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Regatta of hot air balloons enthral Londoners on a summer Sunday

On a recent Sunday in London, many residents were fortunate to catch the impressive sight of around 50 hot air balloons in stately and elegant progress through the skies above the city in the early morning sunshine. The balloons launched at dawn from Shoreditch Park, and were soon making their way over South East London, then heading out over the Thames. They created a splendid impression in particular on one Twitter user who posted:
"I was on Waterloo Bridge overlooking the city. A truly magical sight."
Another tweeter, Chris Tucker, wrote:
"London on a sunny summer's Sunday morning! Hot air balloons in full flight!"
The hot air balloon flights came to an end in Kent near Sevenoaks and Orpington, thereby covering a good stretch of South East England. The regatta, the first of its kind in over 20 years, was organised to raise money for, and raise the profile of, the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. The charity’s current two main beneficiaries are Scope and Mencap. The Lord Mayor’s Appeal website described the event as: “A glorious celebration of London, and an important contribution to its communities through the Lord Mayor’s Appeal – which flight participants raised over £10,000 for in total.” According to Exclusive Ballooning, which alongside the charity played a pivotal role in organising this event, safety and compliance with flight regulations was a top priority. The marketing company stresses that NATS and the Civil Aviation Authority were consulted and appropriate permissions were granted prior to the event.
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