Halloween Half Term at Wild Place Project

Last weekend we were invited to visit Wild Place Project to experience their Halloween events for half term. So not having visited for nearly 2 years, we were all really looking forward to a day out in the glorious autumn sunshine & spending a day outdoors amongst nature & wildlife.


Wild Place is located on the edge of the city and is very easy to access from within and outside of Bristol near to both the M4 & M5. We were completely spoiled with the gorgeous October sunshine weather which meant we could spend a whole day outside without even needing coats!

Our first stop was the pumpkin hunt in Webb’s Brake where you trail through some spooky scenes – nothing like a search to get the kids motivated & excited to roam further. Then you come to Gelada Rocks which is a new addition since our last visit. It is incredible to get close up to such beautiful creatures and there you can also find an old Land Rover that the kids can clamber into & imagine they are on safari, it is touches like this that really get the kids engaged on days out.


We then made our way to the Benoue National Park  where we met the cheetah, zebra, eland and my absolute favourites the beautiful and graceful giraffe. It was a wonderful experience to see my children watch the giraffe meander around their surroundings in that inimitable way that these incredible creatures move. I could have stayed for hours just watching the giraffes.


Discover Madagascar is a part of the wildlife park that is where you come up closest to the incredible creatures at Wild Place Project – the lemurs are very special and it is a real privilege to be able to spend time so near to these fascinating animals.



Our next stop was the Barefoot Trail which my children & my niece had been really excited about – this is where children can ditch their wellies and walk through the trail barefoot and experience the different textures of the different paths laid out on the trail.  This was so much fun and they went back round about 5 times! And don’t worry there is a tap at the end so the kids can wash the mud off just remember to take a towel with you!!


We then headed to the play area which is always a must with young children and it has lots of lovely wooden structures including a climbing frame made into the shape of a spider.


For those of you brave enough there is also the Leap of Faith which looks like so much fun! It’s the huge 25 feet high climbing adventure including the giant swing!

Our last stop after a really good run around in the Tower Meadow, where the children have huge green open space to explore, was a visit to the meerkats. The meerkats are just so charming! The meerkats at Wild Place are unfazed by all the visitors and it’s possible to see a large number of them interacting in their meerkat home.


We had a really fabulous day out at Wild Place Project, I would thoroughly recommend it as a family day trip. Wild Place offers a day out where you can experience nature and wildlife in a beautiful setting. It also is a great place to encourage children to develop their understanding of the natural world whilst also having a lot of fun 🎃


Disclaimer: We were invited to Wild Place Project to review their Halloween Half Term event. However, all views, opinions and photos are my own.

Being Brunel – a new museum at SS Great Britain

A visit to Being Brunel


So eagle-eyed visitors to the Joyful Bristol blog and to all the Joyful Bristol social channels will know that SS Great Britain is a favourite place of mine in our wonderful city. It’s just always a brilliant day out packed with so much to see and do so when I was invited to go and discover the new museum, Being Brunel,  at SS Great Britain back in March I was so excited to find out more.




My husband had not made a visit to the SS Great Britain for many years so on a lovely sunny Sunday morning we headed off to the Harbourside with our two children to discover what the new museum had in store.




Before we headed into the new Being Brunel museum, we visited the main museum where we all got the chance to dress up in the Victorian costumes ( this is always a highlight of every visit we make to SS Great Britain).


We we were really spoiled with some gorgeous weather on the day we visited so we headed to the ship and got to enjoy some really lovely views of the city from the deck.

The children always really enjoy being on deck, there are lots of fun things for children to do like sweeping the deck and steering the ship. For older children you can get the chance to climb the rigging, so for those with a head for heights this offers the chance for some even more amazing views from the ship.


Below deck is always fascinating and there is so much to learn about life on the ship and you can get a very authentic perspective of life on board.


We then headed into the new ‘Being Brunel’ museum, we were greeted by the most incredible 8 metre high model of Isambard Kingdom Brunel which stands at the centre of the new museum.


The Being Brunel museum is crammed full of information and resources that you can touch and feel and the children are actively encouraged to explore all the artefacts to find out more about Brunel.

