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Saturday, Dec 05, 2020

Helicopter holidays: from the Swiss Alps to the Scilly Isles

Helicopter holidays: from the Swiss Alps to the Scilly Isles

Take to the skies in a Covid safe way with these trips to remember.

With travel restrictions constantly changing and advice to refrain from travelling too far abroad remains, Brits have turned to the trusty UK staycation retreats. But who has the time to sit in a car for 6 hours to drive to Cornwall? And the thought of sitting on a train with a mask on for 7 and a half hours to Scotland is far from appealing.

Helicopter travel can transport you at high speed, ease and comfort to a number of brilliant destinations in the UK and Europe – and best of all the trip will be entirely Covid safe. The flight to these incredible destinations is an experience in itself and might even be the best memory you take home.

For those wanting to take extra precautions, Apollo Air Services is pioneering Covid-free helicopter travel, with ground-breaking in-flight air purification. This technology is proven to deactivate 99.4 per cent of airborne virus, including Covid-19. This means passengers can feel safe that the air that they breathe, and surfaces they touch during the helicopter flight are safe. Which means no mask wearing!

London to Chewton Glen, New Forest, Hampshire




The Chewton Glen is one of the most famous hotels in England and has been awarded one of the “Best Country Hotels in the World” in recent years. Located in the New Forest, Hampshire, it boasts a number of hidden treehouse rooms that include their own hot tub on the terrace with outstanding views of the countryside as you sit and enjoy the tranquillity whilst immersed in the forest itself.

The Kitchen at Chewton Glen is run by head chef James Martin (who you may also know as a cooking television presenter on BBC and ITV), offering seasonal menus created to showcase local suppliers, fresh seafood and produce grown in Chewton Glen’s own gardens.

From London, a trip to Chewton Glenn by helicopter is no more the half an hour and can transport up to 6 people to the doorstep of this luxury hotel. Stay a few days or come for a daytrip to the exquisite restaurant The Kitchen where you can enjoy super fresh lobster, scallops, sole and much more.

Return helicopter flights from London to Chewton Glenn from £3,400 (+vat and landing fees) seating up to six people. Flight time is approximately 30 minutes each way.

Penzance to Tresco, Isles of Scilly




The sub-tropical island of Tresco off the Cornish coast hit the headlines this summer after The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were spotted holidaying there. With white-sand beaches to rival the Caribbean and a level of seclusion you would never find in Cornwall, it’s not hard to grasp the appeal. With a brand new helicopter service from Penzance, the island is now easier to reach than ever. The fifteen minute journey will give you breathtaking views over the archipelago. See if you can spot the Wolf Rock lighthouse on your way.

Once there, you can explore the world-famous sub-tropical gardens, eat at one of the island’s two beachside restaurants or visit the luxury spa. While you could easily wile away all your time exploring Tresco’s sublime bays, regular boat trips enable you to explore the other four islands in the archipelago. Head to Bryher for seclusion, St Martin’s for beaches and St Agnes for the best hikes. St Mary’s – the largest – acts as a hub island for its four neighbours and has a cluster of shops, cafes and galleries.

Prices start from £244 for a return ticket. See Penzance Helicopters for more details.

London to Paris




Paris by helicopter? Don’t mind if I do. Taking just 1 hour and 15 minutes, you can find yourself wandering the Parisian streets in no time at all. The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris and Arc de Triomphe are all just a short flight away. In fact, you could even to the city in a day.

Why not add to the luxury by eating at the stylish neo-bistro Septime. Michelin-starred chef Bertrand Grébaut’s has brought the most delectable cuisine to this quaint area full of graphic arts bookshops and trendy boutiques. Expect antique but glamorous décor in the restaurant as well as sublime food ingredients, perfectly cooked and seasoned.

Flights from London to Paris One Way starting from £5,750 (+vat and landing fee) for up to 6 passengers. There is room on the helicopter for luggage.

London to Tregenna Castle Resort, St Ives, Cornwall




St Ives is renowned for being one of the most beautiful seaside resorts in England – with gorgeous white sandy beaches and clear turquoise seas, it is definitely one of the top staycation locations in the UK. The journey can take up to 6 or 7 hours by train or car from London, and by helicopter the journey is a mere 90 minutes.

Land right on the grounds of Tregenna Castle Resort which overlooks the coast of St Ives. This luxury castle boasts 72 acres, 18 hole golf course, gym, spa, tennis courts and much more. Stroll five minutes from the hotel and you will find yourself on the beautiful and peaceful Porthminster Beach. Just off this beach and along the cobbled streets is the picturesque and charming town centre of St Ives.

St Ives is also loved for its fantastic surfing. Porthmeor Beach is a short walk across town for some fantastic surf and slightly out of town Gwithian Beach hosts some serious waves.

