Founded by Josh Eggleton, Michelin Star Chef, and Local Farmer Luke Hasell, in 2012, Eat Drink Bristol Fashion will be held at Castle Park on the 2nd and 3rd of May 2020, presenting Root, Yurt Lush and Eat Drink Bristol Fashion. This event will be even bigger and better than ever before, with the celebrations lasting for 2 whole days!
Eat Drink Bristol Fashion started off as a one-off secret Sunday lunch event by Pony & Trap, Tipi Events, and the Community Farm. Considering its humble beginnings, it’s amazing to see what it’s become – Bristol’s Placemaking Initiative adopted Eat Drink Bristol Fashion and made its first appearance as a pop-up festival in Bristol’s Queen Square, showing off the Best of Bristol’s restaurant scene and attracting over 10,000 visitors. The festival has grown in popularity year on year.
Even though it was originally Josh Eggleton’s and Luke Hansell’s brilliant idea to showcase the flavours of Bristol, this year’s event pairs up with Team Love, the organisers of two of the City’s most popular festivals Love Saves The Day and The Downs Festival. This iconic teaming will result in 48 hours of fun, with non-stop feasting and food alongside music and live acts as well as DJs – the complete fun package.
Eat Drink Bristol Fashion celebrates the very best of the Bristol food scene, not just the excess of great restaurants and chefs in Bristol, but also the affluence of the regional manufacturers and contributors. The flagship festival increased business with an intense ‘field to fork’ spirit. Festival organizers worked closely with the suppliers and manufacturers in Bristol and Somerset.
Along with the support they provided to the community food systems, Eat Drink Bristol Fashion also use other ways to make their venues as sustainable as possible. Visitors can have a great time enjoying the tastes of Bristol without any feelings of guilt. They are always working to improve their sustainability.
Their venues, Yurt Lush and Root, help out as well. Yurt Lush is pleased to sport the three-star Sustainable Restaurant Association rating and Root has SRA’s backing. SRA is an organization that supports over 6000 food-service sites to help them achieve substantial and appreciable change. At Yurt Lush, they aim to promote sustainability in the food industry to make everyone else aware of its importance and having achieved SRA’s 3 stars has put them in the top 81% of restaurants with sustainability in the South West.
The festival will have a proud and enchanting display of Bristol’s culinary skills, ranging from its Restaurants to communities, talks open to all, encouraging conversations about food in the City, Street food, Bars with local drinks, Kids workshops, School of Food classes, and a banqueting tent with some extra special surprises, music from Bristol’s own Doreen Doreen, Laid Black, Steve Rice, The 45’s, Queen Bee, Red Ray & the Reprobates and more. Everything a festival should be. See the 2020 Programme for more details. Tickets available now.
There is no dedicated car park for Castle Park. You can park in the multi-story carpark “The Galleries” opposite the park.
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We are blessed with many lovely parks and open spaces in Bristol. If you are looking for free things to do with the kids, visiting a park would be top of the list. So, here’s a selection of great Parks with great play equipment and areas for families with children of all ages.
Hengrove park welcomes visitors with a lot of greenery and open spaces that are as refreshing as they are full of activities to enjoy. The park provides everything from sandpits and climbing frames for children from different age groups. It also has a café, cinema, bingo hall, and free Wi-Fi for you to avail and enjoy as your children burn off some energy.
Not only that, but some of the most talked-about attractions of the park include a “wheel park” for skateboards, rollerblades, and BMX riders and a part that allows visitors to fly small model aircrafts and drones. Or you can relax in the wildlife area at the west end, with plenty of grassy areas to have a picnic and watch the world go by. In short, Hengrove has something for everyone. It doesn’t have a dedicated carpark, but there is plenty of parking in the surrounding areas.
Hengrove Park, Hengrove Way, Hengrove, Bristol BS14 0HR. Visit the Website for more information.
