Ballooning Across UK – Are You In The Mood To See London In A Way That Will Stimulate Your Blood A Bit?

Interested in ballooning flight? Like some ideas about where to go? Here are ten locations which offer great views, some of best organized tours in the world and more besides.

1. Bath

Rising above this magnificent Georgian city, ballooning over Bath offers a unique aerial perspective of the spectacular architecture designed by John Wood. Fly over rolling hills and splendid greenery.

When you take a hot air ballooning flight in Bath from the moment you take off, often with other local balloonists, from Royal Victoria Park you will have remarkable views. Drift slowly alongside the Circus and the famous Royal Crescent, a World Heritage site built in the late 1700’s.

Nestled in a sheltered valley Bath is surrounded, like Rome, by seven wooded hills. A beautiful city, rich in Roman and Georgian heritage, taking a hot air balloon flight from Bath and viewing the city from above is an experience not to be missed.

If you are lucky enough to have the wind heading in the right direction you may get to have your

When you take a hot air balloon ride in Bath from the moment you take off, often with other local balloonists, from Royal Victoria Park you will have remarkable views. Drift slowly alongside the Circus and the famous Royal Crescent, a World Heritage site built in the late 1700’s.

Nestled in a sheltered valley Bath is surrounded, like Rome, by seven wooded hills. A beautiful city, rich in Roman and Georgian heritage, taking a hot air balloon flight from Bath and viewing the city from above is an experience not to be missed.

If you are lucky enough to have the wind heading in the right direction you may get to have your

When you take a hot air balloon ride in Bath from the moment you take off, often with other local balloonists, from Royal Victoria Park you will have remarkable views. Drift slowly alongside the Circus and the famous Royal Crescent, a World Heritage site built in the late 1700’s.

Nestled in a sheltered valley Bath is surrounded, like Rome, by seven wooded hills. A beautiful city, rich in Roman and Georgian heritage, taking a hot air balloon flight from Bath and viewing the city from above is an experience not to be missed.

If you are lucky enough to have the wind heading in the right direction you may get to have your ballooning flight directly over the city and see the Roman Bath’s the Thermae Bath Spa or Pulteney Bridge, one of only two bridges in Europe built to support shops – you would have to go Florence to see the other! Ballooning is serendipity, you never know exactly where you might fly over or end up.

As you ballooning away from the city you can look ahead to viewing the stunning countryside the surrounds Bath. Depending on wind direction your balloon ride may take you over the Cotswolds, the Mendips, or even a gentle progression along the historic Kennet & Avon Canal.

Ballooning is an adventure, a magic carpet ride, something not to be rushed. Most ballooning flight operators run their ballooning tours for about one hour, the whole outing usually takes between three and four hours. Chilled Champagne or fruit juice is  usually served in flight with complements and an in-flight photograph may be purchased afterwards as a keepsake of your adventure. Each passenger receives a commemorative flight certificate signed by the pilot. Most ballooning operators will have their experienced retrieve crew, who are in radio contact with the balloon, to meet guests on landing and will return you to the launch site.

 

2. London

This urban ballooning flight features some of the most well known landmarks in the UK, including Big Ben, the London Eye and the River Thames. This is an unforgettable opportunity to witness the bustling city from the calm heights of a balloon.

A ballooning flight in London provides a fascinating juxtaposition of urban life mixed with splashes of colour from well-groomed parks to the iconic red bus.

Flights depart from Enfield, North London; from here you can see panoramic views of London stretching from Canary Wharf to Wembley Stadium. All pilots are highly qualified commercial pilots with many hundreds of hours of experience. Fully licensed and regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority, they are not only passionate about ballooning, but also the area over which they fly.

As you float over the vast cityscape of London, you will be able to pick out architectural landmarks such as the Gherkin, the London Eye, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. For those who enjoy the contrast between city and rural living, this is for you; in one direction the bustling city of London, in the other a view across the rolling countryside of Essex, Hertfordshire and Epping Forest.

As a gift or as a treat to yourself, ballooning is a truly unique way to explore London.

 

3. Sevenoaks

A gentle climb above a beautiful landscape. A romantic setting for couples looking to escape the fast pace of everyday life and enjoy the beautiful ‘garden county’ of England.

 

4. Edinburgh

A fantastic opportunity to experience this historical city, take a ballooning flight over Edinburgh Castle and the majestic Holyrood Palace, the official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty, The Queen.

Step on board this magical hot air balloon flight, taking off from Hillend, South Edinburgh (most ballooning operators in Edinburgh starts here). At the start of this ballooning experience you’ll meet your pilot and other passengers at the meeting point at Hillend on the Southern parameter of Edinburgh. You’ll travel a short distance to the departure point where the huge balloon will be preparing for take off.

