Bristol Balloon Fiesta Flights: Everything You Need to Know

Every year, the skies above Bristol burst into colour as 100 beautiful hot air balloons dance in the wind – welcome to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta! With a strong connection to ballooning, the city celebrates its heritage over three fantastic days full of music, exhibitions, good food, and, of course, many balloons. As the local Bristol and Bath Hot Air Balloon provider, we look forward to this event every year and invite you to join us on this once-in-a-lifetime experience! 

Watch how the hot air balloons lift off with the rising or setting of the sun or witness the views from above as you gently float past the city’s iconic skyline and surrounding green hills. Here’s everything you need to know about joining the Bristol Balloon Fiesta.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

On the weekend of August 9th - 11th, the lush hills on the outskirts of Bristol transform into a stage where over 100 hot air balloons take flight. In the mornings and evenings (approx. 6 AM and 6 PM), the skies slowly become a canvas, with balloons of every colour painting a vibrant picture. 

With Bristol marking the birthplace of ballooning in Europe, this incredible event has existed for more than four decades, and we’re proud to be a part of it! Every year is another spectacle, with a packed schedule of balloon rides and lots of post-flight celebrations.

Tip: The event is free. However, you also have the option to watch the balloons take flight from a comfortable, paid sky lounge, complete with wi-fi, private toilets, and a bar. 

How to Fly at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Flying out of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, fully surrounded by other colourful hot air balloons as they take over the skies above Bristol. As the most local and reputable company in Bristol and Bath, we invite you to join us on this incredible annual experience! Witness how the balloon takes shape before climbing into its basket. Then, feel how effortlessly the balloon lifts up just as the sun rises above the horizon.

During the 2024 Bristol Balloon Fiesta, we offer both exclusive and shared fiesta balloon flights.

Prices: Our exclusive flights (for 2 people) start at 1000 GBP. Shared flights are 305 GBP per person. You can take a look at all flight options here

Like the others, we’ll depart from Ashton Court, the event’s location, soaring gently through the sky. Once we’re higher in the air, soak up the beautiful views of Bristol’s skyline and lush surroundings. 

Booking: Once you’ve booked your flight, leave it with us, and we’ll get back to you before the fiesta with all the necessary information. We can’t wait to have you on board! 

> Book your Bristol Balloon Fiesta flights 

The Experience 

As you soar through the skies, your pilot will point out views of interest and be available if you have any questions. Despite occasional sounds from the burner, the flight remains peaceful, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in the experience. 

Watch from above as the busy crowds of the event ground become microscopic; it really feels like it’s just you, the clouds, and the other balloons soaring through the sky. Whether you fly in the morning or evening, both experiences are magical. Note: Bristol Balloon Fiesta flights last approximately 1 hour. However, the whole experience can last up to 4 hours, including time for drinks and travel. 

Read more: A Complete Guide to Hot Air Ballooning

Ballooning Weather

Ballooning is weather-dependent, specifically if there are high winds. As forecasts can change, and the conditions around Ashton Court Estate are known to be relatively localised, the decision to fly is decided by Bristol Balloon Fiesta just before the scheduled take-off.

If we get the ‘good-to-go’ sign from the Fiesta, you’ll have the chance to witness a mass ascent, where more than 100 balloons will take off in the same area, all with the beautiful city of Bristol in the background.

T&Cs: Bristol Balloon Fiesta Flights are non-refundable and cannot be used at the next Bristol Balloon Fiesta. If your 2024 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta Flight is cancelled, your voucher for an Exclusive or Shared Balloon Ride will be valid for two years.

Other Things to Do at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta

During the day, right after the morning ascent has taken place, a programme of entertainment, traders, exhibitions, delicious food venues, and activities opens up to visitors, even when the weather doesn’t allow you to take flight.

From live music to many fun rides and small food trucks, there’s plenty to soak up. Grab some delicious local food and find a nice spot on the grass, watching as the balloons are assembled and eventually take to the sky. 

On Friday and Saturday, you can even stay beyond nightfall and experience the event’s infamous Night Glows. Just after dark, dozens of hot air balloons inflate, using their burners to glow and providing a stunning backdrop to the live music on offer. It’s time to party!

Tip: In 2024, the Fiesta also hosts the British National Hot Air Balloon Championships, where 15 teams compete in the air above Bristol. During the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, you might catch a glimpse of this race as the competing teams fly over the site, briefly dropping to the ground and then taking off again. 

How to Get to Bristol 

By car: Ashton Court lies southwest of Bristol’s city centre. To get there by car, you’ll find routes leading to the Fiesta’s car park, which are noted on your ticket. Please note: You must purchase a Car Park Ticket on the event’s website. 

Alternatively, you can arrange a taxi to drop you off at the designated drop-off/pick-up point, which is only a short walk from the event. 

By shuttle bus: The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta has a shuttle bus that links both Bristol Temple Meads and the City Centre to the event grounds.

By bicycle or on foot: If you’d rather walk or cycle, you can follow the ‘Festival Way’, a great, traffic-free path that connects the city to Ashton Court Estate.

>> Book your Bristol Balloon Fiesta Flights

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