St. George’s Park
Where Hengrove focuses on modern facilities and greenery, St. George’s Park is a very old and historic place that still boasts some of its Victorian architecture at its main entrance. One of the most loved parks by visitors, it is comprised of acres of lush green grass with a beautiful lake in the middle where different kinds of birds have nested. It offers spaces that are natural, pet-friendly, and safe for children to play in.
Other attractions include a wheel park for skateboards, scooters, and BMX, tennis and golf courts, and a café kiosk with an outdoor seating area. The park also includes a dog-free playground. There is a massive lake with resident fish and birds, but it does not allow fishing. The Park doesn’t have a dedicated car park, but there is plenty of nearby parking.
St George’s Park, Church Rd, Whitehall, Bristol BS5 7AA. Visit the Website for more information.
Oldbury Court Estate (Vassell’s Park)
One of the most attractive and appealing aspects of the Oldbury Court Estate is that it has multiple enchanting panoramas to offer and is an ideal site for natural photography – such is its beauty and greenery. It includes a highly aesthetic woodland and riverside paths combined with a modern and attractive picnic area and play area. The park offers different activities for children of all ages including a water and sand play with a pirate play ship, swings, a roundabout, seesaw, spinner and slide, nest swing, slide, rock feature with a rope bridge, slingshot, dish spinner, zip wire, and much more. The play area is fenced to make it dog-free.
The park also has a lovely café kiosk, a terrace next to the play park, a tea hut, two football pitches, a cricket pitch, a protected area for wildlife, and also some fishing spots in River Frome. This very popular park has it has it’s own very large car park. Visit the Website for more information. Oldbury Court Estate, Oldbury Court Road, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 2JH
This very popular park has it has it’s own very large car park.
Blaise Castle Estate
Blaise Castle is another great tourist attraction with a very interesting history. The place showed signs of occupation in the Neolithic era, and the castle was built out of ashlar stone with limestone dressings back in the 18th century. The land has been one of the most popular and famous tourist attractions of Bristol ever since – mentioned in several literary works by famous writers and also praised by many other notable personalities.
The parkland around the castle includes a museum, plant nursery, café, play area, multiple walking courses, cricket pitch, picnic spots with benches, grassed spaces for sports, and also a lily pond. You could easily spend the whole day there exploring. This is such a large park there are two free car parks, one off of Kings Weston Road at BS10 7QS the other smaller car park is of The Dingle at BS9 2PA. Visit the Website for more information.
Greville Smyth Park
The Greville Smyth park is another prominent place to go and relax while allowing your children to indulge in different healthy games and activities. It includes a dog-free play area for children under 12 years of age as well as one for teenagers, three football pitches, a ping-pong table, tennis courts, outdoor exercise stations with great equipment for adults, and also a bowling green.
The park boasts a very generous amount of open space and is the perfect place to chill out, relax with friends and family for picnic snacks and a game of frisbee. Greville Smyth Park, Ashton Road, Ashton, Bristol BS3 2EA.
Another one of Bristol’s great attractions, the Begbrook Green Park includes a very engaging play area for children of all ages that is fenced to keep it dog free. The toddler play area is separate with a climbing frame, cargo net, slide, swings, and nest swing. For older children, the park provides a rock-climbing wall with a cargo net. Adults can also indulge in different activities at any of the four outdoor exercise stations and enjoy the equipment provided by the park. There are football pitches, a bowling green, all-weather pitches, and also some changing rooms for the sports pitches included.
Begbrook Green Park, Frenchay Park Road, Bristol, BS16 1JG. Visit the Website for more information.
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Housed in one of Bristol’s historic Harbourside Buildings on Princes Street, you will find this super independently owned Spanish Tapas Restaurant which first opened back in 2002.
As you walk into the restaurant the rustic tiled floor, beamed ceilings, whitewashed walls, Spanish music and lively atmosphere, gives a very authentic Spanish feel. There is a nice choice of tables from cosy intimate corners for a romantic meal for two through to large tables for bigger parties or groups. Join them on Sunday evenings for live flamenco dancing, live Spanish music and traditional paella from 7.30 pm.
