Worcestershire and Herefordshire provide some of Britain’s most beautiful countryside, and so it’s only fitting that we should launch from prestigious and attractive venues: Worcester Racecourse, Eastnor Castle and Top Barn Farm.
Rising above Worcester Racecourse, we are treated to wonderful views of the Cathedral, river Severn and county cricket ground, as well as the ancient and beautiful spires of the old city. Leaving Worcester behind us, we are soon flying over spectacular countryside, with the Malvern Hills rising like a spine in the distance. The agriculture in the county varies from orchards to dairy farms, from fields of sheep to fields of wheat; it really is a most varied and traditional landscape, representing an age old English countryside.
Worcester racecourse is well sign-posted from most approaches towards the city centre. We launch from the middle area of the course, and cars can be parked conveniently close by.Read more.
Worcester Racecourse, also known as Pitchcroft, is located on the banks of the river Severn and has been in regular use as a horse racing venue since the year 1718! Today, the fixture list covers 15 National Hunt meetings from March to September making Worcester a popular summer jumping destination. Needless to say, we cannot launch from here during race meetings, and so an alternative site is used.
Whether hot air ballooning from Worcester or Eastnor, some of the places that we regularly fly over include Upton upon Severn, Malvern, Bromyard, Droitwich, Pershore, Kempsey, Welland, or even Bromsgrove. Every flight is a unique experience!
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 ballooning, 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.
Eastnor is located just over the Herefordshire border, nestled amongst the magnificence of the Malvern Hills, close to the ancient market town of Ledbury. Only about ten minutes drive from the M50 at junction 2, Eastnor Castle is easily accessible from the major motorway network.
The Castle is open to the public on selected days, and is still the family home of the Hervy-Bathhurst family.
We launch from the Deer Park, and this spectacular venue affords us the most fantastic views as we rise majestically above the castle. If you’re lucky the wind may carry you the length of the Hills, and you can look down at the poor walkers struggling up and down the pathways as you float effortlessly overhead!
To find out more about Eastnor Castle, its opening times and the facilities that are available, simply click on the following link: www.eastnorcastle.co.uk
Top Barn Farm
A few miles to the north of Worcester we have our launch site at Top Barn Farm, near Holt Heath. This is a great venue which offers a whole host of other outdoor activites such as sailing, canoeing, wind-surfing, archery and a wonderful maize-maze in the Summer. There’s also a lovely farm shop, as well as a lakeside lodge and sports shop (when open). From here, we usually take off from beside the lake, providing a beautiful setting for your flight. Visit Top Barn Farm’s web site at www.topbarn.co.uk for more details about this venue.
Click the button below to learn why we have these three launch sites, and how we decide which one to use each day.Read more.
We need to have three launch sites for one simple reason – hot air balloons float with the breeze and cannot be steered at all!
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!