Bath Christmas Market – Our guide to the Bath Christmas Market

bath christmas market guide

Our Guide To The Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market is a truly magical event. This special, award-winning market is staying in the city for a whopping 18 days this year (2019), giving its guests tonnes of time to shop around and experience that holiday feeling.

There are going to be over 150 chalets spread across Bath’s Georgian-style streets; a far cry from many, more cramped Christmas Markets that take place in town and city squares.

What is West Country Games?

West Country Games Home Page Logo

West Country Games embraces all the stereotypes of the West Country in one great day out, comprising of 9 totally hilarious games suitable for all sorts of groups.

If you have an upcoming, Stag do, Hen Weekend, Birthday Party or Team Building Day, then why not give us a try?

Sparkling Gift Options...

The city of Bath knows how to treat its visitors and its residents. Giving them an array of sparkling gift options; from candles and crystals to homeware and house decorations. All ages will find something to love about this mystical market event, no matter how long they spent there. Tour the stalls during the day for some light shopping but remember to return during the darker hours to see the lights twinkling up close.

There are plenty of hot drinks stands selling delicious treats to warm you right up while you hop from stall to stall.

For those local to the market’s area, pop out during your lunch break and sneakily pick something up for someone you love.

No matter what brings you to Bath this winter, find a new reason to keep coming back each year with the Bath Christmas Market.

Bath Christmas Market Food Highlights

Bath Christmas Market Dates 2019

This year’s Bath Christmas Market takes place over the days between November 28th and December 15th. While the market is certainly the main attraction, the city of Bath has never done anything halfway – so there’s plenty more to see and do in and around the market area.

As for opening times, just so you don’t show up when things are closed and end up waiting around in the cold, check out this quick list:

Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 10am to 7pm
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays: 10am to 8pm
Sundays: 10am to 6pm

As you can see, that’s between eight and ten available shopping hours every day in the lead up to Christmas! With over two weeks of daily holiday shopping right at the heart of Bath.

Hen Do Bath Christmas Market

The Highlights Of Bath Christmas Market

One highlight of this picturesque market is Paperstarlights, who have been making paper star lanterns for over 20 years. This Christmas Market chalet can help you bring the magic of winter right into your home; without bringing the cold in, as well. Each lantern is handcrafted using traditional techniques and the materials are responsibly sourced. They use natural dyes, too.

No Bath Christmas Market is complete without sweet-smelling food stalls. So, next, let us introduce you to The Creative Crepe Co. Sweet or savoury, there’s a huge range of choices of fillings and toppings for your crepes. They’re happy for you to get creative with it, and the owners are very friendly. If you’re not here for the crepes, why not grab one of their hot chocolates, instead?

And lastly, for the vegans among our readers: The Vegan Spice. 100% of their menu is vegan-friendly, including a mouth-watering katsu curry that has a Thai flair.

Bath Christmas Market Activities

Base Your Hen Do Around A Visit To The Christmas Markets

How can you make a hen do around a Christmas Market, you ask? Well, let us tell you all about the amazing Bath Christmas Market Experience. Start your holiday season off right with a trip to Thermae Bath Spa, a two-course Champagne lunch at The Ivy Bath Brasserie, and a wreath-making workshop with a fantastic package available from the Visit Bath company.

Available for just ten days in December and only during the weekdays of the first two weeks that month. It’s the perfect day-filling set of activities, and you’ll still have time to head over to the Christmas Market chalets after your wreath-making class is over.

Just £112 a person for all your gal pals to share a fantastic day with you.

Alternatively, browse the wares of the Bath Christmas Market, have a cider or two from Honey’s Midford Cider, and then spend a night on the town. There are plenty of clubs, bars, and pubs open in the centre of Bath.

Things To Do In Bath After You Have Been To The Market

Bath On Ice

Bath On Ice

The ice rink prices vary, but an hour for an adult is just £11.50, while it’s £10 for an hour for a child. Skate aids are available at £5 per session, and the rink is open from November 15th, 2019 to January 5th, 2020. Located just five minutes away (on foot) from Milsom Street’s Bath Christmas Market chalets. You’ll find the rink, and some other attractions, in Royal Victoria Park.

Bath Glow Mini Golf

Glow In The Dark Mini-Golf

Right next to the ice rink, you’ll find some great glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, too! This brightly coloured game has fluorescent gold balls and a botanical course with 18 holes. Prices start from £6 for kids, and £7 for adults. Days and times below:

Everyday: 4pm to 9:30pm
Not open Christmas Day

Just like the ice rink of Bath on Ice, the golf course is open until January 5th, 2020. To book, head over to the Bath on Ice website. Embrace the true winter wonderland of bath by starting with the Christmas Market and then heading straight over to Royal Victoria Park for more fun.

Stool Bath Christmas Market
Something Different...

If you’re looking for something a little less Christmas-themed, try roaming the streets for some of the quirky and unique cafés and restaurants of Bath. Colonna & Small’s is just a stone’s throw away from Royal Victoria Park, and has been named as one of the best coffee shops in the UK.