We visited in July with a couple of friends from out of town who were in Bristol for a Salsa dancing event. I suggested El Puerto as I have visited there many times over the years, always enjoyed the food and I hadn’t been there for at least a year or so.
The reservation was made for 8pm, when we arrived our friends were already enjoying a drink at the bar. We were shown to our table by a jolly fellow and our orders taken shortly afterwards. One of our friends had indicated he was looking to eat something fairly substantial so I suggest one of the main meals (fish, steak or mixed grill etc) but upon viewing the menu he also decided there was such a good choice of Tapas we should share a variety of these (a very good decision in my eyes).
Tapas dishes range from £4 – £7 each and in my opinion are good value for money, they are large enough that 3 per person is more than enough for even the hungriest of us, 10 or 12 between a group of four give a really varied selection. A separate gluten free menu and vegetarian options are also available. There is also a fairly large wine list, a very good selection of Spanish beers and of course Sangria. See their full Menu.
We ordered an array of dishes, including – Chorizo a la plancha (grilled chorizo sausage), Pollo Ajillo (chicken in garlic & white wine sauce), Costillas Crujientes (crispy pork ribs), Chuletitas de cordero (Lamb Chops marinated in garlic), Espeto de Sardinas (Sardines cooked over charcoal), Pescaditos (Whirebait), Patatas Bravas & Patatas Ali Oli (deep fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and with garlic mayonnaise), Abondigas (meatballs in tomato sauce), to name but a few (my mouth is seriously watering just writing these !) We were also served bread with aioli and olives while our tapas was being prepared.
The dishes were brought to the table freshly as they were prepared, a few at a time, which in my opinion is ideal as none get the chance to go cold whilst eating and makes for an extended period of chatting whilst eating and drinking. I opted for a bottle of wine recommended by the waiter and the boys had Estrella, both were going down very well.
After we finished the tapas only two of us decided that we had just enough space to fit one of the mouth-watering homemade desserts on offer. I went for the El Puerto Strawberry Mess (their take on an Eton Mess with Fresh Strawberries, Organic Cream, Ice Cream & Meringue) which was absolutely delightful.
To summarise our night out El Peurto was fantastic – good company in pleasant surroundings, lovely atmosphere, scrumptious food, nice cold beers and friendly attentive service.
El Puerto has changed management a few times over the years, the new owner “Kani” took over just a few months ago and is keeping up the reputation of being Bristol’s #1 Spanish Tapas Restaurant.
Not long to go now for Bristol’s International Balloon Fiesta. This is Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, attracting over 130 Hot Air Balloons from across the world. So if you are looking for free things to do in Bristol this is the place for you. Tens of thousands of visitors from across the country and beyond come to celebrate this spectacular event. It is celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2019 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. There are also shows and entertainment, fairground rides, food stalls, 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 annually. For it’s 40th Anniversary some of the most iconic shapes returned to mark this huge milestone. These included favourites like Superbike, the Michelin Man, a special huge birthday cake shaped balloon, a pair of Bertie Bassett’s.
What to Expect this year at Bristol Balloon Fiesta
Free entry to this amazing fun family 4 day event. Be prepared and bring your breaksfast, disposable bbqs are welcome or there is plenty on offer from hot food outlets. Enjoy browsing around lots of trade and craft stands, grab a drink from the public bars, relax and enjoy the entertainment and Live Music on offer throughout the Fiesta.
Thursday 8th August – 12.00 pm – Opening Day – Hot Air Balloons are tethered throughout the afternoon. After a weather briefing at 6pm (weather allowing), there will be the first mass ascent. At 9.00 pm this is followed by the very popular nightglow, 25 hot air balloons turn into light bulbs, glowing in time to the music and to finish an amazing firework display.
Friday 9th August – Two mass Hot Air Balloons ascents. The first is at 6.00 am. 8.00 am Model Hot Air Balloon Competitions. 12.00 pm Hot Air Balloon Tethering. 6.00 pm the second Hot Air Balloon mass ascent.
