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Suspense and the sea with hot air balloon rides over Bristol

With the stunning River Avon coursing its way through Bristol and the River Severn flowing into the sea, it is little surprise this city has such great British maritime heritage. Now very much a modern city in its own right, hot air balloon rides over Bristol will leave you suspended in more ways than one.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Among the most famous bridges in the world, Clifton Suspension Bridge is synonymous with Bristol. Dominating the Avon Gorge, the bridge was designed by the greatest British engineer of the Victorian era, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Regrettably dying before its completion however, he never saw his finest accomplishment in its entirety. If he had, the silent journey that a hot air balloon trip offers would have given him the most impressive view. Built over more than 30 years, the bridge is renowned for its twin towers and its stunning location, with the architectural gems of Clifton and Bristol set against the natural wonder of the gorge itself.

SS Great Britain

It is little wonder that another of Brunel's greatest accomplishments also dominates a Bristol hot air balloon flight. The world's first true ocean-going liner, the ss Great Britain steamship dominates the Great Western Dockyard. The longest ocean-going ship for nearly a decade, it is no surprise that this most wonderful of creations changed the shipping industry forever. Wonderfully lifted on a glass-ceilinged dry dock, it seems to still be taking the waves with the grace and splendour, just as it did more than 150 years ago. It is fitting that these two foremost achievements from the most famous of Bristolians make-up two of the highlights of hot air balloon flights over Bristol – but they are just two highlights. With the recently renovated Georgian Lido, the 12th century Bristol Cathedral and the Temple Church and Gardens too, there is so much more painted upon this most stunning of West Country canvases.

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