If you’re undecided about where to take your hot air balloon ride, have you considered Shropshire? This beautiful county, located in the West Midlands boasts areas of outstanding natural beauty and was the birthplace of Industry. Here at Virgin Balloon Flights we have five launch sites to choose from. Each giving you the chance to see this stunning county from the sky and create memories you’ll never forget.

Shrewsbury

Come hot air ballooning in Shrewsbury with Virgin Balloon Flights and we’ll show you Shropshire’s magnificent county town from a totally new perspective. Launching from the Battlefield 1403 farm shop to the north of the town, you are guaranteed spectacular views whichever way the wind takes you. You could float over Shrewsbury itself, with its medieval street plan, fantastic timber-framed buildings, Shrewsbury Castle and the Quarry Park. As well as being the birthplace of Charles Darwin, it is steeped in history and well worth a visit in its own right. [caption id="attachment_9636" align="alignright" width="300"] Shrewsbury[/caption] Interesting villages punctuate Shropshire’s patch-work landscape, while the Wrekin and beautiful South Shropshire Hills can be seen if the wind takes you south. You may even fly towards Oswestry and North Wales or up further into North Shropshire and towards Cheshire. We think Darwin would have quite fancied a hot air balloon ride in Shrewsbury in the name of exploration. Ballooning over Shrewsbury is something you’ll never forget.

Telford

Enjoy a unique view of the birthplace of industry on your hot air balloon ride from Telford. [caption id="attachment_9638" align="alignleft" width="300"] Ironbridge Gorge[/caption] Launching from our site high above the beautiful Ironbridge Gorge, you may well see the famous bridge itself as your Telford hot air balloon ride adventure unfolds. Also look out for the furnaces used to cast the iron for the bridge in the 18th century. The River Severn will wind away towards the massive clay towers of Ironbridge power station, which are visible from all over Telford. A balloon ride is a unique opportunity to study Shropshire landmarks like never before as you drift slowly by. The Wrekin – the largest hill for miles – is nearly always in view on a hot air balloon ride from Telford and looks even more impressive from the air.

Ludlow

Another of Shropshire’s popular towns to visit is Ludlow. Close to the Welsh border and the Shropshire Hills our Ludlow hot air balloon ride will offer uninterrupted views of the rolling Shropshire countryside. You’ll be taking off from Stokesay Court, a magnificent late-Victorian mansion set within extensive grounds. It shot to fame when it was used as the primary location for the film “Atonement”, featuring Keira Knightly and James McAvoy. [caption id="attachment_9640" align="alignright" width="300"] Stokesay Court[/caption] Taking off from a field a short distance from the house, views of the famous lawns, lake and ornate fountain beckon as you soar skywards. The town of Ludlow itself is definitely worth a visit if you have time. With its reputation for the quality of its food and drink, the town has become a haven for food lovers so there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to enjoy. Ludlow Castle with its impressive ruins is open to the public for you to explore. It features examples of architecture from the Norman, Medieval and Tudor periods.

Oswestry

Moving back to the north of Shropshire, we have our Oswestry launch site of Sweeny Hall country house hotel. From here you can indulge in picturesque views in all directions as you drift serenely through the sky. [caption id="attachment_9642" align="alignleft" width="300"] Old Oswestry Hill Fort[/caption] To the north lies the town of Oswestry itself. Keep an eye out for landmarks such as Old Oswestry Hill Fort. A 3000 year old hill fort, it marks the beginning of one of Britain’s oldest settlements. If the wind takes you as far as the border, look out for Chirk Aqueduct cutting dramatically across the valley from Shropshire to North Wales, and Chirk Castle rising out of the hillside nearby.

Whitchurch

Lying in north Shropshire, Whitchurch is a busy market town. Known as ‘the home of the tower clocks’ thanks to local company JB Joyce and Co. They claim to be the oldest clock manufacturer in the world. The town was built by the Romans in 70AD and, although there’s little remaining from those times, there’s plenty of Medieval, Georgian and Victorian architecture to spot from a balloon basket. [caption id="attachment_9644" align="alignright" width="300"] Brown Moss Countryside Heritage Site[/caption] Whitchurch is also the oldest continually inhabited town in Shropshire and is even believed to be the original home of Cheshire Cheese. Depending on the will of the wind you could find yourself drifting peacefully over the Brown Moss Countryside Site, a local nature reserve and area of pools, mosses and peat bogs created over 10,000 years ago in the last Ice Age. Now a haven for wildlife, it is an interesting place to view from the basket of a hot air balloon. Our pilot Lindsay Muir will at the helm for flights from Shrewsbury, Telford and Ludlow. While Dom Bareford will be your pilot from Oswestry and Whitchurch.