I enjoyed a fabulous day out on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May, at The North Somerset Agricultural Show at Bathing Ponds Fields in Wraxall, Bristol. It was an early start as I wanted to watch the cattle showing and take lots of photos as this, for me, is the star of the whole show and my family were showing our Jersey and Hereford cattle. It was a very successful day (although tiring for the team) with great results – 4-second places, 3-first places and Reserve Champion, what a great way to start the year, at the first show of the season.
The Show is on the first Bank Holiday Monday in May and is run by The North Somerset Agricultural Society, formed out of the North Somerset Ploughing Society in 1840 by a small group of farmers. Its sole purpose was to further agricultural development by communicating agricultural issues and providing a showpiece to the general public.
This popular event attracts over 20,000 people and showcases local agriculture, food and farming as well as country crafts and pursuits. Show stoppers are tractor pulling, livestock showing and horse show jumping. This year was its 160th show.
North Somerset Show is massive, with so many sporting activities to partake in or to watch. I think my favourite (after the livestock) was the dog agility competitions, they had 3 rings for different levels of difficulty. It’s super competitive and the dogs absolutely love it, with some of them barking around the whole course.
You can easily spend a whole day here and be constantly entertained, there are displays and competitions going on all at the same time in different areas of the show. I wandered for hours and enjoyed every single minute of shopping at the trade stands. They have all your country needs, including clothing and gifts, crafts, art, photography, pet supplies etc. A vast array of food stalls inside and out. All of this is amongst the different arena displays showcasing, sheep shearing, falconry, motor bike displays, strongest man event, Vintage Tractor displays, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Archery, Air Rifle Shooting, Blacksmith Competitions, pony games, motorbike displays, the list just goes on and on.
A Great day out – put the date in your diary for next year!
Gates open to the public at 9.am and close at 5pm – Car parking is free. Dogs are welcome.
Tickets – Adults £18, Children (15 & under) £8, Children under 5 go free, Family (2 adults & 2 children) £45
Independent Review – May 2019
North Somerset Show Bristol, the first of the new season green field experiences this local family friendly show is the perfect size to get around in a day, see old faces, learn new ideas, inspire the next generation and generally appreciate how lucky we all are to live locally in the beautiful farmer-friendly county of Somerset … whether you like tractors, animals, games, sports, shopping, eating, drinking, chatting, bartering … watching or doing it you can pretty much do all of this with the whole family in tow !
What’s on in Bristol – We have a jammed packed May ahead of us. Here are some of my personal favorites.
Fun things to do Bristol
BADMINTON HORSE TRIALS – 1st May – 5th May 2019
Staged within the beautiful grounds of the Badminton Estate in South Gloucestershire this top-level equestrian sports Weekend kicks off on Wednesday 1st May, where visitors can browse over 500 trade stands in the vast shopping village. Exhibitors cover all shopping tastes, from Animal & Pet Feed, Art, Books, Toys and Country clothing to all equestrian needs and even Garden Equipment & Machinery. You can also explore the grounds and stroll along the cross country course. See the Site Plan for Tradestands and Food & Bars.
Thursday and Friday continue with Dressage, Saturday is Cross Country day, famous for its size and level of difficulty and Sunday sees the end of the competition with Showjumping. See the full timetable.
The annual event attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. It offers a great family day out, where children and dogs are welcome. The weather this year is set to be great, making this amazing weekend something to really look forward to.
Live TV coverage of every day of the Horse Trials will be available around the world via Badminton Livestream. You can also watch the highlights on BBC On demand.
For visitors who will be purchasing tickets at the gate please follow appropriate AA Signage from Stroud, Cirencester, Chippenham or the M4 J15, J17 and J18. Your satnav system will not take into account the traffic management that will be in place during this event. For more information visit their WEBSITE
More fun things to do Bristol
North Somerset Show – 6th May 2019
The North Somerset Agricultural Show is on the first Bank Holiday Monday in May at Bathing Ponds Fields in Wraxall. This popular event attracts over 20,000 people and showcases local agriculture, food and farming as well as country crafts and pursuits. Show stoppers are tractor pulling, livestock showing and horse show jumping.
The show is run by The North Somerset Agricultural Society and was formed out of the North Somerset Ploughing Society in 1840 by a small group of farmers. Its sole purpose was to further agricultural development by communicating agricultural issues and providing a showpiece to the general public.
