Direction: SSE - SSW (160° - 200°)
Map Ref: OS TR 259 385
Coordinates: N 51° 06’ 06” E 1° 13’ 34”
Nearest Phone: There is a public phone box in the Varne Ridge Caravan Park across the road from take off.
Pilot Rating: HG/PG: Club Pilot+10, but both with cliff launch experience or a club coach present
Site description: The chalk cliffs between Folkestone and Dover
Take Off Altitude: 110m (360 ft)
TTB: 110m (360 ft)
Access: Take the slip road off the A20 from Folkestone and follow the B2011 towards Capel-le-Ferne. Just past the Royal Oak pub on the right turn left down the Old Dover Road. Take off is two hundred metres down the road on your left. – the flat grass area in front of the Varne Ridge caravan park. There are four benches facing the sea.
Parking: On the left of the road by take off.
Take off: An open area of lawn with four benches facing the sea. The cliff falls away immediately, so a committed take off with good control is necessary.
Flying the site: When the wind is straight on, soaring flights are possible in light winds. Soaring flights between the eastern railway tunnel and the take-off are easy but DO NOT venture any further east unless you are sure you can get back, especially at high tide. There is no bottom landing beyond the point, though in an emergency you could land at Samphire Hoe (the reclaimed land adjacent to the tunnel works).
Landing: The bottom landing is on one of the two concrete aprons at the foot of the cliffs to the right of take-off. You may also bottom land on the beach, but take care to avoid the public. You can land on Jock’s pitch but not the bowling greens. Top landings are NOT advised for HG, as the majority of pilots who have attempted it in anything but the very lightest of winds have damaged gliders or suffered injury. The same applies to PG, but top landing can be undertaken after a risk assessment by the pilot on a day to day basis, noting that the position and strength of any rotors is very wind strength and direction dependent. If in doubt, don’t!
Restrictions: Do not land on any of the bowling greens, the caravan site, or Railtrack fenced-off areas.
Hazards: The Warren is among the most committed of take-offs in England. There is rotor behind take off so make sure your paraglider is well under control when you launch. Wind direction at take off can be deceptive. Take time to make an accurate assessment of conditions. If the direction of the wind is outside the range of the wind rose do not take off. The cliffs can be treacherous when the wind is blowing outside the specified range, even when the wind speed is low. Do not fly if the wind is off to the south (coming at you from a point past the end of the harbour wall). Do not fly within 200 ft vertically or horizontally of the railway line at the bottom of the cliff. Landing on Jock’s pitch involves awareness of the position of the various power and telephone cables close by.
Other remarks: Novice pilots should not fly at high tide. The access to the bottom to recover HG is restricted in summer: ask at meetings for details. Cars may be driven to the bottom only during the winter. During the summer the nearest access is Wear Bay Road. Please be very courteous to the camp site officials, and do not leave your car near their entrance any longer than necessary.