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Top five things to do in Bristol this summer

24 July 2013

Come to Bristol this summer for a plethora of family activities: see the sky glow, the streets overrun with animated dogs, primal-screams bust out of Ashton Court, and feet march along an ancient, biological pilgrimage. And don’t forget, you can take advantage of staying at a self-catering flat in the University.

  1. The Gromit Trail. For ten weeks 80 Gromits have been unleashed all over Bristol, sporting spectacular attire. The trail will take you on a trip of discovery, uncovering Bristol’s oldest streets and landmarks. Will you find the Gromit inspired by Julia Donaldson MBE (BA 1970, DLitt 2011)?
  2. Bristol’s International Balloon Fiesta, 8 –11th August. Spend four days of free family fun in Europe's biggest balloon fiesta. There will be mass balloon launches, fireworks, night glows, and more, all featuring the University of Bristol’s own balloon. The Breitling Wingwalkers will also make an appearance, doing breath-taking stunts while wing-walking, and the red arrows will be dusting our skies with colour.
  3. ‘Give the under surface to Mr Wallace, but yield the upper surface to Mr Darwin,’ by Richard Dawkins, 24th August. As part of a three day Ancestor's Trail event taking place over the August Bank Holiday, the acclaimed evolutionary biologist and best-selling author, Professor Richard Dawkins, will be speaking at the Wills Memorial Building about Alfred Russel Wallace, the largely overlooked co-discoverer of the theory of evolution on the centenary of his death.
  4. Brisfest, 21-22nd September. Brisfest was born out of the ashes of the Ashton Court Festival over six years ago, and returns to Ashton Court for its second year with headliners Primal Scream. Alongside the international line-up over a dozen stages, Brisfest will be buzzing with over 200 local acts too, including a traditional funfair, circus and cabaret, live graffiti, live stand-up comedy, workshops, kids area, street theatre, walkabout theatre, secret venues, body and soul therapy arena, and more.
  5. SS Great Britain. Climb aboard Bristol's award winning visitor attraction, Brunel's ss Great Britain, and discover the ship that changed the world. Stroll onto the deck and become part of history, experiencing life at sea like a true Victorian. You can also see the University of Bristol's Brunel Collection there too. It comprises over 8,000 individual items, including letters, sketch books, large-scale plans, diaries, calculation books, drawings and drawing instruments.