Traditionally, the North Somerset Show takes place in May and since the early 1900′s it was held at Ashton Court near Bristol. In 2002 the Society purchased a 130 acre site in Wraxall near Bristol. This year is its 160th show.
What to expect – Inside and outside trade stands, with all your country needs including crafts, art, photography, clothing, pet supplies, food halls. Arena displays including sheep shearing, falconry, dog agility, pony games, motor bike displays. Vintage Tractor Parade, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Archery, Air Rifle Shooting, Blacksmith Competitions and so much more.
Watch the skillful showing of all farm animals and once the competitions have finished, get up close and see all the different breeds that have been in the competitions.
Foodie Festival Durham Down – 10th – 12th May 2019
The UK’s biggest food festival returns to Durham Downs with top chefs and MasterChef winners cooking live, try sweet treats with Bake Off winners and top bakers, sample new wines, champagnes and cocktails, eat delicious street food from around the world, taste new flavours, meet artisan producers, have fun all day with chilli eating competitions and food challenges and live music.
What to expect – Luxury VIP Tent, Street Food, Vintage Cider Tent, Live Music Stage, Healthy Living Show, Cakes and Desserts Theatre, Chefs Theatre, Kids Cookery Theatre, Restaurant Tens and more.
Children under 12 and dogs are free entry. Opening times: Friday 12pm – 9pm, Saturday 11am – 9pm, Sunday 11am – 6pm
FREE THINGS TO DO BRISTOL
South Glos Food and Drink FREE Festival – 17th – 19th May 2019
Returning to the Lawns at Bristol and Bath Science Park in Emersons Green for it’s second year, the festival provides a whole weekend celebrating our two favourite things, food and drink, together with music from local artists.
What to Expect – So many stalls, something for everyone
Food Stalls – Fuffle from Fudgeheaven, the Jerk Yard, in Tents Catering, Thomas Cookie Co, Jethros Marinades and Sauces, Free Range Pies, Flapjackery, Glastonbury Cheese, The Parsons Nose, Rad Burger, Chockshop, Signore Twister, Chanbury’s Woodfired, Dutch Cheeseman, Cohens Sausages, and many more.
Drinks – Hullabaloos Lemonade, Hay Wines Ice Cold Slush, Gillow Cider, English Spirit, Edinburgh Gin, ABK Beer, Cohens Coffee, Cusan Welsh Cream Liqueur, Eccentric Gin, Bubblebird Horsebox Bar, Pulpt, the list goes on and on.
Music – Rock Choir, The Bad Dads, Limited Edition, Richard Friend, The African Sambistas
Open from 10am – 4pm – Free Entry and Free Parking
Love Saves the Day – 25th – 26th May 2019
Love Saves the Day returns to Eastville Park for the 8th time and promises to be even bigger and better than ever. This year will see several brand new areas showcasing a diverse range of genres and music styles on some of the most ambitious stages builds to date.
The festival started from humble beginnings as a one-day event and has now expanded into an eclectic weekend festival. New stages have been added showcasing a diverse range of genres and music styles as Love Saves the Day continues with its aims to combine the best of Bristol’s thriving underground scene with pioneering artists across the globe in one buzzing, open space.
The emphasis is on great music but a following from all of the creativity and live entertainment that occurs throughout the festival, expect the spectacular. Over 300 acts performing across 12 stages, Love Saves the Day’s music line-up is second to none, but the festival has much more to offer, roller skating, ball pits, face painting/ jewelling, circus acts, fairground rides, displays and food and drink stalls. Love Saves the Day just keeps getting bigger and better every year.
If you’re a Mini enthusiast, you are going to be overwhelmed with hundreds of Mini’s invading Bristol for the world’s biggest meeting of the Mini club scene, in August 2019.
The International Mini Meeting is an annual event which originated in 1978 in Germany. It started out as a small 3-day camp event on the Whitsun weekend. After several years its popularity had grown, even over the German borders and this resulted in an International event which takes place every year in a different country, defying language barriers and creating a foundation of appreciation like no other. Every 5 years it celebrates the Mini in England where the IMM takes place around the Minis birthday in August.
International Mini Meeting Bristol 2019 is a 5 day festival style 1980s themed event for all ages, and welcomes both classic minis and new MINIs as well as their derivatives. The event opens at mid-day on Thursday 8th August, at Washingpool Farm, Easter Compton, Bristol, with a gentle build up to the official opening ceremony on Friday night, by which point most of the participants have arrived.
