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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Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival- an unforgettable journey of culture, fun & entertainment.
Jazz is upon us, Bristol is going to be rocked again by top-notch jazz maestros from 26th March to 29th March. The awe-inspiring event is going to be organised for the eighth time assembled with spectacular gigs at St George’s, Bristol Folk House, Fiddlers, O2 Academy, Bambalan.
There will also be a fantastic number of workshops held at Bristol Folk House, free stages at Bambalan and Colston Hall and films at the Watershed. The finest performers from all over Europe, the USA and the UK will be there to celebrate music. Below are some of the highlights of this spectacular.
Saxophone Legend Pee-wee Elis show
Saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis was the engineer of James Brown’s time characterising soul works of art of the late ’60s, presenting the dynamic game plans and rebuffing rhythms that would characterise the developing language of funk. This great musician will rock the stage in Bristol by playing the Blues. This event will also promote his own selection of archetypal compositions along with a group of performers.
Concert Info: Date and Time: 27th March, 9.30 pm – Venue: St Georges – Tickets: £26, £22, £18 + bf – Genres: Blues
Ronnie Scott’s All-Stars plus UWE Big Band
Real dashing duos are on their way to Bristol for blowing your mind with mesmerisation. Both Ronnie Scott’s All-Stars and Bristol’s very own UWE (University of West England) Big Band are all set to make this festival a memorable one with their charming performances. Both the bands will jointly present some of the best Jazz tracks you have ever heard or seen. Don’t sit idle, get your tickets now!
Concert Info: Date and Time: 26th March, 8 pm – Venue: 1532 Theatre – Tickets: £20, £15, £10 + bf – Genres: Big Band
Paul Jones Big Band Blues Bash
Set yourself up for the splendid show of legendary singer, actor, television presenter Paul Jones. He will be performing for The Blues Band once again backed by the powerhouse stage artists of his own selection. Being a doctor of music (University of Portsmouth), his songs have been recorded by a varied bunch, including early Steppenwolf and Helen Shapiro.
Concert Info: Date and Time: 26th March, 8 pm – Venue: St Georges – Tickets £26, £22, £18 + bf – Genres: Blues, Big Band
The James Bond Concert
Get yourself ready for the jaw-dropping performance of renowned international conductor and music revolutionary Charles Hazlewood at O2 Academy. He will be batoning guest vocalists along with a group of 30 handpicked all-star orchestra. From “Dr. No”(1962) from “Spectre”(2015), all the emblematic tracks of James Bond will be performed to bethink your favourite era of Bond!
Concert Info: Date & Time: 27th March, 8pm – Venue: O2 Academy – Tickets: £25.50, £28.75 – Genres: Big Band, Pop, Special Events
A Bristol Sound
The magnificent WDC (Worm Disco Club) is extremely glad to share what’s potentially the best news yet! ‘Worm Disks’ will be propelled in 2020 with the mission of giving new, contemporary acts from around the UK. They are glad to declare that at the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival 2020, WDC is tossing a ‘Worm Disks’ mark LAUNCH PARTY including three preferred Bristol-based acts:-
Waldo’s gift – developed as another power in the UK jazz scene. Conceived out of their improvisatory residency at Bristol’s The Gallimaufry, the band immediately picked up a reputation in their old neighbourhood before accomplishing more extensive national consideration.
Snazzback – an 8 piece band, who have been working intimately with vocalist China Bowls for their most recent performances. They pool their diverse tastes and investigate music from around the globe through acts of spontaneity and joint effort. Snazzback’s most recent synthesis consolidates the weight of present-day bass music with dynamic artistic game plans, skirting on punk and free jazz now and again as much as hip-jump and soul.
Run Logan Run – Utilizing roundabout breathing and FX, Run Logan Run makes music that is both ruthless and lovely, without the utilisation of circle pedals or sponsorship tracks. These extraordinary features make them stand out from other bands.
Concert Info: Date & Time: 27th March, 8 pm-2 am – Venue: Fiddlers – Tickets: £10, £12.50 + bf – Genres: Contemporary, Jazz, Special Events, Modern Jazz
Jump Blues with Chris Corcoran-Workshop
Nominated by UK Blues Federation, for Blues Instrumentalist of the year, Chris Corcoran has been titled as “Guitarist of the guitarists”. This man has been performing consistently for more than 20 years across the UK and Europe. His workshop will give you in-depth knowledge about improving your playing style as well as the techniques of driving the audience. Buy your tickets now and grab the opportunity to learn.
Concert Info: Date & Time: 28th March, 12pm-2pm – Venue: The Folk House – Tickets: £20 + bf – Genres: Blues
The Heartthrob Duos Performance: Kairos 4TET + Emilia Martensson
Being the perfect blender of classic and contemporary, Kairos 4TET are quickly turning into a foundation of the British jazz scene. They are unique – overcoming any issues among classic and contemporary; the jazz colloquialism and the genealogy of tune; fierce furrows, consuming spontaneous creations and songs that wait long after the music stops. They will be performing cooperatively with Swedish vocalist Emilia Martensson, who has been associating both as a singer and composer for a long time. Prepare yourself for this greatest Jazz show on earth at St Georges.
