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Hundreds of hot-air balloons will be flying over Bristol this weekend

Ellie Walker-Arnott

Looking to escape London for a few hours? 

There’s something magical about the sight of a lone hot-air balloon floating along the horizon.

Multiply that by more than 100 and you’ve got the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, which is celebrating its 40th birthday this year.

During Bristol’s bumper weekend, the largest annual meeting of hot-air balloons in Europe, more than 130 balloons take to the skies above the city.

Held over four days at Ashton Court Estate, the Fiesta features super-photogenic mass balloon lifts, fairground rides and firework displays as well as bars and food stalls. 

Stay until dusk to see the Nightglow, when, as the sun sets, 25 of the buoyant baubles light up the sky to the notes of a special soundtrack. 

Running from Thursday 9th August until Sunday 12th August. Entry is free. Visit

Want more ways to chill the hell out? Here are the best day trips from London

Fancy going a little further afield? Read our pick of the best weekends away in the UK

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