Luton to Glasgow in 50 minutes

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright December 2010, Thomas Nugent; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


Join me on a scheduled easyJet flight from London Luton Airport to Glasgow International Airport. All photos were taken from the same flight on 4th September 2010. Unfortunately much of The Midlands and northwest England were covered by a blanket of cloud and are not featured here.

May I have your attention please, even if you are a frequent flyer, whilst the crew give some tips for photography from commercial flights:-

  1. Fly during the hours of daylight as night time shots do not always work out well.
  2. Choose a window seat, don't stretch over someone to get your photos.
  3. Choose a seat with a full window - not two half windows, split between rows.
  4. Choose a seat in front of the engines to avoid vapour and heat trails
  5. Know your direction of travel and choose a seat away from the sunny side of the aircraft.
  6. Be aware that electronic cameras should not be used during take-off & landing.
  7. Do not sit in the front row or you will be told by cabin crew to switch the camera off during take-off and landing (see 6, above).
  8. Wipe the window with a clean hanky.
  9. When taking a photo, touch the window lightly with the camera to improve stability.
  10. To avoid reflections of the writing around the lens, do not hold the camera square-on to the window. The same applies if your lens has a silver or light coloured ring around it.
  11. Do not use flash.
  12. Use bracket exposure - take three shots each time.
  13. The best photos are taken when the aircraft banks to your side - so be prepared.
  14. Be prepared to do some post-processing to eliminate the \"fogging\" effect caused by the triple glazed window.
  15. Switch off beeps and shutter noises - your camera will be very close to the ear of the passenger in front (unless flying Business or First Class :-) ).

Here we go - fasten your seatbelt!

A map of the route



Great Offley (8:25:18)

The flight took off towards the north and the landing gear was barely up when this photo was taken. Great Offley is the main village of Offley Parish and is located on the easternmost edge of the Chilterns. Signs of chalk can be seen on the fringes of the fields in the foreground. The road is the A505. LinkExternal link
TL1527 : Great Offley from the air by Thomas Nugent
Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight moments after take-off from Luton. Minsbury Hill is in the foreground, to the left of the A505.
by Thomas Nugent



North Luton (8:25:41)

The distinctive triangular shape of Ward's Wood can be seen under a solitary cloud in the foreground. The John Bunyan Trail LinkExternal link is a 77 mile long footpath between Luton, Bedford and Milton Keynes which passes through the fields in the foreground. South Beds. Golf Club can be seen to the right.
TL1026 : North Luton from the air by Thomas Nugent
Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton. Ward's Wood is the triangular wood beneath the cloud in the foreground. The first highrise blocks are on Wauluds Bank Drive.
by Thomas Nugent


Barton Le Clay (8:25:52)

Higham Gobian is at the foot of the photo, with the villages of Harlington and Westoning visible at the top. Barton Le Clay is visible between the clouds, bounded by the A6 road. This village is mentioned in The Doomsday Book. LinkExternal link
TL1032 : Barton Le Clay from the air by Thomas Nugent
Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight moments after take-off from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Ampthill and Maulden (8:26:50)

Ampthill LinkExternal link has a population of 6000 and it also gets a mention in The Domesday Book. The smaller settlement of Maulden LinkExternal link (population 3000) is nearest the camera and is also featured in The Domesday Book.
TL0538 : Ampthill and Maulden from the air by Thomas Nugent
Maulden is nearest the camera in this view from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


The Millbrook Golf Club (8:27:22)

Unfortunately Milbrook vehicle testing ground is obscured by the clouds
to the right of the golf course.
TL0038 : The Millbrook Golf Club from the air by Thomas Nugent
As seen from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton. More information about the club from this LinkExternal link
by Thomas Nugent


Milton Keynes (8:27:05, 8:27:48 & 8:28:00)

The Milbrook Golf Club is to the lower left in the first image and the distinctive X-scape building can be seen in the centre of the second photo. LinkExternal link Willen Lake and the M1 are in the foreground.
TL0038 : Milton Keynes from the air by Thomas Nugent
Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton. Millbrook Vehicle Proving Ground is hidden by the cloud.
by Thomas Nugent

SP8940 : Milton Keynes from the air by Thomas Nugent
View over Willen Lake and the M1 from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent

SP8940 : Milton Keynes from the air by Thomas Nugent
View over Willen Lake and the M1 from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.

