Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is a family-owned zoo set on a working farm in 100 acres of beautiful, peaceful North Somerset countryside. The zoo was founded by Anthony and Christina Bush, who have lived and worked there together as dairy farmers since 1962 when the original Moat House Farm was part of the Tyntesfield Estate. The couple first opened Noah’s Ark as a farm visitor centre in 1999 and it quickly became a favourite day out for visitors. It has since grown to become an award-winning zoo and one of the most popular visitor attractions in Somerset.
Opening for its first season as Noah’s Ark Farm Centre in 1999, visitors were able to get hands-on with bottle-feeding lambs and getting up close to both farm animals and exotic animals such as llamas, camels and wallabies. Tractor rides and playing in the hay barn were popular activities as they still are today.
Now the zoo welcomes over 170,000 visitors a year and has an exciting, large animal collection of over one hundred species which includes African elephants, giraffes, lions, a tiger, rhinos and bears. The original hands-on approach has continued and today visitors enjoy close encounters with some amazing animals.
Sustainability and conservation are foundational to everything they do at Noah’s Ark. This includes education through their daily Keeper Talks, education workshops and regular fundraising events for animal conservation charities.
Noah’s Ark is proud to have various species which are part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), which works with animal parks and zoos across Europe to breed and protect endangered species. The Elephant Eden enclosure is the largest elephant enclosure in the UK and in fact the largest in Northern Europe.
The farm aims to be a leading “green zoo” and generates over half of their our own electricity needs through renewable power generation on site – solar panels on the roofs of animal enclosures, biomass and their our very own wind turbine. Harvesting and recycling water from roofs and providing enrichment for animals using upcycled materials such as old fire hoses donated by the local fire service. They support local and Fairtrade through our cafes and kiosks and use recyclable and compostable packaging wherever possible.
They have over 100 different species of animals from Lions and Tigers, giant African Elephants, Giraffes and Bison to Madagascar Day Geckos, Yellow-Bellied Terrapins and Sun Beetles.
If you visit the zoo you’ll find a model replica of the biblical Ark in the Ark Exhibition Room located just off the courtyard opposite our Farm Shop. As the name of the park suggests, it is themed on the story of Noah and the Ark and has had some resources onsite which explore the idea that a boat built by a man inspired by God was constructed to protect and conserve creatures from an early flooded world.
Was it just a story or is there evidence for a real event? You can make up your own mind from the information boards and take a look at the impressive scale model vessel.
The model Ark took a thousand hours to build. It is built in scale with the dimensions in Genesis, a full size vessel would have been huge. To verify whether a timber-built vessel of this size could really float they asked Professor Andrews of the London School of Naval Architecture to allow a student to do a research project on it. He agreed. Thomas Grafton studied the Ark as part of his degree course and showed that it most certainly would have floated. In his review of the project, Charles Betts, chief naval architect for the British Navy, considered that the Ark would have been able to withstand a force-12 gale.
The Zoo hold’s special events through the year, in January kids go for free when accompanied by a paying adult. February Half Term, Woo At the Zoo, where you can follow the heart trail around the zoo, finding fun facts about the animals and you can win a family day ticket for 2 adults and 2 children. And much more.
For an additional cost why not try their Elephant Experience. Be prepared to get up close with the largest land mammal on Earth, the African Elephant. A One-to-one experience, behind the scenes with their Elephant Keepers to find out how our African elephants receive the best care possible. Find out what it’s really like to be a Zoo keeper as you help with daily enclosure maintenance and food preparation. Watch in awe as our experienced keepers, with protected contact training, carry out daily husbandry tasks such as weighing, washing and foot care. Revel in exclusive behind-the-scenes access to our 20-acre Elephant enclosure and help the keepers hide enrichment treats for the Elephants to find. Enjoy all this whilst learning some fantastic facts from our highly experienced keepers. You will also receive an Elephant Keeper experience souvenir pack which includes free day entry to Zoo for the participant(s), a personalised certificate of achievement and a complimentary T-shirt to remember your experience.
Check out their Website for more information on this great experience HERE
They also have a large indoor play areas for rainy days :-
Jungle Den – A heated indoor soft play area for under 5’s. Ball pits, rollers, slides, soft games, ball blower and much more!
Beehive Maze – Buzz around the largest indoor 3d maze on site which covers 4 levels with many a twist, turn and dead-end to make it a little harder.
SoftPlay – A huge indoor play barn with a massive drop slide, trampolines, climbing frames, rope bridges, nets and swings. Younger children will enjoy the tractor track with plastic tractors to drive.
Straw Den – Swing your way around our barn on the hanging ropes and land softly in the mound of straw in the covered play straw barn.
Milk A Cow – Try your hand at milking their life-size cow in the Animal Village.
And an outside Play Area:-
Mega Monster & Mini Maze – Europe’s longest hedge maze! Will you conquer it? Have an a-maze-ing time answering the questions to lead you out. The mini maze alongside is good practice and great for the little ones. Don’t forget your wellies, the maze can get very muddy. Please note as at February 2019 the maze is currently closed for maintenance.
Elephant Playzone – A giant Elephant slide and new whirling web at the new play area at Elephant Eden.
Tractor Rides – Enjoy a tractor ride, for just £2 across the farms land taking in breathtaking views of the Severn Crossings!
Wallaby Hill – Zip, climb, swing and scramble in the huge outdoor wooden adventure playground, packed with 2 zip lines, climbing wall, rope bridges, swings and slide plus Noah’s ark!
