This morning our balloon flight would take us across the fine city of Norwich and the Norfolk Broads We are airborne nice an early to capture the best part of the day Aloft at 6.10 am we transit Norwich passing over the city centre with excellent views of City hall Forum and Norwich Cathedral The city passes beneath us looking down at Mousehold Heath we leave the city behind heading towards Rackheath To our front the Norfolk Broads of Wroxham Hoveton and Ranworth are shimmering in the mornings sunshine We fly low over Wroxham Broad which provides a unique photo opportunity We are no in open countryside and brief the passengers to start to stow their cameras and prepare for landing we land in the parish of Asnmanhaugh pack up the balloon and celebrate our flight with a glass of chilled champagne
Archives for September 2016
The conwallis is a real jewel in the crown for a Suffolk Balloon Ride located just south of Diss adjacent to the A140 It is a grade 2 listed building set in just over 20 acres of ground with an imposing drive lined by mature lime trees Some of our passengers have enjoyed an overnight stay there enabling them to participate in their early morning Balloon flight over Suffolk A good English breakfast is available and is served up to 10 am so its worth bearing in mind that this can be booked with the hotel in advance We lift off quite early at 6.30 am the visibility is excellent We pass over the historic town of Eye on towards Aspall He we can see large areas of apple orchards for the cider makers of Aspall Cider The Suffolk countryside here starts its picturesque rolling landscape so typical of this beautiful county We start to descend and cross the B1077 north of Debenham Our sunrise balloon flight over Suffolk comes to an end when we gently touch down in a fallow field in the parish of Debenham What a perfect start to the day.
Summer does seem to have arrived early this year This morning our hot air balloon adventure would start adjacent to the University of East Anglia It was a lovely morning bathed in the morning sunshine we prepare the balloon as are passengers start to arrive By 6.40 am we are ‘good to go’ and lift off there is a shallow layer of mist enveloping the trees and low laying water courses always such a wonderful photographic opportunity It does not last for long as the sun will burn this very quickly We drift away from the city and cross the southern by pass the morning commuter traffic has started to flow as Norfolk starts to awake Over Hethersett and onto Wymondham we descend and the lower flow of air turns us left and we cross the A11 with Lotus cars to our north and Attleborough to our south The wind starts to pick up a little and after an hour we feel it is prudent to start to look for a good spot to land We gently set down in the parish of Wreningham
The weather has remained good and stable today as we expected after this mornings hot air balloon flight We would again launch close to Norwich with a planned launch time of 18.15 Hrs The only change from this morning was that the southwesterly wind had picked up a little making the launch a little ‘playful’ We were soon heading south of the city up over the Norfolk showground and the agricultural college at Easton staying pretty much south of the A47 It was warmer today and our pay load was just short of 2.7 tonnes with sixteen passengers on board so we were burning fuel at a higher rate than this morning. Still plenty for well over one and a half hours of flight though What many people do not realize is that the higher the ambient temperature the less efficient the balloon or any aircraft for that matter is. We are also getting to the time of year when the arable crops are becoming more established so the name of the game is to find somewhere to land the balloon without offending the landowner. The bottom line is you can safely land the balloon pretty much any where if you had to, however what you are trying to do at all cost is avoid landing in a crop especially from mid May onwards. Well this evening was ‘Game On’ from a passengers point of view they were having a great time from a pilots view I was now getting pretty focused we had passed over the town of Dereham with no ideal landing sites. We were now down low in rural countryside and approached Mr Eagles farm in Scarning behind the grain store was a 15-acre field of spring barley. As we drifted past the farmhouse I spotted Mr Eagle the owner thought for a moment and shouted down ‘can we land in the barley’ — With a response ‘of course you can’!!!! Without any further encouragement we were down, thirty minutes before sunset. A truly amazing flight. I was also very grateful to Mr Eagle and his family a very big thank you.
