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Hot air ballooning – the ultimate in social distancing?

23/06/2021 philip Features

Whether you’re keen to stay safe in the current climate or feel less stressed when others aren’t around, you might find hot air ballooning an ideal activity. An extraordinarily peaceful way to fly under any circumstances, it also offers passengers the ultimate option in socially distancing themselves in these challenging times.

If you’re looking to get far from the crowds this summer, read on to explore the many advantages a balloon ride can bring when you want a new experience while staying socially distanced.

Make an early start when no one’s around

To maximise the stable conditions available and sidestep excessive thermal activity, hot air balloon operators will schedule flights for early morning. Not only can you launch to the sound of birds singing the dawn chorus, but you can also set off on your sky ride when most of the country is still tucked up in bed, limiting how many people you’ll encounter on flight day.

Taking off and landing with plenty of space

Hot air balloon flights can take place almost anywhere across the UK, but for safety, flight operations tend to stay away from rocky or steep terrain or coastal areas. Balloon rides often begin in expansive greenspaces like parks and the grounds of stately homes, giving them plenty of room to ascend without incident. The good news for those seeking social distancing is these spacious parks ensure that people present are spaced apart, so that you never feel too crowded.

A balloon’s descent is typically achieved by one of two methods – pilots can either let the air contained within the balloon’s envelope cool or open the parachute vent at the top of the envelope. While balloons drift with the wind, skilled operators can still guide them to reach a suitable pace to set down. Fortunately for those seeking to avoid others, built-up areas filled with people are not selected for landing zones for obvious reasons, and balloons will normally come to rest in fields far from inhabited areas.

Private rides provide peace of mind

While many commercial balloons have the capacity to hold up to 16 passengers, it’s more than possible to book a more private flight for between two to five people. This can be perfect for a more intimate occasion you want to share with those you feel safe around.

Thousands of feet above others

Hot air balloons will usually last for an hour or a little longer, and they typically travel from 500 to 2,500 feet above ground level. This means that during your balloon ride, you’ll effectively be thousands of feet away from the rest of the UK’s population. As far as social distancing goes, this makes hot air balloon adventures among the ultimate options you can embark on.

Balloon operators are now able to take bookings and are taking every precaution necessary to keep passengers safe onboard, including disinfecting equipment during flights and encouraging the use of hand sanitiser and wearing face masks. Book a trip in a hot air balloon over Bristol or Bath today for a socially distanced expedition across the sky.

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