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Launch Site Address

Ardleigh Showground, Old Ipswich Road
Ardleigh, Colchester

Colchester Hot Air Balloon Ride

Fun & Interesting Facts

The world’s best known nursery rhyme, ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ was written in 1806 by 23-year-old Jane Taylor, in the attic of her home in Colchester.


Go up, up and away from one of the oldest Roman towns in Britain on an unforgettable Colchester hot air balloon ride.

Take life higher and hop on board our majestic big red balloon for an airborne adventure like no other.

Who knows what magnificent sites you’ll see as you drift along with the wind on the flying experience of a lifetime?

You might spot Colchester Castle or even the Roman Circus Centre, which to this day is the only one known in Britain.

Whichever way the wind takes you, your Colchester hot air balloon experience will bring breath-taking views across this stunning part of the south east.


The Showground is close to Junction 29 of the A12 and A120.

From London:
On the A12, exit at J29 , A12/A120 north Colchester.
Immediately on the slip road keep left in the direction of Ardleigh, A1232.
At the roundabout take the 2nd exit straight over and turn immediately left into Old Ipswich Road (Gnome Magic). In 300 meters at the T-junction, turn right, with The Crown pub on your right. Approximately 500 metres ahead on your right is The Ardleigh Showground and our launch site.
Please park in the field on the right and wait with your car to be met by the balloon crew. If the gates are locked, the Virgin Balloon Flights Crew will be there shortly before the meeting time to let you in.

From Ipswich:
Take A12, J29 and at roundabout, take the first exit left and the follow directions as above.

From centre of Colchester:
Follow Ipswich Road A1232 to the A120 roundabout and follow the directions as above.

Passenger Flight Information Line

Please call 01376 317027 to confirm the status of your flight.

Hints & Tips:

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Your Pilot Will Be:

Martin Collinson

Look forward to... floating on air exceptional views breath-taking heights going with the wind the world at your feet

Last Minute Availability

Flexible On When You Can Fly?