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“40th Birthday balloon flight!”
Review of Virgin Balloon Flights - CLOSED

Virgin Balloon Flights
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Stowmarket is set on the banks of the River Gripping. Flyers can expect to have good views over Bury St Edmunds to the west and Ipswich and the Suffolk coast to the east. Appreciate the beauty of Eastern England on your flight as you take in the views over the Home Counties, stretching towards the outskirts of London.
Scawby, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“40th Birthday balloon flight!”
Reviewed 20 May 2014

I booked a flight for my friend and myself in 2011 for our 40th Birthdays. We finally took our flight on Saturday 17th may 2014 after having to re-schedule due to a pregnancy and several cancellations because of weather conditions! But I have to say that the experience was fantastic. We flew from Cusworth Hall in Doncaster over Doncaster itself and it was absolutely beautiful. I can understand people being frustrated when flights are cancelled but would recommend anyone to persevere with it as it is worth the wait. You can understand why they get cancelled when you watch your pilot and see how technical it is for them to fly the balloon.

Our flight team were amazing, they made us feel completely at ease about the experience and had some fun with us too. They were all professional and approachable which made the flight even better.

Customer services were also very professional and patient when booking and re-booking!!

I can't praise this experience enough, we are now looking for another challenge for when we are 50!!!

Thanks again Virgin Balloons.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Greavesy71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

280 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Virgin Balloon Flight From Hanging Houghton”
Reviewed 19 May 2014

My partner and I had a wonderful experience and truly amazing morning when we had our balloon flight on Friday 16th May. We should have flown from Sywell Airport but it was changed to the back up site at Hanging Houghton. We arrived at 6.30 am and was greeted by the pilot Pete Philpott who came across as a very nice person and the whole group seemed to be at ease with him. As soon as everybody was at the site, Pete asked if anybody would like to help with unloading the balloon and assisting in inflating it. There was no pressure on anybody to help but most people were more than willing to be involved.

Once the basket and balloon was off of the trailer we were asked to climb inside the basket for our safety briefing and we practiced the landing position. We climbed out again and started to help unroll the balloon ready for inflating. It was so much fun being part of the activity of getting the balloon ready for flight. When the balloon was inflated Pete said we could go inside and take some photos. Wow what an out of this world feeling it was to be inside the balloon, it was huge and I have never experienced anything quite like it before.

By 7.30 am we were all in the basket and drifting up into the sky. It was a lovely feeling as we got higher and higher into the sky. It was a perfect morning with glorious sunshine and we seemed to be floating up above the real world looking down at magnificent views of patchwork fields and tiny villages. When the burners were off it was so peaceful, just drifting along in the breeze covering miles of countryside travelling in a very gentle mode.

Pete was chatty throughout the ride, pointing out different places and taking photos which we were able to buy on a memory stick. He handled the balloon with skill and confidence and we had no fear of anything going wrong. It wasn't easy for Pete to find a landing place as many of the fields were full of crops, so he drifted along until he found a safe place to land. He dropped the basket down with such precision on a fairly small area. The pick up trailer could not get access to the spot where we had landed so Pete took off again to find another landing place. We didn't mind as we got a longer flight and also the experience of taking off again and landing again.

When we landed the second time the landing again was fine. Everybody had enjoyed their trip and helped with packing the balloon away. Once the balloon and basket was loaded onto the trailer the group celebrated with a glass of champagne or two and Pete presented us all with a certificate. We said our goodbyes to Pete and travelled back to the site by minibus.

We did have quite a few cancellations before getting our trip, due to the weather not being good enough to fly but the flight and the whole experience was certainly worth waiting for. We would like to say a big thank you to our pilot Pete for making our day a wonderful experience which we will never forget. Hopefully we will get to fly in a hot air balloon again some day.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank molisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leicestershire
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Virgin Balloon flight over South Leicestershire - Stanford Hall”
Reviewed 18 May 2014

Amazing morning, Pete and his team were friendly, knowledgable and entertaining. The whole operation was executed with precision.

For anyone considering this just do it! Do not pay too much attention to the people banging on about cancellations, because realistically now, if you are going to do this, use your head and book it at a time of year with decent weather, its not that hard! adhere to this rule and you will have an amazing day like we all did!

Good value, would do it again, I was that impressed I even looked up how to go about piloting balloons when I got home!

The ride was so smooth and the view was amazing at 3000+ft it wasn't overly cold either and the basket was totally solid and did not move much at all (apart from in any direction that the balloon dictated!!) which surprised me!

Such a simple concept but so magical and inspiring, book a flight and do it!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank CCWalker250
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
“Virgin Hot air balloon trip”
Reviewed 2 May 2014

Very good guide and good pilot and good day out .A good landing in a short space.very cheery person. And help full Talk to us about what he was doing all the way. Very good at his Job .And was is helper to good job .On day.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Taurus2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alexandra B, Public Relations Manager at Virgin Balloon Flights, responded to this review, 6 May 2014
Thanks for your comments. So glad you enjoyed your flight with us. Could you let me know where you flew from and the name of your pilot? I'd love to pass on your kind words to them.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kendal, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Cumbria Balloon flight with Chris Aindow & Team Fantastic!”
Reviewed 2 May 2014

I am writing to congratulate the Pilot Chris Aindow and his team for such a great experience that was well appreciated and enjoyed by my mother and I and I guess would be true for all sixteen of us.
Chris was very helpful , professional, kind and made the whole experience very fun and enjoyable. He was entertaining whist very professional and appeared to be very organised with his team. He is a very engaging chap who made everyone feel at ease and part of the whole experience. He is very much a people person and always had time to take out of his schedule to answer questions and seek to get the best participation from his willing crew! I believe he and his excellent assistants went far above and beyond to deliver a great time for us. The assistants were also kind, polite, helpful and made us all feel at ease, adding to the fun time we enjoyed. There were no time pressures or need to have to move on we were afforded as much time as we needed to enjoy this special time which was made all the more special with champagne and a certificate which just made it for us especially to my mum who was not expecting either! Our flight was from Cartmel Racecourse to a small open field situated between the heavily wooded region of Finsthwaite which he skilfully landed without even feeling a bump!
We have been waiting 3 years to fly so was beginning to doubt that my elderly mother would ever fly but we were well rewarded. It was a surreal experience as we quietly alighted and floated over the spring filled countryside exhibiting flourishes of newly acquired colour with a dominance of bluebells and variegated tree canopies. We also saw a buzzard, some deer and a fox.
My mother and i WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND CHRIS AND HIS EXCELLENT TEAM!
Thank you also to everyone at Virgin Balloons for making it so memorable and possible for us.

Best Wishes and Regards,

(Eugene) Crispin Vyner-Brooks

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank ECVB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alexandra B, Public Relations Manager at Virgin Balloon Flights, responded to this review, 6 May 2014
Thanks so much for your comments. We're so glad you had a fantastic experience. I'll make sure to congratulate Chris and the team on you behalf.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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