If you’ve booked for the weekend there will be plenty of things to do and see, including traders, mini displays, street food and drink vendors and meeting points. From Friday there will also be live music/acts throughout the day on the outdoor and indoor stages, plus rides and children’s entertainment. On Friday evening the event is officially opened, with a special opening ceremony. Different activities will be organised for Mini drivers and Mini Clubs during the rest of the weekend, including an open topped bus tour, rocker cover racing, club competitions including Sinclair C5 racing and a mini run.
Examples on show will span the entire mini family tree from pristine 1959 originals and Marcos coupes through to the second generation of John Cooper Works GPs, together with many wild and wacky restorations.
The Mini came into existence in England in 1959 and remained in production until 2000 in one form or another. BMW picked up the MINI name in 1994. While the German automaker wound down the British version of the car, it began designing the car that would become the new MINI in 2000. These days, the so-called MINI is a proper modern hatchback — big enough to swallow up the iconic 1960s version.
This event is only open to Day Visitors on Sunday 11th August, tickets will be available to purchase on the gate. If you want to attend any other day you will need to purchase a weekend Ticket.
Location – Washingpool Farm, the home of IMM 2019 and Easter Compton Farm Shop. Located just 5 minutes from junction 17 of the M5 motorway in the midst of beautiful south west England countryside.
Want more information about this great event – Visit their Website
Fancy a Boat Trip with Bristol Ferry Boats? – Bristol Ferry Boats offer a number of different trips, a great way to see the City from a different viewpoint. Bristol Ferry Boats has been running since 1977. The iconic blue and yellow Ferry Boats can be seen travelling around the harbour almost every day of the year. They provide a community focused, friendly ferry service and pride themselves on their unrivalled reliability. Visitors are safe in the knowledge that they run their service every day except Christmas day, come rain or shine. You will always receive a warm Bristol welcome their staff.
Wednesday Sundown Sailings – A lovely cruise around the Harbour, listening to music, watching the sun go down. The trip includes tapas and cheese to complement two drinks of either Gin, Sherry or Rum (drinks depend on dates booked). There are two departure times from the City Centre at 7pm and 9pm the trip lasts for 2 hours. Tickets are £20 per person.
Brunel’s Bristol Boat Tour – A comprehensive tour of Brunel’s famous Bristol Landmarks. Departing from Bristol Temple Meads, sailing past the SS Great Britain and on toward the historic lock gates, where Brunel’s other Bridge is laid. Traveling away from the harbour along the Avon Gorge underneath the famous Clifton Suspension Bristol and then returning back to the Bristol Floating Harbour. A great way to see some of Bristol’s Landmarks. This trip lasts for 2 hours and 40 minutes. Tickets – Adults £15, Children £12, Concessions £12 or Family of 5 £45.
Avon Gorge Trip – An exciting cruise along the Avon Gorge, with commentary throughout. Departing from SS Great Britain leaving the floating harbour, along the Avon Gorge, underneath the amazing Clifton Suspension Bridge, Passing the ancient port of Sea Mills and the Village of Pill and onto Avonmouth (if the tide allows) and then returning back to the floating harbour. This trip lasts for 3.5 hours. Tickets – Adults £18.50, Children £16.50, Concessions £16.50 or Family of 5 £55.
Booze Cruises and Boat Parties – Private Hire – There is a variety of packages on offer – Vintage Tea Party, Bubbly Breakfast, Booze Cruises and Party Packages offering trips to dockside pubs and bars. Catering for parties ranging from 25 to 45 people, with fully licensed CASH ONLY bars and music. You have the opportunity to hop on and off of the boat and visit a wide range of Bars and Pubs. These are fantastic trips, perfect for any celebration and for Hen Parties, a great way to start your weekend visit to Bristol. There are many options available to create a bespoke party. Find out more HERE.
Sunday Riverside Roast – A lazy cruise along the River Avon, departing from Welsh Back. This is a very relaxed river cruise, after sailing through the City, see Bristol’s countryside from the water as it travels along the feeder canal and through Netham Lock along the riverbanks of St Anne’s and Conham River Park. Enjoy the wildlife, you may see Otters, Swans, Deer, Foxes, Squirrels, Kingsfishers, Ducks etc. Gently cruising onto the very popular Beese’s Riverside Tea Rooms to enjoy a delicious roast dinner and then have time to enjoy the beautiful grounds of the Tea Rooms until it’s time to make the journey back to Bristol. This trip lasts (including your meal) for 3 hours. Ticketprices include your food – Adults £25.00, Concessions £19.00. Advance Bookings are essential as these trips are very popular.
