inspired by the 16th and 17th century architecture of the Mughal empire.


Longleat House
Longleat House in Wiltshire is the subject of the long-running TV series Animal Park, presented by Kate Humble and Ben Fogle. In this photo, which we snapped last summer, you get a great view of this stunning Elizabethan manor house and its immaculate lawns. To the right is the pleasure lake, the island of which is home to the safari park’s gorillas.


If you’d like to see some history from the air, or you know someone else who might like to, why not buy a flying experience voucher? All our flights offer the opportunity to spot historical landmarks and features from the air, so if you know someone who’s a bit of a history buff, this is the ideal present. You have until 6pm today to order your evoucher in time for Christmas, so browse our flying experiences to find the perfect one for you or your loved one.