This Father’s Day saw our first flight launch from our new Manchester site. Floating up, up and away from City and Airport Heliport in Eccles, Manchester, our 16 passengers hopped into our North West basket and took to the skies with pilot Chris.

Tom and Mark tell us all about their hot air balloon ride over Manchester.

“I remember as a child going to hot air balloon festivals in Bath and Bristol and thinking it would be amazing to have a go one day,” says Tom.

“My partner Mark and I received our flight vouchers as a Christmas present. I couldn’t wait to tick ‘hot air balloon ride’ off my bucket list.”

Sightseeing at a Gentle Pace

“My parents had been on a Virgin balloon flight before, so I knew roughly what to expect, but wasn’t sure what the feeling of floating on air would actually be like. Drifting above Manchester and being able to see the sights at a gentle pace was amazing, not like being in a plane.”

We saw loads of Greater Manchester - The Trafford Centre, Old Trafford, Beetham Tower, Media City, Salford Quays, Heaton Park, Manchester City Centre, and a glider going past the balloon.

“It was an experience never to forget, flying above rooftops and thinking you’re going to land in someone's back garden!

“It’s a feeling you'll never have experienced before - floating off the ground is strange. Flying in the basket is like having a panoramic window of the view. The experience of floating is amazing and peaceful as you glide in the air.”

Tom and Mark even said they could see people opening their bedroom curtains – it must have been quite a surprise seeing our big red balloon floating past for the first time!

Breath-taking, Amazing, Enjoyable

“It’s an experience you won’t get from anything else,” said Tom and Mark. The surprisingly comfy landing was rounded off with a glass of Champagne and Chris handed us our certificates like it was an award ceremony.

“We have recommended to all our family and friends and can’t wait to fly again.”

Don’t miss your chance to float over Manchester in an iconic Virgin balloon. Buy your North West flight voucher here or call 01952 212750.

See you in the Manchester skies!