Hundreds of hot air balloons took to the skies over western England for the 36th Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.

Some 156 multicoloured baubles lifted off from Ashton Court at 6am during the spectacular mass ascent.

The fine weather is expected to draw crowds of visitors over the weekend for Europe's biggest hot air balloon event.

bristol balloon fiesta
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bristol balloon fiesta
Getty
bristol balloon fiesta
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bristol balloon fiesta
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bristol balloon fiesta
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bristol balloon fiesta
Reuters
bristol balloon fiesta
Getty
bristol balloon fiesta
Reuters
bristol balloon fiesta
Reuters
bristol balloon fiesta
Reuters
bristol balloon fiesta
Reuters
bristol balloon fiesta
Balloonists fire their burners during the "Night Glow" event at the Bristol International Balloon FiestaReuters
bristol balloon fiesta
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bristol balloon fiesta
Getty Images photographer Oli Scarff travelled in a hot air balloon and captured a train passing a flock of sheep...Oli Scarff/Getty Images
bristol balloon fiesta
...and a tree surrounded by cropsOli Scarff/Getty Images