Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, Bristol, BS41 9JN

Add Bristol International Balloon Fiesta to your Itinerary

Fiesta Fortnight CREDIT Paul Box

About

Europe's biggest hot air balloon event

The spectacular free event will once again feature over 100 hot air balloons taking off at dawn and dusk as well as the famous Night Glows, when the balloons light up the sky in time to a soundtrack provided by BBC Radio Bristol. 

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is Europe's largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, attracting over 130 hot air balloons from across the globe. It's a sight that can only be seen in Bristol.

Alongside the fantastic sight of hot air balloons filling the skies, visitors can also expect entertainment for all the family, throughout the day including aerial displays, children’s activities and entertainment, fairground rides, delicious food stalls and bars, balloon tethering and demonstrations, model aircraft displays and a local music stage.

 

When and where?

Held over four days at Ashton Court Estate, the event is completely free with charges made for parking on the event site. 

> Read our mini guide to the Fiesta

Throughout the event you can expect to see hot air balloons tethering throughout the afternoon (weather-permitting) and mass ascents in the early morning and early evenings. The grounds of Ashton Court are packed with family activities, live music, traders, five public bars and street food, all positioned around a huge launch field.

The fiesta begins on Thursday at midday with hot air balloons tethered throughout the afternoon and in the evening the first mass ascent takes place around 6pm. The hugely-popular Night Glow takes place around 9pm.

On day two on Friday there will be two hot air balloon lifts (approximately 6am and 6pm) and an afternoon of balloon tethering. Family Fiesta Friday touch down in Ashton Court, which will boast a jam-packed schedule of family-fun and on the ground entertainment for those both young and young at heart. Between the 6am morning ascent and 6pm evening ascent, crowds can expect a basket full of activities to keep them entertained. 

Day three is Saturday and there will be more mass hot air balloon lifts (approximately 6am and 6pm) and the Night Glow, where 20 balloons light up in time to a specially created playlist from BBC Radio Bristol, takes place around 9pm.

The fiesta's final day on Sunday is another day of mass balloon lifts (approximately 6am and 6pm) and fun in the arena.

Ballooning is very weather and wind dependent so the decision to fly is left to the last minute when the flying committee announce with a smoke cannon whether it is safe for pilots to take to the skies. This jeopardy is a big part of ballooning and adds to the magic when there are perfect conditions to fly.

Water refills

There will be various ‘refill stations’ located around the Fiesta site at Ashton Court, allowing people to refill water bottles, with the aim of reducing plastic waste. Additionally, complimentary refillable sports bottles will be available from the refill stations to anyone that forgets their bottles to use over the weekend.

Book a hot air balloon trip

Fly up, up and away in your beautiful hot air balloon in Bristol. Whether you choose to fly at the Balloon Fiesta or another time, Bristol's ballooning companies run flights throughout the season. Choose from dawn flights or sunset flights to watch the sun rise or set in glorious colour.

Entertainment

The team at Bristol-based record label, Jelli Records will be programming this year’s Bandstand with a symphony of live music, and kids entertainers extraordinaires, Party Peeps will be bringing non-stop shenanigans to the children’s Brizzle Kicks area… including their much loved Foam Party! Visitors of all ages will also get the chance to meet the flight teams in the main arena, step inside an inflated balloon and stand in a balloon basket. More Fiesta-favourites will also be on hand, including model planes, inflation races where teams race against each other to inflate their balloons, model balloons, and the REME Parachute Display Team who will be wowing crowds with their daredevil stunts. 

Balloon enthusiasts from Bristol and beyond will have spotted some special shapes announced already, with more to come. Making a special appearance and ones to look out for this year include Thomas the Tank Engine, The Piggy Bank, Choc Dips and Snow White.

Sky Lounge

This private enclosure provides the perfect space to enjoy an early morning ascent away from the crowds, with access to a private bar, free pastry and toilets. The Sky Lounge features perfect picnicking and garden seating areas, as well as access to Wi-Fi and a small area with children’s activities.  All Sky Lounge tickets are valid for a specified slot, even in cases where the balloons do not fly. Book your slot here

How to get to the Balloon Fiesta

By the Fiesta Shuttle Bus

This year's 45th annual fiesta will see the return of the Fiesta Shuttle Bus - allowing visitors to make their way to Ashton Court Estate with ease. Departing at frequent intervals from Bristol Temple Meads and the Bristol Bus and Coach Station on each day of the fiesta, an adult ticket will cost £5 and a Group Day Ticket (for up to five people) will cost £15 with advance tickets now on sale on the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta website.

By Public Bus

Some of Bristol's regular buses can take you from the city centre to within walking distance of the event at Ashton Court. Some services will be diverted due to road closures around the event. Find out more

By Train

The closest train station to the Fiesta is Bristol Temple Meads, served by our travel partner GWR. For further information on travelling to Bristol Temple Meads with GWR visit their website

By Bicycle

Those wishing to cycle can take ‘Festival Way’ a traffic-free path connecting the city to Ashton Court Estate and beyond. Starting in Bristol, you can use the National Cycling Route 33 which takes you on a traffic free path from Queen Square out of the city via Cumberland Road. Crossing the River Avon you join Kennel Lodge Road as you enter Ashton Court. There is bicycle parking available onsite by the Mansion House and by the fallow deer park.

On Foot

For those on foot, the main route into the Fiesta site is via Festival Way as detailed above for cyclists, or via the Clifton Suspensions Bridge. Please note that the Clifton Suspension Bridge is closed during the evening, so you will need to walk via Festival Way for the nightglows. 

By Car

Ashton Court is situated to the south-west of Bristol city centre. Directions to the car parks are signposted from all routes into the fiesta and can be found on your print at home ticket. All Car Park tickets must be purchased in advance and are single entry only. Tickets are non-refundable even in cases where the balloons do not fly. You can purchase car parking tickets here.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge will be closed between 6.00pm until midnight on Thursday 11th and Saturday 13th August. There are various other road closures in place around Ashton Court Estate so please follow the traffic signs, even if you feel you are heading away from your destination. This ensures the traffic moves and gets everyone home in the fastest way possible.

For more travel information around the city and surrounding area, you can visit Travelwest or First West of England

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Date of Event

Opening Times

Dates: (8 Aug 2024 - 11 Aug 2024)*
ThursdayOpen
FridayOpen
SaturdayOpen
SundayOpen
Dates: (7 Aug 2025 - 10 Aug 2025)
Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change

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Bristol City Council are introducing a Clean Air Zone in the city centre area in summer 2022. To find out more and to check if you will need to pay, go to bristol.gov.uk/streets-travel/bristol-caz

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