Bigger Diggers – Try your hand at digging and scooping with the electric bigger diggers by the Big Cat Sanctuary for only £1.
As well as a Termite Mound, Welly Splash Pool, Trampolines and Sand Pit.
There is just so much to see and do, you can easily enjoy a whole day having fun with your family.
February – November – Monday – Saturday, 10.30am- 5pm. Open on bank holidays.
December – January – Monday – Saturday, 10.30am- 4pm. Closed on Sundays.
3 weeks ago– 5 Stars
Fantastic day! We were so surprised how many animals there were (including ones my children had never see before) and great activities for the children including soft play and rope swings in a hay barn. There is a tractor ride which you pay extra for (£2 per person) and we were able to see the elephant closely as she was walking across the field.
Bristol is a Great City, loved for is Diverse Cultures, Art, Music, Festivals and more. Its’s a great City with lots of open spaces.
Here are some interesting less “well known” places to go, when you are planning your visit.
1. Things to do in Bristol
Concorde At Aerospace
Aerospace Museum opened at Filton in October 2017. The project is being run by the Bristol Aero Collection Trust and houses a varied collection of exhibits as well as Concorde 216, the final Concorde to be built and the last to fly. It made its final flight in November 2003 (flying over Clifton Suspension Bridge) – it is now housed in a specially constructed hangar at Filton, on the outskirts of Bristol, where the airframe and the engines of Concorde were largely developed and where the UK assembly line was located; all British planes also made their maiden flight from Filton’s runway.
Filton’s association dates to the First World War, with the creation of the Aircraft Acceptance Park in 1915 which was manned by The Royal Flying Corps. The building lies next door to a former First World War hangar which has been cleverly renovated to house the bulk of the museum’s exhibits. The hangar was built in 1917 by the War Office as part of the Filton Aircraft Acceptance Park. It has enjoyed 100 years of continuous service in RAF and private hands. Manufacturers of airframes for use in the First World War delivered their aircraft to an Aircraft Acceptance Park for the installation of engines and armament. Squadrons were also prepared here before they were sent to the front lines in France.
Although the Acceptance Park closed in late-1919, the large flying ground was taken over for test and development flying by the new Bristol Aeroplane Company. The aim of Bristol Aerospace is to recall the past and showcase the remarkable role played by the Bristol site in Britain’s aviation history, but also, according to the museum’s collections manager, “to inspire the next generation” about science and engineering. Numerous exhibits – such as flight simulators and interactive options – show the museum is most definitely not just aimed at “plane spotters”.
Aerospace Bristol will keep the whole family entertained for hours. There are plenty of hands-on-activities. Children will be entertained with the fun flight’s interactive exhibits, fact-finding trails and clocking-in stations and much more.
2. Free things to do with the kids in Bristol
Grimsbury Community Farm is open to the public every day 365 days a year from 9am – 6pm, there is a car park on site and entry is free.
Evidence of farming activities on this site have been found going back to medieval times, although ownership and detailed usage have changed many times over this period.
The farm is now owned and managed by South Gloucestershire Council, where its function is that of a community farm open to all as a place to relax and enjoy, or even to learn new skills.
Throughout the year there are lots of different activity days and as well as new births of lambs, calves, piglets, goat kids, ducklings etc so always plenty to do or see.
If you are visiting Bristol with your family, this is a great place to spend the day.
3.Free things to do in Bristol with kids
Willsbridge Valley Nature Reserve
Willsbridge Valley is part of the Avon Wildlife Trust and is a sanctuary of wildlife amongst modern housing estates. The Siston Brook stream runs through the site and there are 2 ponds. In the 19th century the site was used for milling, quarrying and a coal dramway. The woodlands are beautiful and best visited in the spring when it is filled with flowers and you are surrounded by birdsong. Frogs, toads and dragonflies find their home in the ponds whereas dippers and kingfishers can be seen by the stream. Even foxes, badgers and bats are known to be in the area. This valley is a great place for a family day out, dog walking or if you are interested in geology and history.
The best time to visit is in spring between April and July but it is open all year round. A number of public footpaths run throughout the reserve. Wheelchair users can gain entrance via Willsbridge Hill and can access most of the valley. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on lead. Parking spots are available on Long Beach Road, Longwell Green, Bristol BS30 9UA.
4. Free things to do Bristol
Frenchay Village Museum
The Museum building was built in the 19th century as the West Lodge for Frenchay Park estate. The building has had considerable modifications over the years. The latest changes were in 1999 when the Frenchay Tuckett Society obtained a lease on the building from the North Bristol NHS Trust and converted for use as a museum.
The Frenchay Tuckett Society was formed in 1996 to care for a collection of Quaker artefacts donated to the village of Frenchay by the descendents of the Tuckett family. The Tuckett Collection, which is the nucleus of the museum, contains a wide variety of artefacts, some dating back to the 1770s. These include paintings, mountaineering equipment, journals, Quaker wedding certificates, books, Egyptian remains, Bristol porcelain and much more.
FRY’S CHOCOLATE – INVENTED IN BRISTOL – There is a permanent display about the great chocolate manufacturers, J.S. Fry & Sons. Although they were a Bristol Company that relocated to Keynsham, Joseph Storrs Fry (and his sons) lived in Grove House, Frenchay, from 1800 until his death in 1835, and he is buried in the Quaker burial ground here. Later, his great-grandson Cecil Fry lived in the same house. He was the last of the family to head the firm, and he died here in 1952.
