Shuttle buses return to Bristol International Balloon Fiesta - how to book tickets

Tickets for the shuttle bus and also car parking have gone on sale today

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Bristol International Balloon Fiesta returns for its 45th anniversary in August and organisers have announced the fiesta shuttle bus is also making a comeback.

The popular shuttle bus was scrapped in 2022 due to a shortage of drivers but it makes a welcome return this year and tickets are already on sale.

Also on sale from today are tickets for car parking and the VIP Sky Lounge close to the hot air balloons during the mass ascents and night glows.

Europe’s largest annual balloon fiesta returns to Ashton Court from Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 August.

The iconic fiesta will attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to witness one of the most spectacular sights the UK has to offer, with mass ascents and two much-loved nightglows.

Car parking tickets are now live, allowing balloon-spotters to plan ahead, and this year’s 45th annual fiesta will see the return of the Fiesta Shuttle Bus - allowing visitors to make their way to Ashton Court Estate with ease.

Departing at frequent intervals from Bristol Temple Meads and the Bristol Bus and Coach Station on each day of the fiesta, an adult ticket will cost £5 and a Group Day Ticket (for up to five people) will cost £15 with advance tickets now on sale.

The free-to-attend four-day event on the mansion grounds will see 100+ hot air balloons of all shapes, sizes and colours take to the skies at dusk and dawn, taking in the best views of the city.

Allowing for those up-close-and-personal views of the main arena and providing the ultimate spot to watch the mass ascents, Sky Lounge will also be making its VIP return for 2023. Perfect for anyone wanting to witness the magic away from the mass crowds, Sky Lounge ticket holders will gaze at the mass ascents at both 6am and 6pm.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is one of the highlights of the year for many in the city (photo: Paul Box)Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is one of the highlights of the year for many in the city (photo: Paul Box)
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is one of the highlights of the year for many in the city (photo: Paul Box)

Situated just feet away from the two iconic nightglows, where hot air balloons light up in time to a soundtrack on Thursday and Saturday evening, Sky Lounge guests will also have access to a private grassed area very close to the balloons, alongside private catering facilities.

As well as the up-in-the-clouds entertainment, the fiesta features family entertainment throughout the day including aerial displays, fairground rides, delicious food and drinks stalls, local music and the children’s entertainment stage Brizzle Kicks.

Don Cameron, founder of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta said: “We’re celebrating another year of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and are delighted to be back at our home grounds of Ashton Court once again. It’s a difficult time for a lot of people and it’s more important than ever to give the communities of Bristol a fantastic fiesta that’s free for everyone to attend. We’ve got all pilots crossing their fingers for blue skies and light winds as we set off to the skies.”

Tickets for car parking, Sky Lounge and the Stagecoach Shuttle Bus service are now live on the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta website.

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