Our highly experienced Berkshire and Henley operator has been flying from this stunning area since 1990 and is the only operator to take off from the Reading Parks. We have fantastic sites at Prospect Park and Kings Meadow in Reading.
Once we are airborne in Reading you can usually see notable local landmarks such as The Hexagon and the Oracle Shopping Centre. As we float towards the outskirts of town you can see the impressive Madjeski Stadium, Courage Brewery, and even the green fields that play host to the famous Reading Festival each year.
As we glide further from Reading, we often see beautiful country houses along the River Thames such as the Mapledurham Estate, Hardwick House, or even the Duke of Wellington’s house at Stratfield Saye. You can even see boats and rowers on the Thames if you look carefully!
Please be aware that balloon flights from Berkshire have to keep clear of Heathrow Airspace, which starts a few miles east of Reading. Therefore, to provide you with a safe and enjoyable flight, the site chosen will depend on the wind direction and speed on the day. While our Berkshire launch sites will be our first choice, we may need to relocate Berkshire flights to our Henley area and fly back towards Reading.
Henley on Thames is an idyllic riverside market town only an hour from London. The town is located on one of the most beautiful stretches of the River Thames, due to its stunning combination of wooded areas and rolling green countryside. The town is best known for its association with rowing, and more specifically the Henley Royal Regatta, established in 1839. Henley was chosen because the River Thames is fairly straight along this stretch and therefore ideal for rowing. We can often see rowers out practicing as we fly over!
The town is surrounded by extravagant country houses built by affluent individuals, dating back to the 17th Century. The most notable estate is Fawley Court, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and later landscaped by Capability Brown. The original fishing lodge for the house is now known as Temple Island and sits in the middle of the Thames. The estate is usually visible from our flights in Henley.
When flying from Henley on Thames we can also often see Friar Park – a 120 room neo-Gothic mansion from the Victorian Era. It was notably saved from demolition in 1970 by George Harrison, when he purchased the property.
Henley has also been used in many films and TV shows, most famously the Midsomer Murder series. It is clear to see why with a plethora of National Trust properties within a stone’s throw of the town, such as Stonor Park, Nuffield Place and Greys Court.
Please be aware that balloon flights from Henley have to keep clear of Heathrow Airspace, which starts a few miles east of the town. Therefore, to provide you with a safe and enjoyable flight, the site chosen will depend on the wind direction and speed on the day. While our Henley launch sites will be our first choice, we may need to relocate Henley flights to our Berkshire (Reading) area and fly back towards Henley.