The sheer level of detail is incredible, every aspect of Brunel’s life is covered within the museum and it is exhibited in such a way that it makes Brunel’s history and legacy accessible for all ages.

A highlight for my children was the train carriage which simulates a journey from the era and the children were challenged to draw a perfect circle whilst “travelling’ on the authentic train journey. This one exhibit alone kept them entertained for about 20 minutes as they were determined to create their perfect circle.


One of the most astonishing parts of the museum is where you are invited to go inside Brunel’s mind, this was quite unlike any museum feature I had seen before and it was fascinating.

Then you have the chance to experience life back in the 1840’s where you can immerse yourself in the life of a Victorian Brunel, where he worked, where he met and persuaded people to finance the build of the great ship.



Being Brunel is a fantastic new museum, which as part of the SS Great Britain offers a thoroughly entertaining day out for all the family but not only this, I was struck by the fact that the way the new museum has been curated really engages with children, it offers them the opportunity to get hands-on experience of Brunel and his legacy and more than likely will be responsible for inspiring engineers of the future.







Disclaimer: I was invited to visit the Being Brunel museum as part of the Bristol Bloggers group and was given a family ticket to attend with my family.  The views and photos detailed above are my own .




Christmas fun in Bristol this weekend 9th-10th Dec

There are lots of lovely things for you to go to this weekend in Bristol to get you in the festive mood, so I wanted to share a few of them with you:

SS Great Britain

This weekend the wonder SS Great Britain have their Victorian Christmas weekend where you will find the boatyard & boat transformed into a Victorian Christmas scene complete with Ragged Victorians, Christmas Carol singers and even snow!

Through the day there will be Victorian delights to be drunk & eaten, you can have a go at making your own Victorian Christmas cards & on Saturday there will be carol singing in the dining saloon.

This will definitely be a fun day out!


photo: SS Great Britain


Blaise Castle House Museum

On Saturday 9th, there will be a Victorian Christmas day at the wonderful Blaise Castle House Museum.  There you will find Christmas storytelling, dressing up & possibly also some very festive elf visitors.

The Blaise Community Garden will have craft activities for visitors small & big .

I think Blaise Castle House Museum always puts on really lovely events that appeal to everyone so this is definitely one not to miss too.


Photo: Blaise Castle House Museum


Windmill Hill City Farm

On Saturday 9th, Windmill Hill City Farm has it’s Christmas Fair where there will be a gift market ( a chance to buy some presents ) , a ceramic tree decoration workshop, festive wreaths, campfire cooking sessions and the Magical Wishing Tree. It sounds lovely doesn’t it.

Photo: Windmill Hill City Farm


Whatever you get up to this weekend, I hope you have a fun festive one 🎄

Joyful Bristol at Christmas

So last week I was lucky enough to be invited by Visit Bristol to spend a day discovering all the lovely things that Bristol has to offer this festive season. It was a such a treat of a day, full of fun and delicious things to eat and drink and a chance to have a lovely wander around the Christmas markets.



It was a gorgeous day, one of those lovely crisp cold winter days when the sun shines and everything just looks glorious. Before I met up with everyone, I took the chance to walk around one of my favourite spots, Bathurst Basin and enjoyed walking in the sunshine amongst my favourite sights of brightly coloured painted terraces and being near the water.


Our first stop of the day was Pieminister in Broad Quay in the centre of Bristol. There I met up with my fellow blogger friends for the day and we were treated to a delicious lunch from the Pieminister Christmas menu – I chose the MistleMoo pie which was made with beef steak, bacon, port & chestnuts. It was accompanied by the most delicious mash & braised red cabbage and super tasty veggie sticks made from stuffing and mini yorkshire puddings. There is a lovely atmosphere in the Pieminister on Broad Quay and it was full of lots of people enjoying their festive grub.



Following our super tasty lunch we headed into Broadmead to discover the Bristol Christmas Market which stretches from the centre of Broadmead through to Cabot Circus in the Bristol Shopping Quarter. Here you can try lots of tasty continental foodie delights including Gluwhein, which is  an Austrian mulled wine and it was the perfect drink on a cold Winter’s day.  Spend some time at the Bristol German market and it won’t take you long to get into the festive spirit and it’s a good place to stop and rest your feet if you are in town Christmas shopping.


