Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta 2024: a festival of hot air balloons will float over London in July

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a hot air balloon! This July, London’s skies will be filled with glorious flying balloons as the Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta returns to the capital for the first time since 2019.

There’s a catch though: the regatta can only take place if the weather is good enough. Fingers crossed July is a sunny one. 

Organisers have earmarked July 7, 21 and 28 as standby dates for the mass lift-off of around 50 balloons. They will take to the skies over central London on the first date the weather is suitable.

The hot air balloon regatta was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it had to be called off because of bad weather in 2022 and 2023. It’s safe to say the balloons are itching to be taken out of retirement and sent into London’s skies.

What’s all this for, you might be wondering? The hot air balloon extravaganza is to raise awareness about the Lord Mayor’s Appeal – a charity initiative that has raised more than £250,000 since 2015. 

If all goes according to plan, this year the balloons soar past landmarks including Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. It’s sure to be a sight to behold. 

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