Porthminster Kitchen serves unbeatable seafood and Cornish cuisine with lovely terrace seating overlooking the harbour. Be sure to book early as there is limited seating due to Covid.

Another favourite eating spot is the small independent burger restaurant, Blas Burgerworks, which serve up unique burgers with an adventurous twist. The truffle burger with mushroom and spinach comes highly recommended! Again, the restaurant is too small for people to sit in at the moment but when the weather is good you can pick up your burger and walk two minutes to the beach where there are benches to enjoy your meal, with the beautiful Porthminster Beach as your evenings back drop.

Flights from London to St Ives One Way starting from £6,400 (+vat and landing fee) for up to 6 passengers. There is room on the helicopter for luggage.

Manchester to Gleneagles, Scotland




Scotland, also known as the home of golf, has some of the most prestigious golf courses in the world. There is no finer place to play a round of golf than the country that gave the game to the world, and with helicopter travel it is now possible to get to Scotland and back in a day.

Travel to Scotland by helicopter with your friends and all your golf clubs from Manchester to Gleneagles in Scotland for an unbelievable day of golf at this 5* hotel, spa and golf resort. Described as a “Glorious Playground”, this charming country estate is not only renowned for the vast golf course but it can be a luxury escape for friends, a rural family adventure or a cosy couples’ retreat.

By helicopter the journey from Manchester to Scotland is no more than 1 hour and 15 minutes, compared to almost 6 hours by train. The helicopter will drop guests right onto the hotels grounds for the easiest travel journey possible.

Helicopter flights from Manchester to Gleneagles One Way start from £4,600 (+vat and landing fee) or Same Day return starting from £7,800

London to Sion, Verbier Switzerland




Sion is the closest private jet airport for the ski resort Verbier and is a just an hour’s drive. Verbier is the main resort in Switzerland’s largest ski area, Les 4 Vallées. Verbier has some of the best off-piste skiing in Europe, as well as a variety of slopes that suit all levels although confident and adventurous skiers and snowboarders will get the most out of the resort. Verbier is also known for its sunny and scenic location as well as its lively nightlife and après ski.

The restaurant La Vache is probably most famous in Verbier. Supported by three British Celebrities (Carl Fogarty, Lawrence Dallaglio and James Blunt), La Vache boasts a reasonably priced menu with a fantastic selection for a mid-ski boost. The interior is exactly as you would want in a ski resort, with sheep-skin rugs and a rustic feel. If you don’t fancy going up the mountain, Restaurant La Cordee (part of the Cordee des Alpes hotel) is a must visit. The restaurant is led by Fabrice Taulier, who selects ingredients directly from local farmer friends. We’d recommend booking “La table du chef” (Chef’s table) for the most authentic experience.

As with most ski resorts these days, there are a number of accommodation choices to choose from. The most highly-recommended is The Experimental Chalet, which offers not only family-friendly rooms, but also a restaurant, spa, cocktail bar and the famous late-night Farm Club (often a popular haunt of celebrities). Verbier is also famous for its plentiful luxury chalet options – whether you are looking for catered, self-catered, bed and breakfast, a gym, sauna or ski in/ski out options Verbier has it all.

London to Seon, Switzerland by helicopter starts from £7,585 (+vat and landing fee) one way and takes 3 hours and 10 minutes.

UK to Ireland




Ireland isn’t far by aeroplane but with check in, security and further airport processes it can become a bigger ordeal than is necessary. More recently with Covid, flying by aeroplane comes with further restrictions and difficulties and that small flight to Dublin suddenly ends up being a long day.

There are numerous places the helicopter can land in Ireland, making it the most convenient way to fly. By helicopter the trip takes no longer than 1 hour and 5 minutes to Dublin from Carlisle. Once there, make sure you head to the iconic Temple Bar, and enjoy a strong Irish whiskey and a jovial time with the locals. If whiskey is your tipple then make sure you visit the Jameson Distillery for a whiskey tour, otherwise if you fancy a pint of the black stuff the Guinness Storehouse is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Dublin.

If you were after a more aesthetic countryside trip to Ireland then you can also take the helicopter to Glenoe, taking 1 hour and 5 minutes from Carlisle or 2 hours 40 minutes from London, where you can find one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Ireland. Nestled in the hills, just outside the charming little village of Glenoe, this area in the Scottish Highlands is a rare beauty with this gorgeous waterfall along with dramatic mountains, and the scenic River Coe.

Helicopter flights from Carlisle to Dublin or Glenoe One Way start from £4,000 (+vat and landing fee) or Same Day return starting from £4,400. Flights from London to Ireland start from £6,735 (+vat and landing fee) one way.

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