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Parking at Bristol
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There are five main car-parking areas at Bristol Airport, with a sixth option available to 'Meet and Greet' customers.
The Silver Zone Car Park is the cheapest and most popular option. A stay at Silver Zone is a great way to save money if you’re leaving your car at the airport over four days or more. This budget car park is the furthest away from the terminal, but a 24-hour courtesy bus is on hand to get you right outside the front door in just five minutes.
The short-stay car park is the perfect spot for picking up or dropping off, as you can stay there for as little as 20 minutes or as long as three days.
Meanwhile, Express Drop-Off is great for very short stays of up to 10 minutes. Blue Badge holders may use Express Drop-Off free of charge for 30 minutes. To do so, you must show your Blue Badge to a member of staff inside the terminal.
The long-stay car park is slightly closer to the main building. Many of the long-stay’s sections are just a short walk to the BRS terminal.
If you don’t fancy walking or if having kids with you makes doing so a bit tricky, the 24-hour courtesy bus will pick you up and take you to a stop at the main entrance in just four minutes. You may leave your car in the long-stay car park for no less than one day.
The Premier Car Park is designed for business passengers for whom speed and convenience are paramount. This executive car park is just opposite the main building. It takes a mere three or four minutes to walk the 150 metres to the front entrance. You may park your car in Premier for between one and 15 days.
The 'Meet and Greet' service lets you forget about the troublesome business of parking your car altogether. All you have to do is drive straight up to the terminal and hand your keys to a member of staff. They will then ensure that your car stays safe and secure for the duration of your trip. This service is pre-book only.
All car parks at Bristol Airport boast the Park Mark award in recognition of their high levels of security and they all use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to ensure that only the ticket holder may drive a car in or out. The use of Vehicle Damage Recognition (VDR) cameras protects your claim against the airport or other drivers in the unlikely event that your car is damaged while you’re away.
Bristol Airport (BRS) is the ninth-largest airport in the UK. It is most popular among residents of Somerset, Devon, Wales and, of course, Bristol. BRS is a base for flights from airlines including Ryanair, Wizzair and Thomas Cook and it is used by over seven million passengers every year.
BRS isn’t actually in Bristol, but in Lulsgate Bottom, North Somerset. The airport is 8.1 miles (13 kilometres) from the centre of Bristol, the city whose residents make up a quarter of its customer base.
The area around the airport is infamous for high levels of traffic congestion. However, BRS is still easy to find and reach by car from anywhere in the South West once you get on to the A4 road.
As in the case of many smaller UK airports, there’s no direct railway link to BRS, but buses from Bristol Temple Meads Station run 24 hours a day. The same 24-hour bus service also takes you from Bristol Bus & Coach Station in the city centre to the airport, while coach services link the airport with Plymouth, Exeter, Taunton, Cardiff and other locations in South Wales throughout the week and weekend.
BRS first opened to the public in 1930. At this early point in aviation history, it was one of only three civil airports in the UK. It quickly grew in popularity, with 4,000 passengers having passed through the airport in 1939.
The Air Ministry took control of Bristol Airport as World War II broke out, but while it was closed to the public during this time, it did serve as a flight base for Winston Churchill and other VIPs with important roles in the war effort.
Bristol Airport moved to its current base on the former site of Lulsgate Bottom Airfield in 1955. The Duchess of Kent opened it for public use two years later. During its first year, the new airport served 33,000 passengers and allowed the transfer of 598,000 imperial tonnes (607,600 metric tonnes) of cargo.
The airport continued to grow in size and popularity over the subsequent few decades. From 1992 to 1993, one million passengers passed through the terminal.
To keep up with demand, the much larger New Terminal opened in 2000 and the old one closed shortly thereafter to make way for the on-going modernisation of BRS. The same year, Bristol Airport saw its first transatlantic flight in a number of years as passengers climbed aboard a flight destined for Toronto, Canada.
With almost constant expansion taking place as part of the 'Bristol Airport Master Plan', the airport's operators expect passenger numbers to reach 12 million by 2030.
Bristol Airport has a lot more shops and restaurants than you might expect for its size when compared to the likes of Gatwick and Heathrow. During your time there, you’ll see everything from familiar high-street newsagents and fast-food joints to bars, a duty free shop and convenience stores.
With a list of parking options as long as your arm to boot, Bristol Airport does a good job of making your stay a pleasant one.
Bristol Airport’s only on-site hotel is the Hampton Hilton.
This hotel has 201 rooms and offers a range of options for individuals, couples, families or business travellers. It offers fast, free WiFi, a fitness room and 24-hour room service.
There’s also a breakfast area where you can enjoy your complimentary morning meal. If you’re there for work, there’s a Business Centre that comes complete with meeting rooms to help you and your colleagues stay on top of work. You may also use the on-site photocopier and fax machines free of charge. The Hampton also boasts great access for guests with disabilities.
Overnight parking spaces at the hotel are available for a small extra fee. If you wish to stay for longer than one night, you must book a space in one of the official BRS car parks.
The Old Chaff Mill is a local bed and breakfast just half a mile (0.8 kilometres) from BRS. This family-run B&B sits in a charming converted barn and it retains a lot of its original features with bags of character.
