A country break at the West Sussex estate offers everything from flying lessons to gin tasting
‘Good morning! This is your captain speaking. We are cruising at 115mph and at an altitude of… er, I think it says 1,000ft. Sorry, I’ve forgotten my reading glasses.’ I’m at the controls of a tiny Cessna 172, having my first flying lesson. The actual pilot, Rob Wildeboer, is sitting next to me, looking remarkably calm. There is room for two passengers in the back but, perhaps unsurprisingly, we’ve had no takers.
Earlier, Rob had talked me through the physics of flying, patiently explaining the difference between pitch, roll and yaw. We’d then climbed into the Cessna, which feels like a golf buggy with wings, bumped across a grassy field and, without any fuss or bother, lifted up into the sky – like some wonderful magic trick. It was all I could do not to shout: “Haha, look at me!”