Gift Ideas

Hot Air Balloon Rides

All your Hot Air Balloon questions answered.

Imagine floating seamlessly across the sky, looking down at your friends and family as you peacefully cruise off into the sunset. Well, now you can! Virgin Hot Air Balloon Rides offer premium Hot Air Balloon packages perfect for birthdays, Christmas and romantic moments.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Hot Air Balloon Rides – Image from Pexels

How do Hot Air Balloons work?

Hot Air Balloons function through a fairly simple system of hot and cold air. The balloon is essentially a bag that is capable of containing hot air. Beneath is a wicker basket or ‘gondola’ that carries passengers as well as the heat source which keeps the bag filled with hot air. That hot air makes the balloon buoyant since it has a lower density than the colder air outside the balloon.

What makes Virgin Hot Air Balloon Rides so special?

The Virgin experience is like no other hot air balloon ride. Not only are Virgin the largest commercial hot air balloon rides in the UK but they are also the most experienced celebrating 22 years of flying over a million satisfied customers off into an adventure. With a passion for hot air ballooning and a love of putting smiles on people’s faces, you would be hard pushed to find a better company to make your first flight with.

What to Expect?

A Virgin Hot Air Balloon Ride Experience lasts for up to four hours although you will only be up in the air for around 60 minutes. Upon arrival, you will be shown the safety procedures for your flight then will assist with the inflation and later deflation of the balloon. Hot air balloons cannot be steered in the sense that other methods of transport can. Travelling with the wind, a skilled pilot controls the altitude by heating the air inside the balloon. This can make a balloon travel anything from a short distance to 20 miles so allowing time to get back to your launch site is a must.

When and where can I go up in a Hot Air Balloon?

There are over 100 balloon sites in England, Scotland and Wales that you can find here.The UK’s balloon launch season is between March and October with balloons taking off in the morning and early evening. Day takeoffs are rarer as during the day the sun heats the air causing thermal updraft and downdrafts that affect a pilot’s ability to correctly and safely control the flight. Lower temperatures in October allow for day flights to take place as these conditions are not as common.

What to Wear?

When dressing for a hot air balloon flight, try to wear practical clothing. Comfortable layers suitable for a seasonal walk should be adequate along with a hat to keep your head warm. Depending on the conditions you may need trainers or wellies as it is probable that you will have to walk through fields to get to the site. Try to avoid designer wear, flip flops and high heels as Virgin won’t accept responsibility for any damages and those dressed inappropriately may not be able to fly.


Find out about Bristol’s Hot Air Balloon Festival, the Balloon Fiesta, here.

Georgia Leitch

Georgia Leitch

Shopping Editor

Currently obsessed with copper, marble and throw cushions, I am committed to hunting down the latest homeware trends and delivering the best gift lists. A sucker for quirky packaging and fancy treats, you can find me at the unboxing of a Mystery Gift Box.

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