On display the mortar and pestle originally used to grind the cocoa beans. In 1847 Fry’s invented the chocolate bar, and chocolate changed from being a drink to being something you ate. Fry’s displayed their new invention at the Great Exhibition of 1851, and one of those original 160 year-old chocolate bars is on display in the museum.
5. More things to do in Bristol
Dyrham Park, a National Trust property, has an historic herd of fallow deer who roam freely in the 270 acres (110 hectares) of ancient parkland which is full of magnificent trees and spectacular views. Visitors can get a flavour of the richly luxurious 17th-century life enjoyed by founder William Blathwayt by stepping into the impressive baroque mansion house and see the collections including artwork, furniture and a fine collection of blue and white Dutch Delftware.
Young explorers can run free in the Old Lodge picnic and play area, take part in a nature trail and tick off challenges on their 50 things to find list and investigate the splendid borders, idyllic ponds and the wildflower orchard which are all features of the stunning West garden and is being sensitively developed as a 21st-century garden with echoes of the past.
6. Fun things to do with the kids in Bristol
Pirate Adventure Golf
Bristol Golf Centre is home to Pirate Bay Adventure Golf at Bristol Golf Centre in Hambrook, is an unequalled 18-hole golf experience! Putt your way around this fun filled setting and watch out for alligators!
It is an excellent way to spend a morning or afternoon with family and friends as it has been specially designed to ensure that everyone has fun, whatever their age or ability level. The course is fully accessible for wheelchair users to play too.
It also has a Golf Range which has 24 Floodlit Bays, which are all fitted with Power Tees. Open 7 days a week from 9am – 9pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 7pm Saturday and Sunday. Last baskets are sold 15 minutes before closing.
7. Things to do Bristol
Badminton Horse Trials
Badminton was first held in 1949 by the 10th Duke of Beaufort in order to let British riders train for international events and was advertised as “the most important horse event in Britain”. It was the second three-day event held in Britain, with the first being its inspiration – the 1948 Olympics. The first Badminton had 22 horses from Britain and Ireland start, and was won by Golden Willow. Eight of the 22 starters failed to complete the cross-country course. Badminton was the home of the first European Championship in 1953, won by Major Laurence Rook on Starlight XV. In 1955, Badminton moved to Windsor Castle for a year, at the invitation of the Queen, in order to hold the second European Championships. Badminton was first televised in 1956.
In 1959, Badminton was held in two sections, called the Great and Little Badminton, due to the popularity of the event and the number of entries. The horses in the two sections jumped the same fences but were separated into the two divisions based on their money winnings. This graded approach was abandoned after the 1965 event. In 1989, the current director and course-designer Hugh Thomas, who rode in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, took over from Frank Weldon, a former winner, who is credited with bringing the event to the pinnacle it is at today.
Badminton is held in the 6 square kilometre (1500 acre) Badminton Park, where the car parks, trade stands, arena and cross-country courses are located.
The World’s Premier three-day event is held every year in early May and attracts over 160,000 visitors from all over the world.
8. Outdoor Activities in Bristol
Why not spend the day at Windmill Leisure an outdoor activity centre providing many activities for individual, groups and family fun out in the countryside.
Golf – A number of activities are provided, Floodlit, heated 300 yards long Driving Range, Floodlit G4 synthetic short game practice green suitable for putting, chipping and pitching. Lessons with golf professionals, fully stocked Golf retail shop and opening in 2021 an18 hole Par 3 Golf Course
Archery – Target Archery shooting at 20 metre distances is practiced. All the equipment is provided, coaching for individual and groups are catered for. Try their taster experience sessions to experience the sport and have some fun.
Football Golf – Getting the ball in the hole only using your feet is the object of the game. 12 holes of footgolf takes an average of 1.5 hours to complete, it’s open to everyone, perfect fun for groups and the family.
Disk Golf – Play much like traditional golf, but instead of balls and clubs players use frisbees or flying discs. Targets are used instead of holes. The game shares the same joys and frustrations of traditional golf. A great way to enjoy the county side and keep fit.
Fishing – Coarse fishing on four different lakes, suiting all levels of fishing, both social and weekly open match fishing. Fishing lessons / coaching available to book. Party and Group Packages available.
Some activities require advance bookings.
9. More Free things to do in Bristol
Winterbourne Duck Pond
The duck pond, also known as Flaxpits Pond, has been a beautiful peaceful oasis in the middle of Winterbourne for many generations. It has existed since the 16th century when it was used to soak flax before making linen, so is of considerable historic significance.
The area is used by local residents of all ages as a place for recreation and is very popular with local fishermen.
Winterbourne Parish Council own the pond and maintain the surrounding area. Frome Valley Angling Club manage the ‘water’ and fishing on behalf of the Parish Council.
10. More for things to do Bristol
Frome Valley Walkway
A pleasant and interesting 18-mile-long path which follows the River Frome between the River Avon in Bristol and the Cotswold Hills in South Gloucestershire.
The route links with the Cotswold Way National Trail at one end and the Avon Walkway at the other, as well as connecting with several other well-established recreational routes, notably, the Jubilee Way, the Monarch’s Way and the Community Forest Path.
The path passes through a variety of landscapes including open countryside and meadows in South Gloucestershire, the mediaeval town of Chipping Sodbury, wooded valleys south of Winterbourne Down, the pretty village of Frenchay and historic, landscaped parks in Bristol including Oldbury Court estate, originally an old hunting lodge within the Royal Forest of Kingswood. In Bristol the route runs through city parks and along pavements. Some sections of the River Frome are culverted near to the City Centre, including the point where it enters the River Avon near Castle Park.