See an aerial view from the other side of the city here SP8333 : Milton Keynes from the air.
by Thomas Nugent


Cranfield Airport (8:28:25)

Anyone who flies regularly will know that the country is dotted with old RAF bases, most of which are no longer in military or commercial use (at least not as airfields). Cranfield opened in 1937 in anticipation of WWII and closed immediately at the end of that war. It reopened soon afterwards as a flight training school and is now a commercial airfield. LinkExternal link
SP9543 : Cranfield Airport from the air by Thomas Nugent
A former RAF base which is now a commercial airport. More information from this LinkExternal link . Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Northampton (8:30:20)

The rugby and soccer grounds can be seen to the top right of the photo, as can the 418 feet high National Lift Tower (formerly known as the Express Lifts Tower). LinkExternal link
SP7660 : Northampton from the air by Thomas Nugent
Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton. The A45 road can be seen to the left, the recreation ground to the right.
by Thomas Nugent


Rugby (8:32:13 & 8:32:30)

The railway station is the distinctive feature of these photos, with the cement works just beyond, towards the top of the photo.
SP5377 : Rugby from the air by Thomas Nugent
Clifton Upon Dunsmore and Newton are in the foreground, the M6 motorway is to the lower right. Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent

SP5679 : Rugby from the air by Thomas Nugent
The M1 motorway runs horizontally across the bottom of the photo, with the M6 motorway branching off towards the top right from Junction 19. Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent



Entering thick clouds now, see you in The Lake District.

Crummock Water (8:53:32)

Having broken through the clouds which covered Manchester and the northwest, we are rewarded with spectacular views of the northern lakes. Crummock Water is in the centre with many other lakes also visible in the photo. All part of The Lake District National Park. LinkExternal link
NY1820 : Crummock Water from the air by Thomas Nugent
Crummock Water is in the centre, with Buttermere to the left, Ennerdale Water beyond and Loweswater to the right.
by Thomas Nugent


Grassmoor and Crummock Water (8:53:46)

The low light from the south east highlights the dramatic 852 metre high Grassmoor and surrounding crags. The northern tip of Crummock Water can also be seen.
NY1821 : Grasmoor and Crummock Water from the air by Thomas Nugent
Grasmoor is to the left, Gasgale Crags and Hopegill Head are on the right. Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.

See the same view from the opposite direction NY1520 : Grasmoor from the air.
by Thomas Nugent


Cockermouth (8:54:42)

The town has a population of just under 8000 and although conveniently placed for access to the northern lakes, Cockermouth is just outside The Lake District. Located at the confluence of the rivers Cocker and Derwent, the town is prone to severe flooding, the most recent incident being in November 2009.
NY1330 : Cockermouth from the air by Thomas Nugent
Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


The River Nith (8:58:25)

Having just crossed the Solway, we are now in Scotland and can just see the River Nith through the clouds as it enters the Solway, through the mudflats, south of Kirkconnel.
NY0066 : River Nith from the air by Thomas Nugent
The estuary, where the Nith joins the Solway. Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Wanlockhead (9:03:09) and Leadhills & Wanlockhead (9:03:23)

At 432 metres above sea level, Scotland's highest village owes its existence to the lead and other minerals that were once mined here. The mines are now closed, but a museum remains to tell the story. Robert Burns visited a few times and was inspired to write one of his poems here, "Pegasus at Wanlockhead".
NS8712 : Wanlockhead from the air by Thomas Nugent
Scotland's highest village, nestling in the Leadhills. Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent

NS8815 : Leadhills and Wanlockhead from the air by Thomas Nugent
Leadhills village is in the foreground, with Wanlockhead off to the left. Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Forest near Glespin (9:04:47)

The forest is beside Glentaggart opencast coal mine and the conveyor from the mine passes through the forest on the way to the rail terminal at Ravenstruther.
NS8326 : Forest near Glespin from the air by Thomas Nugent
The opencast coal mine at Glespin is to the right and the prominent track in the foreground is a conveyor which transports the coal to the nearest road. See NS8426 : Coal conveyor seen from Braid Know.

Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Glentaggart opencast coal mine (9:04:58)

One of several opencast coal mines in the area and a frequent target for "climate change activists" who have stopped the conveyor running in the recent past.
NS8127 : Glentaggart opencast coal mine from the air by Thomas Nugent
Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Opencast workings at Glenbuck (9:06:00)

King Coal again as we head west into Ayrshire for the approach to Glasgow from the southwest. It's around this point the flights to Glasgow from the south either turn left to approach from the southwest or continue north to approach from Stirlingshire to the northeast.
NS7330 : Opencast workings at Glenbuck from the air by Thomas Nugent
On the A70 east of Muirkirk. Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Muirkirk and Smallburn (9:06:27)

Coal and iron were the industries here, but they have long gone, with the exception of the many opencast mines which dot the area, one of which can be seen to the top right of the photo. Muirkirk was a hotbed of the Covenanter's movement and was the birthplace of the man who invented the modern day road - John Loudon McAdam.
NS6930 : Muirkirk andSmallburn from the air by Thomas Nugent
Smallburn is to the right, Muirkirk to the left. Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Head of Greenock Water (9:06:43)

Greenock Water is a tributary of the River Ayr. It is nowhere near the town of Greenock on the River Clyde. The road in this photo is the B743 between Muirkirk and Drumclog.
NS6931 : Head of Greenock Water from the air by Thomas Nugent
The road is the B743. Despite the name, this location is nowhere near Greenock on the River Clyde. Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Slouch Moss (9:07:33)

Not much here apart from trees and moorland and a little
lochan for wildfowling.
NS6234 : Slouch Moss from the air by Thomas Nugent
The wildfowling lochan NS6234 : Wildfowling lochan in Slouch Moss at the road junction can be seen in this photo which was taken from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Changue Farm (9:08:12)

The farm is just south of Darvel. On Google Maps, the farm is surrounded by green fields which suggests that most of the trees have been planted fairly recently.
NS5735 : Changue Farm from the air by Thomas Nugent
Most of the trees surrounding the farm do not appear on google maps and are therefore probably fairly recently planted. Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Newmilns (9:08:44)

The village has a population of around 3000 and is known for lace making. Lace making her can be traced to the end of the 16th Century and the arrival of Hugenot refugees. Most of the lace mills have closed, but the industry survives in the village today. LinkExternal link
NS5337 : Newmilns from the air by Thomas Nugent
The cemetery is towards the lower left corner of this photo which was taken from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Galston (9:08:56)

Galston has a population of around 5000 and is the westernmost of the three towns in the Upper Irvine Valley, the others being Newmilns and Darvel. Noted recently for Loudoun Castle theme park which was just out of shot to the bottom of the photo and which closed recently.
NS5037 : Galston from the air by Thomas Nugent
Loudoun Academy NS5037 : Loudoun Academy, Galston is in the foreground of this photo which was taken from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Rowallan Castle and Kilmarnock (9:10:27)

The grounds are now a first class golf course, the first in the UK designed by 2010 Ryder Cup winning captain, Colin Montgomerie. LinkExternal link
NS4342 : Rowallan Castle and Kilmarnock from the air by Thomas Nugent
The castle grounds are now a golf course designed by Colin Montgomerie LinkExternal link. Kilmarnock is in the distance of this photo which was taken from a Glasgow bound fight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Beith and Kilbirnie (9:12:22 & 9:12:33)

Kilbirnie has a population of around 7000 and was an iron and steel town until the works closed in the mid 1980s. It is now pretty much a dormitory town with little or no industry. Beith is large village at the opposite side of Kilbirnie Loch and is a convenient dormitory for Glasgow and Paisley which are just along the A737.
NS3453 : Bonded warehouses from the air by Thomas Nugent
By Kilbirnie Loch, between Glengarnock, Kilbirnie (in the distance) and Beith. On the outer approach to Glasgow airport on a flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent

NS3453 : Beith and Kilbirnie from the air by Thomas Nugent
Beith is nearer the camera, with Kilbirnie Loch and the bonded warehouss in the centre. Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Castle Semple Loch (9:13:18)

The loch is within the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park and is home to a watersports centre and a RSPB nature reserve. The Glasgow to Ayr railway line runs along the south bank and a disused loop of the same line, running through Lochwinnoch on the north bank, is now a cycle path, part of the National Cycle Network.LinkExternal link
NS3658 : Castle Semple Loch from the air by Thomas Nugent
With Lochwinnoch beyond. The loch is only 5 feet deep and is home to a watersports centre and a bird sanctuary. Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Kilbarchan (9:14:09)

