Lake District 


Falcona were initially contacted by the group who wanted to charter a helicopter to the Lake District for a day trip. Flying by helicopter avoids the stress and discomfort of road congestion and train delays, allowing you to arrive both in style and on time.


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A  helicopter charter is perfect for a small group of people looking to make the most of their free time and arrive closer to their destination. You can save more time by leaving from a departure point close to your office or home. The convenient advantage of a helicopter is that it has the ability to land or take off at airports, golf courses, private estates and anywhere where it’s safe, with the land owners permission.

Reason for flight 

The brief was to organise the flight to the Lake District for a lunch for four people. The group wanted to do something special for the hard work they had been doing at their company. Falcona contacted The Gilpin Hotel to book a table for four people to arrive at the hotel by helicopter.

Falcona contacted the hotel and directly booked the table for our clients for 12.30. On arrival the clients could choose their own lunch and drinks to suit.

AS355 Twin Squirrel take off

Landing at The Gilpin Hotel

The Gilpin hotel didn’t have a suitable landing site for the aircraft so the operators of the aircraft decided to use Holbeck Ghyll instead as it was the safer option. The Gilpin is about a fifteen minute drive from Holbeck Ghyll.

Falcona always take into consideration what the operators and pilots of the aircraft recommend. They have the best knowledge of where is suitable and safe to land for clients.

The Gilpin Hotel arranged a chauffeur car to pick up our clients and take them to the restaurant.

City Heliport Barton

Passenger lounge at City Heliport,Manchester.

Meeting Point

Falcona met clients at City Heliport, near the Trafford Centre, Manchester. It’s ideally located close to the city centre and is separate from Barton. For a more private get away City Heliport is ideal and the staff are very friendly.

AS355 city heliport lake district

Passengers boarding helicopter at City Heliport, Manchester.

Falcona recommend to arrive ten to fifteen minutes before departure for helicopter flights. Due to the fact there is no screening or checks that have to be made prior to boarding. Passenger details are sent and pre cleared prior to the flight.

Whilst waiting for the helicopter to land, clients were able to help themselves to tea and coffee and snacks in the passenger lounge. As soon as the aircraft landed, Falcona introduced the pilot to the clients and then they were escorted to the aircraft. Once inside the pilot gave them the safety brief and then they took off.


Falcona sourced the AS355 as it was the best solution and most cost effective aircraft for the flight. The aircraft arrived from its base, to land at City Heliport around 11:45 am for a midday departure.

When choosing a helicopter for our clients, Falcona will look at the interior space to make sure they won’t be cramped, the aircraft has enough range to make the flight non-stop and also the clients budget.

The flight from Manchester takes approximately thirty five minutes, which saves around an hour or more than the road, depending on the traffic on the M6.

The aircraft is ideal for passenger charter flights, including corporate hospitality,social, sporting events and airport transfers.

Twin engines allow the aircraft to operate lower over built up areas and are a safer option. This is why Falcona only use twin engine helicopters for our clients charter flights.

Falcona will also offer another pilot if the clients want, for added safety on each flight.

The AS355 “Twin Squirrel” helicopter is probably the most synonymous aircraft with the UK charter industry. Offering unparalleled levels of safety and efficiency this light, twin-engine helicopter combines good cruise speed and excellent endurance.


With two engines, all weather capabilities but relatively low running costs the AS355 helicopter is the perfect choice for safe, luxurious yet efficient travel making it a versatile helicopter for both business charters and leisure travel.


AS355 helicopter interior


Up to 3 hours range depending on the load and a holding a cruise speed of 120 kts. These helicopters have an unobstructed cabin and forward facing seats that provide excellent visibility. It is acclaimed for its high level of manoeuvrability, but keeps to low vibration levels.


Extremely popular for quick flights from Manchester to London and for golfing trips, once the pods for the clubs are attached. All seats face forward allowing good visibility.  Four passenger seats in a row in the back, one passenger seat in the front next to the pilot in the cockpit.

What happened

As the aircraft took off for its flight, Falcona kept an eye on the journey until it landed at Holbeck Ghyll. On arrival our clients decided that they wanted to eat at Holbeck Ghyll instead! Yes really…

Falcona got a call from The Gilpin Hotel who said the clients didn’t arrive. Falcona immediately contacted the pilot by phone and we were told they were inside Holbeck Ghyll.

So we had to make that awkward call to The Gilpin to let them know that our clients had decided to eat at Holbeck. They took it well, although the chauffeur car was already there to pick them up and take them to the Gilpin. Fortunately it is only fifteen minutes away and we have a good relationship with them they took it well, that they were eating at a competitors.

After speaking to our clients who said that when they landed they liked the look of Holbeck and wanted to have their lunch there instead. Anyway they had a great time and the food and the views were amazing. Happy clients! They arrived home around 5.30 pm after a day of eating and drinking.

Holbeck Ghyll

The restaurant here is renowned for great food and great views from the hotel.  Set in Windermere, in the Lake District Holbeck Ghyll offers stunning views of the Lake District on a clear day. To arrive by helicopter only adds to the occasion, a glass of champagne en-route is a good way to start!

A visit to Holbeck Ghyll by helicopter should be on your list of things to do this year.

Afternoon tea with a view at Holbeck Ghyll

Afternoon tea with a view at Holbeck Ghyll (Source: Facebook)

Clients feedback;

Falcona – “Great trip thanks for the booking and the food was brilliant at Holbeck Ghyll, sorry about the other restaurant!”.

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