The historic city of York, traditionally known as the county town of Yorkshire, sits to the north of the county at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss. It’s a popular tourist destination thanks to its mix of medieval architecture, independent shops and the imposing cathedral of York Minster.
Your York balloon ride will launch from the York Racecourse, to the south of the city. This racecourse is one of the premier tracks in Europe and is steeped in history with the first race taking place over 2000 years ago.
The sights you are likely to enjoy during your York balloon ride will depend on the wind direction on the day however as you float skywards, the city of York will come into full view.
Founded by the Romans in 71 AD, there is no shortage of beautiful architecture to enjoy. The highlight, without doubt is the magnificent cathedral of York Minster. Since the 7th century it has been at the centre of Christianity in the north of England and is the second largest gothic cathedral in northern Europe. Seeing this glorious building from the comfort of your balloon basket is sure to be spectacular. As well as the intricate brickwork, the cathedrals 128 stained glass windows are worth looking out for. If time allows, a visit to this magnificent building will delight those young and old.
Another piece of history to keep an eye open for during your York balloon ride are the City Walls. At 3.4 kilometres long, they are the longest medieval town walls in England and have been beautifully preserved.
Other popular locations to visit in the city itself are Betty’s Café Tea Rooms, the National Railway Museum and the Jorvik Viking Centre.
As you drift higher the towns and villages surrounding the city will come into view.
Should the wind take you east, you may come across York Maze, the largest maize maze in Europe covering an area larger than 8 Wembley football pitches. The design of the maze changes every year, what will it be when you fly overhead?
If the wind takes you in a north westerly direction, you may happen upon the Georgian stately home of Beningbrough Hall. Built in the 18th century, this National Trust property is now in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery providing a grand setting for many works of art. This historic house and gardens are definitely worth a visit if time allows.
To the north east of York lies the imposing Castle Howard. Taking over 100 years to complete it has been the home to the Howard family for more than 300 years. You may be lucky enough to spot this magnificent stately home from your York balloon ride, giving you the chance appreciate not only the house but also the extensive gardens. The grounds have been used as film locations for many films and television series, the most famous being the adaptation of the novel Brideshead Revisited.
Further on the horizon, the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks will provide excellent views should you be lucky to have a clear day.
A York hot air balloon ride really is the perfect way to take in the beauty of this city and surrounding landscape.