Bowood House to host The Great Balloon Race and aerial extravaganza

By Barrie Hudson - 7 June 2021


The UK’s biggest hot air balloons are coming to the Bowood House this summer.

The historic house at Derry Hill, 18 miles from Swindon, will plays host to the Great Balloon Race Extravaganza.

Three nights of aerial entertainment will fill the skies across Wiltshire and neighbouring counties as up to 50 of the best hot air balloons go ‘up, up and away’ before returning for what is billed as a dazzling night glow accompanied by the 80s Classics Orchestra.

Event director Adam Faulkner said: “We’re really looking forward to bringing the Great Balloon Race Extravaganza to Bowood House.

“It has been a year since our last show – and a hard year for everyone - so we have gone all out to make this a truly fantastic evening for families and friends to enjoy.

“There are some amazing balloons on display including a Grenade, an F1 Car as well as a few special designs which will be revealed for the first time this summer.

“We have also brought together some incredible aerial entertainment, which is a must see, while the hot air balloon light glow to music is just stunning.

“We have taken every precaution to make this a socially-distanced event from the space between the plots, the click and collect food and drink services and extra toilets.”

The Great Balloon Race Extravaganza is being held in the grounds of the stately home over the weekend of July 2-4. The entertainment will also include a daredevil paramotor display by the Sky Rascals and a Sky Dance from a 100ft crane by Incandescence.

Each evening will end with a headline set from a 90s UK chart act before a dynamic fireworks display.

Balloon flights are also available with prices starting from £325 for an individual on a shared flight, £950 for a couple and up to £1,650 for a party of six. 

The Great Balloon Race Extravaganza is billed as the perfect outdoor event to share with family and friends. The event organisers have put in place socially-distanced measures to ensure the event is as safe as it is enjoyable.

This includes allocated plots for a maximum of six people, hand sanitiser stations, a ‘click & collect’ food and drinks service – via an event app - and additional toilet facilities.

There are three options of plots available - standard, premium and VIP - with prices ranging from £65 to £240.

A standard plot (£65) is a simple 3.5m square; a premium plot (£120) is 5m square, includes a bench and is located nearer the show arena, while a VIP plot (£240) is 5m square and also includes a welcome drink, table service, a prime location by the arena, VIP parking and VIP toilet facilities.

All balloon activities will weather permitting and conducted in accordance with Civil Aviation Authority guidelines. 

More details of the event, including booking information, can be found at

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