Captain Mike

Your pilot – and your host for the adventure – is Captain Mike.

During his 12 years as a full-time commercial pilot, Mike has achieved over 2,000 hours’ professional balloon flying time. That makes him one of the most experienced balloonists anywhere in the world.

Captain Mike is licensed to fly balloons practically everywhere. He’s got licences for the UK, India, Turkey, Kenya, New Zealand and the USA. But if you ask him what his favourite place to fly is…

Mike has flown over the majestic Masai Mara, and over the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps in New Zealand. He’s flown over ancient Byzantine valleys of Cappadocia in Turkey and the wide open plains of Africa – the wildebeest migration sweeping along below. But there’s one view that he never ever tires of...

… “I’ve spent my professional life flying over some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and beauty spots, but it takes an awful lot to beat the beautiful English countryside, especially the wonderful Cotswolds!” There are just so many incredible views to share. And that’s why Mike started Cotswold Balloon Safaris.

“I want to give people the opportunity to see and experience this beautiful countryside in the best way possible – floating along, as free as a cloud, with a glass of chilled champagne in hand!”

The gold-standard

Mike isn’t just one of the most well-travelled balloon pilots in the world, he’s one of the most well-trained. He caught the flying bug shortly after he left the British Army, where he served all over the world with the Royal Green Jackets. And he got his first taste of ballooning when he helped out with the world-famous Bristol Balloon Fiesta. In fact, Mike took his very first flight with one of ballooning’s early pioneers – Tom Sage.

Mike went on to obtain his UK Private Pilot’s Licence in Bristol, and could have stopped there. But he continued studying. Five years of hard work and endless exams later, he achieved his UK Commercial Pilot’s Licence – with a Group C rating – that’s the worldwide gold standard. (Appropriately for balloonists, it’s as high as you can go!)

Training? Check! Experience? Check! Fun…? Check!

There’s something else you need to know. All that training and all that experience is just one part of what makes a successful balloonist. You need something else…

… Captain Mike is a people person. If you or your guests are feeling a little bit nervous, he’ll help you relax. If you want to get involved, he’ll let you. And if you want to ask him about his adventures around the world, please do. Ask him to tell you about the passenger who turned up wearing his pyjamas and dressing gown, or the gentleman who decided to have a shave in the middle of the flight!

Book your flight

It’s easy to book a flight for you or your friends. Just decide where you want to fly from and book online. See our FAQs page if you’ve got any questions.

We offer special gift vouchers too. So that your friends can choose the perfect time to fly.

Purchase flight vouchers

Taking a flight with us is a journey in more ways than one. A journey in which you’ll make new friends and see the world like you’ve never seen it before.

Your journey can start from a variety of wonderful Cotswold locations; from luxury hotels to tourist visitor attractions.

View launch locations

Thinking of buying someone a balloon flight voucher as a gift? It’s a very special gift…

Every balloon flight is an amazing experience. Your gift recipient will join Captain Mike and his crew on a unique aerial tour of the Cotswolds in a trip that combines thrilling excitement and absolute serenity.

View flight vouchers

Make your gift even more special with the Cotswold Balloon Safaris ‘Balloon in a box!’

We will send to your chosen recipient an inflated helium balloon with their flight voucher attached with a ribbon.

Your ‘Balloon in a box’ will be sent by Special Delivery. To purchase ‘Balloon in a box’ select the option during purchasing your flight voucher.

Balloon in a box
Step by step guide
Help with your order

We have put together a list of frequently asked questions about our flights, locations and booking process. Please visit our FAQs page in the first instance to see whether your question or enquiry can be answered there.

If your question can’t be answered, please use our contact form to send your enquiry.