The family-friendly city of Bristol is a great place to visit any time of the year, but if you’re heading to the capital of the West Country next week, you’ve got something extra special to look forward to – as the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta takes to the skies!
One of the biggest of its kind in Europe, this colourful and breathtaking festival sees hundreds of balloons ascending above Ashton Court in a number of events spread across four days each year.
This year’s festival starts next Thursday, 12th August, and wraps up in suitably grand style with the final mass ascent of 100 balloons on Sunday 15th, following a display by the Red Arrows – who you might have already seen at last month’s Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire.
But it’s not just about the balloons in the air, which come in all shapes and sizes – including popular TV characters sure to be a hit with the kids! A special trade and entertainment village will be set up in Ashton Park for the duration of the event, where visitors can shop and take part in activities, all in the shadow of tethered balloons.
Grounded balloons are one of the biggest attractions of the event in fact, as you’ll discover when the sun goes down and the Bristol nightglow blazes into life in time to music. This year’s nightglow is being held in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Bristol Aeroplane Company, and you can see it in person if you head to the event for 9.30pm on Thursday or Saturday.
I’ve got lots of fond memories of family days out in Bristol as a kid, and the balloon festival is just one of them – so be sure to check out all the top attractions in the city if you’re thinking of heading down. Brunel’s ss Great Britain is one of the most popular, and will be hosting special events to mark the 40th anniversary of its homecoming this summer too. Just more reasons to take a great Bristol break!