On our next stop on our Bristol Christmas day out,  Natacha and I decided to head to The Christmas Steps. This is an utterly charming part of the city and I have been told that it may well have been the inspiration for JK Rowling’s Diageon Alley in the Harry Potter novels. It is a wonderful winding alley that takes you from St. Augustine’s Parade all the way up to Colston Street. You feel like you could be in a Dicken’s novel.



On the journey up you will find some lovely places to do your Christmas shopping, including a shop that Natacha and I could have spent all afternoon in, a gorgeous shop dedicated to candles, Osmology. It smelled amazing in there!


Then we strolled to our next destination, to the fabulous Swoon gelato emporium at the bottom of Park Street opposite College Green. Here we met back up with all the gang and we were treated to the most amazing feast of festive gelato which included mince pie gelato, biscotti gelato, chocolate orange gelato and my personal favourite the mulled wine gelato. We also got to try the most amazing hot chocolate that was so thick and just delicious. Finally we were all given the most beautiful piece of gelato cake – it almost looked too beautiful to eat.


Next up we headed to We The Curious in Millennium Square & took a ride in the Skyline – this was a super fun way to get to see amazing views of the city. I definitely want to head back & for another ride as it was really exciting being that high up above the city.



Then we took a stroll around the Harbourside back to where I started my day in Bathurst Basin and we headed to the fabulous Pi Shop Pizzeria . Pi Shop is one of three restaurants, at the old Bristol General Hospital site,  that is owned by the Sanchez-Iglesias family, the others of course being the Michelin starred  Casa Mia  & Paco Tapas.  I had only eaten here once before so I was really excited to go back. Everything about Pi Shop is perfect, the restaurant looks beautiful with its pared down elegance & the touches of copper everywhere, the service is excellent and the pizzas, well, the pizzas are outstanding.


We got to try so many delicious pizzas, but my favourite was definitely the Carbonara – with the egg yolk in the middle. Absolutely divine!



Our final destination of the night was to head back to Millennium Square & discover the We The Curious Ice Skating rink – it’s so much fun watching all the skaters big & small having fun on the ice. It’s open until 16th Jan so loads of time for you to go have a go too.



There is so much in Bristol to get you feeling festive this Christmas – I hope you have has much fun as I did sampling some of the things the city has on offer this year.

Have a very Merry Christmas one and all!



My Joyful Bristol by Jess Siggers

So this week we have the very talented Jess Siggers telling us all about her favourite things in Bristol. Jess is a Bristol based photographer who runs the hugely successful Instagram account PorthJess, she is the head of the IgersBristol community which she grew from 900 to 18,000 followers and also runs workshops as an Instagram consultant.



Photo: PorthJess


1: Can you tell me a little bit about you, what you do & what part of Bristol you live in?


Hello! I’m a freelance photographer, content creator, Instagram consultant & community manager living in Cliftonwood with my husband & daughter.


Cliftonwood –  Photo: PorthJess


2: What are your favourite places to visit in Bristol & where is your favourite child friendly place?


I have so many favourite places! If I have something to think through, I have a couple of favourite spots on the Harbourside.


Bristol Harbourside
Bristol Harbourside – Photo: PorthJess


A favourite take-away-lunch-among-nature-spot is Royal Fort Gardens, which is also great for kids to run around in safely.


Royal Fort Gardens 1
Royal Fort Gardens – Photo: PorthJess


For photography inspiration I head to Cotham, Kingsdown, Stokes Croft, St.Pauls, Montpelier, Windmill Hill…or just outside my front door!


Stokes Croft
Stokes Croft – Photo: PorthJess


I’ve seen so many gigs at the Colston Hall it feels like another home. I love the Arnolfini & Spike Island for art or just quiet contemplation. My daughter loves M Shed and we’re both big fans of We The Curious (formerly At-Bristol) and can’t wait to see what they come up with next!


We The Curious
We The Curious – Photo: PorthJess


3: Where is your favourite place in Bristol to eat?


