Dozens Of Hot Air Balloons Will (Hopefully) Fly Over Central London This Month

Dozens Of Hot Air Balloons Will (Hopefully) Fly Over Central London This Month
Image: Bill Green via the Londonist Flickr Pool

For one glorious summer morning, the sky above central London will be punctuated with colour as dozens of hot air balloons fly across it.

This is the Lord Mayor's Hot Air Balloon Regatta, an annual event in partnership with Exclusive Ballooning to raise awareness of the Lord Mayor's Appeal. Last year's regatta was cancelled due to COVID-19, but 2019's celestial celebration saw a record 48 rainbow-hued orbs take to the sky and £76,000 raised for charity — funds were divided between Samaritans, OnSide Youth Zones and Place2Be.

This year's regatta is provisionally scheduled for Sunday 18 July, with balloons taking off from Battersea Park and floating over Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, London Eye and Tower of London before returning to Wandsworth.

A word of warning, though: the event is totally at the mercy of the Great British Weather — which, as we know, hasn't been brilliant this summer. That's why organisers select several standby dates each year — if forecasted wind speeds are too fast or too slow on the next standby date, the regatta could instead take place on Sunday 25 July.

An update is expected on Friday 15 July, when more accurate weather forecasts become available, so watch this space.

Last Updated 08 July 2021