Friday trip to Beese’s with live music – A Great way to start the weekend, departing from Welshback, a super river cruise sailing from Bristol, through the countryside to the very popular Beese’s Riverside Tea Rooms, where you can enjoy a meal and watch a live band most Fridays. Some Fridays the tide doesn’t allow for these trips, but that’s only a few. Drinks are available to buy (cash only) onboard during your trip. This is a one-way trip, so that you can enjoy the whole evening dancing, you will need to book a taxi for the return journey. Ticket prices include entry and food at Beese’s – Adults £21.00. Advance bookings are essential.
Band line ups for these trips for 2019 :-
26th April Belle Rose
3rd May Fiesta Latina
10th May Dysfunktional
24th May The Mayfair Players
31st May Funk Husky
7th June Soul Reason
14th June The Bad Losers
21st June The Jumps
28th June Dukes of Mumbai
12th July Finger Buffet
19th July Dappa Don & The Playaz
26th July Fromage en Feu
9th August Stiff Upper Lips
16th August JJ Gatsby
23rd August The Jumps
6th September Natty Daps
More about Beese’s Riverside Tea Rooms
Beese’s Riverside Tea Rooms is a hidden treasure, set beside a pleasantly wooded stretch of the river Avon. For some, a haven of tranquillity, where generations of city dwellers would put their cares of the city behind them for a time. Visitors range from families, ramblers, cyclists, dog walkers and, of course, river-users swimming or rowing leisurely by.
In more recent years, Beese’s can be a lively place, whether it’s a friends’ get-together, a birthday or wedding celebration, or one of Beese’s music nights.
Beese’s is open each year for the spring and summer. They have live music most Friday evenings, including a mix of known Bristol bands and visitors from afar. There has been an annual beer festival since 2009. Visit their Website for more information.
Back to Bristol Ferry Boats – There are 5 Ferry Boats all painted in iconic yellow and blue colours.
Margaret was built in 1952 and acquired in 1977 she has capacity for 28 passengers. She has a wooden hulled open launch and was Built in Appledore for service in Lynmouth to replace a vessel wrecked in the flood of 1952 and later used as a ferry across the Avon between Shirehampton and Pill.
Independence was built in 1927 and acquired in 1980 she has capacity for 46 passengers. With a wooden hulled open launch and was previously used on the Severn and Wye, and on the Erewash Canal.
Emily was built in 1927 and acquired in 1992 she has capacity for 48 passengers. With a wooden hulled enclosed launch. Built in Bideford and was previously used at Scarborough and in Gloucester Docks.
Matilda was built and acquired in 1997 and has a capacity for 50 passengers. With a Steel hulled enclosed launch, with a length of 14.02 m (46.0 ft) and a beam of 4.61 m (15.1 ft). Purpose built for Bristol Ferry Boats.
Brigantia was built and acquired in 2006 and has a capacity for 50 passengers. With a Steel hulled enclosed launch. Purpose built for Bristol Ferry and based on the design for Matilda but equipped with a retractable wheelhouse and a wheelchair lift.
Both Matilda and Brigantia are licensed to operate on the tidal Avon downstream from Bristol through the Avon Gorge to Avonmouth, as well as throughout Bristol Harbour and on the Avon upstream to the city of Bath. The other vessels are restricted to Bristol Harbour and the upstream Avon. Margret is the original yellow and blue ferry boat and is a true west country survivor.
Visit their Website for more information or check out their Timetable for Ferry’s.
Bristol Ferry Boats – A great way to tour the historic harbour. Friendly staff, great value.
Having had a less than successful trip to We the Curious, we saw the yellow boat arrive and jumped on board. The full tour takes you from the City Centre to Hotwells and back, and then goes off in the other direction to Temple Meads and back. You can choose the full 80 minute tour, a 40 minute (half tour) or simply use the craft as a taxi or bus in the harbour area.
We chose the 40 minute trip to Hotwells and back and saw Bristol from a viewpoint I had never experienced before. You travel past The Matthew and The Great Britain, have a good view of the cathedral, the harbour-side industries and the old pubs, with a great view of the multi-coloured buildings of Hotwells.
A very friendly crewman was there to help people on and off and call out the stops and sell the tickets.
