In the run-up to Father’s Day, we’re busy interviewing all the hero dads out there (which, seeing as every dad is a hero, in our opinion, is quite a task!) Here, we talk to Ken White about his 70th birthday celebration in the skies with his son Paul.

Ken and Paul’s Experience in the Sky:

Dad of two, Ken White had always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride, so was over the moon when son Paul bought him a voucher for his 70th birthday.

Ken’s wife sadly passed away a few months before his birthday after becoming terminally ill, so instead of organising a party, Paul decided a much quieter party for two in the sky was perfect.

“A balloon flight is something I’ve always wanted to do,” says Ken.

“I’ve been adventurous for as long as I can remember, since I used to climb trees as a young boy. I love the outdoors, and it keeps me healthy.”

Paul also has a passion for the outdoors, and enjoying it from the sky with his dad was a novel experience for him.

“Both Dad and I have a real sense of adventure, and I wanted to do something special for his 70th, especially after Mum sadly passed away. I knew he would absolutely love it, and he absolutely did,” says Paul.

It was a glorious, calm day on their first scheduled flight, so the pair were lucky enough to fly for the first time.

“We got chatting to other passengers who had experienced a few weather cancellations so we felt really lucky to have gone up first time,” says Ken.

Hot Air Balloon Ride over Cornwall

Launching from Launceston, Cornwall, just half an hour from their hometown of Gunnislake, Ken, Paul, and their fellow passengers were first invited to help inflate the balloon.

“Paul and I held onto the rope as the balloon was being inflated, I was a bit concerned that the balloon was going to take off with me at one point – but it was all part of the fun,” says Ken.

“It was a strange sensation as we reached 4,000ft, but couldn’t feel any breeze. The burners keep you nice and warm and I was so busy taking in the scenery and chatting to Paul that the hour-long experience quite literally flew by.”

“We spotted lots of our local landmarks like the reservoir - it was such a clear day we could see for miles.”

“It was so effortless and peaceful. Going up that early in the morning (6 am) meant we could see the sunrise and watch the countryside wake up,” says Paul.

Nothing to Be Nervous About

Ken’s daughter Beth isn’t as adventurous as her dad and brother, and the idea of heights doesn’t appeal to her, but Ken says he’s trying to convince her otherwise.

“I’ve been telling her there’s really nothing to be nervous about. I think a hot air balloon ride is something everyone should experience.”

The Next Adventure

Ken isn’t letting go of his adventurous side just yet and hopes to tick gliding off his bucket list next!

Want to give your dad a real adventure? A balloon flight means your hero can finally fly….Treat him to a gift he’ll never forget this Father’s Day.

Buy Dad’s ticket to the sky here.