Virgin Balloon Flights passengers got more than they bargained for on a flight from Shipston-on-Stour as they spotted the site of a lost village near the Fosse Way.
The evening balloon flight took off from Shipston-on-Stour Sports Club at around 4pm earlier this month travelling on a north, north east wind.
Thirty minutes into the flight, at around 1000 feet in the air, world record breaking balloon pilot Russell Collins, AGE, caught site of the land formation below.

‘Middle Ditchford from the air’ – the view of the village from the basket of the balloon

The outlines of the village, Middle Ditchford; abandoned in the 1500’s following a period of economic decline, was brought to the attention of the passengers on board the 12 man Virgin balloon.

“I had read about it and seen a picture in a book called ‘England -The Mini Book of Aerial Views’, but I had never previously seen it for myself even though I have conducted many flights in the area,” Said Russell, of ADD HOME AREA, who has been piloting balloons since 2003.
“Everybody was interested in it, pointing out the features we could see, taking pictures and we knew we had seen a something special. It was as if our balloon flight had gifted us with this privileged view and the light at that moment set it off beautifully,” he added.

‘In Flight Photograph’ – Pilot Russell Collins and the 12 passengers during the flight

Those on board the characteristic hour-long flight, could clearly see the outlines of streets, a village green and the medieval ridge and furrows from old farming techniques. They were also able to make out the old church remains and village pond.
A further 30 minutes on, after landing at Moreton-in-Marsh fire fighting training college, based at the old RAF airfield, passengers packed away the balloon and enjoyed their traditional Champagne toast while the sun set.
Russell handed out flight certificates before they all travelled back to the launch site in Shipston-on-Stour.
Balloon flights in Warwickshire are available from £79pp via the website at or on 0844 844 8080.

Virgin Balloon Flights is the UK’s largest hot air ballooning company, offering Champagne balloon rides and ballooning experiences from over 100 launch sites in England, Scotland and Wales. Follow in the footsteps of adventurer Sir Richard Branson and see beautiful Britain from an amazing new perspective or make someone’s day with a ticket to the sky.

Source: Virgin Balloon Flights