Hot air ballooning flight is like nothing else. Hot air fills the envelope which provides lift against the cooler air outside. The passenger gondola  carries up to 8 guests and the burner that creates the hot air hangs above. As the balloon lifts the pilot will continue to add heat to the envelope, which in turn provides lift until you’re at the cruising altitude.

As you board your flight and gently take off, you will immediately experience the fantastic panoramic views of midlothian. In the distance you will see the spires and castle in central Edinburgh and to the south you will see the beautiful rolling farmland towards the Scottish Borders. Looking down you will float silently above farms, villages and roads below. Your pilot will point out all landmarks as you pass overhead.

Once you have reached the end of your flight enjoy a glass of complimentary Champagne and celebrate your flight. You’ll also receive a personalised certificate signed by the captain.

 

5. Brighton

Take a graceful ascent ballooning across the rolling Sussex Downs before turning towards the glimmering south coast and over the vibrant city of Brighton.

 

6. Porthcurno

Experience the rugged Cornwall landscape from the air. It’s a beautiful and untouched landscape.

 

7. Clifton

Clifton in Bristol is home to Brunel’s famous suspension bridge amongst other beautiful landmarks and some sensational surrounding countryside. Take a ballooning flight from the city centre and drift over the surrounding countryside.

 

8. Stratford upon-Avon

Stratford is home of William Shakespeare and is in the heart of lush countryside, farms and quaint nearby towns. A hot air ballooning flight over Stratford-upon-Avon is an opportunity to explore Shakespeare country from a unique perspective.

Ballooning from Stratford-upon-Avon gives you a bird’s eye view of this quaint market town on the banks of the winding River Avon, famous for being the birthplace of playwright and poet William Shakespeare.

Drifting skywards you may catch a glimpse of the Bard’s home on Henley Street, his wife Anne Hathaway’s thatched cottage or the Royal Shakespeare Theatre amongst the many black and white timbered buildings.

Set in the heart of the South Warwickshire countryside, the town is an ideal location for hot air balloon flights. Birmingham can sometimes be seen to the North West and Warwick to the North East once airborne. The patchwork field below stretch away in all directions punctuated with villages and historic country estates such as Charlecote Park to the East.

A Stratford-upon-Avon ballooning adventure will also offer views to the Cotswolds, known for their typically English landscape and honey-coloured limestone buildings, which begin just 10 miles to the south.

Your hot air balloon will launch from the award winning Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse – which has been hosting steeple chasing since 1755 – just to the west of the town centre.

 

9. Lake District

This is a fabulous way to take in the grandeur of the Lake District in the space of an hour, a ballooning flight over the Lakes is a great an opportunity for keen aerial photographers or those just looking for a gentle activity to fill an afternoon.

Imagine the thrill as you soar majestically skywards in the basket of a huge balloon with beautiful Lake Windermere stretching away before and beneath you…Well, this dream can now be a reality, because with Lake District ballooning companies you can take off right beside England’s largest and most famous natural lake. Found at the southern tip of the lake in the heart of the Lake District, Newby Bridge takes its name from the five-arched bridge built across the river Leven in 1651 and is arguably one of the most spectacular balloon launch sites in the world.

As you admire the 12-mile-long expanse of water, formed thousands of years ago during the last ice age, you’ll see jetties, islands and boats of all kinds. Keep an eye out for a giant eel-like creature which is said to roam the lake!

Whilst in a hot air balloon over the Lake District, you’re sure to enjoy the panoramic views of the tree-clad hills and hollows, whilst towns such as Bowness-on-Windermere and Windermere itself may come into view to the north. You may also catch a glimpse of Hawkshead, a picturesque village known for being the home of children’s author Beatrix Potter.

You may see one of Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway’s chugging steam trains, which once carried passengers and freight from Lakeside to Lancashire. This line was closed by British Rail in the 1960s, and now the only part remaining is the 3.5 miles from Haverthwaite, through Newby Bridge to the terminus at Lakeside.

Drifting east may take you over The National Trust’s Fell Foot Park and Gardens. The attractive seven hectare grounds just across the southern end of Windermere are a popular playing ground for picnicking and relaxing.

At a high altitude, Coniston Water to the north west, shimmering Morcambe Bay to the south and even the Irish Sea could come into view. Now that’s what we call sightseeing!

 

10. Oxford

Soar above the beautiful colleges of Oxford and take in an aerial view of some wonderful, rarely viewed gated gardens and parks. Slowly drift across the countryside enjoying the magnificent views and the majestic sport of hot air ballooning. Ballooning operators in this part of England do take off from various sites in and around Oxford.

 

In conclusion, the above ballooning locations are just a sample of many where commercial balloon operators can be found. The one thing to remember about a balloon ride is that how far and in which direction a flight goes is very much wind dependent. However, pilots are well trained and can vary altitude to catch different wind directions. Passengers don’t need to worry too much about extra layers of clothing as the temperature in the air will be no colder than ground level.

Visit the Trip and Tour category to explore more travel tours, tour companies and adventure trips available which fit your interests!