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The Mach Loop

The Old Vicarage B&B is situated directly under the flight path of The Mach Loop (LFA7), where you can observe the passing aircraft whilst you enjoy breakfast, from your bedroom window or out on our terrace. We have been welcoming enthusiasts to our B&B, since 2015.

 

The Mach Loop is named after the town of Machynlleth. The Mach Loop is a low level flight training path through a series of valleys in mid Wales. East of the loop is Dinas Mawddwy, West is Dolgellau, heading South is Corris, through the famous "Corris Corner" near where we are located, and to the South is Machynlleth.

AA Breakfast of the year 2023

TOP TIPS

1

Fair Weather

Planes will only fly in fair weather, Monday to Friday, (Friday tends to be a half day) and not on UK bank holidays. Also USAF will not fly on US public holidays. Late summer is considered 'peak', however we see a ramp up from early April, all the way through to October

4

Follow

If you're bringing an ABRS try the following frequencies

  • 278.000 & 341.575 (old)

  • 130.490 (new)

Follow the RAF base facebook groups to check when they have things like family days etc which impact their liklihood to fly. (eg RAF Brize Norton , RAF Valley , RAF Mildenhall

7

How Often

How often do aircraft fly the Mach Loop?

We did a sample in June 2023 and averaged 3.5 passes by The Old Vicarage per week day with a max of 15 (minimum 0).

Bare in mind we had particularly good weather in June, and I'll repeat that this is completely pot luck, and also highly dependant on weather.

2

RAF Schedule

Ignore the RAF website for the latest training timetable, this is no use. With the ever improving capability of flight sims, passes are getting less frequent, be prepared to not see anything.

5

Rise & Shine

If you're heading to CAD East or West. Arrive early in order to get a spot (pre- 9AM). It's a large lay-by and fills up quickly in peak season.

Speak to us about packing your breakfast to go for free and pre-booking packing lunches (adn. cost)

3

Never miss an aircraft

The flight path goes directly over The Old Vicarage, so you can still catch the aircraft even if you'd like a day away from The Hill, on our terrace, or out of the lounge and dining windows. We even have some bedrooms with a view of the aircraft (see room features for detail)

6

Get an App

We have a subscription to 360Radar which you are welcome to view on our guest lounge television. 

This is useful to gauge how 'active' the air bases are before you set off for the hill.

Whilst not ALL military planes are signalled, 360Radar has good coverage. 

Alternatively, you can sign up for the service before you arrive:

Sign Up

AA Breakfast of the year 2023
Directions to Cad East/West Parking area

What Will I SEE?

  • Hawk T2 - from RAF Valley

  • Texans - from RAF Valley

  • Ospreys - from RAF Mildenhall

  • Hercules - from RAF Mildenhall  & Brize Norton (NB RAF Hercs retired as of June 2023)

  • F15E - from RAF Lakenheath

  • F35A - from RAF Lakenheath

  • A400 Atlas - RAF Brize Norton

  • C17 - RAF Brize Norton

  • Typhoons - *absent from 2018-2023, multiple passes from July 2023 (see videos on our insta highlights and tiktok)

SOME ITINERARY IDEAS

CAD WEST

Cad is short for Cadair Idris, the group of peaks set on the North side of the valley, the highest peak being Penygadair.

 

Aside from being sat on the terrace at The Old Vicarage, the next closest spot to view the aircraft is Cad East and West

 

On the West hill, the aircraft come from your left.

 

If you are lucky, they will sometimes take a left in to Corris Corner, potentially giving you the opportunity for a second pass. 

Going to the Cross Foxes after for dinner is always good as it's often full of people who have been up on the hill, a good opportunity to compare shots from the day

E0983AA1-6AC5-4BAB-A528-A2730BAEDEB4_1_201_a.jpeg

CORRIS CRAFT CENTRE

The Corris Craft Centre is located just around the corner from The Old Vicarage. 

This is a good option if you want to give your significant other, some fun activities to do whilst you still get to enjoy the aircraft.

They have a Mach Loop information area with details of the aircraft that fly over the Craft Centre and through the Mach Loop.
There’s free all day parking, many craft studios, a gin distillery, a café with outdoor seating (great viewing area) plus the King Arthur’s Labyrinth and Corris Mine Explorers underground attractions start here too.

www.corriscraftcentre.co.uk

CAD EAST

Cad East, worth the lengthier walk due to the stunning views out toward Y Bala and Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon).

