Strathaven Balloon Festival 2019 – A Success

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This August bank holiday saw our Virgin balloons at or next to two ballooning festivals.

Pilot William 'Woody' Wood took passengers into the skies at Strathaven Balloon Festival 2019.

We also received amazingly beautiful photos of our flight from Oswestry Balloon Carnival this weekend.

Belinda Beattie captured our beautiful balloon at the Strathaven Festival and shared the fabulous image with us.

Described as one of the top 3 such events in the UK, the Strathaven Balloon Festival celebrated its 20th birthday this year.

With over 25,000 participants, the event was enchanted with stunt demos provided by Skydive Strathallan, mass launches, music and dance performances.

Beautiful Weekend Of Flights Over South Lanarkshire

Topping up all the perks of the festival, the weather helped ensure a great event. Woody points out what a difference the weather changing for the better made:

“The weather was very kind to us, considering what a difficult month we have had for flying already.

"It was great to see so many families out enjoying the sunshine with so many local products and crafts on display at the stalls as well as a fun fair.”

For pilots and passengers alike, flying alongside other balloons makes the beauty of such festivals.

Representing Virgin Balloon Flights for the first time at Strathaven, Woody is one of our youngest pilots.

He boasts great experience as a former member of hot air balloons Team GB, and provides our passengers in Scotland with a great ballooning adventure.

He shares his impressions of the event with us:

“We made three flights from the arena over the weekend, each one taking us in a different direction out over the South Lanarkshire countryside.

"The farmers were welcoming, and some even keen to join us for champagne after the flight.”

First Proposal Aboard His Virgin Hot Air Balloon

Woody joined us as a Virgin balloon pilot for this season. Strathaven Balloon Festival 2019 was not his only premier this weekend past.

As the biggest passenger balloon flight provider in the world, many choose us for their special occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, and proposals.

But it was the first time Woody got to help a couple with their engagement aboard his flight.

“The highlight for me would have to be being privileged to witness the proposal of Angie and Alicia during our flight on Saturday evening.

"Angie contacted me before arriving to let me know her intentions. When she turned to me during the flight, I gave her a thumbs up.

"I distracted the rest of the passengers. So they were able to have their private and intimate moment together before I made the exciting announcement to the rest of those on board."

How Angie Surprised Her Partner

We contacted Angie, and she also shared with us her account of their happy special day:

“On arrival, we made our way to the check in tent where my partner learned we were going up in a hot air balloon.

"I wasn't sure if she was going to faint or slap me! So up we went.

"During the flight and having discussed my plan with the pilot earlier, I was given the go ahead.

"Getting down on one knee in a little corner of the basket was awkward but I seized the moment and popped the question!

"Overwhelmed by everything and completely taken by surprise, my partner said YES!

"We have an amazing story to tell and we had the most incredible experience high in the sky where it was serenely peaceful.”

Flying Alongside Oswestry Balloon Carnival

Our Virgin crew, a bit further south down in Shropshire, launched alongside Oswestry Balloon Carnival.

Due to the size of our hot air balloons, our flight had to proceed from the regular launch site at Sweeney Hall Hotel, located only about 1 mile away from Oswestry itself.

Our passengers could share in the joy of watching other balloons flying over the landscape at the same time.

The crew also sent across stunning images which we wanted to share with you.

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