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Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Listed under Festivals in Bristol, United Kingdom.

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Photo by tom4-flight
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Once a year in August (usually the first or second weekend) one of Europe's largest balloon fiestas takes place in Ashton Court near Bristol, England.

2008 will see the 30th Fiesta. Over the years it has grown from a small informal event for balloonists to a massive public festival featuring mass balloon launches, pop festivals and arena acts.

For balloonists its an opportunity to catch up with old friends and for the public the morning and evening mass balloon launches, often including special shapes, are a fantastic spectacle.

The Fiesta now runs over several days from Thursday to Sunday and also includes two ballooning night glows.

Our two tips are:

1) Pick a morning with light westerly winds and either go to Ashton Court or find some higher ground near Clifton or Bedminster Downs and enjoy the mass balloon launches.

2) Pick a warm dry evening and go and watch a night balloon glow set to music and followed by fireworks.

Entry to the Fiesta is usually free, however car parking is not and also there are often long traffic delays. Walk there if you can.

Written by  tom4-flight.

Other expert and press reviews

“International Balloon Fiesta, Bristol”

By Linsey McNeill for The Observer, First published, Sunday July 20, 2008 Always fun and slightly wacky, this festival promises to be bigger and better for its 30th anniversary year. It takes place over the weekend of 7-10 August at Ashton Court, and w… Read more...

Written by press. Full Article on 'The Guardian' website

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

camp on site or near by, bristol balloon featival

Please can you tell me how or where I can camp near the bristol balloon featival, Which is in walking disdent, Thank you,

1 Reply

There's usually a campsite just next to the main balloon take off field. Probably best to check their website for this years details but there has been one there in previous years.

Bristol Ballooning

I would like to add to one of the posts I came across on world reviewer about the hot air ballooning in Bristol. Me and my family where staying Bristol for a weeks break and found out that there was huge hot air balloon event taking place. This turned out to be a great day out for the kids and the adults. It was an added extra to a great week staying in Brighton and would think twice about going back. great experience and it runs every year so I hope some one else benefits from this post.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

This is one of the Europe’s largest ballooning events and is a good way to be introduced to ballooning. There are take off times in the early morning and in the evening and many people involved in the fiesta camp on site so there is a good chance of seeing some spectacular launches.

The field is located in a dip, on one side are green hills and on the other the ocean lays out behind Bristol so if you’re lucky enough to get up in one of the fiesta balloons you can be sure of a scenic trip in any direction. It is a different experience to go up in a balloon launch than if you’re a lone balloon, and although the view is often partly obscured by other balloonists it is equally lovely to see the balloons all floating gracefully.

This is a good experience whether in the air or on the ground and the organisers always make an effort to have other entertainment on hand to keep everyone interested while they wait for conditions to be just right for take off. There’s a fair ground atmosphere.

Bring your sweater and your patience, take offs don't always happen to schedule, and enjoy a relaxing day out that your kids will probably like too.

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