We will definitely go back and do the full tour (ticket lasts a day and lets you hop on and off) when the weather is a bit warmer. Great fun and great value.
Beese’s Riverside Bar and Tea Rooms
This is a great little quirky place next to the river. If you are used to eating in chain establishments it may not be for you as it is quite ‘characterful’. We only had a cream tea but the Sunday lunches that people were tucking in to looked good too. The walk along the river and ferry across added to the charm.
More things to do in Bristol, near the harbourside.
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. Through marriages (involving the Stone and Tilly families in the mid-1700s) this site became part of the much larger Tilly estate which was in excess of 1000 acres. Following more changes in ownership, it was sold off in lots by the then owner, Rev. Edward Batchelor in 1862. The last private ownership was that of the Warner family who finally moved out in the 1970’s, whereupon Kingswood District Council took ownership.
Today, the farm is 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 events including new births – lambs, calves, piglets, goat kids, ducklings etc so always plenty to do or see.
A Typical year on the of farming activities include:
Spring – Lambing, Vaccinations and worming. Scanning cows to see if they are pregnant. Putting the animals out into the field to eat grass. Planting sprint crops.
Summer – The sheep are sheared to keep them cool in the heat. This wool is sent to the market. Lambs are weighed. Harvesting of spring and winter planted crops. Bailing straw from left over crops to us as animals bedding at the farm.
Autumn – Calving of Cows, sending lambs to market, moving some of the cows and sheep into the barns for the winter. Cultivating the land and sowing winter crops.
Winter – Female sheep are scanned to see if they are pregnant and also wormed and vaccinated. Cows are mated for Autumn calving. Maintenance is carried out on all the buildings, machinery, hedges and fences.
There is a lovely Café “The Barn Café” providing children’s meals, a range of light bites, sandwiches & rolls, pasties, a selection of homemade cakes and also has daily specials – all very reasonably priced and freshly prepared. The Café is open daily hours do vary but usually 10am – 3.30pm. Besides providing food for humans you can also purchase small packs of feed for the chickens & ducks, sheep & goats or pigs who you can feed on you way around the farm.
A rather damp Sunday afternoon didn’t seem like the best of times to visit Grimsbury Community Farm but we had a pleasant surprise when we arrived, the Farm has plenty to see even on a rainy day there are fairly dry pathways around the farm from where you can see an array of animals including : Pygmy Goats, Sheep, Dexter Cattle, several different breeds of Pigs, chickens, ducks, Donkeys & ponies to name but a few. As you wander around the Farm there are lots of signage & information boards telling everything from the history of the farm to details of the breeds of animals and details of individual animals, which are both very interesting and educational.
Upon arrival we decided to pop into the Barn Café (which is situated by the car park) for a nice cup of tea and a slice of lovely homemade Fruit Cake, we then had a wander along the pathway behind the café where you can see some of the ducks & chickens and then up to one of the barns which houses most of the Farm’s “babies”. In the barn was a Large Black Sow called Diana with her 11 piglets and 12 Gloucester Old Spot piglets – we read that the mother of these unfortunately died shortly after giving birth and it’s a testament to the care given by the staff at Grimsbury that all 12 piglets had survived hand reared !
Also in the barn were a Muscovy Duck and her ducklings, some lambs and a pen of rabbits.
On the way out of the barn we stopped to pat a sheep that was hand reared & bottle fed and roams freely around the farm happily accepting pats & attention from visitors, we then walked on around a path between the fields, past the outdoor paddocks housing some of the pigs onto the Pigmy Goat’s paddock and there met a very inquisitive little Billy Goat who just loved attention & posing for photos.
In the fields opposite were the Farm’s herd of Dexter Cattle (the UK’s smallest breed of cattle) some with calves too and some of the Farm’s sheep, some of these had red or blue markings on their behinds – which shows they have been served by the Ram and will be due to have lambs in the spring.
Further along there is the “Tree Life Centre” and Picnic Area and we then passed another field of sheep where some children were feeding some of the sheep who were very happy to nibble the food from the children’s hands.
On our way back to the car park we also passed the large Children’s play area which has plenty to keep the kids entertained including, seesaws, sliders, swings, climbing frames & mini adventure playground etc and plenty of benches around for weary parents to sit too.
So although it would be obviously more appealing to visit in the spring or summer there is still plenty to do & see even on a dull winters day at Grimsbury Farm !
