You're unlikely to get a better perspective of Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge than when taking off from neighbouring Ashton Court Mansion and floating gently away to reveal a panoramic view of the 702ft bridge, standing 245ft above the high water mark and spanning the Avon Gorge.
Heading out over the Bristol Harbourside you can think back on Brunel's fifteen year contribution to Bristol's historic waterways, which included the introduction of a new dredging and sluicing system, an enlarged and improved entrance lock, a tubular wrought iron footbridge and the engine house for the Black Rock water pumping station.
Most notable, and as the largest and most powerful ship of her time you're unlikely to miss her, is the SS Great Britain, now restored in her harbourside dock in Bristol. Brunel's pioneering steamship was the forerunner of modern passenger liners and made regular voyages around the world to Australia and the USA.
Then if the wind is heading in the right direction, your balloon ride will take you over the top of Temple Meads station built by Brunel as the passenger terminal for his Paddington to Bristol, Great Western Railway... or if not you may experience some animal magic, peeping down from above over the exotic inhabitants of Bristol Zoo. A hot air balloon ride from Bristol may also give you a spectacular view of two other famous West bridges, the Severn Bridge and the new Severn Crossing.
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