 

The ultimate Best Mans Guide to organising a stag do

Best Man Guide

The Ultimate Best Man’s Guide To Organising A Stag Weekend

You knew it might be coming, you just didn’t know when. So you your best mate has kindly asked you to be his Best Man for the wedding, and now expects you to arrange an all-guns-blazing stag do that will give him the time of his life on his last night of freedom. No pressure then.

Fear not, our Ultimate Best Man’s Guide will help navigate your way through the mother of all to do lists and set you up for the greatest stag do known to man or beast.

What is West Country Games?

West Country Games Home Page Logo

West Country Games embraces all the stereotypes of the West Country in one great day out, comprising of 9 totally hilarious games suitable for all sorts of groups.

If you have an upcoming, Stag do, Hen Weekend, Birthday Party or Team Building Day, then why not give us a try?

Best Man Guide

1. Finding Your Feet

A good sit down session in the pub with the groom always makes a good start. Try to glean as much information as possible. What dates suit his availability and are a safe distance before the wedding (remember, eye brows need some time to grow back)? How long does he want to be away for? What style of weekend is he expecting? What sort of activities would he like to do?

You will also need to know who on the invite list are his best friends and must be accommodated to ensure attendance. Therefore, it’s always best to find out two or three weekends you are both free to attend the stag.

Remember, you will always want to keep plenty up your sleeve for the weekend, so this is an information finding process only. It’s always a lot more fun to keep the destination secret, but this may not suit him so find out his expectations during the chat.

You will also need a full invite list (with email addresses and phone numbers).

2. Who’s Coming Then?

It’s now time to fire off an email to find out who is available and willing to attend. You need some firm commitment from the group to make things easier for the organisation that will come later, so you may want to consider your wording to ensure you do not receive too many “maybe” responses. It may be worth offering two or three dates and going with the majority.

Best Man Guide

3. Time Constraints, Budget & Destination

You will need to consider the group’s likely budget and time constraints. There’s no point in organising a week-long trip to Vegas if only 4 from 20 people sign up. So it may be worth proposing a first option and see who is keen to attend, before then re-evaluating if necessary.

But whatever you do, don’t give the group too many options or you’ll get just as many wide ranging opinions in reply. Many people who have organised these things before will tell you: keep it simple!

When considering destination, always think of logistics for each attendee. You won’t be a popular man if a large number of the stag’s mates cannot attend because they are too far from the proposed destination.

4. Accommodation

Once you’ve decided on your destination, it’s now time to organise some suitable accommodation. You might want to consider hotels, cottages, glamping, camping. Hotels are often the easiest option.

If people drop out over the coming months then it’s a lot easier to reduce the number of hotel rooms than to ask the whole group to contribute more towards a 14 bed cottage when only 10 can attend come final payment.

Best Man Guide

5. Activity

Once you’ve nailed the destination and accommodation, it now time to turn your attention to a Saturday activity. The expectation on most stag weekends is to take part in some form of fun filled activity.

It’s important to consider an activity that is likely to appeal to most people, and to do something that people have not done before. Paintballing is good fun, but may be a bit dull if 80% of your group have already done it on another stag do. So be original and you’ll make it a weekend to remember.

6. Packages

7. Final Thoughts

To take the pressure off, you may want to organise the entire weekend as a package through another company. West Country Weekends can help in this respect and you often get a lot more for your money than booking everything by yourself. The benefits of booking a package are plentiful when you think of all these inclusions:

  • Allocation on hotels meaning instant confirmation upon booking
  • Individual payment system – this means that you don’t need to collect money from the group, they just pay their share directly saving you all that annoying chasing
  • VIP nightclub entry
  • Lap dance club entry
  • Additional activities – add on a second activity you may not have thought of yourself
  • Private dining
  • Restaurants suitable to groups
  • VIP Casino entry
  • Only a £50 deposit to pay initially
Best Man Guide

So just to recap, here is your Best Man’s Stag Weekend to do list. Don’t be too overwhelmed by being the Best Man, after all it’s a real honour of the lasting friendship you’ve made!

To Do List

  • Speak to the Stag and find out who he wants to attend, what he expects from the stag weekend and potential dates.
  • Find out how many people will be on the stag do and their level of commitment
  • Decide on a destination based on time restraints, budget and logistics
  • Ensure everything is booked for the stag do from, accommodation to activities. Book as a package through an outside company if you’re short on time and want to take the pressure off yourself. Try and do this as early on as possible to get the best deals and availability
  • Look after the stag over the course of the weekend – remember you’ll have the Bride to answer to if you really mess things up!
  • Enjoy your best mate’s last night of freedom!

 

 

Bristol Balloon Fiesta – Our guide to Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Balloon Fiesta Hero

Bristol Balloon Fiesta - Guide To Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

It always comes to that classic question; which came first, Bristol or the hot air balloons? Welcome to our guide to the famous Bristol Balloon Fiesta, all you need to know.

Ok, so it might not be quite so well known as that chicken and egg one, but Bristol and hot air balloons do go hand in hand, with many an iconic Bristol scene being photographed with hot air balloons floating on by.