Many thanks for the wonderful flight yesterday my grand mother is still on ‘cloud nine’ It was lovely how you involved all the family members and my two children told me is was the best day ever!! The two crew I believe Bob and Peter were also very helpful allowing us to follow and watch the balloon flying low. I know the weather let us down on a few occasions but is was worth the wait we are really looking forward to receiving the flight photos
Launching from Norwich just after dawn is I think the best way to enjoy your balloon ride A gentle easterly breeze takes us away from the city and over the University Hospital and out into open countryside We passed over Hethersett and the wonderful sight of Kimberley Hall and lake along with its well managed gardens and adjoining estate We were heading south of Hardingham quite a few valuable horses so we make sure we remain high and use the quite burner so not to disturb and livestock and concern any owners. Once clear we descend into rural farmland looking for a suitable place to land As we approach the village of Hingham a fallow field margin is spotted next to a farm track we radio the crew of our intentions and they are soon in place. We gently touch down deflate the balloon and enjoy the mornings sunshine with a glass of champagne to toast our flight
Just a quick email to thank you all for looking after my parents so well. They really did enjoy the flight and appreciated the phone call the evening before explaining exactly how to get to the launch site. I know you have all of that on your web site, but mum was in a bit of a panic, as they do not have a computer. The personnel touch is always the best bless you all
Our balloon flight over Suffolk today was a special occasion as one of our passengers arrived on site to be told by her family that the mystery tour of Suffolk that had ended at the recreation ground Stowmarket would be her birthday present. The balloon was soon aloft heading away from the busy market town. At 3,000 feet the Suffolk landscape unfolded beneath us passing over the village of One House and over Woolpit with its magnificent church We passed between Elmswell and Tostock. After an hour in the air we landed in the parish of Thurston. Once landed we enjoy a glass of champagne and with glasses held high we toast our birthday girl
The weather remains good throughout the month of April allowing another balloon ride over Norfolk this evening We launch south of Norwich into clear un broken skies and excellent visibility We cross over the A11 between Hethersett and Wymondham watching the traffic below always looks a little surreal from a hot air balloon at 2,000 feet once over open arable fields we descend and able to skim over the tree tops of a remote wood eventually landing at Mattishall Golf club The owner Basil Todd came out and had a good chat and was pleased to see us So if you a keen golfer the nine hole facility at Mattishall is an excellent course also bearing in mind the main course at Wensum Valley will provide a high quality day with excellent bar and food available at highly competitive prices So we pack up the balloon break out the champagne and look forward to our next ballooning adventure.
A balloon trip over Norwich is always an enjoyable experience and provides a unique opportunity to view this historic city. With the castle and cathedral such prominent landmarks it is easy to get your bearings and locate many other sites of interest such as the Forum and city hall. For those of you how enjoy an evening on the town it is said that Norwich has a public house for every day of the year! Once we pass over the city we inform air traffic control from Norwich airport that we are in open country and change frequency to our ground retrieve team and inform them we are heading out over Hainford lots of horses around here so we keep high and run on quite burner so not to disturb any animals on the ground. As we approach Buxton heath we descend and start to look for a suitable landing site We spot our ground team and the mini bus waiting beside a fallow field west of Alysham and it was here our balloon flight over Norfolk finished A truly wonderful end to the day
Our ballooning adventure this afternoon launched from the city of Peterborough With clear skies and a gentle breeze coming from the southwest once aloft the wonderful medieval cathedral dominates the Cambridge shire skyline so if you find your self touring the city this is a must see. Many centuries of history it is also the resting place of Catherine of Aragon one of Henry the eights many wives! As we climb above Peterborough we can see Ely cathedral on the eastern skyline and Rutland water to our northwest. As we leave the city behind the wash and Norfolk coastline are in view with the cliffs of Hunstanton well defined on the horizon. After a good quality hour in the air the wind starts to ease and the balloon lands close the parish of Postland. Our passengers then enjoy toasting the flight with a class of chilled champagne watching a beautiful Lincolnshire sunset
This was an early morning balloon flight from Earlham Park the wind was coming from the southwest making it an ideal for a transit directly over the city the airport was quite busy this morning so air traffic asked that we remain on radio frequency with them for the duration of the flight At 7 am we are aloft and climbing up to 2,500 feet we cross the inner ring road and track south of water works road giving us superb views of the city centre with the Forum and castle bathed in the early morning sunshine The magnificent cathedral passes beneath us making this a wonderful photo opportunity for our hot air balloon passengers We then pass over Mousehold and the prison leaving the city behind south of Thorpe End Once in open countryside we request permission from Norwich ATC to descend which is promptly given Once under 500 feet the wind slows and we start to look for a suitable landing site As we approach the village of Panxworth our retrieve crew are spotted along with the mini bus to collect our passengers we touch down very gently on a fallow headland directly next to them What a perfect start to the day