A Hot-air Balloon ride – the ultimate romantic experience
You’re wanting to try something new this year and want to get your partner a special present they will remember forever then this could be for you.
Whether it’s an anniversary present, a present for valentine’s day or any special occasions, I am certain you will love this – how do I know, I got one for my wife.
Let me start by saying get a present for my wife is always a bit tricky, anything major she needs we buy when needed, she isn’t really into possessions and we have done the usual stuff like a spa weekend away.
This year I wanted something she truly would remember and then it hit me, what’s more, romantic than a hot air balloon ride followed by champagne
If you’re buying the experience let’s say for a Christmas or Valentine’s day present then don’t worry the voucher doesn’t need to be used straight away, you may want to wait till it gets a little warmer to get the most out of it.
There are quite a few locations across the country, so I can only speak from my experience and everyone will be slightly different.
The websites say between 45 minutes and an hour and we were in the hour in total for slightly over an hour but with safety briefings etc it takes about 3 -4 hours in total, but we were made to feel at home from the minute we got there to the moment we left.
How many people?
Speaking to the pilot, Dave the basket can take up to 15 guests, and ours wasn’t full – I guess during the weekends and peak season this will likely increase.
What will you see:
This will defiantly vary from location to location, we picked the historical city of York to fly across and see. We love York, one of our first romantic weekends away was to this city and we love it, so wanted to see the city from a slightly different viewpoint.
Seeing the minster from the air is amazing and from the air, you really get a sense of York of old and how the city would have been within the walls.
It wasn’t just York we got to see, we started at the racecourse and I knew the area quite well (every January there is a half marathon from the race course which is a great half if your wanting to do a flat half – its called brass monkey for a reason, its usually freezing), anyway back to the ride – I could make out some of the landmarks I was used to from the doing the run before we headed over to York to see the sights and back. Dave the pilot was very very knowledgeable about the area.
Obviously with this being a balloon ride – where you go is quite dependent on the winds, so no two rides are quite the same.
While I was glad she picked York for us to try as our first ballooning experience, I would love to do it again but maybe over somewhere like the Lake District – would love to explore that from the sky.
You will likely see fields, villages, potentially the coast, mountain ranges, it really will vary on location and the wind to where you end up. I’ve done paragliding before so kind of had a similar view before, but it’s a great looking down on planet earth and seeing everything from a new angle, the wife especially loved it as this was her first time.
If you are heading to York, check out York on a budget, to see the best places to see and explore.
Best time to go:
This is a very good question, firstly if you have a specific date in mind like anniversary etc then its quite simple, if not and your happy to go whenever, i would suggest maybe June, July time – that seems to be our hottest months of the year these days, the experience is available from April to October
Extra Special memory:
If you are thinking of proposing to that special person, what’s a more romantic way than during a hot air balloon ride? Personally, this hadn’t even crossed my mind till I turn around to see a guy get down on one knee to ask his girlfriend. Luckily, she said yes – but it was a very romantic gesture and a great way to ask the question. There was only 6 of us in our basket, we deliberately picked a weekday as we knew it wouldn’t be as busy, so if you are thinking of proposing maybe do something similar.
At the end of your flight, you receive the champagne toast as well as a gift certificate, our certificate was signed by both our pilot and Sir Richard Branson.
If this is something you think your partner would love, there are two main places you can purchase these types of packages from:
Activity Superstore – they offer refunds within 28 days or an exchange
Virgin Experiences – they have a 14-day refund policy or offer exchange
Both of these companies have a few different variations, we did the sunrise balloon ride, but there Is a choice so worth checking to see what you prefer.
With them both allowing refunds it does mean that for whatever reason if your partner isn’t happy then you can get a refund or exchange the experience.
This is part of our new experiences series and I believe you should try at least one thing new each year – it doesn’t have to be something as crazy as going to a new country or skydiving – it could just be something small, but just try something new.
What’s the one thing you have always wanted to try, why not make this year the year you actually do it.