Nestled in the south east of England, our Oxfordshire launch sites of Oxford and Henley- on-Thames are perfect starting points from which to enjoy a beautiful hot air balloon ride. Located either side of the Chiltern Hills and within easy reach from the capital, these are two of our most popular launch sites. It’s easy to see why as both will offer stunning views of historic buildings and rolling countryside.

Oxford

Known as the City of Dreaming Spires, Oxford has plenty to offer in terms of architecture. A hot air balloon ride will give you the chance to experience this glorious city from a birds eye view. [caption id="attachment_9723" align="alignright" width="300"] Oxford[/caption] Highlights to look out for are the University of Oxford, the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford Castle and the many historic colleges. Should the wind take you northwards, you may spot Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and a World Heritage Site. Another sight you are likely to enjoy on an Oxford balloon flight is the mighty River Thames, as it winds its way down from the city on route to the capital. If you are able to make a day of it and visit the city after your hot air balloon ride, you won’t be disappointed. With its cobbled streets, indoor market and many independent shops, there is plenty to keep you entertained.

Henley-On-Thames

The beautiful town of Henley, steeped in Royal history is a favourite with our passengers offering a fine mix of town and country views. Henley is probably best known for hosting the Royal Regatta every summer, attracting rowers young and old to take part. [caption id="attachment_9729" align="alignleft" width="300"] Henley-on-Thames[/caption] As you drift up, up and away, look out for the five-arched bridge over the River Thames (built in 1786) and the church of St Mary. Many buildings in Henley are designated ‘of special architectural interest’ including a 14th century chantry house, connected to the church and the Speakers house and originally the home of William Lenthall, Speaker of the House of Commons (1629-1640) who was a signatory to the warrant for the execution of Charles I. Whichever direction the wind will take you, you are bound to enjoy views of the Chiltern Hills. The Chilterns is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and offers opportunities for walking, cycling, horse riding and boating. Our Oxford pilot Mark Shemilt is not only a UK and world ballooning record holder, he is also a county local who has been flying in the area for many years. He flies from Oxford, Henley and also Newbury located in Berkshire.

Newbury

Launching from the picturesque Victoria Park, you can enjoy views of Newbury’s many 17th century buildings such as the Cloth Hall and the Old Granary. To the north of Newbury lies the ruins of Donnington Castle while to the west are the North Wessex Downs, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. [caption id="attachment_9731" align="alignright" width="300"] Highclere Castle[/caption] If the wind takes your balloon to the south of Newbury you have a good chance of spotting Highclere Castle. Home to the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, you may recognise this estate from the hit television series "Downton Abbey". An amazing experience anyone aged seven and older can enjoy, hot air balloon rides from Oxford, Henley and Newbury really will let you take life higher over the south of England and make memories to last a lifetime. Our pilot Mark and his crew look forward to flying you soon.