Essex, with its stunning landscapes and historic towns is a popular location for our hot air balloon rides. We have 5 launch sites that cover the area and all offer fabulous views of this south eastern county. It's close proximity to the capital also makes it a good choice for those living in London and looking to take in the gorgeous scenery the UK has to offer. Our Essex hot air balloon pilot is Tim Parker and he has been with flying with us since 2013. “Being a balloon pilot is the best job in the world. There is nothing better than a perfect flight with great landscapes, good weather, happy passengers and people waving up at the balloon from the ground below,” says Tim. Chelmsford [caption id="attachment_9503" align="alignright" width="300"] Newland Hall[/caption] Our Chelmsford launch site is located at Newland Hall – a 15th century Tudor Manor House with its own moat, picturesque gardens and over 100 acres of grass and woodland with four lakes. Launching from here, you'll get a birds eye view not only of this estate but also Chelmsford's bustling centre and the surrounding countryside. Chelmsford Racecourse is also well worth a visit being one of the newest racing venues in Britain and hosting a wide range of events throughout the year. Brentwood Brentwood is another of our five wonderful balloon ride launch sites in Essex, offering fabulous views over Billericay and the county town of Chelmsford. One of the prettiest regions in Essex, you will find yourself drifting over beautiful country parks. Keep an eye out for stunning historic sites like Ingatestone Hall, an incredible 16th century mansion. Brentwood is also the home of the hit ITV show TOWIE, a perfect fit with Essex’s modern vibe with bustling centres and chic cafe culture. Artist John Constable, was inspired by the beautiful Essex countryside and painted some of England’s best-loved pictures from scenes around here. An Essex balloon ride lets you admire the areas he painted for yourself from a unique, sky-high perspective. Braintree Just 10 miles northeast of Chelmsford, appreciate the beauty of South East England on this once-in-a-lifetime experience day, as you take in the views over the Home Counties. Unforgettable views of Withan, the River Brain and the iconic windmills that dot this extraordinary county await you. [caption id="attachment_9505" align="alignright" width="300"] Blake House Craft Centre[/caption] Launching from the Blake House Craft Centre in Braintree, depending on which way the wind takes your adventure you could spot Braintree golf club or take in some awesome aerial views of the town centre. As well as its vibrant centre, Essex is blessed with many historic venues and family days out that are perfect for exploring the great outdoors. Rural Essex offers plenty of glorious gardens, parks and countryside walks. Feering (Prested Hall) Prested Hall, a magnificent 16th century manor, is just 10 miles northeast of Chelmsford. Set in 75 acre grounds, the incredible gardens make the most beautiful backdrop to begin your ballooning adventure. [caption id="attachment_9507" align="alignright" width="300"] Prested Hall[/caption] Our launch site in Feering sits in between the two towns of Braintree and Colchester, from which passengers can expect good views over nearby Kelvedon and the River Blackwater. Colchester Colchester is reported to be the oldest Roman town in Britain, offering hot air balloon ride passengers good views over Coggeshall and the market town of nearby Braintree. [caption id="attachment_9509" align="alignright" width="300"] Colchester Castle[/caption] You could come across Colchester Castle or even the Roman Circus Centre, which to this day is the only one known in Britain. Appreciate the beauty of Eastern England on your flight as you take in the views over the Home Counties, stretching towards the outskirts of London. If you'd like to book your Essex flight with us, have a look at our South East vouchers here.