The Folly on Westerleigh Road Bristol has had a major refurbishment and reopened on 5th November in style. The Management have been working really hard during the build up to opening night, running competitions and publicising their new menu. They’ve been out locally, with a mobile unit serving their coffee and cakes and hitting the streets with goodie bags, flyers and drinks vouchers.
The Folly is a modern family Pub and Restaurant with a very large garden and outside drinking area. The new décor is rustic, but charming and they provide a wide variety of Wines, Gins, Mocktails, Cocktails and of course, lager and cider.
They had sneaky preview sessions during the weekend before the big night, serving drinks, cocktails and samples from their menu. We sampled everything, and I have to say the Beer Battered Fish samples and Korean-Style BBQ Chicken Wings were a big hit with all of us. The whole menu looks great I can’t wait to make my way through it!
Monday Evening was the official opening night, the pub was packed, there was live music and a raffle in support of a very worthy charity SRUK. A Cheque for £3,000 was presented on the night.
Carvery’s on Sunday’s are extremely popular, booking well in advance is essential. We went last Sunday. There is an amazing selection of fresh veg, with Beef, Turkey and Gammon to choose from or a bit of each if you fill that you are up to it. Mushroom, Parsnip and Hazelnut Tart is on offer for Vegetarians. I have to say this is one of the best Carvery’s I’ve had in a long time, I always new The Folly was busy on a Sunday and now I know why.
The Folly also has a very large beer garden, with plenty of seating, you may even see the odd duck wanding around. Free Wi-Fi, Disabled Access and dogs are welcome and there’s a free carpark.
A bit of History
The Folly started its life as a Farmhouse and was originally converted into a roadside Cider house, where Nelly Hussey was the landlady. At the time it was called “The Beaufort Arms”, named after “The Duke of Beaufort” who hunted the land in the surrounding areas, there are tails of many jolly and late nights drinking and singing around the resident piano. In 1975 the pub was taken over by Dave and Molly Nunn.
Although the Pub was called “The Beaufort Arms” locals nickname it The Folly, it means to trick or swindle and it is said that when the local mines flooded, the miners would say they had been swindled. Water from the mines went in to The Folly Brook which still runs behind the pub today. Years later Dave Nunn changed the name of the Pub to The Folly.
The pub became a much-loved family country pub, with regular skittles, darts and quizzes nights. The bar was always full of with locals enjoying a game of cards, playing pool or just chatting and putting the world to rights.
The Nunn’s sold the Pub in 1999. They retired to Spain, to the Costa de Sol, where they loved to take their holidays. Some members of their family still live in the surrounding area. The Folly has changed hands a few times over the years since, it’s be modernised, but apart from some small additions, essentially the exterior of the building remains the same.
All in all this is a very good pub that has stood the test of time, its always remained very popular, the current management are doing a really good job to make sure it continues that way. Well done Chris and Team.
Address – Folly, Westerleigh Road, Emersons Green, BS16 7AJ – Tel: 01179 573691 – 4 mins by car from Bury Hill Farm. Opening times: Monday to Saturday every day 11.30am – 11pm, Sunday 11.30am – 10pm. MenusemailWebsite
Independent Review – 10 November 2018 –Great food・Friendly bartenders
Had a lovely family birthday lunch at The Folly. Both the waitresses that served us were friendly and helpful. The food was lovely too, but the friendly service really made it a lovely afternoon for us!
Local Guide – 16 September 2018
We went there in early August on a Sunday lunchtime, didn’t have a booking we just winged it. OMG the place was packed, it was heaving. We were approached by a member of staff, who amazingly found my wife and I a table in ten minutes. We had the carvery, which was hot, fresh and plentiful, bar service was good, with a good range of beers, lager and cider. Toilets where clean. There’s plenty of free car parking here, also has a nice garden for the kids play in.
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
We went to the Willy Wicket Inn Downend Bristol for a mid-week treat on our Anniversary. I reserved a table online, which was super easy and received a confirmation email within minutes. I had a sneaky peak at the online menu, knowing that I was going to be very hungry after a hard day at work.
The Willy Wicket is a former dairy farmhouse, now converted into a very popular pub/restaurant and is a Vintage Inn, serving quintessentially British food from an extensive menu. The dining areas are on either side of the bar and have roaring open fires, black oak beam ceilings, romantic candle lite tables and cosy lighting. The bar has many seating options including squashy leather sofas. Outside is a heated fenced beer garden with plenty of seating.
We had a lovely meal. For starters I had Oven Baked Portobello Mushrooms in a garlic and Cheddar sauce, served with very tasty rustic bread. My partner choose the Duo of pate and duck liver parfait, with Bramley apple butter, baby gherkins and the same very tasty rustic bread. For our mains, I choose the Tagliatelle primavera a paste dish with asparagus, soya bean, broccoli and baby spinach, served with a white wine sauce to which I added a chicken breast. My better half had the 8oz Rump steak with triple cooked chips, onion rings, thyme-roasted tomato and added garlic mushrooms. Of course, we couldn’t finish it there, we had a dessert each. A very creamy Eton mess and Coconut sorbet with fresh strawberries. As you can imagine we were suitable stuffed.
The pub oozes rural charm and rustic character and the picturesque surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for savouring the hearty, seasonal pub-food on offer, and the carefully nurtured cask ales and fine wines. With a weekly changing menu and lots to choose from, we will have to go back to try the many other dishes on offer and I especially want to try their Sunday Roast. There is also a range just for kids offering mini versions of pub favourites too.
If you’re staying in the area in December 2018 they have live music from “Freeze” playing on 21st from 9pm. “Freeze” is a covers band, playing all the classic’s and favourites throughout the years.
Whether you are planning dinner with friends or Sunday lunch with family, it’s a great pub to enjoy some quality time with those who matter the most. Booking for large groups is essential. We have a sample menu for guests at Bury Hill Farm and it’s just a 10 minute walk away. Parking is free and directly outside the pub.
The Willy Wicket Inn – Badminton Road, Downend, Bristol, Gloucestershire, BS36 1DP – Tel: 01179 567308 Opening hours – Monday to Saturday: 11:30 – 23:00, Sunday: 11:30 – 22:30
My wife and myself visited the pub on the hop at lunchtime on Thursday. It was extremely busy. The waitress found us a table by the window, I was impressed by the cleanliness of the place very warm with two real log fires blazing away. The service was first class and very friendly staff. We both had the lunch time Menu of two courses we both had starters My wife had the lamb koffters and I had the garlic mushrooms Both beautifully presented and plenty of it with various bread great. We had the salmon and spring onion fish cake for main with a medley of assorted veg again beautifully presented and plenty of it. It was reasonably priced, and the staff continually saw that we had all we wanted As Regular visitors to this area from Wales I will definitely be using the pub again Very impressed Thank You
It was a lovely warm Saturday afternoon and I decide to go for a little stroll around Winterbourne’s footpaths and lanes to do some foraging and to explore. The Donkey’s and Cow’s followed me along the drive, I think would have like to come. I turned left heading down Cuckoo Lane. Almost straight away I came across a wall of lovely ripe and ready for picking black berries, I left them where they were, as I would be returning the same way and would pick them on the way back.
I continued up Bury Hill and along the lane, I’d also planned to visit Bury Hill Fort today too, after reading a recent newspaper article about it. The Iron Age fort was built about 700 BC. The double earth ramparts are well preserved except on the western side. One side of the fort is along a steep hill edge above the River Frome, the other 3 sides are flat. The flat sides have been destroyed by quarrying. There is a central ditch, with ramparts built on both the inner and outer sides of the ditches. The Romans occupied the fort, to defend against invasions from South Wales.
We’ve lived in Winterbourne for 23 years and haven’t been, so today was the day. Access to the Fort is via a stone stile. There is a sign indicating the public footpath just off of Bury Hill. You can walk through the field and exit the other side by another stone stile. There’s not really a lot to see now, you need to have a really good imagination.
I continued my walk along Bury Hill turning right at the small triangle of grass, the junction where Bury Hill crosses with Church Lane and went towards the Frome Valley River. It was lovely to see people out enjoying the sunshine, running, walking their dogs and riding their horses. This part of Bury Hill joins onto the Frome Valley walkway. I continue along Frome Valley River heading toward a bridge, I wasn’t sure which way I would go from there, but once at the bridge, I decided to do a bit of off roading and walked along the river following the walkway.
The canopy of the trees were now completely joined together and the damp, crisp forest like smell made for a completely different atmosphere. I highly recommend having no idea where you are going on your wander and just seeing where you end up, we all have phones now which will help us out when we think we are lost. I took photos and enjoyed the journey. Dog’s love this part of the river as it is shallow and the can run in and out of the water and have a fab time. There is a small very old bridge that you must cross before exiting up the hill, I then found myself amongst the houses in Winterbourne.
