A Flotilla Of Hot Air Balloons Will Fly Across Central London This Summer

Last Updated 08 July 2024

A Flotilla Of Hot Air Balloons Will Fly Across Central London This Summer
Hot air balloon London: Around 35 balloons flying in the skies over London, including one shaped like a welly, and another like a lion's head
The Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta ® is (hopefully) back in 2024. Credit: Exclusive Ballooning.

Dozens of hot air balloons will (hopefully) float across the London skies one Sunday morning this summer, for the Lord Mayor's Hot Air Balloon Regatta.

The event, run by Exclusive Ballooning, is a charity fundraiser in support of the Lord Mayor's Appeal. Corporate partners pay to have balloons decked out in their company livery, to join the floating parade. In the past, orbs in the shape of wellingtons, lions and trophies have been airborne, along with dozens of more traditional balloons in all manner of colours and designs.

Hot air balloon festival London: Hot air balloons taking off from Battersea Park
The Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta®. Credit: Exclusive Ballooning.

The Lord Mayor's Hot Air Balloon Regatta is an annual event... well, in theory it is. In 2020, it was cancelled due to Covid-19, and the 2021, 2022 and 2023 events were scuppered by bad weather. Back in 2019, though, the regatta went ahead, with 46 hot air balloons taking off from Battersea Park early one Sunday morning.

The weather is the crucial factor — conditions such as wind and rain are taken into account before it's declared safe for the balloons to fly. As a result, several dates are pencilled in each year, to give the event the most chance of going ahead, though that's no guarantee — last year, a total of five potential flying dates between May and October were all scuppered by the weather. The 2024 balloon regatta dates are:

  • Sunday 7 July - Cancelled due to forecast wind speeds
  • Sunday 21 July
  • Sunday 28 July
Hot air balloon festival London: Hot air balloons over central London
The 2019 RICOH Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta®. Credit: Exclusive Ballooning.

Keep an eye on the updates page and Exclusive Ballooning's social media closer to the time, to monitor the likelihood of a launch.

Oh, and one more thing. You'll need to set your alarm preeeetty early if you want to see the regatta. Balloons take off from Battersea Park around 5.30am. Ouch. However, the spectacle of dozens of colourful balloons gliding gracefully across across the summer sky by sunrise makes it sooo worthwhile.

Here's the video we made when we joined in the party in the sky a few years back:

More info on the The Lord Mayor's Hot Air Balloon Regatta 2024.