OXFORD BALLOON RIDES
FIND YOUR PERFECT HOT AIR BALLOON FLIGHT OVER OXFORD!
FIND YOUR PERFECT HOT AIR BALLOON FLIGHT OVER OXFORD!
To take flight in a hot air balloon in the skies near Oxford we recommend Virgin Balloon’s South East regional vouchers. Covering all launch locations across the South East, these luxury gift vouchers include flexible booking options, champagne toasts, return transport and more!
Take to the skies over Oxford on a hot air balloon ride and let the City of Dreaming Spires unfold before you like an opening of an ancient textbook. Launching from the city centre, be captivated as over 1,000 of educational history expands below your rising balloon. There will of course be views of Oxford University’s many colleges – Christ Church and Pembroke Colleges are the closest – along with other notable sights and sites such as Carfax Tower on the corner of High Street and St Aldates’s; whereas due north you can spot Oxford Castle – a part ruined Norman castle that houses a 900 year old crypt.
Two rivers run through Oxford – the River Thames, whose course you can trace in a rough north-side orientation – and the River Chewell, which meanders past many of the college recreation grounds, before joining forces with the Thames at the Aston’s Eyot, a small nature reserve. At that point sit the University College Boathouse and Christ Church Boathouse; indeed Oxford is renowned for its rowing, so don’t be surprised to spot rowing teams being put through their paces, or people enjoying a more leisurely pace of boating by punting on the water.
Should the wind carry you north away from Oxford, you may find yourself drifting towards Blenheim Palace, a country house of monumental stature. It is the birth place of Winston Churchill, the principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough, the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace and a World Heritage Site! Floating south from Oxford will see you pass over picturesque Bagley Wood, whereas heading in an easterly direction will bring you views of Shotover Country Park, a 117 hectare naturalistic parkland of hidden valleys, diverse habitats and gorgeous landscapes. No matter which way your balloon flight carries you, it will be one to remember. So whether it is a treat for someone special, a graduation balloon ride, or just an escape for yourself, let the very best of Oxford come to you on the ballooning adventure of a lifetime.
With so much history, culture and art to discover, Oxford is an incredible city destination for a day, a weekend or a week! That makes it an awesome hot air ballooning location. We’re taking an educated guess that a stroll around the street that house the colleges of Oxford University is a must. But first, why not consider a hop-on, hop-off bus tour – they take in many of the main colleges as well as key sights of the city. It’s a great way to get your bearings and to also have the options to catch a ride if one, or multiples of the city’s great pubs have called you in for a celebratory drink. For something educational, head to the Pitt Rivers Museum on South Parks Road. The original anthropological collection donated by Augustus Pitt-Rivers has now been expanded to over 300,000 artefacts to become one of the world’s finest collection of anthropology and archaeology – a real snapshot into the weapons, textile, tools and more from different times and people. Entry is via the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (free entry), which itself houses an internationally significant collection of natural history specimens. The museum is located in a neo-Gothic building, which like many buildings and structures in Oxford, are certain to impress.
Some further exploration of Oxford will reveal Carfax Tower, the only remaining part of the 13th century St Martin’s Church. At 74 feet tall and no other building in central Oxford may be constructed higher than it. As such, if you take the time to climb the 99 steps to the top, you will be rewarded with a rooftop view of the city that adds a different perspective to that from your balloon ride overhead. There’s also the original workshop of the Morris Motor Company, which dates back to 1910 and can be found on St Cross Road. If you want to go even further back in time, then make your way to Oxford Castle and Prison, where 1,000 of history awaits. Here you can climb St. George’s Tower, descend into the 900 year old crypt, explore the Debtor’s Tower and then get inducted into the castle’s prison.
On New College Lane you can walk under the famous Bridge of Sighs and if you duck down St. Helen’s Passage, you’ll discover one of Oxford’s hidden gems, the Turf Tavern. The pub’s drinking ‘ancestry’ as a malt house and drinking tavern can be traced back to 1381, so just sit and imagine the characters and conversations that have taken place there before you. There’s also the Oxford Botanic Garden – the UK’s oldest that dates from 1621, river cruises on the Thames, the Bate Collection of over 2000 musical instruments and of course the colleges and university buildings that define this exceptional city. If you’re looking for a hot air balloon ride over stunning architecture and glorious landscapes that is packaged in astonishing history, an Oxford balloon flight might well be the one for you!
• A luxury gift voucher valid for 12 months
• A 60 minute flight over Oxfordshire
• Passenger insurance
• Traditional champagne toast
• Presentation of flight certificate
• Return transport to the launch site
• Magical memories you’ll treasure forever
The main departure point is from the Oxford Ice Rink. There are also always other sites nearby in Oxfordshire that can be used to get you aloft though if you need them. Always make sure that you check your voucher details and again when you book in, for the latest launch site details, as they can change depending on weather and site suitability. The good news is, that your voucher is valid for all launch locations in the South East and you can leave your car at the launch site as this is where your ballooning experience will also finish.
Your unforgettable balloon ride will start with a full safety briefing, after which you you can help the team with the the inflating of the balloon if you wish – or kick back, soak up the atmosphere and let others do the hard work. But when it’s time, there is no escaping the collective excitement as the burners fire up and the balloon starts to prepare itself for taking you up, up and away on a ballooning adventure over Oxfordshire!
As you drift gently over the Oxfordshire countryside near Oxford, there will be ample opportunity to take photographs from this unique vantage point. During your flight you are free to discuss how the balloon works with the pilot, who will also be pointing out the many points of interest that drift below you or rest gently on the horizon.
No two flights are the same, and as such any number of towns, villages and important landmarks could come into view – all of which create talking points for years to come.
After an unforgettable hour ballooning your pilot will begin your descent towards a gentle landing. Once back on the ground, and should you wish, you can help in packing away the envelope (that’s the official name for the fabric canopy).
With the balloon all packed away, you will be transferred back to your launch site where you can sip on the fine stuff and raise a toast to an unforgettable adventure hot air ballooning over Oxfordshire.