Wholly run by volunteers Cleve Archers is one of the largest clubs in the county. It was founded in 1960 to practice and promote the sport of archery in accordance with Grand National Archery Society Rules. It is a well established and recognised leading archery organisation in the South West of England. The club is registered as a Community Amateur Sports Club. The majority of the members live in or around South Gloucestershire and Bristol areas.
As well as hosting tournaments throughout the year Cleve Archers have daily clubs running for Juniors, seniors and disability group. All courses are fully supervised by their coaches and all the equipment is provided. Have a go taster session are a great way to have an introduction to the sport.
If you are looking for a new challenge, this is definately one to try.
12. More Great Places to Visit
Bristol Activity Centre
Bristol Activity Centre is an experienced provider of great outdoor activities for adults and children in the South West of England, catering for groups of all ages 8+ and over, and groups of all shapes and sizes – from small groups of just two people, right up to large groups of 200+. They offer over 10 top activities all at the same outdoor venue in Bristol, Cribbs Causeway, including Paintball, Low Impact Paintball, Airsoft, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Crossbow, Quad Biking, Archery, Battle zone Archery and Axe, Tomahawk & Knife Throwing, and coming soon they will be adding Air Rifle shooting.
The original paintball venue established 2000 (and still one of the UK’s best!) is their dedicated woodland paintball venue which is located in Portishead. They also have a dedicated airsoft club for those with their own Airsoft equipment, called “Black Ops Airsoft” where they run “Airsoft walk-on day” every single Sunday. This place has something for everyone.
13. Fun thing to do with the kids in Bristol
Wild Place Project
Wild Place Project is a wildlife conservation park, run by Bristol Zoological Society and located close to the M5 in Bristol. It’s a fun, family attraction that provides outdoor adventure, play and learning, with a vision to create a sustainable future for wildlife and people through their conservation and education work. It has a natural and open feel, making it easy to explore. You really can get up close and personal with some of the animals.
It aims to inspire families to enjoy nature with a number of outdoor adventures from discovering wildlife from the UK and around the world with seasonal themed trails, exploring the woods and climbing in the undercover Fun Fort. There are some hidden gems liked the barefoot challenge exploring senses, a mud kitchen and musical play area and you can enjoy a great range of hot food and drinks in the quaint guest village, but there are also some great places to have a picinic.
Visitors to Wild Place Project can meet amazing animals from across the world from the mischievous lemurs of Madagascar, Leopards, Giraffes, Zebras, to the striking grey wolves of Europe and many more. You can also feed the animals. This place is like being on a small-scale on foot Safari.
14. Places to go in Bristol
The Dower House at Stoke Park
The Dower House, Stoke Park is a building in Bristol, England. It is one Bristol’s more prominent landmarks, set on Purdown, a hill above the M32 motorway on the main approach into the city, and painted yellow.
The house was built in 1553 by Sir Richard Berkeley. Rebuilt by Norborne Berkeley, 4th Baron Botetourt circa 1760, it eventually became used as a Dower House by the Dukes of Beaufort at nearby Badminton House. This included Charles Somerset, 4th Duke of Beaufort (The son of Henry Somerset, 2nd Duke of Beaufort) and wife Elizabeth Somerset, Duchess of Beaufort whose daughter’s obelisk can be found on the hill she died on from falling off a horse to this date.
Legend has it that Stoke Park, is haunted by the ghost of 17-year-old Elizabeth Somerset, who died in 1760 there after falling off her horse and breaking her neck. In recent years numerous visitors claim to have heard galloping hooves as they walk through – despite the fact horses haven’t been on the grounds for years.
Lots of people walk the grounds of Stoke Park, it’s the perfect place to walk the dog, enjoy a walk, have a picnic or in the winter tobogganing down the very steep hill in front of the house.
15. Places to go in Bristol
Glenside Museum is located on Blackberry Hill in the suburb of Fishponds. Its clocktower is a prominent landmark, visible from the M32 motorway. Several of the buildings on the site are Grade II listed.
The museum was founded by Dr Donal Early, a consultant psychiatrist at Glenside Hospital. Objects and documents were saved and collected from all corners of the building and beyond. The collection consists of a wide range of paraphernalia and images from the life of Glenside and of the local Learning Disability Hospitals of the Stoke Park Group and the Burden Neurological Institution.
The museum was successful in gaining a Heritage Lottery Grant in 2011 to collect memories of Glenside Hospital from those who lived and worked there. This has enabled the Museum to collect over 60 interviews giving many perspectives. These are available for those researching or wanting a better understanding of the history of mental health care. The museum continues to collect memories from anyone that worked or visited the hospital.
The museum charges no entrance fee but depends on donations from the public.
Avon Valley Country Park – Whatever the weather there is plenty to do for all the family. It is an 80+ acres Country park in Keynsham Bristol, next to the River Avon a place to have fun, meet the animals from Rabbits to Horses. There are many activities throughout the day, every day including animal demonstrations, talks and handling, fun games and craft activities.
There’s a massive indoor soft play area with slides, rope swings, canon area and a toddler village for the under 5’s. The outdoor adventure park has animal petting area, train rides, fishing, boating on the lake, go-karting, jungle land, wall climbing, crazy golf, feed the lambs, a Maize Maze, junior sandpit, country trail, tractor rides, picnic areas, gift shop and so much more including a café serving excellent food. There are hours and hours of fun to be had.
