Once again Virgin balloon passengers prove age is no barrier to adventure when 100-year-old Kathleen took to the skies on an unforgettable Lake District hot air balloon ride.
The sprightly centenarian, who lives near Pooley Bridge in Cumbria, had always dreamed of a trip in a hot air balloon and flew just six months after her 100th birthday from Dalemain, near Ullswater in Cumbria.
The flight was a 100th birthday present from her family, after she had hoped to fly while visiting family in Australia a few years ago but ran out of time.
“It was an amazing experience, so peaceful. You don’t even feel like you’re moving, it’s so quiet,” she said.
“We floated over the lovely countryside and I was able to spot some places I recognised, like Dalemain Estate castle.
“The Champagne toast was great too. We didn’t get back until about 11pm in the evening so I had supper late, but that didn’t matter as it was all part of the adventure.”
A Lake District Hot Air Balloon Ride Dream
Adventurous Kathleen, who is a firm believer in making the most of life whatever your age, said the flight was worth the wait.
“I’ve always loved travelling, sailing and canoeing – anything like that. As long as I’m outdoors, I’m happy,” she said.
“I’m lucky to have such a supportive family to help me go on trips like this.
“Some families say to older relatives ‘you can’t do that’ but if my family ever said that to me I’d tell them to mind their own business.
“You’ve got to enjoy life.”
And Kathleen’s next adventure is just around the corner, when she returns to Australia in the autumn to see her family and meet her second great-grandchild, born just a few days ago, for the first time.
Her son Brian said the family bought her the Virgin Balloon Flights voucher for her 100th birthday after she had not been able to fly during their last trip to Australia.
“I took her down to the launch site and was able to wave her off as she drifted into the sunset, which was amazing to see,” he said.
“I was a little worried about her getting in and out of the basket, so spoke to Virgin Balloon Flights a few times about this. The whole team were brilliant a helping her and it was actually really quick and easy.”
Take Life Higher Whatever Your Age
Kathleen’s once in a lifetime trip was even featured in her local newspaper, the News and Star.
She is the second 100-year-old we have flown here at Virgin Balloon Flights, after Chrissie Miller took to the skies over Scotland in September 2015.
The only age limit for hot air balloon rides is at the younger end, with passengers having to be at least seven years old and at least 4ft 6in in height to fly in our big red Virgin balloons.
Pilot Chris Oxby, who flies in County Durham and North Cumbria, said it had been an honour to fly Kathleen.
“It was a great pleasure to fly her. She turned 100 at the beginning of the year and really was an amazing lady,” he said.
“We had a really great flight and she really enjoyed herself.”
With four beautiful launch sites across the Lakes region, enjoy your very own Cumbria and Lake District hot air balloon ride from just £107 per person.