Our lovely pilot Russell Collins took 12 passengers on a true airborne adventure from Shipston-on-Stour recently as they spotted a lost 15th-century village from the sky!

Taking off from our Shipston-On-Stour Sports Club launch site at around 4 pm, our happy passengers were enjoying their flight over the rolling countryside when Russell drew their attention to an intriguing land formation below.

The outlines of the village, known as ‘Middle Ditchford’, near the Fosse Way, were so clear passengers could make out all manner of things including the outlines of streets, a village green and the medieval ridge and furrows from old farming techniques. They were also able to make out the old church remains and village pond.

The village was abandoned in the 1500s following a period of economic decline in cereal production when sheep farming became economically preferable to the landowners and required fewer people.

“I had read about it and seen a picture in a book called ‘England –The Mini Book of Aerial Views’, but I had never previously seen it for myself even though I have conducted many flights in the area,” said Russell.

“Everybody was interested in it, pointing out the features we could see, taking pictures and we knew we had seen something special. It was as if our balloon flight had gifted us with this privileged view and the light at that moment set it off beautifully,” he added.

How about it, a spot of archaeology on a Virgin Balloon Flight! Fancy flying from Shipston-on-Stour too? Balloon flights in Warwickshire are available from £169pp via the website at www.virginballoonflights.co.uk or on 01952 212750.

Our hot air balloon rides in Warwickshire also launch from Warwick itself, directly opposite Warwick Castle, and the home of Shakespeare with our balloon ride over Stratford-Upon-Avon.