All being well, a Sunday morning in June will see up to 50 hot air balloons drifting over central London.

This is the Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta, a now annual event that raises money for the Lord Mayor’s charity, and gives early risers on a Sunday morning a lovely sight of all the balloons silently drifting over sleepy London.

The lift-off is weather dependent and takes place from Battersea at first light on a Sunday morning in June.

Balloon lift-off in 2015

Hopefully, they’ll head eastwards over the city, but that’s down to the wind direction on the day. Obviously, they can’t control the wind, so there’s an outside chance they’ll drift a bit more to the south or north than hoped for.

The following standby dates are confirmed for this year:

  • 6th June 2021
  • 13th June 2021
  • 18th July 2021
  • 25th July 2021

Update: Friday 23rd July – An update will be provided this evening, but variable weather forecasts mean that a final decision is unlikely until Saturday afternoon.

Update: Saturday 24th July -Cancelled – due to the risk of storms during the flight. They may try again later in the year.

They’ll be on standby with a confirmation usually issued on the Friday afternoon around 4pm that the weather looks favourable, although even then, last-minute changes can scupper lift-off.

Lord Mayor’s own balloon


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Article last updated: 21 April 2022 10:14


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  1. Bob says:

    Britain is a lot more than London centric!!!

    • ianVisits says:

      This London based website that writes about things to do in London for people in London is unsurprisingly going to have more articles about London than non-London.

    • Adam T says:

      Wow.. thanks for letting us know, Bob.

  2. TT says:

    Oh thank god, that hopefully means there will be no helicopters in the sky. Such a rare occurrence.

  3. John says:

    I remember many years ago being woken one Sunday morning by strange noises outside, I looked out to see many hot air balloons floating in the sky past Charlton. It was the sound of the heaters that woke me. Absolutely beautiful sight that hopefully I’ll see again soon in June.

    • freddie says:

      That may have been Sunday 10th September 2017 when that departed from London City airport:

    • Shannon Hudson says:

      There was also a time (around 2010 maybe?) when a group of hot air balloons drifted overhead, playing “music”. I saw it from Lee, maybe they went past Charlton too?

    • Katherine James says:

      I had the same experience in Lee. They flew right over our house and was simply magical. The sound of the burners was very peaceful and the glorious coloured balloons in an azure blue sky was an extraordinary sight. Had hoped to cycle into town to see it this year but the weather has conspired against us thus far

  4. Jody steere says:

    What time (besides morning) do the balloons take off? or should we look up??

    • ianVisits says:

      “The lift-off is weather dependent and takes place at first light on a Sunday morning in June.”

  5. jennifer hayden says:

    I love Ian Visits , as person who lives in London it gives me opportunity to know about events , historical and new that happen in town Like the Balloon event , I thinks its a great site well done , many a event I have gone to or told friends about that were published here, they have enjoyed .

  6. Sanna says:

    Wow, super exotic. My neighbour saw hot air balloon drifting above 6.30 am this morning, East London. Thanks for sharing the joy!

  7. Sally says:

    Hi Ian, any thoughts on the best place to watch & what time? Thanks

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