If you received some of our hot air balloon vouchers as a gift, then lucky you, you’re in for a treat! You will be able to use your hot air balloon voucher whenever you wish between March and November, provided it’s before the expiry date, but you should try and plan your trip according to the weather forecast.

Ideal Ballooning Weather

Balloon flights need a certain amount of light winds in order to be able to fly properly. Other optimum weather conditions include no rain and good visibility, which is why we only operate between March and November and not all year round. These also make it a better experience for you, and give you a greater opportunity of getting some fantastic photos of your preferred route.

The weather is also the reason why we leave early in the morning and not all throughout the day. In the morning, the sun has not yet had the chance to heat the ground (and consequently the air above). Rising hot or warm air can affect the altitude of the hot air balloon, and so leaving in the morning gives a safer and more pleasant ride, making it easier for the pilot to use the air in the balloon to control the altitude.

On some occasions, we may be forced to cancel your flight due to poor weather conditions. Should this be the case, you will be able to book another flight on another day. If your hot air balloon voucher is due to expire, we can also extend it free of charge to give you plenty of opportunity to book your flight.

What Do I Need to Bring?

A Virgin Balloon Flight is a three to four hour experience which includes almost everything you need. All we recommend that you bring is suitable clothing for the early start and the forecasted weather (we recommend clothes that you’d wear for a day out in the country) and, of course, your camera to capture the magnificent views! You may also want to bring a camcorder or binoculars. While you bring these items at your own risk, our balloons are specially designed with pouches to hold your camera equipment on landing.

We invite all of our hot air balloon guests to join in with the inflation and deflation of the balloon (although this is not compulsory), so you should wear clothing and footwear suitable for walking around a potentially muddy field.

What Will I See?

The great thing about a hot air balloon ride is that each one is unique. The weather, particularly the wind, plays a significant part in the route your balloon will take, with pilots only controlling the altitude of the balloon. We can never know exactly where you will land, but our retrieval crew will track the balloon and come and collect you shortly after landing.

If you want to see a certain part of the country, choose a launch location in that area. Although the flight can’t be steered, you will be high enough to get a great view of that area.