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What to expect from a balloon ride in Bristol

02/01/2015 Jo Bailey Features

Bristol is one of the most fantastic places to take a hot air balloon flight in the UK. It is home to a number of stunning landmarks and attractions, which makes it a magical experience for all involved.

Some of the most popular sights to look out for on a Bristol hot air balloon ride include the majestic River Avon, the historic docks in the city’s centre, Avon Gorge, and the Clifton suspension bridge. However, apart from the sights, what can you expect from a hot air balloon ride in Bristol?

Starting the day

Typically, balloon flights in the city take off early in the morning, usually an hour or so after sunrise, because this is the time when the wind is most likely to be calm. However, the weather is always unpredictable and it is possible that a flight could have to be delayed.

Filling up

Before a hot air balloon flight in Bristol can take place, the balloon must be set up, and the first step towards doing so is to fill up the envelope. Seeing the envelop being inflated is almost as exciting as witnessing some of Bristol’s finest sights, such as its many Bristol Byzantine buildings, from the vantage point of a hot air balloon.

In order to fill up the envelope, it is laid flat and stretched. A fan is then placed below the neck of the balloon, filling it with air. Once filled, the basket can be fixed to the envelope and the burner turned on.

Get in

At this point, the passengers will be given a safety briefing before making their way into the basket, which is usually a very exciting point in the day’s events. The basket is then balanced and the ropes that secure the balloon to the ground are untied. The balloon then begins its ascent.

Flying over Bristol

It is difficult to describe the wonderful feeling hot air balloon passengers get once the craft is in flight. They are quite literally floating on air and it is a wonderful sensation, as you will find out for yourself if you embark upon a hot air balloon ride in Bristol.

If there are no clouds in the sky, you will be able to see for miles across the city, allowing you to take in all of the most important sights, from Cabot Tower to the exotic animals at The Wild Place Project or Bristol Zoo Gardens.


The typical hot air balloon ride in Bristol lasts for around one hour, after which time the pilot will find a safe spot to bring the craft down and your descent will begin.

You will notice that the balloon comes down very slowly, and there is a probability that the basket will land on its side, before being greeted by the ground crew. They will pack up the hot air balloon once everyone is out, which is something that is actually fascinating to watch. You can all then toast the flight with a refreshing glass of champagne.

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