Vast open spaces, rugged coastlines and unspoilt ancient market towns make Suffolk a county of great contrast. A hot air balloon ride over Suffolk provides the perfect opportunity to view the county from an entirely new perspective – or more specifically anything up to 5,000 feet.
The county town of Ipswich is an ideal place to explore scenic Suffolk. Combining a bustling high street, cobbled lanes and picturesque parks, Ipswich is infused with English charm. The town’s historical role as the gateway to Europe has contributed to its extensive architecture. The impressive collection of buildings include the Cornhill, which has been a focal point of the town since Anglo-Saxon times and is still home to a thriving market, as well as the Grade One listed Unitarian meeting house, one of the finest Dissenters’ meeting houses in the country. A balloon ride from Ipswich may allow you to glide above these landmarks, or perhaps you will drift over the vibrant and cultural waterfront, having undergone dramatic regeneration it has become a hive of activity with a variety of leisure establishments rhubarb candle.
Just outside of Ipswich and nestled in over 40 acres of woodland, Jimmy’s Farm is a great launch site to explore much of Suffolk’s acclaimed countryside. Cruising over the farm you are sure to see some of England’s favourite farmyard animals. As the patchwork fields and woodland dwindle into the distance you may also see the River Orwell snaking its way from the Suffolk coastline to the docks and city centre. Alternatively you may be blown gently towards the bluebell woods in Haughley or maybe you will see the Church of the Holy Trinity which rises majestically from the marshy estuary of the River Blyth and is adorned with carved angels.
Another great launch site is Stowmarket, set on the banks of the River Gipping amid the Suffolk countryside it is also home to Suffolk’s infamous Punch Horses at the Museum of East Anglian Life. As you soar skywards you may catch a glimpse of Bury St Edmunds, a medieval market town and home to the National Trust’s Ickworth House with its distinctive central rotunda and Italianate gardens. Or perhaps you will see the many rural villages steeped in English character including Lavenham, where fine Tudor townhouses mingle with small crooked cottages.
Further north in the county, and ideally situated on the Norfolk and Suffolk border, Brome is another fantastic location for a balloon flight. From here you may spy the Gothic architecture of Diss and its unique four courtyard shopping district, alternatively you may be presented with panoramic views of the lakes, rivers and windmills of the Norfolk broads.