Essex often gets a raw deal but anyone who has the opportunity to view the county from the skies will literally see things quite differently. A hot air balloon ride over the area provides the perfect opportunity to view many historic landmarks and sites of interest from a completely new perspective - or more specifically from anything up to 5,000 feet.
Essexâ€™s county town Chelmsford was declared a market town by King John in 1119 and any balloon flight leaving from the town will give passengers spectacular views over the county cricket ground, the beautiful river Can and even the 15th century cathedral. Nearby Hylands House, set in a 500 acre landscaped parkland, underwent a heavy restoration programme having been left derelict for many years and can be seen from the basket of balloon flights over central Essex too.
North Essex is another popular location for hot air balloon rides and no flight here would be complete without seeing Colchester Castle. Built by William the Conqueror, the site is the first, and incidentally, largest royal castle to be built entirely of stone.
From Colchester your flight path might take you over Coggeshall, renowned as a centre for antiques, proudly displaying its many fine timber framed buildings. Perhaps you will gaze down on the bustling market town of Braintree sitting astride one of many Roman roads crossing the county. Alternatively you may find yourself suspended over Wivenhoe for a moment or two as you cast a glance down at the town set on the wooded slopes of the River Colne. Blessed with many attractive old inns and a very pretty quayside, you might be enticed into a visit post-flight for a bite to eat or a glass of the local ale. Dependent on the direction the wind takes you, you may also see Kelvedon. The village nestles in a wide bend in River Blackwater and is the latest in a long history of settlements to occupy the site, dating back to pre-Roman times. A balloon flight that takes you further south may offer you the opportunity to view Brentwood, Billericay and nearby Norsey Wood Nature Reserve.
Whichever Essex Balloon Ride you choose you'll undoubtedly spot countless Essex windmills beneath you, the most famous of which is John Webb's 19th century masterpiece at Thaxted. It quickly becomes clear that despite being the brunt of many jokes, Essex is in fact a county steeped in centuries of history and culture, with bustling towns and villages which give way to rolling hills, forests and miles of stunning coastline all of which make for an exhilarating hot air balloon ride
No two balloon flights are ever the same, so where youâ€™ll fly and what youâ€™ll see, be it chimney pots 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.
|About Author Eve Ashwell :|
For more information on Essex hot air balloon flights visit Virgin Balloon Flights - the leading hot air balloon rides company in the world with the largest passenger carrying balloons in the UK.
Submitted by Eve Ashwell, Marketing Manager at Virgin Balloon Flights. Virgin Balloon Flights operate the largest fleet of hot air balloons in the UK, offering the experience of hot air ballooning from over 100 launch sites across the country.
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Article Added on Tuesday, April 13, 2010
|Other Articles by Eve Ashwell|
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