Concert Info: Date and Time: 28th March, 2 pm – Venue: St Georges – Tickets: £15 + bf – Genres: Contemporary Jazz, Traditional Jazz
Andy Hague Featuring “The Blues and The Abstract Truth”
Andy Hague is a cult figure renowned for being a Bristol-based trumpeter and drummer. He has also been a performer and an organizer for the past 25 years which makes him an ultimate artist. Along with his fellow musicians Freddie Hubbard, Eric Dolphy, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers and Roy Haynes, he is going to be the spellbinder crackerjack of the day. Try not to be late for purchasing tickets for this choice occasion and appreciate the show with families and companions.
Concert Info: Date and Time: 29th March, 2 pm – Venue: St Georges – Tickets: £15 + bf – Genres: Blues
The Ultimate Jazz Dames Presentation
The theme of Jazz will be redefined by the top class troupe of singers and instrumentalists like Rebecca Nash, Sara Colman, Ruth Hammond, Katya Gorrie as they are back by public demand. Extraordinary voices with, out-of-the world instrumental skills are going to make your evening the best of the bests. Get buckled up and run for tickets so that you can enjoy the exciting event with your family and friends.
Concert Info: Date and Time: 27th March, 7 pm – Venue: St Georges – Tickets: £22, £17, £12 + bf – Genres: Traditional Jazz
Tricia Boutte Cookery Workshop
Rooted in New Orleans, Tricia Boutte aka “Sista Teedy” is one of a kind super talented performer. She is the niece of international Jazz vocalist Lillian Boutte. Teedy has just appreciated a rich vocal vocation acting in an assortment of melodic settings. Her collection covers jazz, principles, R&B, pop, soul, gospel and Caribbean music. That being said, this extremely skilful lady is also a renowned chef. Bring a pen and paper with you because, in this event, you will get to learn the exquisite recipe of Southern State cuisine.
Concert Info: Date & Time: 29th March 10 am- Venue: The Folk House – Tickets: £5 + bf – Genres: Special Events, Workshop
Colston Hall Free Stage Show
The Colston Hall stage is all set to exhibit the brilliant performances of the school and university bands. You will be surely amazed by the superior and engaging acts discharged by these young talents. Get ready and enjoy the bewildering event lined up from 11 am to 4.45 pm.
Concert Info: Date and Time: 29th March, 11 am – Venue: Colston Hall – Genres: Swing, Big Band, Contemporary Jazz, Traditional Jazz, Modern Jazz
To wrap it up, Bristol city is going to have a series of astounding events from 26th March to 29th March. Entertain yourself and your dear ones with the ecstatic joyride. There are so many great things to do in Bristol and this is one of them! The great Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival awaits you!
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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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The Bristol Harbour Festival is back this weekend – Friday 19th July to Sunday 21st July. Celebrating its 47th year, this free festival brings over 250,000 people together and is held annually to celebrate the city’s maritime heritage and the importance of Bristol’s docks and harbour.
Most of the activities are free, including live music, street performances, dance acts, interactive theatre, international circus acts, daredevil stunts and a variety of other live entertainments which are held on or near the waterfront of Bristol Harbour.
The outside venues include Queen Square, Lloyds Amphitheatre, Narrow Quay, Merchants, Quay, Hannover Quay, Millennium Square and Cathedral Walk, with seagoing vessels moored nearby. The liveliest part of the festival is quayside and the main attractions are entertainment designed to engage all the communities of Bristol, as well as entertain the thousands of visitors to the city.
Find your way around the Bristol Harbour Festival’s Performance Areas – Downloadable Map See the program of events further down the page.
The City has hosted the festival since 1971, when it was started as part of an, ultimately successful, attempt to save the docks from being filled in. In 2012, the festival attracted over 200,000 visitors, its highest ever attendance at that time, with the Irene and the Matthew being two of the tall ships in attendance that year.
The festival is held every year in July over a weekend and many of the bar and restaurants put on extra entertainment to keep visitors happy during the late evenings. In 2018 visitors were be able to watch for the first time, the Power8 rowing sprints battle it out on the water, as teams from eight cities compete to be the best.
The highlight of this year’s festival will be the arrival of three very special tall ships – The Etoile Molence, Irene and Iris. Also Power8 Sprints will also be headlining with their 350 metre, high octane rowing action on the water.
More than 250 boats of varying shapes and sizes will be tied up at every available mooring along a four-mile stretch of the Harbourside, with familiar sights such as the SS Great Britain and the Matthew all set to appear.
