Up, up and away!

A 100-year-old Cumbrian adventurer reached for the skies as she fulfilled her lifelong dream of a hot air balloon ride.

Kathleen Greenwood, of Pooley Bridge, intended to fulfill her dream with a balloon trip in Australia a few years ago, but ran out of time.

Instead, her family bought her a flight here in the UK with Virgin Balloon Flights for her 100th birthday in February.

And, finally, last month she got to take the trip of her life.

“It was an amazing experience, so peaceful. You don’t even feel like you’re moving, it’s so quiet,” said Mrs Greenwood.

“You just drift over the lovely scenery, it was very surreal. We floated over the countryside and I was able to spot some places I recognised, like Dalemain.

“The champagne toast was great too. We didn’t get back until about 11pm, so I had supper late, but that didn’t matter as it was all part of the adventure.”

Her son, Brian Greenwood, said: “After she wasn’t able to go on a flight on our last trip to Australia, as a family we bought her a flight voucher.

“I look her down to the launch site at Dalemain and was able to wave her off as she drifted into the sunset, which was amazing to see."

Mrs Greenwood, who has always loved travelling and the outdoors, said she was lucky to have such a supportive family to help her enjoy so many adventures.

“I’ve always loved travelling, sailing and canoeing, anything like that. As long as I’m outdoors, I’m happy,” she said.

“Some families say to older relatives ‘you can’t do that’ but if my family ever said that to me I’d tell them to mind their own business.

“You’ve got to enjoy life.”

Mrs Greenwood’s next adventure will come in the autumn, when she will head back to Australia to visit family and her second great grandchild, who was born a few days ago.

Pilot Chris Oxby said it had been “an honour” to fly Mrs Greenwood.

“Kathleen was 100-years-old earlier this year and is such an amazing lady,” he said.

“It was a great pleasure to fly her. We had a great flight and she really enjoyed herself.

“Apparently her neighbours thought she was crazy and shouldn’t go but that only made her even more determined to do it.”