Saturday 10th August – Two mass Hot Air Balloons ascents. 6.00 am mass Hot Air Balloon ascent. 12.00 pm to 5.00 pm Entertainment in the Arena. 6.00 pm Another mass ascent. 9.00 pm The nightglow with firework finale.
Sunday 11th August – Two mass Hot Air Balloons ascents. 6.00 am mass Hot Air Balloon ascent. 12.00 pm to 5.00 pm Entertainment in the Arena. 6.00 pm Another mass ascent.
Entry to the Fiesta is free, but parking is charged from £9.14 to £27.69 depending on the parking area. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Last entry to the Fiesta car park is 5 pm 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. Find out more and book TICKETS.
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.
The First Bus Balloon Shuttle bus service is operated by First Bus, from Temple Meads Train Station and the City Centre – Metrobus Stop C2, Colston Avenue to the Balloon Fiesta. Tickets can be purchased on the bus with no need to pre-book. Buses will run every few minutes.
Tickets are just £3 single or £5 for a day ticket, with a special group ticket of £15 which allows up to five adults to travel together. We’ve introduced two new ticket features for 2019: up to two children (15 and under) can travel free with each fare-paying adult and you can buy discounted tickets in advance of the day on the First Bus mTicket app.
You can buy adult day and group shuttle bus tickets on the mTicket app and save money! Just download the First Bus app, click on the mTickets tab and select the Bristol area. Click on Special Events tickets and choose an adult day ticket for only £4 or group (up to 5 adults travelling together) for only £12 per day. This allows unlimited travel on the shuttle bus only for one day.
Address – Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, Bristol, BS41 9JN
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Dogfest Bristol is an action-packed weekend in the amazing grounds of Ashton Court Estate, surrounded by thousands of gorgeous dogs. Celebrating its 6th year. This event is for the whole family to enjoy where you can treat your four-legged friend to the best day out ever!
The event is hosted by legendary Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick, it all began back in 2013 originally a one day get together in Surrey. Noel wanted to create something where everyone who loves dogs could be amongst like-minded people. Over the years, Dogfest has grown in leaps and bounds to now become an amazing weekend for people across the country to enjoy. It now has annual events in Bristol at Ashton Court, Herefordshire at Knebworth House and Cheshire at Tatton Park.
What to expect
This exciting festival has something for all dog lovers including amazing and daring action performances, dog dancing and agility displays, expert advice of caring for your pooch, shopping, music, food and so much more.
You can take part in many activities watching your dog doing something that they haven’t had the opportunity to do before. Some activities have a small extra charge.
Hay Bale Racing – Watch as your dog leaps over a series of hay bales all the way to the finish line. This is a friendly, not serious, competition dogs will be timed, with prizes being awarded for the fastest time of the day. There are even extra treats given for the funniest runs too.
Flyball – A team of will guide you and your dog as they leap over hurdles, towards a box that releases a tennis a for your dog to catch as they land on a spring-loaded pad.
Agility – Run by the Guild of Dog Trainers, a team of experienced dog handlers who will help novices to learn how to approach the obstacles correctly and safely. Obstacles include jumps, A-frames, pole weaving and tunnels.
Obedience Challenge – Challenge your dog training skills to see if your dog will respond to your commands whilst completing a timed course. On command your dog will be expected to be able to sit, stand, lie down, high five/paw, stay and come. Prizes are given for the most obedient dogs and the fastest round.
Dog Diving -The most popular have-a-go activity and such a great activity to watch. Dogs jumping into a big pool of water, having a splash and a swim. Places are first come, first served, you won’t want to miss this one!
Temptation Alley – Dogs are enticed by treats and toys as they head down the course. The aim of the game is for them to resist the temptation and get to the finish line without stopping or eating the goodies on offer along the way. Would your dog be able to resist?
The Activity Arena
One of the most popular attractions at the show, the Activity Arena is jam-packed with exciting displays and demonstrations. Look out for sports with dogs, Flyball which is fast and furious and the dogs absolutely love it. Also there is the fantastic show from ShadowQuest Display Team, whose highly trained dogs abseil from a 30ft tower and zip wire across the arena. Another amazing display is from Conquest-K9 featuring non-stop action with agility, 6ft high jumps, fire hoop jumps and criminal work.
Fun Dog Show – Of course, the festival has to, have a dog show. A chance to show off your special pooch to the audience. Open to everyone, each day enter a class in one of the four Fun Dog Show Rings. Winners of each class go through to a category final and winners of their category will then go through to the overall “Best in Show” held at the end of the day – Entries are £2 per class. Advanced entries are advised. Online ticket purchasers can register to enter in advance for Saturday or Sunday.
These fun class categories range from Loveliest Lady – Best Female Dog – 1yr +, Most Fabulous Fella – Best Male Dog – 1 yr +, Cool Pup – 6 months to 1 yr, Best Rescue Dog, Golden Oldie (Best Dog Over 10 years), Dog with the Waggiest Tail, Dogs Got Talent and many more. The First rounds start at 10.15am and finish at 3.15pm. Round 2 – Category Finals is between 3.30pm and 3.14pm, with the Best in Show being judged at 4pm in Ring One.
Puppy Zone – Specially created to give you advice and a chance to learn more about the new member of your family – Organised by Puppy School the UK leading network of well-trained and professional puppy trainers. Advice and techniques for training, play, discover, chill and learning.
Walkies – The Great Dog Walk. Twice a day at 11am and 3pm join thousands of others on a 2km or 4km walk around the glorious grounds of Ashton Court Estate with your four legged friends. Led each day by Noel Fitpatrick and Clare Balding.
Kid’s Area – A place for your children to enjoy themselves and burn off some steam. Have fun and play games and enjoy the new obstacle course for children under 14.
This festival focuses on bringing together a community of dog lovers from across the country, to celebrate and rejoice in the bond shared between dogs and people. Take a picnic and enjoy the whole day in the glorious grounds of Ashton Court Estate.
Tickets – Adults online £16.50 at the gate £21.50. Children online £10.50 at the gate £16.25, Families (2 adults 2 children) online £11.25 pp, £15 at the gate pp. VIP £90 pp. Children under 6 are Free. Book your tickets.
Open times – Saturday and Sunday 9.30am – 5.00pm. Parking is Free
Address – Ashton Court, Long Ashton, Bristol BS41 9JN
Driving – The best postcode to use in your Sat Nav is BS3 2JT. As you approach the venue, AA signage for DogFest will be up – follow this to reach the car park.
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Locked in A Room is a live escape-room experience. Participants are locked in a room with a series of tests, puzzles and clues that combined, allow the unlocking of the room’s mystery and hopefully a successful escape, challenging you every step of the way. Once the door slams, you’ll need to quickly figure out what lies ahead of you and ensure you have the best laid plans in order. You’ll need to collect clues, solve riddles and think outside the box in order to escape in time. Teamwork is key! The games are designed for 3 players or more.
You will find yourself submerged into a new world in the heavily themed rooms which will take you on a journey through the world of science and time travel. Faced with non-physical, yet exhilarating, challenges, cryptic clues, tests and puzzles which are aimed at stretching the usual thought processes.
Locked in a Room Bristol is the only escape venue in Europe that can enable a large group up to 52 players (up to 72 coming soon!) to race against each other simultaneously. This considerably adds to the pressure, excitement and adrenaline rush, as if it wasn’t tense enough already!
There are 3 themed escape rooms to choose from.
JUNGLE – Dive into the deepest depths of the rainforest, discover lost idols and escape the clutches of The Unseen, as you investigate a secret agent’s doomed mission to retrieve the jungle’s most dangerous treasure.
PARALLAX – The time-travelling super genius, Professor Pottenger has been kidnapped by unknown assailants! The assailant’s hideout has been located but questions still remain… Where is Pottenger? Who kidnapped him? Who do they work for? Enter their hideout and obtain the vital intelligence needed to unearth this peculiar mystery, before it’s too late!
