Hot air balloon rides are possibly one of the most exciting trips anyone will ever take in their life, so it’s not surprising that they are an exceedingly popular form of air-based activity all over the world, but particularly here in the UK.
Of course, hot air ballooning is not the only fun-filled activity that has an air-based element. There are many more, so whether you’re a seasoned hot air balloonist, someone who once enjoyed a balloon ride over British skies, or someone who has yet to take flight, you might be interested in trying out one of the fantastic air-based activities below:
Hang gliding is an extremely popular sport in which a pilot is strapped to and navigates a light foot-launch aircraft. It does not have a motor, is propelled by the wind and is steered by the body movements of the pilot.
This is a particularly good form of air-based activities for those of you who could be described as ‘thrillseekers’ – people who enjoy getting their adrenaline pumping as they explore the wonders of nature around them.
If you are the kind of person who just wants to take a leisurely ride through the air, do a bit of sightseeing and enjoy the atmosphere, then sticking with a hot air balloon ride is probably going to be your best bet, as opposed to the high-octane option of strapping yourself to a hang glider.
Not for the fainthearted, microlight flights are exciting and enthralling, but they do take a lot of guts, and the will to take lessons if you are to be trusted on a solo microlight flight.
Basically, a microlight plane is a light aircraft with an open cockpit. Once you are strapped in, you will take off at speed and follow a designated flight path over the area of your choice, taking in the sights and sounds of the people below you.
Of course, when you are taking a microlight flight solo, you will be completely in control of the vehicle, so you will not be able to fully give your attention to the scenery below, like you would be able to do when enjoying a hot air balloon ride through the countryside.
Kitesurfing is an air-based activity with a difference, in that you will not actually be in the air. Instead, you will be propelled along the water by a kite, which will be flying in the air, hopefully generating enough power to give you a thrilling ride.
Kitesurfing is basically a mixture of windsurfing, wakeboarding, paragliding and even gymnastics. It is another great sport for adrenaline junkies to take part in, if they are looking for a challenging and exciting form of exercise and adventure.
Unlike hot air balloon rides, a successful kitesurfing expedition requires strong winds, as this is what is needed for the kite to take flight and take you on a journey across the waves.
This is one of the most extreme options on the list, and one for which you certainly have to have a strong stomach to take part in. After all, it does involve jumping out of a plane several thousand feet above the ground, but a trained professional will make sure you remain in safe hands.
A lot of people who take part in parachute jumps are there to raise money for charity, but anyone who meets the weight and health restrictions for doing so,can do a parachute jump simply for their own satisfaction.
One of the things that lets parachute jumps down is that, unlike with hot air balloon rides, you really do not get much time at all to soak in your surroundings, before you are plunged back to earth. Also, while it is quite safe as long as it’s approached in the right way, some would-be parachutists worry that they would struggle to follow instructions when the time came.
Aerobatics is the sport of making manuoeveres in aircrafts that would not normally be made. It’s the kind of stunts you see the Red Arrows performing at various shows across the country. As such, this activity is strictly one for highly trained individuals, who have all of the relevant training.
Although many aerobats show off their impressive skills at shows and fetes, many also take part in competitions, and some even use their skills to make a living through feats like writing messages in the sky.
Needless to say, aerobatics is a very risky activity to participate in, which is why you should think very seriously before seeking out training in this field.
That is not to say that it should be avoided, as it is clearly a very worthwhile, exhilarating, an impressive thing to be a part of, but you should consider your temperament and your capabilities before diving head in.
As you can see, there are lots of air-based activities that those of you interested in air-based endeavors can sink your teeth into, but it would be fair to say that, for sheer ease of availability, safety, and joy, it is hard to beat a simple hot air balloon ride.
Hot air balloon rides are available all over the country, so it very easy to book one in a convenient location, with an experienced pilot, who will ensure your comfort and safety throughout your unique journey through the skies of Britain.
If booking the occasional hot air balloon ride with a pilot is not enough to quench your thirst for air-based activities, it is possible to go a step further and train as a hot air balloon pilot too.
Training as a balloon pilot is a great way to get in touch with other hot air balloon enthusiasts, and once you have your own balloon, you can even take part in races and competitions, which will soon have you living and breathing hot air balloons.