Where to watch hot air balloon mass ascents during Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2023

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is back this weekend - with multiple mass ascents planned throughout the festival.

Dozens of balloons are set to take part in mass ascents each morning at 6am and each evening at 6pm, providing the weather allows it.

It means people in Bristol and beyond will be treated to the sight of hot air balloons in the skies - but where is the best place to see the spectacle?

These are some of the best places to watch the mass ascents at Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.

Ashton Court

Hot air balloons begin to take off during the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2022 Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Starting with an obvious one, Ashton Court is of course the best place to see all of the action from the four-day fiesta.

The estate, which is on the outskirts of Bristol, is the home of the fiesta with the mass ascents taking off from there each morning and night.

Entry to the fiesta is free, but car parking must be booked and paid for in advance.

Brandon Hill

Brandon Hill, in the centre of Bristol, is one of the most popular places for balloon spotters.

Sitting just off Park Street, the site offers panoramic views of Bristol looking across the city centre and over to Ashton Court.

If the wind is in the right direction, balloons may even fly almost directly overhead on their path over the harbourside or up to Clifton Downs.

Bristol Harbourside

While you're not guaranteed to see balloons from the harbourside, if the wind is blowing in the right direction balloons often travel over the very centre of Bristol.

The harbourside provides beautiful views of Bristol even without mass ascents, with balloons making them even more special.

Troopers Hill

Away from Bristol city centre, Troopers Hill offers stunning views towards the city and over to the Ashton Court estate.

The nature reserve, which is in St George, is the perfect place for balloon spotting due to its high position - so pack a picnic and look up!

A balloon casts a shadow over a farmer’s field Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Clifton Down

If the wind is blowing in the right direction, hot air balloons will often fly over the River Avon near Clifton Suspension Bridge and pass right over the Downs - sometimes even using them as a landing spot.

The sea walls, on Circular Road, is a good spot to look over towards the suspension bridge and spot the balloons taking off from Ashton Court.

Dundry Hill

Dundry Hill, in south Bristol, is a great spot to see balloons no matter which direction they fly.

The spot looks out towards Bristol as well as North Somerset, meaning you're pretty much guaranteed to see the mass ascents.