Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

It was a gorgeous Friday afternoon when we set off for our road trip to Bristol, for the 34th International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, which is apparently Europe’s largest annual Hot Air Balloon event. With almost 250,000 visitors on Saturday alone it most definitely felt like it!

With a night stopover just outside Bath, having left it late booking a B&B it turned out to be almost impossible to get any decent accommodation within 20 miles of Bristol! Just as well though as we came across this gem of a cottage in beautiful countryside – many thanks to lovely Angela and Chris for their warm hospitality even though it was such a brief stay.

Very early on Saturday morning, when most people are turning over in their beds and dreaming of the impossible, we set off for Bristol aiming to get there by 6am for our hot air balloon flight. Unfortunately this didn’t happen for us or the hundred or so people who were booked for sightseeing flights due to high winds up at 2000ft, even though on the ground it was very calm and windless with a clear sky. It turns out that hot air ballooning is a very complex operation, with the weather, mostly winds, being the main factor. The exhibitor’s flights still went ahead though as planned. Despite a little disappointment it turned out to be a great day that was finished off with the famous ‘Night Glow’ where around 20 or so balloons were glowing in time to music – quite spectacular, followed by fireworks!

Balloons getting ready for ‘Night Glow’

A short video from the day…

With a great and needless to say long day behind us we set off for a 3 hour night drive back to Brighton – getting home and crashing out in bed never felt this good, even though it was almost sunrise :-)!


42 Comments on “Hot Air Balloon Fiesta”

  1. aidaweb101 says:

    Amazing shots!Thanks for sharing!

  2. Mustang.Koji says:

    Wonderful colors and photography… 🙂

  3. Little Brown Tomato (LBT) says:

    Amazing captures!

  4. badsonnet says:

    Awesome pictures. Did you go up in a balloon?

  5. Delft says:

    Lovely photos. Wish I’d been there to watch – from below, as heights and me, we disagree.

  6. stunning photos!! really nice work!!

  7. Wonderful shots. I love the night shot with all the balloons.

  8. Fabulous work, love it!

  9. Inspired and pretty says:

    It must have been such a wonderful day, I understand why you would be so tired at the end of the day ! Your photos are beautiful and I loved the video too !

  10. zoe says:

    Gorgeous shots, love the colours!! 🙂

  11. 3am Wisdom says:

    Gosh, these are STUNNING pictures. I love the ones taken upwards into the canopy. Great job! 🙂

  12. restlessjo says:

    Love hot air balloons. Night Glow sounds really special.

  13. So beautiful! I have never seen hot air balloons up close!

  14. Jade Jarvis says:

    Awesome shots! The first one with the moon is my favorite.

  15. Very neat,very cool!

  16. simphonyblue says:

    wow,I’ve always wanted to see this closer! now I know!

  17. These are such gorgeous photos. One of the things I love about hot air balloons are all the bright colours.

  18. flyinggma says:

    I love all the vibrant colors of the balloons. Especially love the evening shots of the balloons. Jeanne

  19. ann perrin says:

    brilliant fantastic shots!

  20. Clanmother says:

    A magical ride! Thank you for sharing…

  21. saraarranz says:


  22. aFrankAngle says:

    Well done .. and thanks for the ride … and for visiting my little corner.

  23. George Vagabon says:

    Beautiful photos – such vibrant colours. You can’t be accused of of just hot air!

  24. Dawn says:

    Nothing beats it! Flying that is. Strangely, I think the smell of it is better than the colors. Propane and earth and sky.
    I’ve got a blue balloon called “On The Jazz”, thinkin I have a pic of it somewhere on my blog; no photos as great as the ones you’ve captured. Nice!

  25. groovylove says:

    Beautiful photos! I absolutely love the vivid colors you captured. And I’ve always wondered how they first get the balloons off the ground and into the air; now I know 🙂 . Enjoyed this very much!!

  26. jackie376 says:

    These are wonderful! I felt like I was actually on the balloon – except I wasn’t afraid!! 😉

  27. David Emeron says:

    Very nice! Perhaps a half century ago, I spent a summer on a balloon chase crew. This brings back memories. Sadly, I was never able to go up, as when my turn came around the weather turned unfavorable.

    Nice pictures, Beautiful that sky with the status clouds and the mood! Wonderful!…

    I’m not sure if you would be interested but there are some themes in WP that are very good for showing off pictures. Wherein one may create slide shows and other such wonders. Alas, I have no talent for drawing or photography so I have not explored them at all.

    Thanks also for stopping by my humble site which is very plain when compared to yours.

  28. xavigeis says:

    Nice pics and lovely colours!! You’ve made a great job!

  29. Gut gemacht. Danke
    Gruß, Wolfgang

  30. gorgeous photos, I’m excited to find your blog and read more!

  31. Elena says:

    Amazing photos!

  32. freebirdmani says:

    Nice and neat. Keep it up 🙂

  33. niasunset says:

    So beautiful all photographs. I am so glad the weather was so good too. Thank you for visiting my blog, I am glad to meet with your blog and photography. With my love, nia

  34. jackie376 says:

    Absolutely beautiful!!
    Thank you for stopping by my blog! looking forward to seeing more of your wonderful photos:)

  35. beautiful photos! have always wanted to go to this balloon festival but always is in August when we tend to be away on holiday. It looks fantastic…

  36. janeanddavid says:

    Nice photos! Woody Woodpecker is my favorite

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