So hard to know where to begin! But I guess St.Nick’s Market is never a bad place to start. Pieminister, Eat A Pitta, Grillstock or my favourite, gyoza from Eatchu! (then grab some truffles for dessert from Treasure Island Sweets!).


Treasure Island Sweets, St Nicks Market
Treasure Island Sweets – St. Nicholas Market – Photo: PorthJess


4: What Bristol place or thing to do is on your wishlist?


My childhood wish was to fly in a hot air balloon and I’m very happy to say I’ve done that a few times now, including twice during the fiesta! Struggling to think of anything but there are lots of foodie places I’ve not had a chance to try yet including Box-E, Bertha’s Pizza, Oowee diner & Casa Mia. They’re all currently on my wishlist.


Bristol Balloon Fiesta
Bristol Balloon Fiesta – Photo: PorthJess


5: What is your favourite place to visit that is just outside Bristol?


I really like Clevedon. Walking Poet’s Walk, taking in the Marine Lake and miniature railway then wandering the whole length of the pier before retiring to one of the cafes along the beachfront for a hot chocolate. Great park for the kids too!
 Clevedon Pier: James Chudley
Thanks so much to Jess for sharing all her favourite places in Bristol and also her stunning photos. Hope it has given you some inspiration for some new places to visit soon.

My Joyful Bristol by Amy White

Our latest ‘My Joyful Bristol’ features the brilliant Amy White who you  may also know from her brilliant Instagram account Social Butterflies – her Insta stories entertain & delight every day. Find out what she loves to do & see in Bristol…..


photo credit: Lauren Jayne Hall

1: Can you tell me a little bit about you, what you do & what part of Bristol you live in?

My name’s Amy White and I’m a freelance digital content consultant (amywhitedigital.com) and founder of Social Butterflies (a hub of careers and business inspiration for women). I live in Bishopston with my husband and two girls (5 & 7). John is originally from Knowle in South Bristol and so we moved there 7 years ago from London to start a family. We moved ‘up north’ 2 years ago and love the new area near Gloucester Road. We’re definitely city people and Bristol is a great place to raise a family. It’s not too big but still has a huge amount going on, plus you’re never too far from the countryside.

2: What are your favourite places to visit in Bristol & where is your favourite child friendly place?

I don’t get out and about half as much as I used to when the kids were little. Now they are both at school I’m working more so my time is spent either sat at my kitchen table or going to meetings. When I do have the freedom to explore I love finding new cafes and restaurants.

In the city I love the new Wapping Wharf area – it reminds me of London with it’s eclectic mix of independent shops. Close to home we love our local pub which is so child friendly – The Gloucester Old Spot on Kellaway Avenue. In terms of days out I love the Downs and wandering through the streets of Clifton.


photo credit: Louisa Chudley

3: Where is your favourite place in Bristol to eat?

I love the good old Thali Cafe – great value and healthy too. We’re trying to eat less meat in our family these days so we were grateful to discover Eat A Pitta on Gloucester Road (there’s one in Clifton too I think) they serve amazing salads.

If I was going ‘out-out’ I would say The Lido is an unusual place to go for a celebratory meal. I’d love to try the Michelin starred Casamia too (hint, hint John!). I also love Salt & Malt for posh fish and chips by the MShed.


Photo credit: Louisa Chudley

4: What Bristol place or thing to do is on your wishlist?

There are so many to be honest. I think that’s a common tale from people who live in cities – tourists probably explore more than residents. I still haven’t been to the Clifton Observatory/Camera Obscura and I know my kids would love it.

I’d also love to go to the Old Vic. Before kids, when we lived in London, I used to go to the theatre a lot. In fact just generally attending any cultural events in Bristol would definitely be on my wishlist: UpFest, Downs Festival, Harbour Festival etc. Reading this back I realise I need to get out more!


photo credit: Louisa Chudley

5: What is your favourite place to visit that is just outside Bristol?