There are many other events during the year, but my favourite is the Christmas experience. Running from the end of November until Christmas Eve. The park is transformed into a Winter wonderland and the children can enjoy Christmas activities like gingerbread man biscuit decorating, card making, touring the toy factory, help the elves make toys for Father Christmas, posting their very important Christmas list in the magical post room, visiting the Enchanted Village. This is a special event which you must purchase tickets well in advance, but you also get use of the whole park.
We visited on the 2nd December 2018 and took 2 of our nephews. We arrived in plenty of time to enjoy the whole park. The children were given a special Christmas passport for the Christmas experience and some tokens for the quad bikes. We spend a couple of hours wandering around seeing the animals, having a ride on the train. They each took turns on the quad bikes and enjoyed the adventure playground. It was a little bit drizzly, so we spend the last hour an hour in the inside play area. We got a bite to eat and a cup of coffee whilst they burnt off their energy enjoying themselves on the slides and soft play area.
Then it was time for us to check in for the Christmas experience. It’s very well organised, the children are totally memorised by the whole thing. You are led from one lovely themed room to another with the elves entertaining them the whole time. Each activity must have taken around 20 mins, all the children in the group, which was about 12, got really involved with everything they were given to do, their passports were stamped after each activity. Then there was a chance to have a relax and wait for the big event, to see Father Christmas. While we waited for our time slot the children could enjoy the merry-go-round and the tea cup ride, feed the reindeer, sit down and have a chat with the elves who were helping them complete their present list and getting them posted in the Post Room. Enjoy their free cup of hot chocolate and play and have fun around the many decorated trees and Christmas themed life-sized ornaments. You really did feel like you were at the North Pole.
Smaller groups of 6 went in to see Father Christmas and Mrs Claus, the children were sat together on a bench, with the adults sitting at the back, the room was like what you see in fairy tale books. We must have spent another 30 minutes in there. They each has their turn to tell Father Christmas what they wanted for Christmas and were given named gifts. It was a very magical experience for everyone.
All the children left believing and then you could still spend further time in the area outside / inside and enjoy more rides until you were ready to take the train to leave. We all had a really great time. Would really recommend this experience.
Other Themes during the year include, October Half Term, children can enrol in the parks Witch & Wizard School with activities like, slime in potions classes, spell classes, teachers showing off their broomstick skills, pumpkin carving, broom decorating. Sessions run throughout the day. Children can take home with them a witch or wizard hat, broomstick, broomstick flying licence.
Halloween is always a very popular time, during October the park will be running a scary theme called Fear at Avon Valley Scream Park. This event is classified as 12a. Any persons under the age of 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult. Be prepared to be scared and dare to go into the Mazes or Escape Room, Frightening Street Theatre or ride of the Fairground Rides. Or enter the Killzone an interactive experience, test your shooting skills and kill as many Zombies as you can before they get to you! Will you make it out of the Corn Field? It’s totally terrifying.
There is also Halloween themed events for children, where they can carve pumpkins and do other activities and the whole park is covered in pumpkins.
Avon Valley Country Park – Pixash Lane, Bath Road, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1TP – 0117 986 4929 – 17 minutes by car from Bury Hill Farm.
Opening times vary through out the year , for more information visit their Website
It’s the perfect evening to see the fabulous Fireworks Organised by Downend Round Table returning for another year and promises to be even bigger and better than ever. A hugely popular event, typically attracting over 10,000 visitors on site. If you live within a twenty-minute walk they recommend that you don’t drive directly to the event, it’s quicker to walk! The event is held in The King George V playing fields, in Downend Bristol. There are three entrances to the park, Gate one is on Westerleigh Road and there are two further gates on Sutherland Avenue.
There will be a huge bonfire, funfair rides, food stalls, bars with plenty refreshments available from the Great Western Brewery which will be offering a selection of ales, lagers, ciders and wine and also entertainment for the whole family.
It’s best to arrive earlier as there will be areas on the roads which will be coned off for the safety of emergency vehicles. Buses stopping close to the event are
First Bus: 5, 18 18A, 47, 47A and 48 or A Bus: A6
The Children’s display is at 6:30pm and is is deliberately more about the visual effects and is suitable for younger guests to ooh and ah. The Main display is 8:00pm and will be using some BIG fireworks that combine noise and light so if you are sensitive to loud noises, some level of ear protection would be advisable. The gates open at 5:30pm so arrive early to get a good spot, there will be plenty of entertainment.
Child priced at £5.00 each. Adult priced at £7.00 each. Family ticket (includes 2 adults and 2 children) priced at £20. Children under 3 years old are free.
VIP ticket priced at £15.00 each includes; A fantastic view of the fireworks from your own seat in our exclusive VIP Area, VIP Wristband, An alcoholic or soft drink on arrival, Glow in the dark toy for children, Snacks, Loan of a blanket of brolly if it’s wet or chilly & A loo within the VIP area.
The tickets are available from various shops in and around Downend or online. Or you can purchase tickets upon arrival (VIP & Family tickets only available online).
This event is for charity and last year raised an amazing £26,000 for good causes.
Address: King George V Playing Fields, Downend, Bristol, BS16 6QW – Website
South Gloucestershire Show 2018 – 4th – 5th August 2018
Celebrating its 5th year, South Gloucestershire Show had something for everyone and the weather this year was absolutely glorious, making for a perfect weekend at the Show which gets bigger and better every year. This year one of the highlights was the amazing spectacle from The Stampede Stunt Company with their incredible International Dzhigitovka Show providing the best in Main Arena Equine Shows, using the world’s best Trick Riders and delivering outstanding performances that are detailed, scripted, choreographed and presented meticulously. It certainly kept everyone thoroughly entertained.
