Rise to the occasion with exciting balloon flights from Intotheblue! Hot air balloon rides and trips take off from locations throughout the UK, so you’re never far from your nearest launch site. And one thing's for sure, balloon flights are the most serene way to get airborne and should not be rushed. With just the occasional burst of the burner, it's all very calm as you drift gently over the patchwork of towns, villages and countryside below you. Hot air balloon ride FAQS...
• Great value weekday hot air balloon flights • Choice of 100s of take off venues around the country • Float over the countryside early or late in the day • Help inflate & deflate the balloon if you're up for it
Hot air ballooning is up there near the top of many people’s bucket lists. It’s thrilling but not too adrenaline-charged and is just a fabulous way to get airborne that’s simply so serene. For us, it’s a must-do, unique experience!
Who it's not for
If you have a severe fear of flying or heights a hot air balloon ride might not be for you. However, we have had guests who admit that they ‘aren’t keen on heights’ who have enjoyed hot air ballooning. If you’re worried, the best thing to do is get in touch with us and talk it through, as several of the IntotheBlue have been lucky enough to go on a hot air ballon flight so they can tell what it’s really like!
You’ll usually be airborne for around an hour. Hot air ballooning is not an exact science and the length of the rides depends on things like the number of passengers, the weather conditions and in particular, the wind.
How long does the whole experience take?
They say hot air ballooning should never be rushed.Expect to spend around four hours enjoying the integrality of your hot air balloon experience. As well as the ride itself, there’s the pre-fight briefing, the time spent unpacking, inflating, deflating and packing up the balloon. And of course, there’s always time for a celebratory glass of something bubbly after your flight too!
Where do we meet for our flight?
Each balloon operator has a roster of launch sites in their area that they can use. The choice of take off location very much depends on the wind direction on the day of your flight, so can be decided at the last minute. That means you will sometimes be taken from your initial meeting point to the actual launch site.
Where will we land in the balloon?
Your pilot will have landing sites in mind, but in essence it’s the wind that will take you! As for where the basket will actually land, it can often be in fields which can be muddy, so you’ll need to be prepared.
Is the landing as rough as I’ve heard?
Sometimes the basket can lean or tip over as you’re landing, but you will have all been briefed on what to do during the landing. The main thing to note is it can be a touchdown in a field recently vacated by cattle, so watch your step as you get out of the basket!
How far will we go?
The distance you’ll cover on a balloon flight is very much determined by the wind direction and speed, along with the pilot’s use of the burners. It’s worth noting a balloon cannot be steered, so you’ll be letting the wind take you. In general, you can expect to be floating along serenely for around eight miles.
How high up will the balloon be flying?
The altitude you reach on your balloon ride is very much wind and weather related. You can be floating up and away at anything from 500 to 4000ft. Whatever height you’ll be flying at, it’s breathtaking to look down on the world below in miniature.
What’s the best time of year to go ballooning?
Contrary to popular belief, the height of summer isn’t necessarily the ‘best’ time of year to go hot air ballooning.There’s often a haze in the midday sun of summer, so a fresh spring or crisp autumn morning might reward you with incredible clear panoramas. In essence, if the weather conditions are favourable, any time of year is great for a balloon ride.
What are the departure times for balloon rides?
The air is most stable early morning and early evening. For this reason, launches are up to two hours after daylight and two hours before sunset. Of course, that means the times change throughout the season according to daylight hours. To give you an example, morning flights might meet at 6am in the late spring time around May.
Can I help inflate the balloon?
Yes! Helping unpack, unfold and get the balloon inflated is all very much part of the whole hot air balloon experience for many people. And you can assist at the end of your ride too!
What should I wear for hot air ballooning?
Given the fact that you might end up landing in a muddy field, it’s best to dress as though you were going for a country walk when ballooning. Ladies are best off in trousers, as you’ll have to climb into the basket, so no heels either. Make sure you don’t bring a big bag with you, as space in each compartment of the basket is snug. A hat or cap is useful too.
I live in the launch site area. Will we fly over my house?
Flight paths can’t be plotted in advance as it’s all down to the wind, so an operator will not be able to guarantee that they will fly over your house.
Can I change my date if it’s not sunny?
Hot air balloon experiences are very much weather dependent, but it doesn’t need to be a bright sunshine day. The operator will make the final call on whether you’ll be flying on the day, so even if it’s overcast, if conditions are favourable for flying, your take off will be confirmed.
Are spectators welcome?
Friends and family can join you at the take off site to join in the ambiance and wave you off. Following the balloon in a vehicle is not advised by the operators. All passengers will be transported back to the original launch site at the end of the experience.
Am I allowed to bring a camera with me on my flight?
Yes - as long as you are responsible for it at all times. A wrist or neck strap might be advisable. Hopefully you’ll get some stunning photos!
How many other people will be in the basket with me?
There are different sizes of basket available. The larger ones are divided into multiple compartments that can accommodate up to six passengers each, so you will be part of a group for your flight.
Do you do private charter balloon flights?
We do indeed. Booking a private balloon ride gives you exclusive use of the balloon. That means you can also discuss with the pilot where you’d like to take off from (within the usual constraints). An exclusive balloon flight for two is the ultimate romantic gesture and the perfect moment to pop *that* question, or celebrate a major milestone in your life.
How long in advance should I book?
Once you’ve got your IntotheBlue voucher, you can set about getting your date booked in. For popular dates such as weekends, you should allow around four to six weeks. Otherwise a couple weeks is usually sufficient if you are flexible on dates. Don’t forget, ballooning is very much weather dependent and if your flight is cancelled, you will be able to reschedule with the operator.
What restrictions are there for hot air ballooning?
You need to be fit enough to be able to get into the basket, which usually stands around 1.1m high. Minimum age is eight and the child needs to be at least 4ft 6” (1.4m) tall. The maximum weight is 18stone. For any other restrictions please see each individual ballooning voucher page.
Where can I got on a hot air ballon ride near me?
There are literally hundreds of launch sites around the UK, as each operator uses several take off sites. Here are some of the locations available for hot air balloon rides: