47. Make and fly a kite

Free to do
Can do in my area
No planning needed
All year round
Great for little'uns with parents (under 6)

or refine by category!

Visit the Bristol International Kite Festival to get inspired and get advice about how to make a kite and where to fly it. Make it, and fly it for real before the next Festival.

Do it ourselves
A sky full of kites! By Daniel Holton

Why do it?

Kites have been around for thousands of years and were crucial to the development of the earliest aircraft. They are the original flying machine! They have been used over the centuries to lift humans, deliver supplies, observe and measure the weather and as part of festivals and sports such as kite-surfing. You can make your own ‘flying machine’ very easily from basic materials, although it won’t carry you anywhere!

How to do this in Bristol

The Bristol International Kite festival is a free event that takes place each year in August in Ashton Court. It is one of Europe’s biggest kite flying events with giant 3-D creatures, aerial battles, stunt routines and awesome power kites. There are demonstrations from fighter and stunt kites, huge 3-D kites and much more. The sky is filled with colourful flying creations, and you can make one of your own at the kite making workshops on site.

Anyone is welcome to bring their own kites to fly in the designated public flying areas.

The organisers ask you to please help keep everyone safe and follow these simple rules;

  • Share the space! Find an open area and avoid flying close to people

  • Watch out for people and animals walking around the site as kite lines can be difficult to see

  • Never fly in a thunderstorm or near overhead power lines.

Have a look at the links below to find a design to build your own kite.

If you are constructing a small and simple light weight kite you will be able to fly this in smaller local green spaces, however larger kites require more space. Clifton Downs are a brilliant place to fly kites with a lot of open spaces, provided that it is not on a football day. The top end of Ashton Court where the festival is actually held is also excellent and can be accessed all year round.

Here are some other places around Bristol recommended for flying kites;

  • Minchinhampton Common

  • Hengrove Park

  • Weston Beach

  • Marshals Field, Clevedon

  • Westerleigh Common, Yate

  • Portishead Lake Grounds

  • Lansdown playing fields, Bath

  • Kite festival

  • Kite society

  • Kites to make

Kite designs;

What you will need

  • Materials vary depending on your design, some kite designs are very simple and require minimal materials while others are very complex and require a lot of time, effort and materials. Use links provided to find a design that suits you

  • Transport to and from the Kite festival in Ashton Court Estate

  • Wind

Taking it further

Join kite clubs and have a go on kites that are metres wide and could lift you off the ground! Or take your kite along to fly at the next Festival.

Safety tips

When flying your kite find somewhere that is safe and clear of hazards or obstacles such as power lines, roads and trees. Also, be aware of who’s around you while you are flying the kites, for example avoid getting too close to other kite flyers and other people using the space such as picnickers and dog walkers.

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