INFINITY – Samuel Pottenger and Albert Scabworthy; Two of the greatest scientists of a generation, forever locked in bitter rivalry. But now, Professor Pottenger has been kidnapped, and his fabled Infinity Device has begun to melt down, threatening all life on Earth. As a last resort, Pottenger has called upon the one mind powerful enough to find his Infinity Lab and avert disaster: his oldest enemy. Uncover his greatest secret, and save the universe? Prove yourself worthy, and your names will live on through Infinity…
Locked in a Room like to make sure everyone has a great time and that of course includes safety! Their brand new room Jungle is designed for smaller teams, and has a maximum of 4 players at any one time. The Infinity and Parallax games have a maximum of 6 players per room, but there are multiple rooms of each! If you have more than 6 players you can play head to head. Making it much more competitive and of course more fun!
Locked in a Room is an unforgettable live escape room experience, ideal for large or small groups of friends looking to challenge themselves whilst having a lot of fun.
A very popular inventive cocktail Bar, with a concept unlike any other creating a truly unique experience as soon as you walk through the doors. Aluna which used to be Thai Edge is divided into two distinct sections. Turn right and it’s the restaurant with some really funky food and also the usual salads, burgers, pastas, steaks and even a stir-fried lobster with celery, ginger, spring onion and a touch of Thai whisky. Turn left and it’s the bar area with their legendary cocktails and a feeling of Victorian boudoir meets Arabian Nights, you will fall in love the décor, the tables are beautifully decorated as well as the walls and ceilings. The whole place has a warm cosy, but classy feel.
The main attraction, the cocktails are painstakingly tested and developed, to illustrate and highlight the delicate, subtle and fragrant ingredients collected from all over the world. The elite bartenders hold a wealth of knowledge which allows them to push the boundaries of molecular mixology and produce truly exciting cocktails.
Know about Mixology
Mixology…. Trendy? Yes! cocktail bars are being replaced with ‘Mixology Studios’ (yes, really!), bartenders are calling themselves ‘Mixologists’, and even the new Girl Guiding programme allows a 7-year old Brownie to earn her Mixology badge – whipping up non-alcoholic cocktails, of course.
‘Mixologist’ is the new way to describe someone who invents new drinks, researches new ingredients, and comes up with innovative ways to serve up classic flavours; essentially, a bartender who cares about his craft. Ultimately, mixology is more about the art of cocktail making.
Why not book a Masterclass
Cocktail Masterclasses will be a personal guided session with your own bartender, who will show you the basic Aluna techniques to making show-stopping cocktails. Packages start from £22.95 per head up to £39.95 per head, although groups must be a minimum of 4 people and a maximum of 12. Any groups larger than this must be completed in two sessions to ensure the guests receive the best experience with each session lasting roughly 1-3 hours depending on package and group size. Booking in advance is essential due to demand.
Masterclass Packages range from £22.95 to £39.95 per person. All includes a minimum of 2 cocktails.
A Cocktail Masterclass is a great experience for groups wanting to start their weekend with a bang.
The Pan-Asian inspired menu is a culmination of the chef’s experience and dedication to food, you are guaranteed to find something to tantalise your taste buds. The Menu is mainly small dishes or dishes to share and has an amazing selection of beautifully presented and tasty delights.
Aluna is the perfect place to start you evening, situated close to Bristol Harbour. As you would expect advanced booking for food is essential.
Nice upmarket cocktail. The cocktails are top notch, its worth a visit. Bar staff are friendly and knowledgeable on cocktails. Interior decor is well maintained and comfortable to sit in. Right in the city centre by bus routes and was to access. The bar gets very busy so book ahead if you want a table on Fridays or Saturdays.
Local Guide – a year ago
My favourite cocktail bar in the city – they have an amazing variety of cocktails served by really friendly and helpful staff members. The atmosphere of the place’s also really cosy and quite high-end, so if you feel like treating yourself, this is the place to go.
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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.
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