Hot air ballooning is one of the world’s most romantic forms of aviation, especially when you fly over a heart-shaped lake set in beautiful British countryside like Lisa Barnett, of Shadwell, North Leeds, whose airborne adventure was much more than she could have wished for…

Floating up to 3000ft above the Yorkshire landscape with boyfriend of eight months, Greg Armstrong, Lisa looked out over the edge of the basket of the Virgin balloon she was travelling in, hoping Greg was enjoying the flight she’d bought him as a Christmas gift as much as she was. Their sunrise champagne balloon ride from the city’s famous racecourse certainly provided them with some fantastic views including the sea and the Humber Bridge on the horizon. But that was just the beginning...

Lisa said: “The tranquillity of the flight was breathtaking. As I turned around, Greg was on one knee and had secretly asked a fellow passenger to capture the event on camera, how wonderful that the lady agreed and she was herself a photographer; the morning could not have been better! Whilst she was unbeknownst to me snapping away, Greg popped the question. I was so shocked that I cried. I of course wanted to say yes, but I was so overwhelmed, that after composing myself & a few cuddles I said I’d be honoured to marry him.”

With the seal of approval from Lisa’s father a few weeks before 39-year-old Greg, who works in IT solutions, happily put the ‘stand-in’ ring on Lisa’s finger whilst the rest of the passengers congratulated them.

Lisa, a National brand manager, went on to say: “We couldn't believe we flew over a heart-shaped lake too - I was convinced this was in Greg’s itinerary, but the pilot Dave obviously knows the area well, mother nature was clearly on our side as she blew our balloon in that direction!”

The couple who plan to tie the knot in late summer or early autumn this year came back down to solid ground and shared a Champagne toast with the rest of the passengers before the ground crew presented them with a keepsake balloon made from the Champagne cork and clasp.

Following the excitement of their magical hot air balloon ride the couple visited Elements in Hebden Bridge where they began work with master jeweller Dawn on the design of the ‘real’ engagement ring. Later the couple sipped more Champagne with their families at a celebratory party organised by Lisa’s sister.

Lisa, 40, added: “A massive thanks to pilot Dave Sutcliffe and the rest of the team for the kind gift, photos & champagne, plus the amazing passengers on the flight that made our morning so special. Everyone individually congratulated us after the flight, so thank you everyone who made our balloon trip so memorable. We would highly recommend a Virgin Balloon Flight to anyone.”

Looking for a special way to pop the question? You too can take to the skies in a Virgin hot air balloon for as little as £169 per person, simply call 01952 212750 or visit our website.