30 August 2018

Bristol Balloon Fiesta

After a few years of wanting to go, I finally made it to Bristol Balloon Fiesta! We had a great few days and I would have loved to have stayed for the whole weekend if we hadn't had a wedding to go to back home. We stayed at the Cabot Circus hotel which was across the road from the shopping centre and very conveniently offered free parking. The hotel was great, our room was really spacious and the breakfast had lots of choice including pancakes!

We ate at Gourmet Burger Co and Giraffe which were both in the shopping centre and also indulged in a bit of shopping - they have a Monki which I spent far too much time in! Cabot Circus is one of the best hotels near Bristol Balloon Fiesta as it was just 15 minutes drive away from Ashton Court. I'd really recommend it for the convenience, savings in parking and that it wasn't too expensive for a mid-week stay.

Bristol balloon festival

Having good weather is essential for hot air balloons and on the first day they didn't fly because of the wind. The sun was still out though and we did get to see some that were tethered including a minion, rupert bear and a dog which were part of the 40 special shapes for the fiesta's 40th anniversary celebrations. On the Saturday morning that we left, the balloons did fly but sadly we only got to see them from the hotel although it still looked really impressive to see them scattered across the sky.

Bristol balloon festivalBristol hot air balloon festival

My biggest tip for the fiesta would be to pack a picnic, blanket and warm clothes as it got colder into the evening. The food was also a bit disappointing and quite expensive so make a picnic and take plenty of snacks which also means you'll be able to skip the queues. 

Bristol hot air balloon fiestaBristol balloon fiesta

My favourite part of the fiesta was without a doubt the Night Glow which involved the balloons lighting up to music from 9pm. It was a great atmosphere and i'm so glad we stayed to watch it as it didn't go ahead as planned later into the weekend. If you're planning to go to the fiesta this is definitely one thing you don't want to miss!

Bristol balloon fiesta night glow

Although the fiesta was free entry we did pay for premium parking which was great initially but a disaster when it came to leaving. At 10pm when Night Glow finished the carpark was chaos and we were sat there for two hours because of traffic on the road outside. This was really disappointing so if we go back next year we'll definitely be considering other options instead.

On our first day in Bristol we went on a walk around the city and explored Wapping Wharf while stumbling across the Gromit Unleashed 2 statues that are dotted around. Bristol isn't somewhere we'd ever considered visiting but we really enjoyed our visit and it's somewhere i'd happily explore further on another trip.

Gromit 2 Unleashed statues in Bristol

On our final night we treated ourselves to sourdough pizza at Bertha's Pizza which wasn't too far away from the fiesta. The pizza was great although maybe not tomatoey enough for me but I could never turn down a sourdough base! My favourite thing was actually their gelato which tasted amazing - the lemon and raspberry flavours were so good and if i'm ever in Bristol I will definitely be back!

Best pizza in Bristol - Bertha's sourdough pizza and gelato

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