There is no other company like Virgin for hot air balloons. Popularised by Sir Richard Branson when he first flew a balloon across the Atlantic in 1997, spring, summer and autumn skies can often be seen with a traveller being whisked away on the wind in a balloon. Commercial flights have become increasingly popular with many flying enthusiasts looking for something that is unique and exhilarating at the same time. When you take to the skies with us, you’ll begin to see why Sir Richard Branson was so enthusiastic about them and what prompted him to continue developing balloon flights and cross the Pacific in 1991. During this time he broke many records and reached speeds of around 245 mph.

Of course, while balloon flight is dependent on the winds, we don’t attempt any flights if they are too high, or even during certain times of day. The middle of the day is generally the hottest which causes columns of thermal air to rise from the ground which can make controlling the balloon more difficult. As the year wears on, however, we can make more and more trips during the day due to generally lower temperatures. Because atmospheric conditions are beyond our control, it is always important to ring ahead to confirm your desired flight date. We will be able to give you a specific time either between 6.30-7 onwards during AM flights, then 13.30 onwards for pm flights depending on the time of year. You will then drive to one of our locations and we will prepare for your magical trip.

Part of what makes a flying gift experience like this so alluring is the unknown element. We are largely dependent on the weather conditions at the time of flight which means that we can fly for countless miles if the wind speed is high enough, or we may only travel a few. The general length of the flight will be 45 minutes during which time you will have ample opportunity to take photos and enjoy the serenity of drifting up to 5000 feet. Depending on how high we go you’ll be able to see for many miles in every direction. Even at hundreds of feet, you can get a close up view of the terrain, villages, lakes and wildlife. On clear summer days, the view can allow you to see objects that you thought were beyond sight such as shorelines and cities.

You don’t need to worry about where we are going to land because that will have already been sorted out. As part of flying experience gifts like this, we will deliver you back to the take-off area so you can retrieve your car. The landing itself is safe, but you should be prepared for it to be bumpy and for the basket to tip over. This is completely normal and happens with many balloon flights. Depending on speeds, the basket may drag for a bit but you will be perfectly safe.