Happy New Year!
Your New Year Celebration can continue with our individual or group Champagne Hot Air Balloon flights. These days it’s all about ‘sharing experiences’ whether it is with your friends, family or colleagues. We offer far more than just a Hop-on, hop-off balloon ride, your party will be invited to help our crew inflate the balloon for take-off. Once airborne your pilot will be available to answer any questions that you or your group have whilst the balloon soars above the English countryside. Celebrate the experience with a Champagne toast or orange juice after your landing alongside your fellow friends, family and colleagues.
With balloon launch sites throughout the South West, many of our passengers ask us what towns, villages and sights can be seen from each of our launch locations. Our blog series Ballooning In … aims to highlight all our unique locations in the South West – Dorset, Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall. First Up is Wiltshire, our closet ballooning location to London!
This predominantly rural country covers an area of 3,4850 sq. km, and is lucky enough to have three designated areas of outstanding natural beauty: the Cotswolds, the North Wessex Downs, the Cranborne Chase and the West Wiltshire Downs. The diversity of Wiltshire’s countryside offers our passengers stunning views of the winding river valleys, ancient woodlands, hamlets and Roman roads.
Launching from the Larmer Tree Gardens, set in the outstanding landscape of the Cranborne Chase, between Salisbury and Blandford Forum, these stunning gardens were created by General Augustus Pitt Rivers in 1880. Recognised by English Heritage as a Garden of National Importance they were only open to the public in 1995. If you launch in the Spring, you can enjoy the wonderful displays of Camellias, Rhododendrons and the tranquil woodlands beyond and in summer the colourful displays from the Hydrangea collections.
In August, after the Wiltshire crops have been harvested until the end of the flying season in October, passengers can also meet at Five Rivers Leisure Centre to join our balloon rides over Salisbury. Centred around the iconic landmark of Salisbury Cathedral which dominates the skyline with its spire that reaches 123 metres, is this medieval street and wooden houses of the English City. Its predecessor, Old Sarum, sits on the hill just outside Salisbury. The immense earthen battlements of the Iron Age Hill Settlements are not only impressive from the ground but also from above.
Whether you launch from Lamer Tree Gardens or Salisbury you will rise up to around 3,000 feet affording you with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The panoramic landscape of Wiltshire’s balloon rides, depending on the wind direction, will see you fly over various towns and hamlets, so let’s see which places are around Lamer Tree Gardens beginning from the North are Berwick St John, Rushmore Park, Alvediston and Ebbesbourne Wake; to the East Sixpenny Handley, Pentridge and Cranborne; to the South is Farnham, Chettle, Cashmoor and Blandford Forum; and to the West is Tarrant Gunville, Ashmore and Compton Abbas, just to name a few.
From Salisbury, you will have panoramic views of this medieval city including its unique road configuration. While to the North is Old Sarum, Little Durnford and Winterbournes Earls; to the East Laverstock, Pitton, West Winterslow and Farley; to the South Britford, Alderbury, Charlton-All-Saints and Coombe Bissett; to the West is Netherhampton, Burcombe, Broad Chalke and Bradford St. Martin in the Cranborne.
Remember that our hot air balloons travel with the wind, so we can’t guarantee flying over specific places or towns but rest assured that wherever your balloon flight departs from, you’ll be able to see the dramatic and beautiful countryside of Wiltshire. If you like to see our flight locations and other launch areas, please follow the link.