Balloon Flights in Kent
Hot Air Balloon Rides over Kent
The county of Kent is so close to the birthplace of mankind's first balloon flight in France that not surprisingly it has strong connections to ballooning history. Early balloonists in the late 1700's were soon attempting to fly between the two countries. Today the English Channel or "La Manche" remains a popular natural challenge with hot air balloonists flying from Kent to France in organised groups.
Ballooning aside, Kent brims full of history and heritage and is renowned throughout the world as the Garden of England. A popular balloon rides starting point in Kent is Leeds Castle near Maidstone. Listed in the Domesday Book, this picturesque castle has been a Norman stronghold, a royal residence for six of England's medieval queens, a palace of Henry VIII, and a retreat for the powerful and influential. You can take hot air balloon rides over Kent from the grounds of Leeds Castle with Adventure Balloons who offer regular passenger hot air balloon flights from April to October.
Their other balloon flight site is at the Hop Farm Country Park near Tunbridge Wells. Over 450 years old, this original working farm boasts the largest collection of oast houses in the world. Floating in a hot air balloon south from this site you will see Bewl Water, a reservoir in the magnificent River Bewl valley. This is a tributary of the River Teise straddling the boundary between Kent and East Sussex. Not far from Bewl is the rural setting of Lamberhurst Vineyard and Scotney Castle. Lamberhurst Vineyard is the most famous vineyard in England and one of the oldest in Kent set amongst 20 acres of beautiful countryside. Set in a 780 acre beautiful wooded estate, the National Trust's 14th Century moated Scotney Castle has one of England's most romantic gardens.