Balloon Flights Over Yorkshire From Historic York
Whatever direction the wind takes you on hot air balloon flights from York, you will agree that Yorkshire is full of breathtaking scenery, picturesque towns and villages and the majestic sights of York itself.
York is a magnificent city, but it’s difficult to get a real feel of it unless you see it from the air. Being on a hot air balloon flight from York gives you the chance to experience the city like never before, with hot air balloon rides in York letting you take in the landscape from a unique vantage point. Take off on an airborne adventure in the finest sense, as you drift over beautiful landscapes and majestic sights from your very own hot air balloon.
From the medieval city walls to the Europe's most spectacular gothic cathedral to York Minster, York is steeped in history and what better way is there to view it than from a hot air balloon?
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Friends and family are very welcome to view the launch but we would ask that they also adhere to the suggested car parking instructions and any conditions relating to access of the launch site.
This magnificent city was founded by the Romans almost 2000 years ago. Politically important, the Roman Empire was briefly governed from York and both the Angles and the Vikings made York the capital city of the North. Had Richard II had his way, York would have been the capital city of England.
Our balloon flights from York take off from either York Racecourse (known locally as the Knavesmire) or sometimes we will launch from beside the banks of the River Ouse at Naburn Lock, 4 miles south of the City of York. Which site we use depends on the wind speed, direction and any other operational factors on the day.
Until recently York was a confectionery manufacturing centre with Rowntrees a long established company in the City and the Rowntree Foundation responsible for many social and charitable works around the area. Although times move on and the Rowntree confectionary brand is owned by Nestle’s you may well have seen our red Kit Kat balloon floating over York until a few years ago. You can take in the smell of shops selling sweets in The Shambles, a quaint shopping street with overhanging timber framed buildings dating back as far as the 14th Century.
Modern day attractions in the City include the Jorvik Viking centre which traces the heritage of the Vikings on the area. And of course York Railway Museum is another landmark that is easily spotted on a hot air balloon ride within minutes of your balloon take off from York Race Course.
If your balloon ride drifts further away from the city of York towards the North York Moors or Yorkshire Wolds pretty towns and historic houses can be seen from your wicker viewing platform.
Magnificent land marks such as Castle Howard used for the filming of Brideshead Revisted may be seen, providing views just like the pictures on this page for you to photograph and remember for years to come. Described as one of "the worlds top ten greatest mansions and grand houses" the house is set in over 1000 acres of the beautiful Howardian Hills, and area of outstanding national beauty.
To the west of York by about 4 miles is a very clear landmark visible from your hot air balloon ride. Rufforth Airfield is now the base for the York Gliding Centre but in 1942 it opened for its original purpose as one of many wartime airfields in the area for bomber squadrons of the RAF and colonial colleagues. During the war Halifax bombers flew from here and a population of nearly 2000 staff lived in Nissen huts around the airfield.
Continuing the subject of landmark airfields, to the south east of York by about 5 miles is another World War II airfield used for squadrons of Halifax bombers and by American Air Force B-47 bombers in the cold war period. Since then it has adapted with many alternative modern uses. The airfield is now used for aircraft displays, motor cycle racing, car track days, vehicle testing, sports car and police driver training, land yachting and land speed record attempts. One such speed attempt – Richard “Hamster” Hammond’s Top Gear rocket car attempt in 2006 is probably the most notorious.
Being the one of the longest runways in the country at 3,000 metres, the aerodrome was earmarked as a possible diversion for Concorde during test and trials flights, and NASA designated Elvington in its list of possible landing sites for the Shuttle Spacecraft. The 300 acre airfield site also houses the Yorkshire Air Museum which has a fine collection of aircraft from the last century from the First and Second World Wars and the Cold War.