One of those deeply frustrating moments where I know that something is apparently about to happen, but can’t find out anything more than “it is happening”.

It would seem that there will be a flotilla of hot air balloons flying over London very early on Sunday morning.

An air traffic alert that has only just been issued reads:

CROSS-LONDON BALLOON FLIGHT. UP TO 50 HOT AIR BALLOONS WILL LAUNCH FM 513204N 0000507W (SHOREDITCH PARK, E LONDON). OPS CTC, TEL 07753 389365 / 07773 300372. BALLOONS MAY BE FOUND UP TO 15NM DOWNWIND OF LAUNCH SITE. PILOTS ARE REQUESTED TO EXER CTN IN THE VCY. FLT WI CONTROLLED AIRSPACE WILL BE SUBJ APPROVAL FM THE APPROPRIATE ATC UNIT. 15-05-0695/AS 5.

Which in plain English, puts the launch site at the Shoreditch Adventure Park, which isn’t far from Hoxton overground station. Quite which direction they fly off in will be down to the wind direction, and met office predictions suggests the balloons will be heading over East London.

Over Southwark looking toward Canary Wharf - Photo by Luke Jerram (click for more photos)

Over Southwark looking toward Canary Wharf – Photo by Luke Jerram (click for more photos)

The alert is for the balloons to be in flight between 03:15 GMT (04:15 BST) to 07:00 GMT (08:00 BST) on Sunday morning (7th June).

Other than that, I know nothing else about it — research has been surprisingly fruitless for what seems to be quite a large event.

Update — Appears to be part of the Lord Mayor’s charity – www.balloonsoverlondon.com and does involve a huge fleet of hot air balloons.

But if you fancy it, in theory, lots of hot air balloons, over Shoreditch, early sunrise. Could be awesome.

UKB_LM_0006

UPDATE 2Photos taken this morning at the take-off

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30 comments on “Flotilla of hot air balloons over London on Sunday
  1. Graham Tanner says:

    Ian, based on weather & wind patterns for 3am tomorrow morning, they will head pretty much due east towards Southend.

    And … a related question … do you remember the un-manned hot-air balloon that escaped from its tethers and drifted south-north over London in the early 80s.

    • Ian b says:

      Just seen them float overhead 30 mins sho in bromley. Amazing sight.

    • Stephanie Williams says:

      One of them landed in our road in Sevenoaks at about 7am. It was a rather rude awakening as it was approximately 20 ft above our house. It sounded like a flame thrower in my son’s bedroom!

    • Juno says:

      I remember one – I went up in it when it was tethered about where the mayor’s office is now; great view over the Tower and Tower Bridge and upriver, slightly less so downriver, though Canary Wharf was in the background. But it blew away and landed in a garden in Peckham. That was a millennium thing in 1999, though, so the one you’re thinking of must have been much earlier.

    • ianvisits says:

      Yeup – that looks like it.

      Although I think it must have been planned for a few years ago originally, as they have the old Lord Mayor on their website.

      Thanks!

  2. George G says:

    I’m keeping an eye of there for many news, would be great if they are doing a nighttime burn, seeing that is London.

  3. marc says:

    It’s on my friend is taking is balloon. 5am take off.
    “exclusive balloons” is organising it.

  4. Dee says:

    Had the good fortune of spotting these in Bow at 5.35am this morning. A truly beautiful sight!

  5. Pascale says:

    I woke this morning with the complete surprise of seeing a fleet of balloons from my window. Looks like they were flying over towards Bromley. I’m by crystal palace. Was quite spectacular to see.

  6. Deborah dawson says:

    Opened my curtains at 06.15 and saw about 8 of them over Bromley.

  7. Anna callinan says:

    I saw them over lewisham/hither green amazing view was very pleased & delighted to see them.

  8. Steve says:

    Just seen them all over my house Bromley wicked

  9. Niki says:

    Wow. Passed over Bromley. Stunning.

  10. Steve says:

    There was about 20 +. I’ve got some good pics

  11. Steve says:

    Hi niki what a wicked way th wake up a. Coffee fag and hot air balloons lol

  12. Beverley says:

    What an amazing sight! Watching the the fleet of balloons over Whitechapel this morning.

  13. steve says:

    heard gas blowing, looked out of window, over 20 ballons over orpington. Fantastic sight

  14. jackie says:

    Lovely sight ,they flew over orpington/chelsfield about 6’15 this morn

  15. Nick says:

    Fantastic! Over green st green at 6.20

  16. Barry says:

    Got woken up by them in green st green, orpington, 5 landed in our park glentrammon park and they are on our estate loading them all up !

  17. freda says:

    I was rudely awaken at 6am this morning by my husband dragged to the garden to see a spectacular sight of hot air balloons freda catford

  18. Ian Wylie says:

    Thanks yet again for the tip, Ian. If I hadn’t seen your info I would not have been standing on Waterloo Bridge with a camera from 4:30am today. My photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ianwylie/sets/72157651827127904

    • Ian Sharpe says:

      I was the pilot of the lead balloon and I am trying to contact you about one of your photos – I have sent you a message via Facebook, I hope you can find it in your ‘other’ message folder.

  19. Alison Freethy says:

    I saw The Fortnum & Mason’s balloon and a few others over our field in Halstead this morning around 7.00 am, what a lovely surprise it was.

  20. Vera Mills says:

    I saw these balloons on my way home from work at 5.41am at Bellingham Catford it was a beautiful sight

  21. Jon says:

    First saw them as they rose over the rooftops of East London as I drove up Brick lane at 5:15am, saw them again about 30 minutes later as I headed down the Old Kent Road. Much to my surprise they also went over the Depot where I work in New Cross Gate. A truly spectacular sight

  22. Mike Woodcock says:

    I was flying the Fortnum & Mason balloon, we took off at 5:10am flew for almost exactly 3 hours and landed in Hildenborough. I have been lucky enough to flew a number of amazing flights and locations however this was one of the best.

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