Here is a word for word account from one of our true fans Toni Wadman;
Where do I start, flying with Virgin Balloons is such a great, WOW experience.
Where my parents live they often see balloons over their house and dad would often say he would love to do a flight. In February 2009 my dad was going to be celebrating his 65th birthday so we decided to get him a balloon flight. We chose Virgin Balloons because we saw adverts in our local papers and flights take off from Grimsthorpe.
So our first flight was on Sept 6th 2009 am for my dad’s 65th birthday treat (I had to go along to hold his hand!). We decided to fly from Grimsthorpe Castle as it is only a few minutes drive from home. I work for a local printing company and my dad is a retired farm worker and having lived the area for over 35 years we wanted to see our local area from above. Our flight took us from Grimsthorpe to Surfleet with such amazing views over fields, villages etc. We even got to fly up through the clouds, stunning.
Our second flight was on May 17th 2010 pm, again from Grimsthorpe (3rd attempt after 2 cancellations due to weather). On this flight we didn’t travel too far but got to see a lovely sunset.
Our third flight was on 22nd June 2010 am, this flight took us over Edenham (where my parents live). The weather was perfect with clear blue skies so I got some lovely pics of our local area.
We did book onto 2 further flights in October last year but unfortunately these were cancelled due to bad weather :(
Our first flight this year was on April 20th am (a 40th birthday treat for me), it was a misty start but as the skies cleared it was stunning. We travelled in a totally different direction from before.
We are hoping to book onto another flight in August from Rutland Water or Grimsthorpe and if we get to fly maybe another in September/October. When we can we both go up to the castle if we know a flight is scheduled to watch the take-off and say hello to the crew.
All our flights have been from Grimsthorpe Castle, it is such a beautiful site to take off from, in front of the castle, near the lake, so peaceful in the early morning. Even though all our flights have been from this launch site, each flight has been special for various reasons, an adventure.
We have such an amazing time and always look forward to our flights, always hoping that the weather is on our side, it is very disappointing when you hear the flight has been cancelled due to the weather. It’s lovely to meet other passengers, one lady in particular called Rose on her first flight at 90 years of age. I’ve recommended work colleagues and friends to do a balloon flight and some have booked flights with Virgin Balloons.
Three of our flights have been with Alan Lusty and our last with Martin. True professionals in what they do, very informative of everything going on. Andy and Peter the ground crew are great guys and always make us feel welcome, it always nice to have a catch up with them all.
We would both like to say a very big “thank you” to all involved, Customer Services, Ground Crew and especially our pilots Alan / Martin for such memorable flights. We are absolutely amazed by the whole experience from helping with the preparation of the balloon before and after the flight to the flight itself which are totally amazing, such brilliant experiences. On all occasions we have had a wonderful time, something we shall both talk about and remember for a long time. It’s so nice to get away from the stress of work for 3-4 hours and do something we both enjoy :)