If you have ever been to a music festival you will know how popular they are, but, did you know there are also balloon festivals? For the past three decades a number of annual hot air balloon festivals have been going on around the country. Here's our guide to each and what to expect.
All of the festivals are family friendly and most are free, and they really are fantastic events to take the kids to over the summer holidays to keep them entertained. You could even make a weekend away out of it if you live far way, especially as many of them have camping facilities on site.
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
Formed in 1979 the Bristol international balloon festival attracts over 100 hot air balloons, and half a million members of the public attend the event over the four day festival period. It is held annually in August, at Ashton Court in Bristol, and is now Europe's largest hot air balloon event! The event was named Best Tourism Event in the Visit England Excellence Awards in 2012, and is totally free to members of the public.
Northampton Balloon Festival
Northampton Balloon Festival is held annually in the East Midlands, and has been running since 1990. As well as the balloon flights they also have trade stalls, and live music and entertainment, and the special night time 'balloon glow' where the balloons are tethered to the ground, lit up, and 'pulsate' to the music. For this festival you have to pay a ticket fee, as they often have big music acts performing.
Tiverton Balloon Festival
Tiverton Balloon Festival has been held in the Devonshire town almost every year since 1996, and includes balloon flights, kites, falconry displays, as well as live music. Attendees can camp at the four-day festival, and at this festival you can book onto one of the balloon flights. This is very much a family festival and great to take the kids to in the summer holidays.
Strathaven Balloon Festival
The Scottish balloon festival has been going since 1999, and is grown to become one of Lanarkshire's major annual visitor attractions. The balloons fly over the surrounding countryside and there are also family fun days. There are tethered demonstrations and live music as well as a fun fair and a raffle, where you can win a hot air balloon ride! Admission is free and everyone is welcome.
British School Of Ballooning provides Hot Air Balloon Flights throughout the south of England. Hot Air Ballooning is the perfect way to enjoy the scenery in the Home Counties. Find out more about balloon ride here http://www.hotair.co.uk/