One of the few things that ensures that even the most hardened Londoner crack a smile is the view of a hot air balloon floating across the city. If you go into a nostalgic reverie when you see one drifting across the sky, you’ll absolutely lose it when you find out what awaits you in London next month.
If all goes well with the weather, up to 50 giant balloons will be launched skyward as part of the Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta on Saturday, June 5 as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend celebrations.
The balloons will be launched from Battersea Park and head east over some of the the city’s most emblematic sites: Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
Going by previous years, we can expect to see airships of all shapes and sizes, from lions and koalas to giant trophies and minions, alongside more traditional orbs.
Held since 2015, the regatta is organized by Exclusive Ballooning as an aerial extension of the historic Lord Mayor’s Show, raising funds for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. To date, the event has raised over £250,000 for charity.
It will be the first time the capital has seen the air show in two years after it was canceled in 2020 (best guesses as to why) and canceled in 2021 due to bad weather.
In fact, the weather is an essential part of the procedure. Conditions such as wind and rain must be considered before take-off is guaranteed. This means that the organizers have planned several dates for the show this year. One (May 22) has already been canceled due to high winds.
Sunday June 5
Sunday June 12
Sunday June 19
So write them on your calendar/phone/hand and set your alarm for the time of 5:30 a.m. when the balloons are ready to take off, although that means they’ll be silhouetted against a beautiful sunrise backdrop over the city. Just cross your fingers that the wind is blowing in the right direction.
More ways to celebrate the Four Day Jubilee weekend in style.
Want more views? Here are some free spots to watch London’s stunning skyline.