Enjoying a Spectacular Flight with Bristol Balloons

Enjoying a Spectacular Flight with Bristol Balloons

Bristol is a fascinating modern city with a rich history located in the south-west of England. With a huge number of things to do, a visit to Bristol will suit visitors of all ages and interests.

Bristol is a fascinating modern city with a rich history located in the south-west of England.

With a huge number of things to do, a visit to Bristol will suit visitors of all ages and interests. One annual event which can be enjoyed by all the family is taking a flight with Bristol Balloons during the annual Bristol Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

Taking place each August, the fiesta is the largest balloon festival in the UK and brings together over one hundred hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes in a fantastic spectacle of multi-coloured fun. The 38th Bristol International Balloon Fiesta takes place on the Ashton Court Estate, a magnificent 850-acre expanse of grass and woodland just two miles from the city centre. While on the estate be sure to visit the two enclosed parks where deer have been kept for over 600 years, and to view the impressive Georgian mansion house. During the festival, there is a great variety of entertainment going on all day, and lots of food stalls offering tasty dishes.

While the festival can be greatly enjoyed from the ground, it’s also the perfect opportunity to take to the air on one of Bristol Balloons' thrilling hot air balloon rides over Bristol. Rides normally take place at 6 am and 6 pm and it’s a once in a lifetime experience to take off with up to 100 other balloons at the same time. The hour-long flight offers incredible views over the city, the Clifton Suspension bridge, the Avon Gorge and other Bristol attractions. As many people want to enjoy this unique experience be sure to book your ticket well in advance to avoid disappointment.

If you can’t make it to the festival you can still enjoy hot air balloon rides in Bristol at other times. Bristol Balloons operates scheduled flights from Ashton court almost every day during the flying season from March to October. Exclusive flights can be enjoyed all year round, although generally the ground is too wet from November to February to operate the large balloons. Flights leave in the early morning or late afternoon to take advantage of the favourable air currents and at either flight time, you can enjoy the particular magic of that hour.

The balloons are operated by experienced pilots and this family-run business prides itself upon its excellent safety record. Flying can be unpredictable but the weather conditions are carefully monitored before take-off and during the flight to ensure a safe and pleasant experience, and your pilot will give a full safety briefing before you board.

Covered footwear is advised, along with long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt. It can get nippy up at the 1000-foot cruising altitude so a jacket, hat and even gloves might be needed. Remember to bring a camera to get some incredible shots but don’t bring too many other valuables with you. Bristol Balloons offers exclusive flights for two, three or four persons and any children must be over 4-feet 6-inches tall and accompanied by an adult. The Champagne classic flights are enjoyed in a large balloon with up to 15 people in a basket with four compartments. On all flights, a complimentary glass of champagne or orange juice is served to celebrate the moment in style.

Bristol Balloons also operate fantastic hot air balloon flights from other locations in the West Country, Bath, Gloucester, Wells and the Usk & Wye Valleys UK, so wherever you are you can enjoy a truly unique birds-eye view of the country. For visitors looking for great accommodation in Bristol, stay in the Future Inn Bristol hotel, conveniently located in the central city beside the Cabot Circus shopping centre.

Image credit: Visit Bristol / Gary-Newman

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