My favourite place just outside the city has to Tyntesfield. I studied English at university and I love costume dramas so it epitomises that sense of English eccentricity and grandeur. We recently joined the National Trust so we’re living the middle-class dream. I even bring out my Hunter wellies occasionally just to complete the look.


photo credit: Amy White

Thanks so much to Amy for sharing her favourite bits of Bristol, hopefully you may have some new places to try too.


A Joyful Summer in Bristol

The kids are back to school this week so I thought it was a good chance to tell you all about our Summer holidays in Bristol. It has been six weeks full of loads of lovely events and festivals in Bristol and at times the weather was glorious!

Here are some of the lovely things we got up to that you might like to visit as well:

The Blaise Giant’s Fairy Door Trail

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In week one of the holidays we spent a day at Blaise Castle Estate at the Fairy door trail and we had a lovely time. So much thought had been put into the event, with so much for the children to interact with. My highlight was discovering the Blaise Community garden where there were crafts and activities galore for the kids. I’m definitely heading back to discover more in the garden soon.



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We went to Upfest for the first time in July and we loved it! Seeing all the street art being created before our eyes was just a really unique experience for us and the kids. And because Upfest is based is just one area of Bristol, in Bedminster and Southville, it means it’s an event you can take the kids to and see everything without any tired little legs. There was so much to see and do and loads of tasty food all along the way too.



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At-Bristol is always a great day out, particularly on rain days. It is full of interactive activities and great for kids of all ages. The planetarium is always excellent and a great way to get kids interested in space. Since our visit, At-Bristol have announced their new name, We The Curious, so we are excited to see the new direction for a real favourite venue in the city.


SS Great Britain


SS Great Britain is a fantastic day out, there is so much to learn about the ship, the people who built it and the people who travelled on it. We also were treated to the Victorian Circus from Cirque Bijou which was a real treat and a real highlight of our day. I think SS Great Britain is a really good  value for money day out especially as your ticket price on the day includes entry for a whole year. I would definitely recommend a visit.


Bristol Balloon Fiesta


We loved seeing the balloons! It is an absolute highlight in the calendar of events in Bristol. I got up super early on the Sunday morning and headed to Bedminster Down to be rewarded by the beauty of the mass ascent heading west towards Tyntesfield.


Hoo-Ha Festival at Colston Hall


We visited Colston Hall to see the Dick & Dom show but were thoroughly entertained by all the brilliant activities that were on offer for the kids. Let’s Make Art had a really cool mask making event, kids were able to create their own art confectionary with Hannah Broadway and there was a lovely area from Pukka Herbs where kids could learn about bees.


Bristol Family Cycling Centre

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We absolutely love it here. The Bristol Family Cycling Centre in Whitchurch in South Bristol is based at a former athletics track and it is a great way for kids to learn to ride in a really safe environment. There always staff on hand who are always lovely with the kids and can offer all the help you need to encourage your kids to progress with the cycling. It’s not just for kids though, adults can go too. And you don’t have to have your own bike. They have an assortment of bikes for children and adults as well as tandems, trikes and adapted bikes.  It is open every week with sessions happening every day.

It’s been a lovely break hanging out with the kids in our lovely city and now I’m looking forward to what Autumn will bring.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook where I will be sharing more joyful things to see & do over the Autumn in Bristol.




My Joyful Bristol by Hello it’s Gemma

So the whole idea of Joyful Bristol was to get people talking about all the things in Bristol that make them happy. It could be anything, that tree on The Downs that you like, a favourite dish at a favourite spot to eat, possibly your favourite place to take the kids? 

I thought it would be nice to hear from people who live in Bristol and find out about the things in Bristol that make them happy and maybe will make you want to find somewhere new to discover.

This week we are hearing from local Bristol blogger Hello It’s Gemma – you can find her on Twitter and Instagram where Gemma talks about life in Bristol and travels beyond the city too.


Photo credit: Hello It’s Gemma/ Instagram

Can you tell me a little bit about you, what you do & what part of Bristol you live in?

I grew up in South London and London is comfortable and familiar to me, navigating London on a Boris bike is one of my most favourite things. I love digital and spend too much time lurking on Social Media. For a few years I lived in the North of England and then 5 years ago decided to move to Bristol, to be nearer family and for a new adventure. I can’t imagine living anywhere else now, Bristol is the best city. I live in South Bristol with my partner and son.  I can walk to the river and into the city, which is one of favourite walks. 