While staying at the Old Chaff Mill, you’ll get a choice of en-suite rooms and free tea and coffee, in addition to complimentary Internet access. There are also round-the-clock airport transfers available to get you to the airport at any time of the day or night and they charge for parking by the number of nights you wish to leave your vehicle.
The Holiday Inn Bristol Airport is just three miles (4.8 kilometres) from BRS. It has 80 rooms and a pair of meeting spaces that can hold events catering for up to 60 people. The natural light and the countryside setting make this hotel a welcome contrast to the din of the busy airport nearby.
The Bristol Flying School is based at Bristol Airport. This purpose-built centre consists of classrooms, offices, a bar and a restaurant, in addition to cutting-edge training equipment and facilities to get you in the air. If you want to become a commercial pilot, the home of The Bristol & Wessex Aeroplane Club could be the perfect place to sharpen your flying skills and propel your career forward.
The Cabin Bar is officially the airport’s ‘premium’ watering hole. It offers a selection of craft beers from in and around the local area. It also uses locally-sourced food for a true taste of Bristol. From gourmet burgers to salads, desserts and more, you’ll find a wide range of delicious food to indulge in before it’s time to set off.
Back in 2015, extensions to the terminal building resulted in a flagship outdoor terrace area becoming available to passengers.
The green outdoor space features unusual sculptures and is surprisingly relaxing considering it’s so close to an airport runway. Meanwhile, the Cabin restaurant opens up onto the roof terrace to provide a novel setting for your pre-flight meal. Who said your time in an airport terminal has to be boring?
Bristol Airport has two executive lounges: the Aspire and AspirePlus. Both lounges offer you the chance to enjoy a quiet space away from the din of its busy terminal. You’ll find a range of free soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and tempting snacks to choose from. You also get complimentary internet access and a collection of magazines and newspapers to keep you amused before your flight.
The AspirePlus is the adult-only executive lounge at BRS. It provides a wider selection of hot and cold food, including a host of gourmet treats. Help yourself to tea and coffee or choose from a range of premium wines, beers, or spirits. These are available in addition to the standard complimentary menu.
If you’ve forgotten to pack a few essentials before your flight from BRS, you’ll find plenty of shops to come to the rescue. JD Sports offers tax-free savings on items like beach towels, sandals and flip-flops. Superdrug is there when you need to pick up flight-friendly toiletries, medicines or beauty products.
If you’re looking for something to keep you amused during a long flight, you may wish to buy a new gadget from Dixons Travel or find a gripping read at WHSmith Bookshop.
Bristol Insight is a fully-guided bus tour that lets you discover some of the many delights the city has to offer. Marvel at breath-taking architecture, including Clifton Suspension Bridge, Red Lodge and the Church of St John the Baptist. Discover the delights of Bristol’s awe-inspiring green spaces and breathe in the laid-back atmosphere of the city’s historic harbour.
The tour lets you hop on and off the bus whenever you see something you want to explore. Keep hold of your ticket and take advantage of discounts all along the tour route.
It takes 21 minutes to travel from the airport to the Bristol Insight starting point by car. You can reach the tour via A38 and A370.
If you like puzzle games, you’ll love Locked In A Room. You spend your hour in any one of eight themed escape rooms with up to 44 of your friends or family. Your aim is to escape the room by finding clues and solving puzzles.
Its realistic themes and props create a truly immersive experience. The rooms sit inside a beautiful listed building in Bristol city centre, just minutes from its most popular bars and restaurants.
Locked In A Room offers a novel way to celebrate a birthday, hen party or stag do. It also provides a welcome break from your layover at the airport or hotel room. These gaming rooms are 7.9 miles (12.7 kilometres) away from Bristol Airport and it takes just 16 minutes to get there by car via the A38.
Tyntesfield is a Victorian gothic-revival mansion, a Grade I-listed building and a jewel in the crown of the National Trust. William Gibbs bought the grounds in 1843 and set about remodelling it into what the National Trust describes as “the Gothic extravaganza” that you can visit today.
The house is still full of the “bounty of treasures” the Gibbs family collected over its 158 years there. Among the 60,000 treasures is a host of ornate furniture and fittings, in addition to priceless paintings. The quainter items in the house include picnic sets and ice skates, all of which paint a fascinating picture of family life from the mid-19th century until 2001, when Richard Gibbs died.
It takes 15 minutes to travel by car from Bristol Airport to Tyntesfield. The house is easiest to reach via Backwell Hill Road.
Tall Pines Golf Club has a course very close to BRS. While the first nine holes are reasonably straightforward for any half-decent golfer, the last half of the course offers a real challenge. People in the clubhouse are friendly and welcoming, while the bar offers cheap, yet tasty food and drinks.
It takes just four minutes to reach Tall Pines Golf Club via Downside Road.
Noah’s Ark is the biggest zoo in the south west of England. It’s home to a wide range of indoor and outdoor animals. From the fearsome rhinos, tigers and lions to the gentle giraffes and elephants, there’s plenty of opportunity to see these magnificent creatures up close (although not too close in some cases!).