 

The aircraft approach on your right.

BWLCH

Bwlch, is a great location if you want a topside view of aircraft. Approach is from the right.

To get to the parking area head from the Vicarage to Cross Foxes, turn right onto the A470 and drive for 2 minutes, you'll see a pull in on your right

Latitude : 52:44:06N Longitude : 3:46:30W

RAF VALLEY

Further afield, so one for those of you staying for a longer stay. Head out to Anglesey to see RAF Valley. 1 hr 40 drive.

 

RAF Valley, Holyhead, Anglesey, LL65 3NY.

Safely watch aircraft at RAF Valley from the viewing area near the railway bridge, opposite the Station main gate.

Try the White Eagle for dinner.

WHERE TO STAY

You don't have to stay with us to enjoy the Mach Loop, if we are booked up there are also other great B&Bs and Hotels directly under the flight path.

 

Support these small businesses by booking direct, don't forget that booking.com / expedia etc charge the property up to 20% commission, so you can always get the best rates if you go direct.

Take a look at a few here:

chesterbed from bath.jpg

dulas ROOM @ THE OLD VICARAGE

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 
about the Mach Loop.
I've collated the questions our guests ask the most.

Is there a timetable for the mach looP?

Put simply, no. There is no timetable. Planes will fly as often as training schedule demands it and depending on favourable weather. If someone has pointed you in the direction of the RAF schedule, please ignore this as it bears no relevance to training plans.

Why is it called the mach loop?

The Mach Loop is named after the town of Machynlleth. The Mach Loop is located in a series of valleys around Machynlleth, Corris and Dinas Mawddwy. 

How Often do Planes fly THE MACH LOOP?

There is no timetable, planes will fly as often as training schedule demands it and depending on favourable weather.  Airforce bases typically work a standard UK working week (Monday to Friday), however Fridays tend to be half days.

Avoid bank holidays and US public holidays

What days of the week do AIRCRAFT fly the mach loop?

Airforce bases typically work a standard UK working week (Monday to Friday), however Fridays tend to be half days.

Avoid bank holidays and US public holidays.

where is best to see planes on the mach loop?

Cad East and Cad West are the most popular spots for our guests, or out on our patio. Scroll to the top of this page for more info.

are typhoons banned from the mach loop?

In short, no. There was a period between 2018 & 2023 when Typhoons ceased to fly the loop, purportedly after an incident with a Typhoon pilot flying 'dangerously'. On Monday July 17 2023 Typhoons were given full clearance to fly LFA7 again and by the Wednesday of that week we had seen multiple passes. See our Tiktok and Instagram highlights for the videos

what are the dates for the mach loop 2023?

There are no 'dates' per se as the Mach Loop is a location for training excercises, not an airshow. 

Airforce bases typically work a standard UK working week (Monday to Friday), however Fridays tend to be half days.

Avoid bank holidays and US public holidays

where in wales is the mach loop?

Mid Wales. The Mach Loop is located in a series of valleys around Machynlleth, Corris and Dinas Mawddwy. 

where can i stay to see the mach loop?

There are plenty of options under the flight path of the Mach Loop. For B&Bs  try The Old Vicarage in Corris, or camping try Cwmrhwyddfor Campsite or for a pub with rooms try Slater's Arms in Corris. For more options head to our dedicated page on accommodation options

IS THERE A MACH LOOP IN THE LAKE DISTRICT?

No. The Mach Loop is named after the town of Machynlleth in mid Wales. It's official name LFA7. The low flying training area in the Lake District is LFA17 and covers Lake District National Park and Cumbria.

Do Planes still fly the mach loop?

Yes. As at the point of writing (July 2023) there are still aircraft using The Mach Loop for training. The frequency has reduced over the years due to budget restrictions and increasing reliance on flight SIMs and unmanned aircraft. Average daily passes on a fair weather day, as counted June 2023 are avg.3.5 passes a day (max counted: 15, lowest 0)

can anyone fly through the mach loop?

The air space along the Mach Loop is available to all users however not advised. In 2021, following a medium risk incident between a military aircraft and a civilian aircraft, the UK Airprox Board questioned "the wisdom of choosing to fly a civilian aircraft along a military flow arrow on a weekday, and at a low level, for leisure purposes."

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