If there were something, dear readers, that we could give to everyone of you to show you how much we care, it would be this: a ride in the Star Over London airship. Unfortunately, at £360 a pop for the best ride, this is pie in the sky talk from your favourite London blog so, next best thing, we wangled a freebie and went for you.
Ascending in the 12 seater gondola to 300m you’re afforded a perfect birds eye view of the city, joining the Thames out by the Dartford Bridge and following its snaking bends up to tourist central and Big Ben and back. Once aloft, the airship hums quietly and floats along at 30mph, gently riding the thermals and swaying beatifically. Passengers are free to walk around the cabin, decked out airline style, with windows at the front and back that open, allowing fabulous photographs and a back seat window from which to watch the unique view disappear beneath the voluptuous bulk of the Zeppelin.
This is undoubtedly the best thing you will be unable to afford to do this summer, so if you can wangle a corporate entertainment ride or win a competition in the Evening Standard then do. It’s the ideal way to reacquaint yourself with London and be awestruck by its sprawling, unplanned, crazy beauty. You’ll fall in love with it all over again.
The Star of London flies from Upminster airfield until 21 August. There are 3 routes, varying in price £185-260. Be warned, the airship doesn’t like rain or high winds so refer to the website to check your flight if you’re lucky enough to have a booking.
Words by Lindsey Clarke, pics by Dean Nicholas