Flying in a hot air balloon is a dream for anybody (if you are not afraid of heights of course). Here is how to make this dream become reality.
Making the most of your experience Obviously, it is essential that you seek out a reputable company to go hot air ballooning. All hot air balloon pilots are highly trained and experienced, to ensure that the trip goes without a hitch. Fear of heights It may seem obvious, but if you have even the slightest fear of heights, you should seriously consider whether you want to go hot air ballooning. You will reach heights of up to 3,000 feet - the landscape unfolding beneath you will be beautiful, but it is still a great height! Having said that, it is an experience like no other. The basket will not rock or sway, since you will be travelling with the wind, not against it. It is a smooth motion, so travel sickness is highly unlikely.
Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Air, famous for its trains and aeroplanes, have been running hot air balloon rides in the U.K. since 1994. This branch of the company is appropriate, since Sir Richard was the first person to fly a balloon across the Atlantic!
The company boasts the largest selection of launch sites in the U.K. - whichever end of the country you live, there will be a location very near you. You can choose to fly over some of the most stunning landscapes in the U.K., from County Durham to Cornwall.
The website (Virginballoonflights.co.uk) advertises a flight of around one hour, along with a champagne toast, a certificate signed by your pilot, and a souvenir brochure. You purchase a voucher online, which is then posted to your house. It is valid for
12 months, during which time you can use the unique code to book your flight online. See the website for the most up-to-date prices.
However, if you would like to support some of your local businesses, here is a list of a few reputable companies across the country. Of course, a Google search or a look in your local business directory can always help out. Adventureballoons.co.uk - covering the South East of England and the Home Counties Wickersworld.co.uk - covering the Midlands and parts of the North West Imaginationflights.co.uk - covering the spectacular scenery of the North East and Northumberland.