Family Mascott

Our little boy Mylo, aged 16 months, is prepared to be our ballooning mascott this season:

Mylo aged 16 months becomes our 2013 mascott Every balloon company should have it’s own mascott and why not have your own son.  The outfit was bought courtesy of a friend, who no doubt knew something would come of it.  We hope our homegrown Mylo will bring about a great season filled with sunshine and blue skies.  I’d like to warn Mr Branson, it looks like you may have a little bundle of competition here :-)

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Floating at 3,000 feet – photos by Jermane Clarke

One of our passengers has posted a stunning set of photographs on his site. We took him and his lady flying on 2nd June from Shipston on Stour and not only has he taken some of the most beautiful balloon flight photos I’ve ever seen he has sent, with the link, a really lovely message:

“Hi Russell, Just wanted to say thank you to you and the team at High Road Balloons for the hot balloon ride experience that you provided for me and my girlfriend, Nina. The experience was thoroughly enjoyable and is certainly an experience that will be memorable for the years to come. Also, I posted a blog on my website about the balloon that I thought you may want to see……..” Jermane.”

Thank you so much Jermane.  We thoroughly enjoyed taking you both flying and are thrilled to bits that you’ve decided to share your experience with the world!

We have posted the same photos on our Facebook page, which if you haven’t visited, you should pop over to and ‘Like’.  That way you’ll keep uptodate with all of our posts!


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Lovely testimonial

We received a lovely email from a passenger we flew recently. Lovely to get such positive feedback:

Hi Russell,

Apologies for not sending this over before – I just wanted to say how fantastic our balloon ride was
We all had such a brilliant morning, and it was extra special by being able to go over our own ‘neck of the woods’ and see places that meant a lot to all of us. General feedback is that we all want to do it again sometime, so will be in touch again in the future no doubt!

I’ve recommended you to everyone I know, and hope that you have a fantastic rest of the season.

Best wishes, Sally

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It’s competition time……..

In case you’d not already heard Virgin Balloon Flights are running an interesting competition which may appeal to all you budding photographers.  It’s called “Love our Landscape” and you can share your images of Balloons, Landscapes, Farmland or Wildlife captured from a balloon or at ground level.  There are fab prizes up for grabs too:

£200 Amazon Voucher | Balloon Flight for 2 | Roots & Wings Organic Hamper.  There will be 2 sets of winners.  One chosen by Virgin Balloon Flights panel of judges and the other by the public.  A further 10 photos (plus the 2 winners) will be selected to feature in the Love our Landscape 2014 charity calander raising money for: The Woodland Trust, The Wildlife Trusts and The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

All you need to do is “Like” Virgin Balloon Flights Facebook page and click the “win” button.  This will take you through to their photo competition page where you can upload your entries.  Go on, try your chances and good luck!! (Terms and Condition apply)

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Amazing testimonial and Blog post…..

“Hi Russell, Just wanted to say thank you to you and the team at High Road Balloons for the hot balloon ride experience that you provided for me and my girlfriend, Nina.  The experience was thoroughly enjoyable and is certainly an experience that will be memorable for the years to come…….Also, I posted a blog on my website about the balloon that I thought you may want to see.”  Jermane.

Jermane is rather canny with a camera and his fantastic website and images show off his skills with, in my opinion, quirky and imaginative detail.  It was a pleasure to have him fly with us on 2nd June from Shipston on Stour in Warwickshire and landing in Foscot in Oxfordshire .  He has kindly sent us the above testimonial and link to his wonderful Blog post “Floating at 300 feet” which I would be mad not to share with the world!

Many thanks Jermane :)


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Our new joy….

After many years of hopes and dreams, well perhaps 9 to be precise, we have bought a new balloon!!  Hurrah.

We have had some lovely balloons over the years and have enjoyed flying each one of them:

But we are thrilled to bits to be the proud owners of custom built G-PMSL:

high road balloons' new balloon G-PMSL

If you see us in the sky give us a wave :)

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Nice media coverage….

Russell did a lovely flight the other day and wrote into the Virgin Balloon Flights office to tell them about his wonderful sighting of the abandoned village Middle Ditchford, near Shipston on Stour.  The Cotswold News have decided to print the fantastic story with a couple of photos too :)  Sometimes these wonderful things happen and it just wouldn’t be fair to keep them to ourselves.  Not only did his passengers aboard the big red Virgin balloon have a great time picking out the streets, village pond, church and other such village features but now everyone reading the Journal can join in too.