The village was historically a weaving centre and is today home to the Weavers Cottage museum. With a population of around 3000, it lies in the shadow of nearby Johnstone.
NS4162 : Kilbarchan from the air by Thomas Nugent
The A737 road is in the foreground, the quarry is in the distance. Viewed from a flight from Luton on final approach to Glasgow from the southwest.
by Thomas Nugent


Remains of Paton's Mill (9:14:31)

The mill was a landmark at the western entrance to the town and was actively producing shoe and boot laces until 2003.
NS4263 : Remains of Paton's Mill from the air by Thomas Nugent
The mill was burned out in 2010 following years of vandalism and neglect. Viewed from a Glasgow bound flight from Luton.
by Thomas Nugent


Johnstone (9:14:42)

Hopefully the landing gear is down now as we pass over the photographer's
birthplace, three miles from the airport.
NS4363 : Johnstone from the air by Thomas Nugent
The area between High Street and the A737 dual carriageway is home to many large sheds. Viewed from a flight from Luton on final approach to Glasgow from the southwest.
by Thomas Nugent


Linwood (9:14:58 & 9:15:09)

Linwood was home to a large car factory which could reputedly churn out Hillman Imps at the rate of one every thirty seconds. Railway vehicles were also made here by the Pressed Steel company which shared a site with the car factory. The factory site is now an out of town shopping and leisure complex, with some industry surviving in the form of warehousing and distribution at the south side of the site.
NS4364 : Linwood from the air by Thomas Nugent
Viewed from a flight from Luton on final approach to Glasgow from the southwest.
by Thomas Nugent

NS4464 : Linwood from the air by Thomas Nugent
Linwood Moss and Moss Road can be seen beyond the town. Viewed from a flight from Luton on final approach to Glasgow from the southwest.
by Thomas Nugent


Middleton Farm (9:15:25)

The farm is on the southern final approach to Glasgow and was the scene of a plane crash in 1999 which claimed the lives of eight Airtours crew who were on a transfer flight to Aberdeen. A worker from this farm rescued three people from the wreckage.
NS4565 : Middleton Farm from the air by Thomas Nugent
Near Linwood. Black cart Water can be seen. Viewed from a flight from Luton on final approach to Glasgow from the southwest.
by Thomas Nugent


Candrens and Boghead (9:15:37)

A cluster of farms by the A737 at the eastern edge of extensive flat land which extends to Bishopton and Houston. The area of trees in the distance is the former Royal Ordnance Factory at Bishopton.
NS4565 : Candrens and Boghead from the air by Thomas Nugent
With Blackstoun beyond. Viewed from a flight from Luton on final approach to Glasgow from the southwest.
by Thomas Nugent


The M8 at Glasgow Airport (9:15:45)

Only yards from the end of the runway now, southern expansion of which is blocked by the motorway and the Glasgow to Gourock and Wemyss Bay railway line. Note the farm track on the left, which is one of several which were severed by the construction of the motorway.
NS4665 : M8 at Glasgow Airport from the air by Thomas Nugent
One of the longest straight sections of railway track in Scotland runs from Paisley to Bishopton, leading eventually to Port Glasgow where it splits to Gourock and Wemyss Bay. The lane between the hedges on the left passes under the railway, but is blocked by the motorway.

The plane has just arrived from Luton. See the reverse view here NS4665 : M8 at Glasgow Airport.
by Thomas Nugent


Glasgow Airport (9:16:17 & 9:16:47)

In the first photo, the M&Co HQ building at Inchinnan industrial estate whizzes past seconds after touch-down. In the second photo the large building is the Rolls Royce plant at the former India of Inchinnan tyre factory site which was also the site of an airship factory.
NS4766 : Glasgow Airport by Thomas Nugent
Touching down from Luton at the southwest end of the main runway. Easter Walkinshaw farm is on the left with new M&Co (formerly Mackays) warehouse in the background. Mackays moved from central Paisley in March 2008 NS4764 : Mackays HQ.
by Thomas Nugent

NS4867 : Glasgow Airport by Thomas Nugent
Approaching the north east end of the runway after touchdown from Luton. The building in the background is occupied by Rolls Royce.
by Thomas Nugent



Welcome to Glasgow. Please remain seated with your seatbelt fastened until the captain switches off the seatbelt sign. I look forward to seeing you on another geograph flight soon.
KML
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