What are your favourite places to visit in Bristol & where is your favourite child friendly place?

Wapping Wharf is a brilliant addition to the city, it really offers something for everyone. Leigh Woods, a short drive but feels miles away. Corn Street vintage market on a Saturday, I love a vintage rummage. 

gemma Corn Street Vintage.jpgPhoto credit: Hello It’s Gemma

Upfest, is for me the best festival in Bristol. Watching art being created as it happens. I think is it really child friendly and it is right on my doorstep. 

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Photo credit: Hello It’s Gemma

My favourite child friendly place would be Underfall Yard, a clever new development. Walk from behind the SS Great Britain along the Harbour by the marina, traffic free,  with plenty to see on the river. The working boat yard always has something interesting going on. The Underfall Yard exhibition is small but never gets boring. The staff are friendly. The Pickle cafe is great,  you can sit outside and enjoy the best harbour views. Then I like to take rear entrance out of the yard, walk over the bridge,  turn right at the Pump House pub, walk along the other side of the Harbour, at Hannover Quay, take the No. 7 ferry across the river to SS Great Britain.  A Perfect round trip.

Underfall yard Danielle
Photo credit: Danielle Lucas/ Instagram

Where is your favourite place in Bristol to eat?

This is a difficult one because Bristol is just brilliant for food. I think for me though it has to be Pinkmans on Park Street. Cake is a food group. 

What Bristol place or thing to do is on your wishlist?

It has to be the University of Bristol Botanical Gardens, for some reason I’ve never visited and I really do want to go.

What is your favourite place to visit that is just outside Bristol?

Brean Down. It is an excellent walk and has everything; beach, hill, sea, fort and a good cafe. It is a 45 minute drive from Bristol and it has an unspoilt quality to it that is just so appealing.

Brean Gemma.jpgPhoto credit: Hello It’s Gemma
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Photo credit: Hello It’s Gemma

Hope you have enjoyed hearing all about Gemma’s Bristol and the places she loves and that it may have inspired you to visit any one of these places.

Welcome to Joyful Bristol

Hello and welcome to Joyful Bristol. This is the home for a brand new campaign to celebrate all the things that you can see, do & eat in Bristol that make you happy.

Here at Joyful Bristol we know that there are things in our lovely city, however big or small, that make you stop & feel joyful. It may be the sight of the pastel coloured terraces in Cliftonwood that you can see from the Harbourside, a trip to the Lido in Clifton for some pure indulgence or it may even be that favourite tree on The Downs.

Whatever that thing is that gives you joy, we want you to share the joy and pass it on so someone else can can share in it too.


Share the Joy and pass it on….

So Bristol is full to brim with fantastic things to do & see so here is taste of what you can expect at Joyful Bristol. We want to tell you all about all the family friendly places to enjoy like At-Bristol, Windmill Hill City Farm, Bristol Museum, Wild Place Project the list goes on and on so do share with us your favourite.

We also want to celebrate all those amazing outdoor spaces and green spaces that we all love like Ashton Court, The Downs, Brandon Hill, Victoria Park. The city is also full of hidden treasures so do share with us your favourites as we would love to hear about them.

We are very lucky to live in a city that is full of great places to meet friends and eat delicious food like The Lido in Clifton, Pi Shop Pizzeria, Tobacco Factory, all the great new places at Wapping Wharf. The list is endless so make sure you tell us about the places in Bristol where you go and they just leave you feeling really happy.

Bristol is a vibrant city that always has a diary full of fun and interesting events for Bristol people of all ages. From the Harbour Festival to Upfest to the Balloon Fiesta we are totally spoilt with community events.

Joyful Bristol is of course all about Bristol however we are very lucky that just on our doorstep just on the edge of the city we have some lovely places to visit that we think we should shout about too. The National Trust have some truly lovely places to visit just a short car or bus ride away from the city like Tyntesfield, Clevedon Court and Dyrham Park. We are also very lucky to have some lovely seaside destinations nearby too that all Bristolians love to visit.