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Dreaming of spires in a balloon over Oxfordshire

Many people wish to rise into the skies above Oxford, with the dreaming spires of the city the inspiration for many a keen academic. However, the colleges of the world's most famous university are a natural highlight of any balloon trip over Oxfordshire too.

The university buildings

With a heritage that is unrivalled, the University of Oxford is also unique. Offering a historic view from above, any hot air balloon flight will likely ride the winds across its 38 colleges. The most famous of all is Christ Church, with its sprawling Great Hall the inspiration not just behind Hogwarts Hall of Harry Potter fame, but also many a great mind to grace humanity. It is not just Christ Church with which Oxford University is emblazoned, however. From the imposing tower of Magdalen College, the riverside setting of St Hilda's, and the ancient Merton College, it is easy to understand why the greatest students in the world are drawn like a magnet to hone their brilliant minds here.

The University grounds

From your basket, the magnificent triangular Christ Church Meadow is a stunning sight, which is often used as a grazing field for rare breeds of cattle. The grounds that link all of the colleges together make for a wonderful vista too, with the gardens of Brasenose College always resplendent. St John's College has an impressive rockery, which, no matter the season, is a subject of much chatter in the balloon baskets. With Queen's embracing a host of medieval buildings as well, it is a veritable cornucopia of delights at any moment, no matter what direction you cast upon. Although the grounds are a delight from any perspective, another beauty of taking an Oxfordshire balloon ride is that entry to everywhere. With no opening times to be bound by, it truly is the best way to explore the wonderful colleges and chapels, quadrangles and gardens, and majestic architecture.

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