Watch the birds of prey fly around during their daily display. Visit ‘Elephant Eden’ to watch these gentle giants play and indulge their appetites at feeding time. Take part in the Elephant Presentation, learn about the value of conservation and discover what it takes to look after these animals by going on a 'Keeper Experience'.
If the kids are getting restless at the airport and you have some time on your hands, bring them to Noah’s Ark and enjoy a great day out for the whole family.
It takes 16 minutes to drive from BRS to Noah’s Ark via the B3130.
Bristol Airport has a single terminal building that’s easy enough to navigate using the signs and your check-in details. You’ll find live gate and schedule information on the Arrivals and Departures page at the BRS website. The 11 airlines offering flights to and from Bristol airport are:
|Aer Lingus||Main terminal|
|Blue Islands||Main terminal|
|BMI Regional||Main terminal|
|Brussels Airlines||Main terminal|
|Thomas Cook||Main terminal|
If you’re using sat nav, the post code BS48 3DY will take you straight to Bristol Airport. If you’re travelling from the north, exit the M5 at Junction 18. Find your way onto the A4, go past Bristol City Football Club, move on the A38 and drive towards Taunton. Follow the many signs to the airport from there.
If you’re coming up to Bristol from the south, exit the M5 at Junction 22 and take the third exit on the roundabout for the A38. When you reach East Brent roundabout, take the second exit onto the A370. Stay on this road for 11 miles (17.7 kilometres) and you’ll eventually see the airport to your left.
If you’re travelling from the east, join the M5 southbound at Junction 20 and make your exit at Junction 22. Drive along the A4 and follow the signs for Bristol Airport.
Bristol Temple Meads is your best bet by rail. The train station has strong links with the national rail network, so it’s straightforward to reach from anywhere in the country.
From there, get on the Airport Flyer Express bus to BRS. This service runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A bus leaves every eight minutes, so you’ll never be left waiting long for a lift to the airport. The journey from Temple Meads Station to Bristol Airport takes 30 minutes on average.
The same 24-hour Airport Flyer Express service takes you to the airport from the Bristol Coach & Bus Station in the city centre. There are also frequent daily coaches to and from Bath, Cardiff, Exeter, Newport, Plymouth, Taunton and Weston-Super-Mare.
The 11 airlines based at Bristol Airport have different rules and options regarding luggage weight, priority boarding, pre-bookings, sports equipment, musical instruments and more. For this reason, make sure you check the relevant airline’s terms and conditions before organising your trip.
Many airports now offer luggage trolleys free of charge, but this is not the case at Bristol Airport. You will find trolley vending machines at 10 locations throughout the terminal. It’s important to make sure you have enough change to release the trolley if you need it.
The Weigh-Ahead service lets you re-weigh your hand luggage before you make your way through security to make sure it isn’t heavier than it should be. If it does exceed the limit, you can use the dispenser to transfer the excess.
Porters are around to help you handle and carry bulky luggage or multiple items through the busy terminal. This third-party service is available through Bagport.co.uk and officially endorsed by Bristol Airport.
One rule of modern air travel in the UK is that you’re not allowed to take liquids of more than 100ml on holiday with you. However, if the liquid in question is a medicine that is essential for your health, this rule doesn’t necessarily apply.
You’ll need documents (such as a doctor’s note) to verify your need for the medicines or health foods. Similar rules also apply to travelling with baby food or breast milk.
Yes. There is one hotel on-site: the Hampton Hilton. There are several others within a three-mile (4.8-kilometre) radius.
There is just one terminal at Bristol Airport – all airlines fly out of and into the main terminal, so simply follow signs to the main entrance upon arrival.
No. There are old online news reports stating that Bristol Airport has showers, but this is no longer the case.
Bristol Airport is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Shop and restaurant opening times vary, but some outlets will remain open for the time between the first and last departures every day.
If you lose hand luggage items at the airport or during your flight, you can call Lost Property on (+44) 01275 473573. If you lose luggage in transit and it doesn’t turn up within three days, you must ring the relevant airline directly as soon as possible. Contact information for each airline is available on the BRS website.
You must pre-book all special assistance requirements through your airline or tour operator before your arrival. Ring (+44) (0)1275 473403 for advice on special assistance at Bristol Airport.
You’re allowed to travel with enough baby food, milk and sterilised water for duration of your journey. You may carry a maximum of 2,000ml (70.4 imperial fluid ounces) of breast milk in your hand luggage, whether a baby is travelling with you or not. You may not, however, carry any frozen breast milk in your hand luggage.
You need to rebook your flight by getting in touch with your airline. They will supply you with all of the relevant information you need to board your new flight. Most airlines have a ‘Manage Your Booking’ option on their websites as a quick and easy way to change your details. Contact your airline via the BRS website.
This depends on the circumstances. It’s best to discuss your issue with your tour operator or airline directly. For help and advice on claiming compensation, the Civil Aviation Authority website is a good source of information.
“Excellent service. Prompt and efficient. Helpful and friendly staff, no waiting either at drop-off or pick-up. We phoned them at the baggage reclaim. And our car was there before we arrived at the pick-up point.”
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