We had a fantastic first visit to V Festival at Hylands Park in Essex where we tethered a balloon at the weekend and what a scorcher it was!

Guests from the brilliant Virgin Media Louder Lounge enjoyed rides in the blazing sun and we rubbed shoulders with celebrities including actor Billy Piper, singer Sophie Ellis Bexter, actor Ralph Little and boy band One Direction, who were all at the event.

We also provided some additional entertainment for the crowd who could see our balloon from the main stage, bobbing away to music from the likes of Tom Jones and Snow Patrol. Our balloon looked particularly spectacular as it lit up in the dusky gloom.

Virgin Balloon Flights at V Festival 2012 in Essex

It was a fantastic way to mark 25 years since Sir Richard Branson and co-pilot Per Lindstrand did the first transatlantic balloon flight – making Virgin synonymous with hot ballooning forevermore.

Thanks to everyone who flew with us, who tweeted us and the Virgin Media team who made us feel so welcome.

With five main launch sites across the county, why not book an Essex hot air balloon ride for yourself and see this county of contrasts from a whole new perspective?