Other attractions included a new birds of prey show in the main arena and a dog agility display and terror racing. A country fair area with the Wye Valley Axemen showing off their skills with engaging displays containing razor sharp axes and saws. The Motor Zone which had a massive selection of vintage cars on display. The food and crafts festival marquee, children’s fun fair rides and live music from the music stage with local bands performing throughout the day including The Coyote Kings, Twinners, Paruski, Limited Edition, WILF and The Stories to name just a few!
The Sprint Print BMX Arena showcased Matti Hemmings a professional flatland BMX rider with 3 Guinness World Records showing his BMX stunt show with freestyle BMX performances alongside freestyle footballer Steve Gray. These very skilled shows were amazing.
There were also hundreds of fabulous individual local exhibitors and stalls too selling local crafts, clothing, face painting, health and wellbeing, bespoke gifts, plants and scrumptious food and drinks and the Kids Zone was always full of families enjoying a whole range of activities from painting, flower arranging, modelling and a Punch & Judy Show, which was hilarious and not forgetting the Sheep Show a fun educational show, if you’ve not seen it before it’s definately not one to miss.
Exhibitors – there are just too many, but here’s a selection from our visits this weekend :-
Handmade Pies, Black Cheese, Handmade Wooden Gifts by Amy Lovell, Hives & Herbals, Bertha’s Pancake Pantry, Artisans, The Reiki Connections, Heart Shack, Eat a Pitta, Atlanta Design, Handmade Illustrated Gifts, Eccentric Gins, Flapjackery, The Bath Soft Cheese Co, ICandy, Continental Cottage, Edinburgh Gin, Stardust Face painting, NFU Mutual, Clifton Photography Co, The Gourmet Brownie Kitchen, Almondsbury Garden Centre, Oliver Corner, Avon Wildlife Trust, Pickle Millie, Oscar Pet Food, Dazzling Mosaics, Marshmallow Heaven – and many, many more.
The organisers have done a great job providing South Gloucestershire with a country show, which just keeps getting better year on every year.
On the Gate Prices – Adults £12.50, Child £7.50, Family (2 adults, 3 children) £37.50
Hospitality Packages from £20. Parking is free – Dogs allowed.
The South Gloucestershire Showground, Westerleigh Road, BS37 8QZ between the large towns of Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Emersons Green and Downend and is easily accessible from the M4, M5 and the A4174 (Avon Ring Road).
Gates open at 10.30am on both days and the fun goes on until 8.00pm.
For Sat Navs you should use the postcode BS37 8QZ.
Car parking is free at the show and there is ample space for plenty of cars including disabled parking.
The Showground itself is situated along the Avon Cycleway that connects areas in South Gloucestershire, Bristol and North Somerset.
Review – 11 months ago-
I’m not one to usually post a review but enjoyed this year’s Show so much I felt I should. The food available inside was great with plenty of choice (and not too expensive either!). I particularly liked the bubble tea and ridiculously rich stand within the marquee section. So much on offer for only £10 entry, the children really loved the BMX display and we enjoyed the bar! The pig racing was also a lot of fun. Looking forward to next year’s Show already!
The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, attracting over 130 Hot Air Balloons from across the world. Tens of thousands of visitors from across the country and beyond come to celebrate this spectacular event. It is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018 and will be bigger and better than ever before.
The Fiesta is truly a sight that can only be seen in Bristol and is held over four days in August every year, at Ashton Court Estate. There is so much to keep you busy during the day including the mass ascents where as many as 100 balloons launch at the same time, twice per day at 6am and 6pm, subject to weather conditions and also shows and entertainment, fairground rides, food stalls and fantastic trade and craft stands and fireworks. It’s also a great opportunity to have a ride in a balloon.
The night glow is also something not to miss, the hot-air balloons light up their burners in time to music. Night glows are usually on the Thursday and Saturday from 9pm and usually last for an hour and is then followed with a firework finale. Some people see this as the highlight of the Fiesta.
The event was first held in 1970 and is now one of the largest in Europe and takes place in the Aston Court Estate. For it’s 40th Anniversary some of the most iconic shapes will be returning to mark this huge milestone. These include favourites like Superbike, the Michelin Man, a special huge birthday cake shaped balloon, a pair of Bertie Bassett’s.
TRAVEL AND PARKING
This is a fun family event and entry to the Fiesta is free, but parking is charged at £10 + booking fee per car and needs to be booked in advance.http://www.bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk/visitor-information/tickets-and-parking/ Anyone turning up without a pre-booked ticket will be turned away. Last entry to the Fiesta car park is 5pm each day, spaces are expected to sell out quickly, so you need to book asap. There are signs, which are yellow to guide travellers to the correct car park and it’s best not to follow your sat-nav directions as there is more than one entrance.
If you’re coming from the North, M5 Junction 19: take the A369 towards Bristol city centre.From the South, M5 Junction 21: take the A370 towards Bristol.From the East or West, M4 Junction 20: take the M5 southbound, leaving at junction 19 for the A369 towards Bristol city centre.
Bus services will be operation from Bristol Temple Meads and The Centre (St Augustine’s Parade) during all four days, running ever 10 minutes from 10am until the Fiesta closes. Payment can be made on the bus, tickets are £3 for adults, £2 for concessions or £5 for day returns for adults and £3 for concessions.
Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, Bristol, BS41 9JN – 45-minute walk from the city centre.
