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Elevate Your Adventure: Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2024 Takes Off

bristol balloons
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Get ready to witness the sky come alive with a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours and whimsical shapes! The Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2024 is just around the corner, promising a weekend of exhilarating balloon-filled fun.

As one of the largest balloon festivals in Europe, this annual event held in Bristol never fails to captivate both locals and visitors alike. And this year, it celebrates its 46th event!

So, grab your camera, put on your adventurer’s hat, and head to Bristol for a fiesta like no other!

What is the Bristol Balloon Fiesta?

a group of hot air balloons
The Bristol Balloon Fiesta is an annual meeting and extravaganza of brilliant balloons flying high in the sky. Did you know this hot air balloon event has a rich history dating back to 1979?

It originally started out as a small gathering of local balloon enthusiasts, but has since evolved into a grand event attracting balloonists from all around the world! Today, it proudly holds the title of Europe’s biggest ballooning festival, enchanting spectators with its awe-inspiring displays.

Pretty impressive right?

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Where is the Bristol Balloon Fiesta?

character hot air balloons
You’ll find this fantastic fiesta in Bristol City at Ashton Court!
Shape Location Get directions

Ashton Court Estate,
Long Ashton,
Bristol
BS41 9JN

Opening Times

9th - 11th August 2024
06:00 - late

Pricing

Free and unticketed, but you will need a parking ticket

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What Can I Expect At The Bristol Balloon Fiesta Experience?

bristol balloon festival
Prepare to have your breath taken away as you witness the magnificent balloon mass ascent. Picture this: a sky dotted with hundreds of colourful balloons of all shapes and sizes gracefully rising into the air. The Bristol Balloon Fiesta features multiple mass ascents throughout the event, showcasing the sheer beauty and skill of balloon pilots as they navigate their craft. This is undoubtedly the festival’s most iconic and captivating moment, so make sure you have your camera at the ready!

It’s also known as Europe’s largest free annual hot air balloon festival – so it’s truly a sight to behold. Especially when you witness over 100 hot air balloons take to the sky over the four-day event. These Bristol balloons are witnessed by over 500,000 spectators – talk about a crowd!

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night glow hot air balloon

A Day in a Nutshell

The four-day event starts off with a morning ascent, where around 6am the balloon experience begins with a variety of colourful and special shape balloons reaching for the sky as the sunset is on the horizon. The morning mass ascension is a magical spectacle that is clearly the best way to start any day! Grab some food and sit back on a deck chair as you crane your head upwards as the morning lift begins.

After an afternoon of balloon tethering, the evening falls and around 6pm another balloon experience will simply ‘wow’ you. Gather around the ballooning arena as the amazing balloonists take to the skies. With their baskets rigged, burners tested and envelopes filled with air – they’re nearly ready! With a big WHOOSH as the heat inflates the balloon, you’ll ogle at the skies as they soar high. There’s nothing like an evening ascent as the sky becomes a little more hazed with the setting sun.

When the sun sets, the Bristol Balloon Fiesta transforms into a magical wonderland. The night glows are a must-see spectacle that combines the grace of ballooning with a mesmerizing display of light. Around 25 balloons are inflated on the ground and their burners illuminate them from within, creating a breathtaking glow against the night sky. It’s a sight that will leave you in awe, so make sure to plan your visit accordingly to catch this enchanting display. Only available on Thursday and Saturday nights.

This annual balloon festival is simply the place to be. Especially if you’re on the hunt for magical memories filled with precious times with the family.

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Family Fun and Entertainment

ferris wheel behind hot air balloon
The Bristol Balloon Fiesta is not just about hot air balloons though! It’s a full-fledged family event packed with entertainment and activities for everyone to enjoy! With music performances on music stages, fun children’s entertainment, a bandstand with live music and plenty of ballooning activities!

There’s truly something for everyone, from fairground rides like helter skelters and Ferris wheels, to an array of food stalls! The festival truly offers a memorable ballooning experience for families and friends to enjoy together.

Whether you’re joining for the morning or evening balloons – there’s plenty of entertainment to keep you busy!

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Hot Air Balloon Lifts & Rides

hot air balloons
If you’ve ever dreamt of floating through the sky in a hot air balloon, the Bristol Balloon Fiesta can make that dream come true. During the festival, you can book a hot air balloon ride and experience the breathtaking views of Bristol and its surroundings from the air. Soar high above the city, drifting with the wind, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Be sure to book your ride and balloon flight tickets in advance as spots fill up quickly! From Virgin Balloons and Fly Navy to Sky High and First Flight – all brilliant balloon crews and companies.

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The Nationals

bristol balloon fiesta
Roll up, roll up! This year, the Fiesta will be hosting the British National Hot Air Balloon Championships!

You’ll get to witness 15 teams compete in air space right over Bristol! The competition flights are due to take place twice a day from the 6th August until 11th August. They’ll have a series of tasks to complete to score some points!

During the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, every morning, the competing teams will fly over the event, float down low, drop a marker into the main arena and fly off again! You’ll get to witness, firsthand, these incredible skills from experienced pilots. It’s not one to miss!

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Tips and Tricks for the Fiesta

snow white hot air balloon
To make the most of your Bristol Balloon Fiesta experience, here are some handy tips:

  • Arrive early to secure a good viewing spot in advance for the mass ascents during the fiesta’s busiest times. Make the most of it and experience the morning launch and the night glows!
  • Check the weather forecast beforehand, as balloon flights are weather-dependent.
  • Bring a picnic blanket or folding chairs for comfortable seating during the events.
  • Bring sunscreen and plenty of water in case of hot weather
  • Don’t forget to bring a camera and extra batteries or charging cables.
  • Consider using public transportation or carpooling as parking can be limited.

FAQs

Do I need to purchase tickets for Bristol Balloon Fiesta?

Nope! It’s FREE and unticketed. Although, if you’re travelling by car, you’ll need to book a ticket.

Early release £16.00 + booking fee

2nd release £22.50 + booking fee

Final release £27.00 + booking fee

Can I visit via public transport?

Yes, of course! There’s a shuttle bus service that links Bristol Temple Meads and the City Centre to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta. More details on the shuttle buses will be released in due course!

You can also travel by train, with the closest station being Bristol Temple Meads.

Can I camp at the Fiesta?

Unfortunately, you can’t this year. But you can find campsites near Ashton Court.

Can I bring my dog?

Of course. But due to the nature of the event and the crowds, please keep them on leads and pick up any dog litter.

What is the best weather for ballooning?

Generally, the best weather includes low winds and other specific weather requirements. Please keep up to date on their website or through social media on whether the weather conditions are optimal for balloon flying!

The Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2024 at Ashton Court, promises an unforgettable weekend filled with colourful skies, enchanting night glows, and a plethora of family fun. Whether you’re a fan of hot air balloons or simply seeking a unique and mesmerizing experience, this festival has something for everyone. So, mark your calendars, and get ready to witness the magic of hot air balloons soaring high.

Looking for more cool things to visit? Why not the BRICKLIVE tour? Check out the new attractions opening up this summer, and visit the new World of Jumanji or the LEGO Ferrari Build and Race Experience!

If you’re in need of inspiration for your next day out, head to any of these pages for the best content!

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