There’s so much entertainment to keep you engaged, including music at the huge outdoor concert area “the Lloyds Amphitheatre”, top quality circus and street theatre acts from Circus Bijou. Western Boat Show, showcasing all kinds of sailing boats and power boats, rowing competitions, general fun and games in the water, dedicated family areas, plus the Continental Food Market at Queens Square, a fantastic line-up from across France, Italy, Spain and Germany providing olives, cheese, crepes and more, an experience for the taste buds together with traditional gifts and crafts and lots of Harbourside fun for everyone.
Travel – Head for the City Centre, follow signs for Harbour Festival. Further travel info Here.
There is plenty of parking and it is advised to arrive early to get as close as possible to the available Harbourside Parking. You will also find parking within a short walking distance of the Harbour at the following places –
Entertainment, fun for the family, food and Music all day from – 11.00 am – 4.00 pm.
Avon Wildlife Trust, Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park, Bubblina – Family entertainment with bubbles, Sound right phonics Bristol, Circomedia – Circus Workshops – Great Family Fun, Traditional Japanese Drumming, A.P.E Project CIC – Mobile Adventure Playground, Marky Jay – Street Theatre, Bocadalupa Arts – Bee Garden and much more.
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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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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.
Avon Valley Country Park – Whatever the weather there is plenty to do for all the family. It is an 80+ acres Country park in Keynsham Bristol, next to the River Avon a place to have fun, meet the animals from Rabbits to Horses. There are many activities throughout the day, every day including animal demonstrations, talks and handling, fun games and craft activities.
There’s a massive indoor soft play area with slides, rope swings, canon area and a toddler village for the under 5’s. The outdoor adventure park has animal petting area, train rides, fishing, boating on the lake, go-karting, jungle land, wall climbing, crazy golf, feed the lambs, a Maize Maze, junior sandpit, country trail, tractor rides, picnic areas, gift shop and so much more including a café serving excellent food. There are hours and hours of fun to be had.
There are many other events during the year, but my favourite is the Christmas experience. Running from the end of November until Christmas Eve. The park is transformed into a Winter wonderland and the children can enjoy Christmas activities like gingerbread man biscuit decorating, card making, touring the toy factory, help the elves make toys for Father Christmas, posting their very important Christmas list in the magical post room, visiting the Enchanted Village. This is a special event which you must purchase tickets well in advance, but you also get use of the whole park.
We visited on the 2nd December 2018 and took 2 of our nephews. We arrived in plenty of time to enjoy the whole park. The children were given a special Christmas passport for the Christmas experience and some tokens for the quad bikes. We spend a couple of hours wandering around seeing the animals, having a ride on the train. They each took turns on the quad bikes and enjoyed the adventure playground. It was a little bit drizzly, so we spend the last hour an hour in the inside play area. We got a bite to eat and a cup of coffee whilst they burnt off their energy enjoying themselves on the slides and soft play area.
Then it was time for us to check in for the Christmas experience. It’s very well organised, the children are totally memorised by the whole thing. You are led from one lovely themed room to another with the elves entertaining them the whole time. Each activity must have taken around 20 mins, all the children in the group, which was about 12, got really involved with everything they were given to do, their passports were stamped after each activity. Then there was a chance to have a relax and wait for the big event, to see Father Christmas. While we waited for our time slot the children could enjoy the merry-go-round and the tea cup ride, feed the reindeer, sit down and have a chat with the elves who were helping them complete their present list and getting them posted in the Post Room. Enjoy their free cup of hot chocolate and play and have fun around the many decorated trees and Christmas themed life-sized ornaments. You really did feel like you were at the North Pole.
Smaller groups of 6 went in to see Father Christmas and Mrs Claus, the children were sat together on a bench, with the adults sitting at the back, the room was like what you see in fairy tale books. We must have spent another 30 minutes in there. They each has their turn to tell Father Christmas what they wanted for Christmas and were given named gifts. It was a very magical experience for everyone.
All the children left believing and then you could still spend further time in the area outside / inside and enjoy more rides until you were ready to take the train to leave. We all had a really great time. Would really recommend this experience.
Other Themes during the year include, October Half Term, children can enrol in the parks Witch & Wizard School with activities like, slime in potions classes, spell classes, teachers showing off their broomstick skills, pumpkin carving, broom decorating. Sessions run throughout the day. Children can take home with them a witch or wizard hat, broomstick, broomstick flying licence.
Halloween is always a very popular time, during October the park will be running a scary theme called Fear at Avon Valley Scream Park. This event is classified as 12a. Any persons under the age of 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult. Be prepared to be scared and dare to go into the Mazes or Escape Room, Frightening Street Theatre or ride of the Fairground Rides. Or enter the Killzone an interactive experience, test your shooting skills and kill as many Zombies as you can before they get to you! Will you make it out of the Corn Field? It’s totally terrifying.
There is also Halloween themed events for children, where they can carve pumpkins and do other activities and the whole park is covered in pumpkins.
Avon Valley Country Park – Pixash Lane, Bath Road, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1TP – 0117 986 4929 – 17 minutes by car from Bury Hill Farm.
Opening times vary through out the year , for more information visit their Website