A hot air balloon ride over Bath is an exhilarating and exciting experience featuring breathtaking bird’s eye views of the historic city and its surrounding countryside. Here are seven of the most remarkable sights to keep your eyes peeled for.
A Bailey’s Balloon flight takes off from Bath’s Victoria Park, which is a 57-acre park close to the city centre.
Named after Queen Victoria, who officially opened the park in 1830, Victoria Park is a favorite picnic spot on warm days. Often, bands and musicians entertain visitors from the park’s bandstand.
As the balloon slowly rises in the sky, passengers start to see the beauty of the city of Bath.
Opposite Victoria Park are the famous Crescents. So called because of the shape they form, the buildings of the Crescents surround a large grass lawn area.
The Crescents were built between 1767 and 1775 and designed by John Wood Jr. There are 30 Grade I listed buildings that form the Crescent and they are often regarded as the finest example of Georgian architecture in Britain.
First-time viewers of the Crescents often get a sense that they are familiar. This is probaby because they have formed the backdrop for many TV and film productions, including The Duchess and Persuasion.
The Crescent buildings have many uses, including apartments, a museum and a luxury five-star spa hotel the Royal Crescent. For a truly luxurious weekend stay at the hotel overnight, stroll to Victoria Park for an early morning champagne hot air balloon flight. Follow with a day of pampering featuring spa beauty and health treatments.
The Thermae Bath Spa was restored in 2006. Fed by natural hot spring waters, the main building is a contemporary structure that features large glass areas and has been nicknamed the “glass cube”.
The natural spring pool is situated on the roof and cannot be seen from the ground floor. From a hot air balloon, you can clearly see the rectangular pool surrounded by clear glass walls. On early morning flights, the Bath will normally be free of people and you may see steam rising from the tranquil hot waters.
Another spa bath filled with hot steaming natural mineral rich spring water is the city centre Roman Baths that date from AD 70.
The baths are below street level and cannot be seen properly from the road. They are surrounded by impressive large Roman pillars that support a roofed area. The poo, however, has no roof and the steaming waters can be clearly seen from the air.
Visitors do not normally swim in the baths, but the spring water can be tasted, and doing so is said to come with various health benefits. In July and August, the baths are illuminated by fiery torches at night. A dusk hot air balloon flight is the best time to experience the magic of the torch-lit Roman Baths.
Exactly what you see on your hot air balloon flight is unknown, as this depends on the wind direction. Whichever way you fly though, you should be able to see Bath Abbey with its imposing spire, which is visible from all directions.
There have been places of worship on the site since 757 AD. In 1539, after the dissolution of the monasteries, the Abbey buildings were ruins. In 1616, repairs were made on the abbey and it was used as a parish church. This restored church makes up a large part of the building that is seen today.
In the 1830s, new pinnacles and flying buttresses were added that were designed by architect George Manners. Between 1864 and 1874, extensive work was conducted on the Abbey. The inside was transformed and is a now fine example of Victorian Gothic architecture, and the wooden ceiling was replaced by an impressive stone fan vaulting.
Pulteney Bridge has the distinction of being one of only four bridges in the world with shops arranged in rows on each side of it. Beneath the bridge is a large weir that features in the film Les Miserables, where it became the River Seine in Paris.
A mile south of Bath’s centre is Prior Park, which you should be able to see from any flight direction.
You can truly appreciate the awe of this site from the air. The famous landscape architect Capability Brown contributed to its design. The park has cascading waters, many paths and a wide variety of plants, shrubs and trees.
A prominent feature of the park is the Palladian Bridge built in 1775. There were only three bridges built in this style in England, and the inspiration for it came from Venetian architect Andrea Palladio and would not look out of place in Venice. The style is also reminiscent of Ancient Greek and Roman structures, which is an architectural reference to Bath’s Roman past.
As your balloon leaves the city centre, what you see is unknown as it is affected by the wind direction. To the east of the city is Wiltshire, which houses the ancient stone circles at Stonehenge and Avebury.
About 13 miles from Bath in the northwest is the city of Bristol which you may be able to see in the distance. Look out for the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Bath is on the southern edge of the Cotswolds. From the air, you will see the patchwork fields of the Cotswolds and the pretty honey-coloured limestone village buildings.
Lastly, Bradford-on-Avon is eight miles east of Bath and is notable for its 14th-Century bridge that spans the River Avon.
These are just a few of the many wonderful sights you might see on a Bath hot air balloon trip, but every flight is different. To see beautiful Bath from an altogether different angle, why not book a flight with us today?