Bristol Balloon Fiesta

by Katie Scott-Dyer // August 2017

Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Where is it?

Bristol Balloon Fiesta is held in August at Ashton Court Mansion Estate in Bristol and is a hugely popular event for balloon enthusiasts and music lovers, as the live bands add to the festival. The balloon’s night glow is visually stunning where the balloons light the night sky to music with their burners; it is incredible! This year’s event takes place on the 10th to the 13th August.

The Ashton Court estate is a popular venue for weddings and other events. It’s a beautiful part of Bristol, where the public are free to use most the 860 acres to exercise themselves, their dogs and event their horses! There are cafés with public toilets, woodlands, a golf course, a herd of deer and a miniature railway.

Getting there

The estate is easily accessed by car from the M5 Motorway and the Portway, by local buses, or by foot if you feel like a good walk. During the festival there is parking but it can get really busy, so the organisers suggest buying parking tickets to ensure you have a space in the allocated areas; on normal days there is a pay and display car park.

Dogs and the balloon festival

If you are planning to take your dogs to the festival, please bear in mind that even the most socialised dog may find the situation worrying.

Perhaps consider watching the festival from a safe distance where you can still take in the atmosphere and see the balloons lift off without all the sights, sounds and smells of thousands of people crammed into one place! This is a lot less scary for your dog and easier for you to manage.

I  take my dogs to the Downs, which is a large open public space in the middle of Bristol on the opposite side of the river to Ashton Court. I have a picnic with the family and watch the evening balloon lift. Make sure you take plenty of snacks, poo bags, enrichment and toys for your dog and practice your settle while you eat your picnic!

You could even take the opportunity to practice some of the other things you learn in class such as ‘leave it’ or ‘four on the floor’, greeting people and dogs politely, recall practice and if walking there, practice your ‘loose leads’ on the way too - so much real life training to take advantage of!

Whatever option you take, keep your dog safe and happy and have a wonderful time together.

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Why not share your photos of the balloon with us on our Instagram: bristol_dogschool and Twitter: @BristlDogSchool we would love to see them!

Want to come to our classes across Bristol venues? Book your puppy in by dropping us an email to bristoldogschool@dogstrust.org.uk