We stayed for the whole weekend at the Balloon Fiesta and camped in the nearby temporary campsite. This is just walking distance to the main arena. The balloons are just fantastic, and (weather permitting) fly in the morning and the evening. Thursday and Saturday evening they also had the “Night Glow” of static balloons lit up to music and a spectacular firework display. Lots of things to see also like stunt flights, wing walkers, parachute etc. The arena is very large and has trade stands galore, mostly craft type or food outlets. Two bandstands with live music was also a bonus.
The Bristol Harbour Festival is back this weekend, a free festival held annually, which celebrates the city’s maritime heritage and the importance of Bristol’s docks and harbour. Most of the activities, including live music, street performances, dance acts, interactive theatre, international circus acts, fireworks and a variety of other live entertainments, are held on or near the waterfront of Bristol Harbour. Venues include Queen Square, Lloyds Amphitheatre, Millennium Square and Castle Park, with seagoing vessels moored nearby. The liveliest part of the festival is quayside, but the main attractions are entertainment designed to engage all the communities of Bristol, as well as entertain the thousands of visitors to the city.
The city has hosted the festival since 1971, when it was started as part of an, ultimately successful, attempt to save the docks from being filled in. In 2012, the festival attracted over 200,000 visitors, its highest ever attendance, with the Irene and the Matthew being two of the tall ships to attend that year. The festival is held every year in July over a weekend and many of the bar and restaurants put on extra entertainment to keep visitors happy during the late evenings. In 2018 visitors will be able to watch for the first time, the Power8 rowing sprints battle it out on the water, as teams from eight cities compete to be the best.
The highlight of this year’s festival will be the arrival of three impressive ships – The Kaskelot, this year, it will be open for the public, after undergoing a full restoration, you can explore the boat and discover the inner workings of this gorgeous boat. The Earl of Pembroke, the current rigging has been designed and built the remarkable HMS Endeavour. The Phoenix, being the star of several tv productions and movies. They all return home to their registered port of Bristol, symbolising and celebrating Bristol’s wonderful maritime heritage.
More than 250 boats of varying shapes and sizes will be tied up at every available mooring along a four-mile stretch of the Harbourside, with familiar sights such as the SS Great Britain and the Matthew all set to appear.
There’s so much entertainment to keep you engaged including music at the huge outdoor concert area, the Lloyds Amphitheatre, top quality circus and street theatre acts from Circus Bijou. Western Boat Show, showcasing all kinds of sailing boats and power boats. Continental Food Market at Queens Square, a fantastic line-up from across France, Italy, Spain and Germany providing olives, cheese, crepes and more, an experience for the taste buds together with traditional gifts and crafts and lots of Harbour side fun for everyone.
Travel – Head for the City Centre, follow signs for Harbour Festival.
Gromit Unleaded 2 – Bristol – UK – 2nd July – 2 September 2018
This year Gromit with be joined by his pal Wallace and rival Feathers McGraw, as they once again take up residence in Bristol and the surrounding area to raise money for The Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity.
The dazzling, colourful award-winning trio will be dotted around the city and perfect for a Grand Day Out.
You can download the interactive trail app and unlock special trophies and collect rewards whilst tracking down the sculptures, or you can pick up a paper map from several locations around Bristol including our GU shop at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Bristol Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre, M Shed, Tourist Information Centre, Aerospace Bristol and the Gromit Unleashed HQ on Upper Maudlin Street. – We have the official paper Trail Map here a Bury Hill Farm for guests too.
Here’s the trail in alphabetical order showcasing Bristol’s fabulous parks, historic landmarks and waterfront locations – Aardman, Gas Ferry Road, Aerospace Bristol, Arnos Vale, Ashton Court, Ashton Gate Stadium, Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park, Keynsham, Badminton Road, Downend, Blaise Castle, Boston Tea Party, Gloucester Road, Bristol Energy Hub, Harbourside, Bristol Marriott City Centre Hotel, Bristol Children’s Hospital, Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Cabot Circus, Cascade Steps, Cenotaph, Colston Avenue, Chew Valley Lake, Cinema de Lux, Cabot Circus, Clifton Observatory, Clifton, Suspension Bridge, College Green, Dunkley’s, Bradley Stoke, Flaxpits Lane, Winterbourne, Gardiner Haskins, Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare, Greenway Centre, Southmead, Gromit Unleashed 2 Shop, The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Hargreaves Lansdown, Anchor Road, Hartcliffe Community Farm, High Street, Chipping Sodbury, House of Fraser, Cabot Circus, Kings Chase Shopping Centre, Kingswood, Mall Gardens, Clifton Village, M Shed, Millennium Square, Museum Square, M Shed, Narrow Quay, North Street, Park Street, Puxton Park, Hewish, Quakers Friars, Queen Square, Royal Fort Gardens, Royal West of England Academy, Sion Hill, SS Great Britain, St Mark’s Road, Easton, St Mary Centre, Thornbury, St Mary Redcliffe, Stanfords, Corn Street, Temple Meads Station, Temple Quay, The Downs, The Galleries, The Horsefair, The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, The Podium, Broadmead, The Victoria Rooms, UWE Bristol, Bower Ashton, Wapping Wharf, Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke, Wills Memorial Building.
During the summer holidays on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays FREE shows will be taking place at the Mall Cribb Causeway, of classic Aardman animations at their pop up cinema. Each show is 30 minutes long, there’s no need to book, just turn up on the day. The cinema will be located outside the Mall either by the entrance of topshop, M&S or inside if it is raining. The Gromit Unleashed shop is also at the Mall, the only place to buy all the official Trail merchandise, a perfect change to purchase a Wallace or Gromit of your own.
