Hot air ballooning is one of our long standing best sellers, with wedding anniversaries being by far the most popular occasion to celebrate with a ride. It seems you love the idea of sending Mum and Dad up in a balloon to mark the day they tied the knot. And for the hopelessly romantic, you can even propose in a hot air balloon with our exclusive flights for two. Imagine popping the question as you float at 1000ft!
So what can you expect on your balloon day? Well, it's usually a dawn or dusk take off. It might be an early morning departure, but it'll most definitely be worth it as you enjoy the sunrise from the air and equally, an evening flight means you can make the most of the sunset. And there's a reason why balloons operate early and late in the day - it's because the thermals are more stable at these times.
When you arrive on site you can help with the setting up if you like (and most people relish the chance to lend a hand) as you spread out the envelope (that's the proper term for the nylon balloon bit!) ready for inflating with the burners.
Once the basket is upright, time for you to all hop in (if you're not on a balloon flight for two you may be part of a group of up to 16) and, despite what you might think when you first see the cane and willow basket, it's really stable. Before you even have time to feel nervous, you'll be drifting ever-so-gently up, up and away. It's really quite cool to be able to see people walking their dogs, cars pootling around, tractors in the fields - all in miniature! Taking a camera with you is a must-do.
One the most-asked questions is 'is it the hot air that steers the balloon?' - and the simple answer is no, it keeps it afloat, it's the wind that guides you. However, wind direction generally changes with altitude, so your skilled pilot will be able to seek out the winds going in the direction they want as you alter your height.
We have to say, landing is often the most thrilling part of balloon flights. As the pilot deftly controls the burners, you'll start your descent as the balloon cools and as you come in to land skimming the tree tops as you go, prepare to come back down to earth with a bit of bump or two. The ground crew then appears to unload everyone, deflate and pack up, leaving you to reflect on the day you soared the skies in you beautiful big balloon. Enjoy the ride!