Hot air balloon flights in the UK usually take place shortly after sunrise and around two hours before sunset as this is when the wind conditions and air temperatures are most stable.
One of the questions we get asked the most is ‘What’s better, the sunrise or the sunset flight?’. As with anything, there are particular advantages with each and it comes down to personal preference. As our experienced pilots have the opportunity to regularly experience both, we asked our Norfolk and Suffolk pilot, Robert Keron, what he thought:
From a pilots point of view whether you fly early in the morning or early evening both flights are of good quality. From my personal view, the early morning sunrise flights without any doubt do have the ‘edge’. Surface wind is normally very calm, making the inflation and launch an even more gentle and serene experience. Another bonus is that getting to launch site is always easier with little traffic on the road!
One lucky passenger who has had the opportunity to experience both dusk and dawn flights, Ami Jarvis, shared her opinion:
The first flight I did was an evening one over Shrewsbury, nearby where I live. I absolutely loved it, especially as it was my first flight and I flew over areas that were familiar to me. The second flight I booked was a morning from Yorkshire and as I am not a morning person at all, the thought of getting up at 6am to travel was not appealing but boy was it worth it! It was the most amazing feeling seeing the city below waking up on a lovely, crisp, fresh October morning! Worth the early start for such a beautiful experience.
For the keen photographer, the sunrise flight is definitely the best in one way as you are in an environment of lifting light when the sun comes up, so the definition is much better. On the other hand, the evening flight presents a chance to see the beautiful sunset, perhaps more mesmerising than sunrise with the intense orange and red colours of the sun filling the sky. Budding Shropshire photographer Ben Heathcote told us:
The evening was so clear that it felt like we could see for miles over the Shropshire hills. As the pilot came in to land, the sun was low and bright in the sky so it created a beautiful pinky orange haze over the landscape. The whole atmosphere was wonderful!
Whatever flight you chose, you will not be disappointed. An early morning flight rising with the sun, experiencing an adventure before many have awoken or flying whilst the sun fades, what a perfect way to end the day, with a relaxing hot air balloon ride.
Whether you choose sunrise or sunset, don’t hesitate to climb on board with us now. You can fly for as little as £89 and there are over 100 launch sites to choose from. Simply visit our website or call us in the office on 0844 844 8080.