Balloon Meets & Events
If you know of, or have, an event you want listed here, we'd be delighted to hear from you, doesn't have to be just ballooning! If you do attend one of these meets it would be great to get some feedback along with some pictures if that is possible, thanks. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The events and meets listed here are obviously always subject to weather. Some of them are regional club meetings and events and although not 'public events' you will more often than not be able to see and get up close to the balloons, pilots and crews. Where entry fees are posted then that is information for the balloon teams not necessarily an admission charge. If you wish to just go and spectate then you will be made most welcome and entry for spectators at most events is free but please take notice of any instructions that are given to you. They will be for your safety. Flights are generally early morning, shortly after sunrise, and late afternoon. If you want to get involved have a word with the organisers, pilot or crew or check out the British Balloon & Airship Club’s website www.bbac.org where a list of regional clubs can also be found. You will also find details and links to the Regional Clubs on our 'Links' page. Balloon pilots are always on the look out for willing crew!
Balloon Events and Meet
30 March-2 April Easter Meet & Training Weekend. Thornton-in-Craven, Skipton N.Yorks. All welcome to join in this training weekend for anyone who reckons they may need or can help with training. Brave PUTs welcome! Details from www.nwbac.com
30 March - 2 April Black Horse Balloon Club All Fools Meet, Black Horse, Gt Missenden, Bucks. The thirty-somethingth Black Horse Balloon Club Annual Bash. All balloons and balloonists welcome. Camping on site and most importantly, pub on site! Kicks off Friday evening, finishes Monday lunchtime. Will include fly a farmer (voluntary). Entry forms (£15.00), details and event information from the Club website www.bhbc.club and 'click' on All Fools Meet 2018.
13-15 April Bowes and Bells Meet, Broaches Farm, Richmond, Yorks. Fifth time this popular event has been run and as always Northern Hospitality at its best. Accommodation on site, camping, caravanning and all that malarky. Dogs welcome. Details from email@example.com or check their website www.prba.org.uk
22 April Drive it Day. Various locations and routes throughout the country. Old and Rusties take to the roads to celebrate the start of the season. Details from www.fbhvc.co.uk.
23 April St Georges Day Falls on a Monday this year. Get a big sword and celebrate somewhere St George (even vaguely) related. Pub (simple), bridge or Dragon Hill then send us the pics.
28 April BBM&L Inflation Day, Pidley Golf Centre. This is it, the best event of the year where the really old and crusty even get soggy smelly old balloons out and do their best to get them to inflate. Some do, some don’t but you can be assured of a fine day out Grommit. Camping and accommodation on site. Bar and food. Watch their website http://www.bbml.org.uk/
5-7 May NWBAC Kirby Lonsdale Meet Kirby Lonsdale Rugby Club, Kirby Lonsdale, LA6 2DS set fair for flights into the nearby Lake District. We keep missing this one! Must try harder. Details and entry form from www.nwbac.com
11-13 May The Flying Man of Pocklington Festival, Allerthorpe, East Yorkshire. Traditionally this is a non-flying event on account of the weather to celebrate the demise of the Flying Man of Pocklington, Thomas Pelling, who also failed to fly. Based at Allentthorpe Lakeland park that has everything going on. Details from www.prba.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
12-13 May Telford 50 Kite and Flight Festival, Telford Shrops. Believe it or not Telford Town is a mere 50 years old (younger than most balloonists!). Anyway 50 balloons are invited. Entries are through Lindstrand Technologies. Best of luck getting a reply. Contact initially is Lorna Hankey on 01691 671888.
18-20 May Midlands Air Festival, Ragley Hall Warks. First one ever and looking good with all sorts of stuff promised. Loads of free stuff including gas, camping and a party! More details in the February News. Registration is available through the website at http://midlandsairfestival.com/balloon-registration/ or contact email@example.com.
19 May BBAC Instructor Day Wellesbourne Airfield. Well worth attending whether you are an instructor, budding instructor or just helping train future balloon pilots. Instructor training days are open to all pilots who give instruction not just for Instructors. Please book a place through BBAC Shop. First 25 places FOC. https://www.bbac.org/shop/Item/p_idays_1803 or contact Dave Court at firstname.lastname@example.org.
20 May Chiltern Hills Vintage Rally Weedon Park, nr. Aylesbury HP22 4NN. Rusty stuff everywhere. Very laid back friendly event. Huge turnout, dog friendly (fun dog show). We’ll probably take a bike this year but who knows? Details through the website at www.chilternhillsrally.org.uk/
25-28 May Bath Balloon Fiesta. Bath itself. If you want to consume history and have a fine old time this is the place to do it. Dress as a Roman optional. Details to follow.
