Chipping Ongar Leisure Centure, The Gables CM5 0GA

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This is a new balloon launch site for our Essex balloon flights that we will be using. It is easy to find, just a few minutes from the main roundabout in the centre of Chipping Ongar and probably the closest balloon launch site to north east London. It is close to the post war “New Town” of Harlow, Brentwood, Chelmsford and Billericay. Not far away is North Weald Aerodrome so there is plenty to see when your balloon ride takes off from here.

North Weald Airfield, which unusually for small airfield is run by the local council, Epping Forest District Council is an active general aviation airfield nearby. So expect to be buzzed by small aircraft as they always seem to be attracted like moths to a lamp to hot air balloons. Sometimes they even waggle their wings!

Chipping Ongar is a small market town dating back to Anglo Saxon times, the name Chipping means Market in Old English and Ongar means grass land. In Norman times a castle was built there. The earth mound on which the castle stood can still be seen today from the nearby footpath. Also in the town at Greenstead is St Andrews Church, which dates from the 11th Century and is believed to be the oldest wooden church in the world. As well as Bronze Age Burial mounds at Shelley you may also be able to make out the outline of the World War II airfield to the north east of our Chipping Ongar balloon flights launch site by a couple of miles just before the village of Willingale.

Useful Web Sites

Chipping Ongar Airfield

The oldest wooden church in the world is at Chipping Ongar

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