Hot Air Balloon Experiences
Hot Air Balloon rides are possibly one of the most relaxing and tranquil ways of aviation there is. Imagine gracefully and effortlessly gliding over the stunning and rolling countryside of your chosen location, while the sun sets in the glistening evening sky or rises on a gorgeous summer morning.
This is an experience which everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. Hot Air Balloon flights are simply breathtaking, and are the perfect gift to mark any occasion. With a wide range of rides and flights at competitive prices, we offer some fantastic offers which you will love.
What is a Hot Air Balloon?
The hot air balloon is one of the first and oldest forms of aviation around. Its roots can be traced as far back as 220 - 280 CE in China, when their predecessor, sky lanterns, were used for military signalling. What evolved into balloons were still being used for military reconnaissance purposes many thousands of years later.
The modern hot air balloon for recreational usage that we know today, and which is still hugely popular all over the world, was invented by Ed Yost in the 1950s, with the first one to fly in the UK, known as the Bristol Belle, taking flight in 1967.
A Hot Air Balloon consists of a bag (the balloon), known as the 'envelope', which is where all the hot air is held. Hanging below it is a gondola or a wicker basket, which is where the passengers are held, as well as the source of heat, which is an open flame.
But not to worry, for it’s all perfectly safe! The heat then inflates this big balloon and then it's up, up and away for a hot air balloon ride experience you will never forget!
What Happens on a Hot Air Balloon Ride?
The two most common questions we get asked are what people can expect, but also how safe is a hot air balloon ride.
Hot Air Balloon experiences are tranquil, relaxing and an experience of a lifetime. You can expect a preparation and greeting with a qualified pilot, where they will take you through a summary of what will be happening.
They’re also perfectly safe, as you will be taken through a flight briefing, outlining the important safety information for the flight, as well as flight information such as flight duration, and which direction you'll be flying in.
Once all the briefing is complete, the pilot will start to apply cold air to the balloon and then once ready will apply heat and you will start to gracefully lift off into the sky.
As the people on the ground gradually get smaller and smaller, you will start to appreciate the magical and effortless flight over the stunning countryside, with no engine and no sudden movements so you can truly relax and take in the breath-taking views, all of which your pilot will point out to you over your route.
Some of our ride packages are also available for two to enjoy, and as you’ll see above all of our packages we have available come with a glass of champagne or something bubbly to toast the flight with, and a signed flight certificate once you’re back on terra firma.
Spectators are also welcome along to most of our venues for the rides - so you could even make a family day of it and make it an even more special memory to look back on.
When Can I Ride a Hot Air Balloon?
It’ll come as no surprise when we say that Hot Air Balloon rides are a very time and weather sensitive form of aviation. The best time to take a ride in them tends to be during the warmer months in the summer, simply because it’s easier to get a balloon up in the air as warm air rises a lot faster on a clear, warm day.
Many of our hot air balloon experiences take place at sunrise or sunset, as the skies are usually a lot calmer at those times of the day, which of course allows the balloon to fly as calmly and serenely as intended.
Typically for most of our packages, the flight season lasts from April to October; however this will vary depending on the package and also the supplier, so it’s always a good idea to check any details of this in the Fine Print before you make the booking, and to also be as flexible as possible as dates are subject to change depending on external factors.
Where Can I Ride a Hot Air Balloon From?
The great thing about hot air balloons is that you can fly in them from pretty much anywhere across the UK.
Being the place that named the first ever modern balloon to fly in the UK, Bristol in the South West of the country is home to the annual Bristol Balloon Fiesta, a magnificent four day festival for balloon lovers that takes place on the first weekend of every August.
Bath in Somerset and Cheltenham in Gloucestershire are both nearby Bristol, and hot air balloons take off from these destinations so it’s a great way to discover these historic Spa towns and cities from the air.
But you can also ride a balloon over the Yorkshire Dales from York, over the stunning Lake District National Park in Cumbria, or even from Braintree and Chelmsford in the beautiful Essex countryside. When it comes to locations to fly hot air balloons from, the sky really is the limit!
Booking a Hot Air Balloon Ride or Experience
Arranging and booking your next Hot Air Balloon Ride with FlyDays couldn’t be simpler. Our open gift vouchers make a fabulous, unique present to surprise a loved one with or treat yourself, whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or any other special occasion that calls for celebration.
Or if there’s a forthcoming date you’ve got in mind, you can book directly onto this through the regularly updated Events calendar for each of our Hot Air Balloon experiences. We’re always in contact with our suppliers so you can be sure you’ve got the most current availability around.