1-3 June Little & Large Solo Meet Lakeside Lodge Golf centre, Pidley, Cambs. Delightful number where you can fly anything up to 80,000cu ft providing you do it on your own. The very social unsociable meet. On site grub, bar, accommodation or camping available. Facebook page @littleandlargesolomeet. Not a clue how you contact that.
3 June Lord Mayor’s Regatta, London. Flying from the centre of London (ish). Standby dates are June 3rd, 10th, 17th and July 1st at the moment. For full details go to their webbly site http://www.balloonregatta.com/
8-10 June Henge Hoppers Meet, Camp Hill Estate, Kirklington, N. Yorks. Camping, glamping, hobbit pod, teepee or yurts. Forget the ballooning just enjoy the site! Seriously we should do this meet and fly over the nearby henges. “What henges?” I hear you ask? Only the biggest in Britain. Details from those lovely PRBA folk via www.prba.org.uk or for more info email email@example.com.
15-17 June Bedale Balloon Meet Bedale, North Yorkshire. The meet with everything like steam railway, brewery, do-it-yourself barbie, onsite camping and loads to do. Invitation meet. Camping as usual on site for £10 (spotters welcome) but its still a tenner. Details from Richard Bowater firstname.lastname@example.org.
7-8 July Northampton Town Festival, Northampton Racecourse, Northampton. From the old site of the original Northampton balloon Fiesta with free on-site camping, gas, meals and farmers’ gifts provided. Just like the old days. All welcome. Contact john Tyrell email@example.com
8-10 June Hengehoppers Meet Camp Hill Estate, Kirklington, N Yorks. Centred on a truly exciting campsite where they have yurts and teepees and organised by those Pennine fellows. One of the ones we always try to get to and don’t for some reason or other! Details from www.prba.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
16-17 June Brocklesby Park Country Fair, Brocklesby, Lincolnshire. Free everything, camping, entry and gas in return for a Nightglow. Balloons must be radio equipped as its close to Humberside Airport. Details from Terry Marsden 07778 843540.
6-8 July White Horse Meet Thirsk Racecourse. 20th year of this great event with the White Horse Trophy up for grabs for the pilot that lands closest to the eye of the White Horse of Kilburn. Well-drained campsite and launchsite. Details from www.prba.org.uk or email email@example.com
19-22 July Silverstone Classic Balloon Meet 2018, Silverstone Circuit, Northants. If you like old cars rushing round, good music, great camping, lovely flying and generally a fine old time this is the one. Check out Branded Sky http://www.brandedsky.com/silverstoneclassicballoonmeet.html for all the details. Highly Recommended.
21-22 July Enfield Balloon Festival, Town Park, London Borough of Enfield. Another classic meet. All welcome. The most unlikely place to hold a balloon meet but views of London guaranteed! Free gas, meals and farmers’ gifts provided. Contact john Tyrell firstname.lastname@example.org
22 July-05 August Sagrantino Cup 2017, Todi, Umbria, Italy. This is to be held in the wine producing area and what catches your eye is that every balloon team will get 20 bottles of wine! Very relaxed and hugely popular meet with Free gas, breakfast and evening buffet. Did we mention no entry fees? Full details and entry form from www.sagrantinocup.it
9-12 August Bristol Balloon Fiesta Ashton Court, Bristol. UK mega-meet with lots of balloons, Night Glows, Press launches and traffic jams. Entry free for the public. They have a Facebook page I believe to keep you up to date. For full details and programme check the website www.bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk
11-12 & 12-13 August (nights of) Perseid Meteor Shower New moon sets before the showers start so should be brill/fab. 12-13 possibly best after eleven o’clock. Out of the constellation Perseus which is near enough north-east.
10-12 August Driffield Steam & Vintage Rally Driffield, East Yorkshire. Amazing show with traction engines, steam fairground rides and rusty stuff everywhere. Limited to six teams of four people. Free camping and entry. Details from www.prba.org.uk or email email@example.com.
17-19 August Northampton Balloon Festival, Billing Aquadrome, Northampton. Onsite camping, gas, meals and farmers’ gifts provided. Busy meet public-wise and night fishing afterwards! Contact Wendy Rousell for entry form and further information firstname.lastname@example.org
22-25 August Barneveld Balloon Fiesta, Schaffelaar Castle, Barneveld, Netherlands. Typical Dutch hospitality. Well attended meet with Night Glows and Laser Shows. Details from the website www.ballonfiestabarneveld.nl or for further details contact Monique Hoogeslag email@example.com
24-26 August Oswestry Balloon Carnival, Oswestry. Classic relaxed meet organised (if you like) through Lindstrand Technologies in Oswestry. Contact details in the first inst is Lorna Hankey 01691 671888, or this might work https://www.balloonevents.info/info/contact-organizer?idevent=663
25-26 August Strathaven Balloon Festival, John Hastie Park, Strathaven Sunny Scotland. Advertised as the ‘only balloon meet in Scotland’. It may well be. Contact details at https://www.facebook.com/strathavenbf
24-27 August Lake District Flyout. Black Beth Farm, Ulverston. Doesn’t get better than this for scenery. Gorra really try and get to this. Contact and details through the North West Balloon & Airship Club http://www.nwbac.com/
31 August-2 September Chatsworth Balloon Meet, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.
Just a part of the lovely Chatsworth Show. Invite meet. Details to follow.
