Strathaven Hot Air Balloon Festival 2018

We recently took the kids to a yearly Hot Air Balloon Festival at Strathaven's John Hastie Park, as we stay a short drive away and I have always wanted to attend it, but never got round to it.  I didn't anticipate how busy it was going to be, but I am really glad we went. The balloons looked incredible and there were loads of attractions.

The event usually last for 3 days, from Friday to Sunday and the balloon flights depend on the weather. I actually went with my friend on Friday evening and the balloons weren't taking off due to the wind. Thankfully Saturday was sunny, dry and calm. Sunday was cancelled due to bad weather though.

 It was a very busy event, I am not gonna lie. The crowds were huge and it was hard to move around the closer you got to the pitch where the balloons were taking off. There was loads of attractions,  including a funfair, stalls and live music. I think next year we might take a picnic with us and sit on top of the hill pictured above in between the balloons, as it looks like the perfect spot with the best views!

I really wanted to see the Evening Glow as well, as it sounds magical, but the kids were getting a bit tired so we didn't stay for too long. Maybe next year they will have more patience. 

Finding the parking was a bit tricky and we had to leave the car in the middle of a housing estate (a 10 minute walk away from the park, which wasn't bad). We're lucky we actually managed to park at all! I think they will be organising some sort of parking next year. I could see many people struggling to park and it was incredibly busy!

 The festival is free to attend but if you want to show your support, you can buy the Souvenir Programme or pop some cash in the collection buckets. The full town gets involved in the festival and each shop has stunning decorations in the windows, so it's a great opportunity to visit Strathaven with your family. There's plenty of little coffee shops and independent local businesses and it's a lovely little town with lots of character.

I took loads of photos of the hot air balloons, but I can't possibly include them all, so here's a small selection of my favourite snaps.

You can find out more about the Strathaven Hot Air Balloon Festival at

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