See Yorkshire from the sky

There’s no more thrilling way to see Yorkshire than from above. This summer’s aerial activities range from drifting gently over moors and dales beneath a hot air balloon, soaring without an engine in a glider, or skydiving from 12,000 feet. Or, if you prefer, you can keep your feet on the ground and watch colourful kites or vintage aircraft flying above you.

Hot Air
There’s no more tranquil and sublime way to fly than by hot air balloon, cruising the wind across the Yorkshire countryside with fields, towns and villages arcing away below you. You may have visited Yorkshire many times, but this gives the scenery a whole new perspective. With Balloon Rides, you take off from York’s Knavesmere racecourse and drift gently upwards and over the historic city and the River Ouse and out into the countryside as a panoramic view that can’t be matched opens up. It’ll take some time to come back to earth – even after you’ve landed.

Pure Adrenaline
If ballooning is the gentlest way to fly, sky-diving is a pure adrenaline experience. It’s the single most exhilarating and heart-stoppingly inspiring thing you’ll ever do. Strapped in tandem with an expert parachutist, the tandem introduction into one of the world’s most extreme pastimes is a leap of faith for the first timer. The plunge from 12,000 feet is like flying without a plane, an incredible 40-second ride in freefall followed by the most blissful glide downwards once the chute’s open. And it’s guaranteed that as soon as your feet touch the ground, you’ll want to go again – if only to remember the view of Yorkshire from above, second time round.
*Various locations across Yorkshire

Go Fly a Kite
Keeping your feet on the ground, you can fly your own kite (up to the highest height) or watch experts unfurl and launch huge and elaborate dragon kites and vast aerofoil stunters at the annual Beverley Kite Festival in September, with synchronised kite-flying displays by professional kite artists as well as hands-on opportunities for all the family to get involved. Just watch out for competitive dad when he gets his hands on the strings.

Classic Flypasts
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and at Yorkshire Air Museum you can get close to aircraft like those that took part in that decisive conflict – the Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane, and their arch-adversary, the Messerchmitt Bf-109 – as well as many more aviation icons, including aircraft that in their day were at the leading edge of combat aviation, such as the Handley Page Victor, the Hawker Harrier and the English Electric Lightning. Flypasts by classic aircraft are scheduled at events in July and August.

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