31 August-2 September - 16th Bad Durrheimer Balloon Festival Bad Durrheimer, Germany. Great event Pilots and Crews of Hot Air Balloons, Hot Airships plus Model Balloons all made very welcome. Maximum 40 Balloons. Details on the website http://ballonfestival.tumblr.com/ or email Richard Bolling firstname.lastname@example.org
7-9 September Grass Roots Balloon Meet, Bidford Gliding & Flying Club Warks. New venue great meet. Details to follow on http://grassrootsballooning.org.uk/
8 September Wisborough Green Balloon Festival. Right posh Rhododendron land. If you really can’t be arsed then this is the only balloon meet you need to go to. All for a good cause. Details from someone later. Just turn up and fly. All welcome and a great pub on the launchsite.
13-16 September The Exclusive Cup - Sky Safari, Longleat, Warminster. Fantastic venue for this very popular relaxed fun meet in a nice flying area. Great package, limited to 50 balloons. Spectacular Night Glows. Huge prizes last year including a car! Full details and entry form from www.exclusivecup.com.
15-16 September Kop Hill Climb Kop Hill, Princes Risborough, Bucks. Brilliant event featuring some serious and light-hearted racing. Always well organised and you are likely to see quite a few Old & Rusty Balloonists with their cars being idiots. Details and entry forms from www.kophillclimb.org.uk/entrants.html
21-23 September Naburn Lock ‘Splash & Dash’ Meet, Naburn Lock, York. Held on Naburn Lock Caravan Park this is the meet with the Diver’s Helmet for the best Splash & Dash up for grabs. Obviously camping on site available! For details go to www.prba.org.uk or email email@example.com.
28-30 September York Balloon Fiesta, Knavesmire Racecourse York. Missed this last year must try harder this. Great venue great flying and very interesting places to visit including the Railway Museum, Yorvik and York Museum (best in the world). Details from firstname.lastname@example.org.
29-30 September Cotswold Airport Revival Weekend. Don’t know anything about this new meet but they have a really good café and the area is great for flying in also there are old and really broken aeroplanes including Jumbos scattered about. Check out the website at http://www.cotswoldairport.com/events/286
30 September Distinguished Gentlemans Ride Various venues throughout the world. Get togged up proper and blat round a city on a classic type bike. All in aid of Prostate Cancer and Men’s Mental Health, Movember Foundation. We’ll be riding round Oxford. Details from https://www.gentlemansride.com/
1-30 October Great British Long Jump. Be inspired. Do something different. Competition to fly the furthest within the British Isles. Everyone welcome. Entry fee £50.00 Entry form from Old and Rusty Robin Batchelor via the website www.thelongjump.com. If you need persuading that this is truly something you should do read some of the previous reports.
5-7 October One Man Meet Kingham, Chipping Norton Oxon. Now confirmed. Bonkers, backwards, hopping and bopping nutters. Solo flying upto 60,000cu.ft. (Duo chairs allowed). Friday Night drinkies and meal. Only for those living in a parallel universe. Details and entry form from Wendy Rousell. Email her at email@example.com.
5-7 October Autumn Gold Meet, Thornton-le-Dale, North Yorks. Lovely setting for a great weekend of ballooning. Really nice camping facilities or onsite camping pods and cottages available. Following week is nearby Pickering’s ‘Wartime Weekend’. Details from www.prba.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
6-14 October Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Albuquerque, New Mexico USA. What’s to say? Biggest, hugest, loudest complete with zebras and a naughty step. Details through their website www.balloonfiesta.com
21 October Trafalgar Day Go somewhere Nelson-like for the Day, wear an eye patch, fire a cannon, drink Rum and get rowed ashore. Might do the Manor Waste this year. Shame its a Sunday.
16-18 November Humber Bridge Meet, Linley Hill Airfield. Lovely long established bash this organised (if you can call it that) by the NWB&Ac. Details on the website at http://www.nwbac.com/
Worldwide list with links at http://www.balloonevents.org/
Free events guide: http://www.free-events.co.uk/