Middle Ditchford was abandoned in the 1500′s after a period of economic decline in cereal production when sheep farming became preferable.  Russell had seen images and read about the village in books but had never seen it for himself despite conducting many flights from Shipston and many more from surrounding areas.  Virgin Balloon Flights have also written a great Blog post about Russell’s adventure and you could fly with Russell from Shipston on Stour by purchasing a Virgin Balloon Flights voucher.


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Wow! Hello March

It’s the first weekend of March, the first weekend of the ballooning season and what a weekend!  We got 3 flights up and away from Stratford, Shipston and Cheltenham.  Amazing and so many happy passengers.  Please, let’s keep our fingers crossed for more days like this in spring and let’s hope 2013 will be a great year for flying.  Despite the wet weather last year, and none of us really need remindinig of it, we flew more flights than ever before.  That can only mean one thing – loads of happy passengers and lot’s of happy ballooning photos being shown off.  If you have any photo’s of the area that you’d like to feature on our website and blog, then please send them into:  You will of course be credited by name.

Please book your space for a wonderful balloon flight, calling Emily or Russell: 01386 593614.  Please have your voucher to hand quoting the voucher number (found on the bottom left hand side). n We look forward to taking you for a balloon flight.

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Not long to wait….

Goodness. now some may say that winter drags on but wow – we are nearly there.  March is very near and our diary is OPEN.  We have sceduled flights for all of March and April so please book your date.  We anticipate being very busy this season and are really looking forward to getting out the big red Virgin balloon.  We have 2 flights scheduled for each and every day and would really advise booking about 3-4 weeks in advance.  Weekends, school and Bank holidays tend to be the busiest so if you have Anytime Flight Vouchers please consider booking further in advance, up to 6 weeks.  We have flights scheduled for Shipston on Stour, Stratford Upon Avon and Evesham and can also make bookings for Worcester.  We will be flying from Cheltenham as well for Virgin Balloon Flights customers exclusively.  We are looking at other launch sites too so watch this space as more will be added later in the year.

Come 1st March Russell will be in the sky (weather permitting) so expect to see him floating above early in the morning or late afternoon.  At this time of year, before the clocks change we will most likely be meeting at about 7.oo Am and 3.00PM with those times changing as the sun set / rise times change.  Mid summer we look to meet at about 6.00 AM and 6.00 PM.  We always get asked which is better, morning of afternoon?  Well, that is a matter of opinion really.  I am terrible at getting up in the morning but in many ways I prefer a morning flight.  As most other people are getting up for work the balloon and passengers are floating serenely above watching the sun, clouds and wildlife.  Once you’re up, had a cuppa and are ready to leave the excitement of ballooning soon makes it worth it!  It’s like taking a holiday.  You book your flight, realise you have to get up early to get to the airport but once the realisation hits that you are doing something really exciting the annoyance of the alarm going off is forgotten.  Morning flights are great.  Evening flights are great too, but in a different way.  It’s the end of the day and you are outdoors, breathing in fresh air about to take to the skies before sunset.  The beautiful colours are changing with the afternoon light and shadows are cast accross fields and houses.  The stresses of your day, week or month soon get forgotten as you cast your gaze upon miles and miles fields, trees and hills.  Wonderful!!  By now you should be really in the mood to get your names in the diary – so why not book your date now: 01386 593614


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Winter ballooning

Well it sure is winter at the moment.  With snow flurry after snow flurry I am beginning to believe we’ll be stuck here for a good while!  Russell is flying in Mondovi, where it is sure to be cold but I’m fairly certain he has escaped this winter wonderland.  I am not complaining, I think England is really beautiful when covered in fluffy white snow and it gives us all a good excuse to get our gloves, hats and boots on get outside on the sledge or for a snowball fight.  It reminds me of a flight accross the Alps in Switzerland.  Chateaux D’oex hosts a very fine winter balloon festival where the launch site is literally covered in snow and you have to position your basket and envelope (the balloon bit) using a sledge!

Winter balloon holidays are really great fun and make the best family trip with a twist.  With self catering accomodation near to the launch site it’s easy enough to get up and out for some of the most spectacular balloon flights.  Of course the obligitory fine foods and wine make the experience really special and a ballooning holiday in Champagne, for example, can’t get better than sipping and sampling the finest Champagnes from well known and even smaller independent Champagne houses.

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