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Bristol's Best Summer Carnivals and Festivals

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It's no wonder Bristol is now ranked as the eighth most popular British city for foreign visitors. With nearly half a million international tourists each year descending on the stridently multicultural and sometimes countercultural city, Bristol has a summer of fun events arranged to keep everyone happy.

This summer, tourists and locals alike can soak up Bristol's vibrant personality at the wide range of events taking place in the city.

The Spectacle of Nature

bristol festival of nature
Credits to Bristol Natural History Consortium


The Bristol Festival of Nature, which takes place on the 15th and 16th of June on Bristol Harbourside, walks on the wild side. The UK's largest free celebration of the natural world brings all things natural right into the very heart of the city.

Shakespearean Spectacles

The Bristol Shakespeare Festival, in July, includes prestigious companies from Shakespeare's Globe, as well as emerging talents and community workshops. They perform indoors and outdoors throughout the city.

Celebrating Diversity

pride week bristol festival
Credits to Pridebristol.co.uk


Pride Week promises vibrant cultural events, culminating in a colourful parade and free outdoor festival which takes place in the heart of the city on Saturday July 13th.

Celebrating Community

st paul carnival bristol
Credits to Sam Saunders (Flickr.com/photos/samsaunders/)


St Paul's African Caribbean Carnival (July 6th) is Bristol's own Notting Hill. This much-loved community carnival brings music, dance, world foods and colourful costumes to 80,000 people each year. Masquerade, music stages, sound systems, stalls and sheer good times can be had from mid-morning to late at night.

Food Lover's Delight

The Bristol Foodies Festival (12th 14th July) is set to get mouths watering as Bristol's Harbourside celebrates the best foods, drinks and cooking talents. Michelin-starred chefs share secrets, creative cookery demos cascade culinary ideas, master classes impart knowledge and sampling opportunities abound. With chocolate zones, barbecue areas, wine villages and drinks theatres, it's advisable not to eat before you arrive!

Made for Music Lovers

The Bristol Harbour Festival (26th 28th July) lights up the waterfront once again this summer, uniting Bristol's diverse communities at one big free celebration.

bristol harbour festival
Credits to Speculum Mundi (Flickr.com/photos/speculummundi/)


Three days of music stretches across two miles of the city taking in headline acts, local bands, mainstream crowd pleasers and underground unsung heroes. Circus acts, street entertainers, dancers and street stalls all add to the spectacle, enhanced by a backdrop of hundreds of colourful boats.

Eyes on the Skies

bristol balloon festival
Credits to Karen Roe (Flickr.com/photos/karen_roe/)


Two events this year will have all eyes glued firmly to the skies: the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta (8th 11th August) and the Bristol International Festival of Kites (31st August 1st September).

Europe's largest annual hot air balloon festival has been voted one of the top three tourism events by Visit England. It's an event not to be missed! The kite festival boasts swooping, swirling, aerodynamic displays from thousands of kites and inflatables. Cheer as they battle and gasp as they provide synchronised routines.

An International City

The sheer diversity of Bristol's offering for international visitors and students is astounding. Language schools, like the Bristol Language Centre, provide quality English courses, whilst events and festivals offer fun for all ages. Bristol is also a mayor hub of international business so attracts many corporate visitors.

Whether you're visiting Bristol to learn a language, do business, shop or sightsee, you really are promised a summer of fun.
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Why? Find some Summer Fun
When: Through Summer
Where: In Bristol
Cost: Prices Vary
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