After the trial has finished, from 15 September you will be able to see all of the sculputres at the Gromit Unleashed 2 Exhibition at the Mall Cribbs Causeway, this is ticketed exhibition – on sale soon.
There are lots of things to look forward to as St Pauls Carnival make its triumphant return to the city on July 7th 2018 – 12 noon – 10pm for its 50th anniversary. Attracting over 40,000 people this iconic event started back in 1968 bringing people from around the world to the streets of St Pauls, as you will expect, it’s going to be the most colourful of celebrations. The Carnival is traditionally a participatory event for local people and this year it’s going back to its roots celebrating African Caribbean culture. It truly represents the immense vibrancy, creativity and diversity that enriches the city.
The event includes a masquerade procession with beautiful, colourful costumes and floats from local and neighbouring schools and cultural associations, a stage for professional performers, sound systems all across the area and a range of stalls selling delicious food from a wide range of cultures as well as authentic Caribbean food including Jerk Chicken, Curry Goat, Rice and Peas. It’s an inclusive event for all ages, with plenty of things to do for the younger carnival goers.
The procession is always a highlight and worth watching the colourful sea of costumes and floats which makes its way through the streets. If you are taking children and there will be plenty of good vantage points along the route where you can soak up the sensory delights of the carnival. It starts on Wilson Street and finishes at St Pauls Sports Centre. Children can also enjoy a family activity zone, where they will be able to enjoy a wide range of fun and themed craft activities.
Starts at noon from Wilson Street, before turning right onto Portland Square. It will make its way around the square, in an anti-clockwise direction, so people can marvel at the Carnival floats and costumes in all their glory. The procession will then proceed along Surrey Street, before turning right onto York Street. Then, the procession will turn right onto City Road, making its way to the judging point at the junction of City and Ashley Roads. Judging will take place at around 2pm. Once judges have announced the winners, the procession will continue down Ashley Road, turn right onto Lower Ashley Road, and then turn right onto Tudor Road. Next, it will turn left onto Fern Street, before turning right onto Newfoundland Road, Ending at St Pauls Sports Centre.
There’s going to be a lot of fantastic music to enjoy with a large number of official PA systems on various streets, together with two main stages in parks and open spaces playing host to renowned DJ’s. This event has historically predominantly featured Jamaican sounds with offerings of dub and reggae, this year you can also expect to hear an array of different sounds from other genres too including Soca, Salsa, Dancehall and drum & bass.
WINDRUSH STAGE – COREY CLOSE
This stage will host a combination of community groups, cultural showcases and live music throughout the day. Stand-out live music includes Bristol-based multi-national group Baraka, whose unique sound draws the music of Ghana, Senegal, Dominica, Trinidad and Southern Ireland. Plus, of course, a closing set from Bristol reggae royalty Laid Blak.
WORLD CARNIVAL STAGE – BRUNSWICK SQUARE
This stage opens later at 1.55pm and will host a mix of culture and live music, with a little more of a lean towards the latter. Bigger names on the line up include Bristol/Plymouth-based alternative hip hop trio from the The Scribes, a heavyweight back-to-back from Dismantle b2b Boeke b2b LUCY, and a big finale from Bristol titan Roni Size with MC Jakes.
There so many other areas with music from the following DJ’s and artists – just to name a few :-Sly One, Carasel, K Stylz b2b Fireman Sam and Slowie, Marcus Nasty b2b DJ Polo, Jaydrop with Puma MC, Sherry S and Scar Duggy, Sian Evans, Krust, Joker, RSD, Tectonic boss Pinch, Kahn and Neek (dancehall set), L U C Y, OH91 x Hi5Ghost x Boofy, N.Y.T.A x GotSome, Gardna, Surprise headliner.
The nearest train station is Temple Meads. There are no trains running between Bristol Temple Meads and Lawrence Hill/Stapleton Road/Filton Abbey Wood/Bristol Parkway/Montpelier/ Redland/Clifton Down/Sea Mills/Shirehampton/Avonmouth/St Andrews Road/Severn Beach due to maintenance work during the weekend of the carnival. Buses will replace train to stations during the carnival.
The organisers reserve the right to search bags and any glass found will not be permitted into the carnival areas and may be confiscated. They advise not to bring rucksacks or glass. The carnival team is working closely with Avon and Somerset Police to ensure a safe and friendly carnival for all.
The Band is a 2017 musical written by Tim Firth, featuring the music of Take That, touring from 26 September 2017. The band was cast through the very popular 2017 BBC reality television show Let It Shine.
The show features the spectacular music of TAKE THAT, Britain’s most successful boy-band of all time, whose songs include Never Forget, Back for Good, A million Love Songs, Greatest Day, The Flood, Relight My Fire, Shine & Rule the World.
It’s 1992 and we meet five 16 year old girls for who ‘the band’ is everything. Join us on this emotional rollercoaster as this group of girls who were once inseparable reunite after 25 years apart and try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting the boyband whose music became the soundtrack to their lives.
It stars AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Curtis T Johns, Yazdan Qafouri and Sario Solomon – FIVE TO FIVE, the winners from the BBC’s Let it Shine who with a live band and a cast of 16 present this hugely anticipated production created by the team behind the magnificent Take That live concerts.
THE BAND is now the fastest selling musical theatre tour of all time.
When: 17th – 28th April 2018
Where: Bristol Hippodrome, St Augustine’s Parade, Bristol BS1 4UZ UK