We shouldn’t have favourites, but Derbyshire is the most beautiful area to take a hot air balloon ride! Our three launch sites are located at:
- Rowsley, Near Chatsworth House, between Bakewell & Matlock.
- Tissington Hall, Near Ashbourne on the Buxton road.
- Glutton Bridge, just south of Buxton.
Many of the balloon flights in this area are carried out by our chief pilot, Jon Rudoni, no doubt reflecting the stunning scenery and popularity of the area! Jon says “One of the perks of being the boss is having some influence over the pilot schedules! Ballooning in Derbyshire is a unique experience thanks to its rolling landscape, and I am lucky enough to look down on this amazing countryside throughout the seasons.” A full time commercial pilot, Jon flies twice each day, all year round, subject to the weather – an unrivalled service in the county!Read more.
As with all of our venues, flights can be scheduled throughout the year, on weekdays, weekends and even Bank Holidays.
We travel with the breeze, and part of the excitement of going on a hot air balloon flight, is not knowing where the wind will take us! It’s a great little adventure!
Typically, we’ll travel anywhere between five and twenty miles during the flight. Of course, as we fly along, our ground crew pursue us by road, whilst in radio contact with the pilot. After landing, all passengers are returned by road to the launch site, where flight certificates are presented by the pilot!
Ballooning is a weather-dependent activity, but don’t worry if your flight is postponed due to unsuitable conditions – you simply reschedule your flight for another date.
Rowsley & Chatsworth
Just south of Chatsworth House lies the village of Rowsley, where we launch from a beautiful private venue right next to the river Derwent.
Balloon flights from here may take us along the valley and over Darley Dale and Matlock to the south. To the north we will see Chatsworth, where we have often landed, with Bakewell visible to the north west.
Rising to maybe two or three thousand feet, we can really appreciate the scale of the Peak District! The massive wind turbines at Brassington look tiny, and even Carsington water seems like a pond.
Not far to the west of Carsington lies the picturesque village of Tissington, another fantastic launch site for your hot air balloon ride…..
Tissington Village, near Ashbourne
Located a few miles north of Ashbourne, Tissington Hall is home to Sir Richard Fitzherbert. Our balloon rides start from Sir Richard’s land at the edge of this picturesque village, close to Dovedale and Ilam.
Tissington Village is an attraction in itself, with its timeless beauty, wonderful Hall, church, ‘Herberts’ tea rooms, duck pond and a small number of high quality independent shops. Also famous for its Well Dressings, this is one of our favourite places in the whole of Derbyshire!
Close to Tissington village you will find many famous local attractions. Just to the west lies the dramatic scenery of Dovedale, a deep gorge through which the river Dove has carved it’s route, and along which millions of walkers have trodden a path. Climb Thorpe Cloud for some great views – but not as good as you’ll see on your hot air balloon ride!
The Bull I’th’ Thorn Pub, south of Buxton
Our third and final launch site in Derbyshire is at an ancient and well-known pub, a short distance from Buxton. Another private venue, The Bull I’th’ Thorn Pub has a fabulous take off field that we can use.
On balloon flights from this venue we usually travel in a southerly direction, following the river Dove back towards Ashbourne. En route you may see Arbor Low, the ‘Stonehenge’ of the Peak District, dating back more than 4000 years!
The venue we fly from on any given day is determined by the wind direction, and deciding which launch site will give us the best flight. Balloons cannot be steered! Consequently, passengers need to attend whichever venue we determine to use – please click the button below for more details.Read more.
Did you know that hot air balloons cannot be steered at all? They simply float along with the breeze, and go wherever the wind takes them.
That’s one of the great attractions of going on a balloon flight; every trip is a unique adventure – for pilot as well as passengers!
Consequently, before every flight, we have to carefully consider where the wind might deliver the balloon after an hour or two’s flight. We must keep clear of controlled airspace and unsuitable landing areas, and so we choose our launch site according to the wind direction.
When passengers call to check the weather conditions prior to their flight, we also tell them which launch site will be in use. Passengers need to be prepared to come to whichever site is in use.
If we had just one launch site, there would be days when we simply could not fly because of the wind direction. This system of using several sites gives us greater flexibility, and thus allows more flights to take place!