A Virgin hot air balloon flying over Bristol with Clifton Suspension Bridge in the distance

Experience A Hot Air Balloon Ride in Bristol

The Birthplace of Modern Hot Air Ballooning

Welcome to the vibrant City of Bristol, where hot air ballooning isn't just a pastime, it's woven into the very fabric of the city's culture. Known as the place modern hot air ballooning took flight, Bristol boasts a rich history dating back to the pioneering flights of the Montgolfier brothers in the 18th century.

Today, Bristol remains a hub for ballooning enthusiasts from around the globe, known famously for the International Bristol Balloon Fiesta. With its picturesque landscapes, favourable weather conditions, and lively ballooning community making it an iconic destination for aerial adventures. Whether you're soaring over the historic Clifton Suspension Bridge or drifting serenely above the colourful streets of Bristol, there's no better place to experience the magic of hot air ballooning than in this enchanting city.

Viewing Somerset From a Hot Air Balloon

Beautiful Countryside Views

If you're looking for ways to experience the beauty of our Great British landscape, then there's no better vantage point than that of a hot air balloon basket.

Embark on a hot air balloon journey over Bristol and you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the countryside that surrounds this charming city. As you ascend into the skies, you'll be greeted by the rolling green hills of Somerset, picturesque farmland, and meandering rivers that wind their way through the landscape below. The tranquillity of the countryside provides the perfect backdrop for a serene and unforgettable balloon ride experience.

Historic Sites, Landmarks and Architecture

From the air, Bristol's rich history comes to life as you float above its historic architecture. Marvel at the spires of ancient churches (some built in the 12th century, wow!), the grand facades of stately homes, and the intricate details of centuries-old buildings. Gain new perspective on Bristol's architectural wonders, giving you a unique opportunity to appreciate the city's heritage and overlook what's on in Bristol down below.

Bristol is home to a wealth of historic sites and landmarks, and there's no better way to experience them than from the basket of a hot air balloon. As you drift gracefully above the city, you'll catch glimpses of iconic landmarks such as Bristol Cathedral, the Cabot Tower, and the vibrant street art that adorns the city's walls. Each landmark tells a story of Bristol's rich heritage, and a hot air balloon ride offers a front-row seat to the city's fascinating history.

Aerial view of street art in Bristol

River Views

As your hot air balloon drifts peacefully overhead, you'll be treated to stunning views of the city's iconic rivers. Spot the tranquil waters of the River Avon and the floating harbours that line its banks. From your vantage point, you'll have the chance to spot historic landmarks such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain, all framed by the shimmering beauty of the river below.

Charming Villages and Market Towns

Venturing beyond the city limits you'll discover the charming villages and market towns that dot the landscape surrounding Bristol. From the air, you'll see clusters of quaint cottages nestled amidst the Somerset countryside and the odd historic pub where time seems to stand still. A hot air balloon ride offers a unique opportunity to explore these hidden gems from above, providing a fresh perspective on the timeless beauty of rural life.

Hot Air Balloon Launch Sites Near Bristol

Choose to fly from Bristol or a number of suggested launch sites within 30 miles of Bristol.

Ashton Court (Bristol)

Home to the world famous Bristol Balloon Fiesta, Ashton Court could well lay claim to the title of ‘hot air ballooning capital of the world’ and is the perfect place to embark on a Bristol hot air balloon ride over this iconic city. Go up, up and away and experience breath-taking views across this vibrant and history city from the basket of our iconic big red balloon. Nestled in the beautiful county of Somerset, the Bristol boasts some… read more

Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is back for 2024 and set to be bigger and better than ever before! This year Virgin Balloon Flights has two balloons flying from the event, so we have twice as many spaces as before! Available to book for the unforgettable mass ascents, where you launch with a hundred or more other hot air balloons. We have flights scheduled on the evening of Thursday the 8th of August and both morning and evening on Friday the 9th, Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th of August. Take… read more


Take flight over one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the UK when you go up, up and away on a magnificent Bath hot air balloon ride. Experience this breath-taking city like never before when you soar majestically overhead in our iconic big red balloon. Go wherever the wind takes you on a truly unforgettable balloon ride experience that you will talk about for years to come. See if you can the Roman remains, historic buildings… read more


Take life higher with a stunning Somerset hot air balloon ride and experience breath-taking views of this glorious county. Hop on board our iconic big red Virgin balloon for the airborne adventure of a lifetime. Watch the world pass by beneath your feet as you go up, up and away on a truly majestic flying experience. Keep an eye out for the famous Glastonbury Tor, topped with the Grade I listed St Michael’s Tower, of… read more


For miles of unspoilt countryside, choose one of our fabulous Somerset hot air balloon rides. Enjoy this stunning county from on high as you drift serenely through the sky in our beautiful big red balloon. Take life higher on a wonderful balloon ride from Taunton and experience a truly unforgettable airborne adventure. The town sits in the spectacular Vale of Taunton Deane, between the Quantock and Blackdown Hills. Each Taunton hot air balloon ride is unique, as you float majestically wherever the wind takes… read more

Gillingham Rugby Club Dorset

The history of Gillingham dates back to ancient times, with evidence of a stone age barrow and Roman settlement in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. However, the town was established by the Saxons. The notable church of St Mary the Virgin features a Saxon cross shaft dating from the 9th century. The name "Gillingham" was used in the town's 10th-century Saxon charter and is mentioned in historical annals for a battle between Edmund Ironside and the Vikings in 1016. The name derives from a personal name combined with the Old English "inga"… read more

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