REVIEW: Bristol airport parking – is parking on-site better than off-site?!

Years ago, when booking airport parking I’d happily book the cheapest deal available – which meant parking miles away from Heathrow and Birmingham and getting bussed in, all adding quite a bit of time to our journey. The funniest off-site parking we did was when a friend booked us parking at a mushroom packing factory near Bristol airport – their minibus was running late so they dropped us off at the airport in a pick-up truck!!

For my recent child-free break to Marrakesh, I wanted everything to be as stress-free as possible, so wanted to park on-site at Bristol airport….

When I got there, it was pretty busy but I did find a space after a few minutes…. after that, what a bloomin’ treat – I could literally see the terminal and walk to it within minutes! (there’s even a bus if you’re at the far end/don’t want to walk)


Bristol airport
How close the terminal is to the car park!
Bristol airport car park
Lovely blossom tree overlooking the car park

That time I would have otherwise spent being transferred in on a bus/pick-up truck meant I had more time to spend at Bristol airport which was also a treat – they’ve done it up a bit since I was last there, they have a good range of shops including my favourite – Accesorize. I had a really tasty brioche burger and a beer in the very nice ‘Cabin‘ bar/restaurant and then sat outside on the new roof garden which I thought was fab and very child- and toddler-friendly! I wish I’d taken a photo of the burger for you but I wolfed it down far too quickly!

Bristol airport roof garden
The roof garden

So much better than my local airport, Cardiff where the shops and food options are far more limited (and we’ve had some pretty bad food there in the past!). Obviously it depends on the flight options, but I’d happily drive the extra half hour to fly from Bristol as opposed to Cardiff!

The on-site parking was even handier when I landed – as it was a night flight coming back, I landed at 2am – there was a small queue for passport control but then as I only had hand luggage I was able to get to my car within minutes after that, pop the ticket in the machine and hit the road – no faffing!

For a 4 day trip like I had, parking on-site, within walking distance, costs from around £49. Now obviously there are cheaper options off-site, but for me paying a little bit more to be able to walk to and from the terminal is worth every penny:

  • no faffing about – more time to spend in the airport shopping/eating/drinking! (or get straight to your flight!)
  • no hanging around waiting for minibuses
  • If you have lots of luggage/buggies/wheelchairs you just go straight up the ramp – no loading and unloading
  • no fears about your car being driven/moved while you’re away (or like in the recent news stories – being given parking tickets!!)
  • for all these reasons, it’s far less stressful than other parking options- trust me, I’ve been there and done that!

Visit Bristol airport’s website here to book your parking and for other info! What do you think? Do you always go for the cheapest option or do you prefer being within walking distance too? I’d love to hear from you!

Disclosure: I was given free parking at Bristol airport in exchange for an honest review.

Linked up to #citytripping and #mondayescapes and #TriedTested



24 thoughts on “REVIEW: Bristol airport parking – is parking on-site better than off-site?!”

  1. I live in Bristol and flew out of the airport last week and had no idea there was a roof garden! Thanks for the tip! #CityTripping


  2. Nice review. We’ve had hit and miss experience over the years with airport parking. Definitely worth being onsite if you can be!


  3. A roof garden! Who knew?! We fly out of Bristol pretty regularly as often better flight options than Cardiff, we even stayed in the new Hilton recently. I agree with you, I think the parking there is pretty good and the airport is definitely much improved.


  4. I’m pretty lucky that we have a rapid transit train that runs from into the airport building, and I just happen to live about a block from a stop, so I don’t typically have to worry about airport parking. Which is pretty handy, because our options here are pretty limited, and so expensive, yikes!


  5. I would definitely pay a bit more for onsite parking – I usually go for meet and greet as it’s not too much more compared to onsite which is usually a lot more in London. I am very envious of the roof garden! Thanks for linking up with #citytripping


  6. Really interesting to read your review as I’m contemplating whether to park our car at the airport during our trip in August! We will be away for a month though so I’m not sure it’s worth the price considering I can get a cheap bus there! Bristol is a wonderful airport though isn’t it? Even in the last two years it has gotten so much nicer with so many more restaurants!


  7. We’ve started paying for airport parking, it starts the holiday off on the right note! It’s not much more than going by public transport but so much easier. We did try a meet and greet at Stansted but they took quite a while to give us our car back so might just self-park next time #citytripping

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  8. We usually park in short term parking too. It’s actually cheaper sometimes than long stay if you book far enough in advance, and it’s much less stressful than that trek to the airport from the car park.


  9. Parking near the terminal makes everything so much less stressful, especially when you are arriving back quite late. We’ve had our car picked up at the passenger drop off point too and that was stress free. You just have to put your trust in someone else to keep it safe while you’re away which i know is a worry sometimes. Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes


  10. We’ve had the same dilemma at Bristol and agree that paying more for onsite parking is well worth it. It’s so much nicer being able to walk to the car and not faf about with transfers. #Mondayescapes


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