A popular landmark pub, not in Herefordshire but familiar to many local people who travel over to the Cotswolds, has announced its closure date.

The Air Balloon, at the top of Air Balloon Hill, Birdlip, Gloucesteshire, will serve customers for the last time over Christmas before closing for good on New Year's Eve.

The doomed pub will be familiar to thousands of drivers who use the crucial A417 route that carries traffic past the pub on the way to and from the Cotswolds.


It is being demolished to make way for a £460m road scheme described as the 'missing link' on the A417 in Gloucestershire.

The pub opened in 1784 and is said to be named after one of the first British balloon flights, by Edward Jenner on September 2, 1784.

In a post on its Facebook page yesterday (Friday) the pub announced the closure date, invited customers to enjoy a final drink or meal over Christmas and thanked them for their support over the years.


It said: "As many of you will know, for a number of years now there has been talk of the new A417 highways plan, which would require the closure of our pub to make way for the new road.

"We have loved serving you all over the years but sadly the time has come where the pub will be closing in order to make way for the new road.

"Our final day will be New Year's Eve, when we are closing at 5pm.

"As you will understand, this is a difficult time but we're looking forward to giving everyone a last great Christmas with us to remember and we want to say thank you to everyone who has already messaged us or spoken to us to pass on their best wishes to all of the team."

The pub signed off saying "take care" from everyone at the Air Balloon.

Customers left comments on the post expressing their sadness.

One, from Ledbury, said: "This is such very sad news. My wife and I have called in en route from our house in Ledbury to wherever we’re going, be it friends houses or airports for holidays and we’ve always found the food and service great."

Another said: "That is such sad news. You've been a perfect meeting point for my family, and we have made some great memories under your roof and in your garden. The people behind this decision don't understand what matters in this world."

One commenter added: "So many happy memories of being up there as a child. Will be shame not to see it when passing by."

Another said: "Sad day. A lovely pub. I walked a few times as a child up Greenway Lane to the top with dad him telling me drunken stories from his younger days up there."