When you’ve waited half a century for your first ever flight, a spectacular hot air balloon ride ensured one man would never forget his first experience of the skies. Adrian Stone, aged 50, had never had any reason to fly before and has never been on an aeroplane or helicopter. But in May he took to the skies over Shaftesbury with our pilot Piers Glydon to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime hot air balloon ride. “It was fantastic and I would love to do it again,” he said. “Even just taking off, you just start to go up and the distance you can see once you’re up there. Even from the highest hill around here, you can’t see very far but from the balloon you really can see for 40 or 50 miles. “It was just amazing, I absolutely loved it.” It wasn’t a fear of heights that kept Adrian’s feet firmly on the ground all these years – he’d simply never had any reason to fly until now.

First Ever Flight

“I’d never thought about flying before but I’d always wanted to go up in a balloon – I don’t really know why.” “It’s something I’d always wanted to do but never thought I would actually get to do it when Lesley, my partner, bought me the flight as a Christmas present. “I’d heard that when you go up you can hear people talking and dogs barking below but that wasn’t what I was listening for – for me it was the sound of the birds. Because there’s no engine, you really can hear everything around you.” Adrian also enjoyed helping to both set up the balloon before the flight and pack it away after landing. And the search for a suitable landing spot meant passengers were treated to an unexpectedly longer flight than usual. “Piers told us the flight is normally up to an hour long but we were in the air for an hour and a half. “I kept hoping he wouldn’t find anywhere to land, as I just wanted to stay up there.”

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“When I’m walking the dog, I’m the sort of person that always wants to see what’s around the next corner and I just wanted the flight to keep going forever.” Adrian said now that he had ticked seeing Britain from the air off his bucket list, the only other place on earth he still really wants to see is the Great Barrier Reef. “I don’t liked being cramped though so don’t really fancy flying in a plane!” Whether you’re a frequent flyer or it will be your first ever flight too, a hot air balloon ride offers an airborne experience like no other. Find out more on our Virgin Balloon Flights website or call our team on 01952 212750 to start your ballooning adventure today.