A hot air balloon took off from the beach of a Somerset coastal town recently, marking the first time in its history this had ever been done.
Locals of Weston-super-Mare got to see a hot air balloon shaped like a lion begin its journey inland. Simbaloo is the mascot of Longleat Safari and Adventure Park in Wiltshire and is a big part of the company’s advertising and marketing campaigns. The park is also the location of the annual Sky Safari Balloon Festival.
The balloon was inflated on the beach prior to the flight, which saw it float over the promenade and inland before it safely landed at Castle Batch Park. In order to make this historic flight, special permission had to be granted from North Somerset Council beforehand, which was successfully obtained.
A local aerial marketing firm operates the balloon and its operations director, Andrew Holly, had stated that he had wanted to launch the balloon from the beach for a long time. He was pleased that the local council gave green light for this unique flight. Holly added that the balloon has taken parts in flights and festivals all over the world, but admitted that this one was extra special.
Not all flights can take off from the local beach due to the dangers of possibly being pushed out to sea by the wind. However, it is possible to book a hot air balloon ride in Bristol, Bath and all over the UK, with spectacular sights always visible from above.