Hot Air Ballooning Over Devon
Devon is, of course, the land of cream-teas, somewhere that for many brings back memories of quintessential English summer holidays. A hot air balloon ride over the area provides the perfect opportunity to view many of the landmarks from a completely new perspective – or more specifically from anything up to 5,000 feet.
A good place to start is in Exeter – the capital of Devon, lying on the River Exe. On the ground the city brims with contemporary character, offering an abundance of live music, dance, comedy, drama and street theatre and from the skies the location is equally breathtaking. Founded by the Romans almost 2,000 years ago, Exeter is recognised as one of England’s oldest cities with examples of its ancient pedigree still visible today. Surrounded by both Dartmoor and Exmoor, the city is the perfect central point from which to fly in any direction, take in the breathtaking local scenery and the architecture of the city’s cathedral, dating back to Norman times.
Heading south, Totnes offers an excellent location from which to take to the skies. Complete with a steamer quay, Norman castle, ancient guildhall and the timeless north and south gates, Totnes offers up an architectural feast for those interested in historic buildings. Dependent on the wind direction you may also be able to exchange a friendly wave from the basket with the welcoming monks of the magnificent Buckfast Abbey, a living Benedictine Monastery set in the beautiful Dart valley.
One of the UK’s most southerly launch sites is Kingsbridge found at the head of the Kingsbridge estuary. Being virtually on the tip of a peninsula, a hot air balloon ride here may take you for a magical journey over the sea as well as the land.
No two balloon flights are ever the same, so where you’ll fly and what you’ll see, be it chimney pots, beaches or countryside, is really up to the wind (with a little help from your pilot). Just don’t forget to take your camera, binoculars or camcorder to record the magic of a balloon flight experience.