I knew exactly where I was and instead of turning back I decided to continue as there was another part of the River that I have also never walked along. I passed the Pub the “Cross Hands” on Down Road. They were having a Cider, Cheese and Chillies Event today. It’s a friendly proper old-fashioned pub, with tons of character and has a large enclosed garden out the back, family are welcome. They always have different things going on during the year as they are at the heart of the village. The Cross Hands doesn’t do food, but it does have lots of guest ciders, ales, snacks and a cosy atmosphere and always has fabulous hanging baskets and window boxes overflowing with beautiful flowers outside. On this occasion I daren’t stop, I was on a mission today to visit places I hadn’t been to before.
I headed down, Down Road towards the dingle, over Damsons Bridge, and through the footpath gates to continue my journey along the River Frome. The trees are smaller along this section and the hedges are like tunnels, with some Blackthorn absolutely covered in Sloe Berries. These are what I was looking for a Forager’s Favourite, but for me I was thinking more for Sloe Gin ready for Christmas.
I wasn’t the only one foraging, one of the fields that run all the way down to the river there where 5 squirrels all burying nuts. I wasn’t quick enough to get them all together with my camera sadly. It would have been a great photo. There were also plenty of Rose hips for me to pick, I’m going to make my first ever Rose Hip Jelly.
In the distance I get a good look at The Huckford Viaduct, a bridge composed of several small spans for crossing a valley, which extends over the River Frome just north of Winterbourne Down. It was built in 1902 as part of the Wootton Bassett to Patchway railway line. It now forms part of the “Badminton” line from Bristol Parkway to Paddington station. The viaduct rises to 100 feet above the river and is made up of 11 massive brick arches. The Frome Valley Walkway also passes through one of these arches.
The pathway had many twisted and turns, it was a really good walk and as I went around the bend at the top, I could see so much. Horses in the fields, Birds of Prey in the sky. It was a lovely view. I could have gone on but by now I’d been steadily wandering for 2 ½ hours, I still had to walk back and I needed to pick some Black Berries for the next days pudding, Apple and Blackberry Crumble, first one of the year, it was delicious. So, I headed back.
The Golden Heart is located on Down Road in Winterbourne Down, Bristol. A stylish premium pub bar and restaurant for relaxed drinking and eating, serving delicious food for all dining requirements, whatever the occasion it’s a nice place to have a drink and relax in its chic bar area with its open log burning fire or retreat to the cosy, warm and welcoming dining area and enjoy the delights on offer.
It has a modern interior with a stylish rustic twist, serving food from 12pm until late, it also has a lovely outside area for a spot of alfresco dining on those sunny days and also has a great garden for children to play in.
The pub has an extensive range of top notch food, every day of the week, a whole host of tasty starters, light bites, appetising mains, pub food classics, sharing platers and delightful desserts, guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling.
We went as a large group in May this year, the food and service were very good. My husband and I shared a Carne Platter which was very tasty, I especially loved the Southern-fried buttermilk chicken thighs, really flavoursome. For my main I had the Wholefood Salad and added a chargrilled chicken breast. This really was delicious and even though I was pretty much full, I couldn’t resist the desserts which I had seen leaving the kitchen and opted for Baked Sicilian Lemon Cheesecake. I’m a big cheesecake fan and this did not disappoint. Everyone enjoyed their meals and we spent the rest of the evening sat out on the pretty garden patio area, finishing our drinks in the warm evening sun. It really was a perfect night and a perfect end to our day.
All in all, The Golden Heart is a great family pub, bar, and restaurant and should be your first port of call for brunch, lunch, or dinner, no matter what the occasion. There is also plenty of space parking in the car park – free.
Booking well in advance is recommend for large groups, this can be done on the website, just choose your day and time. There is a discretionary 10% service charge for group of 6 or more.
Opening Hours – Monday to Saturday 11am – 11pm. Food is served 12pm – 10pm. Sunday 12pm – 10.30pm, Food is served 12pm – 9.30pm
Review – Local Guide – July 2018 Love this place. New fave “go to” pub for grub. If you’ve not eaten here, you need to!! Food is awesome, tried lots on the menu never had a duff dish! Place is clean. Staff are great! Service is prompt! Alex really looked after us on Sunday for amazing roast lunch and we’re back again! 5th visit in as many weeks. 🙂