This perfect photo opportunity will be back in Bristol in August, with over 130 balloons set to take to the skies across the four-day festival, a great Spectacle if you are visiting for a Hen Weekend, or Stag do. The Bristol Balloon fiesta has stayed true to its 1979 vision, to provide a free show for the public, funded by local corporate sponsorship.

With just 27 balloons in the first year of the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, hot air balloons now being synonymous with the Bristol skyline and it being Europe’s largest meeting of hot air balloons is an impressive feat.

(Please note the absence of predictable puns about numbers rising, people being blown away by the festival or it receiving glowing reports – it was hard to resist…!)

What is West Country Games?

West Country Games Home Page Logo

West Country Games embraces all the stereotypes of the West Country in one great day out, comprising of 9 totally hilarious games suitable for all sorts of groups.

If you have an upcoming, Stag do, Hen Weekend, Birthday Party or Team Building Day, then why not give us a try?

Not All Hot Air - Our Guide To The Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Thursday 11th August 2022

The Fiesta’s first day opens at midday with Hot Air Balloons tethering through the afternoon. As we reach 6pm, our pilots are briefed on the weather for the first mass ascent of the Fiesta. At 9pm as dusk sets 25 of our hot air balloons turn into huge lights bulbs, glowing in time to our specially commissioned soundtrack, ‘Bristol’s Glowing’. Our evening finishes with a fantastic firework finale

12:00 FIESTA OPENS BALLOON TETHERING – LAUNCH FIELD
18:00 MASS HOT AIR BALLOON LIFT
21:00 NIGHTGLOW AND FIREWORK FINALE
22:30 FIESTA CLOSES

Friday 12th August 2022

The Fiesta’s second day includes two mass hot air balloon lifts and an afternoon of Balloon Tethering.

06:00 FIESTA OPENS AND MASS HOT AIR BALLOON LIFT
11:30 MODEL HOT AIR BALLOON COMPETITIONS
13:00 HOT AIR BALLOON TETHERING
18:00 MASS HOT AIR BALLOON LIFT
20:30 FIESTA CLOSES

Saturday 13th August 2022

The Fiesta’s third day includes more mass hot air balloon lifts and our infamous nightglow and firework finale.

06:00 FIESTA OPENS AND MASS HOT AIR BALLOON LIFT
11:00 MODEL HOT AIR BALLOON COMPETITIONS
18:00 MASS HOT AIR BALLOON LIFT
21:00 NIGHTGLOW AND FIREWORK FINALE
22.30 FIESTA CLOSES

Sunday 14th August 2022

The Fiesta’s final day includes more mass hot air balloon lifts and model hot air balloon competitions.

06:00 FIESTA OPENS AND MASS HOT AIR BALLOON LIFT
11:30 MODEL HOT AIR BALLOON COMPETITIONS
18:00 MASS HOT AIR BALLOON LIFT
20:30 FIESTA CLOSES

Bristol Balloon Fiesta Night Glow

Balloons Everywhere...

One of the most unique things about The Bristol Balloon Fiesta is that you can enjoy it without even having to turn up.

This is where all the hills in Bristol are a real bonus, as the city boasts some prime spots with amazing views of the balloons and as you guessed it, being high up is the best place to be. At this time of year, you’ll see large groups of people out in the evenings in open, high, green spaces, and those people will all be in the know.

Rather than waiting for you to stumble across these groups of people to find out where you should be to get the best views of the balloons, now is the time to divulge. Not only do you get to check out a sky full of balloons, but it gives you the chance to really appreciate the incredible views over our beautiful city.

Whether you’re in North or South Bristol we have some great balloon spotting sites for you.

To get the best view of the hot air balloons you’re slightly at the mercy of the wind direction, but the places we have identified are reliable for seeing them when they go up from the Bristol Balloon Fiesta at Ashton Court.

Bristol Balloon Fiesta Night Glow Balloon

Where To See The Balloons Outside Of The Fiesta

In South Bristol, there are two great places, firstly, Bedminster Down. The evidence of this, even before the balloons go up, is the amount of people there.

There are so many people that burger vans often rock up to cash in on the opportunity.

Bedminster Down has a view over Ashton Court so whatever the wind direction you’ll always be able to see the hot air balloons.

As the next one is my local balloon viewing spot I feel a little reluctant to share it far and wide but here goes…Perrett's Park.

There, I’ve done it. The park is a natural amphitheatre and faces towards the Bristol Balloon Fiesta so is a great place to be. With a playground there too and people cracking out the barbies, it has a real family feel and always has a great atmosphere as people await the first glimpse.

Balloon Fiesta Bristol

Seeing So Many Hot Air Balloons Is Incredible

Time to head over the river for the classic Bristol hot air balloon view locations, both of which need no introduction or real explanation.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge and The Downs are the best spots in North Bristol and are, surprise surprise, high up and close enough to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta to guarantee a great view and even more so, an amazing photo opportunity.

Seeing so many hot air balloons is incredible but there is more to the Bristol Balloon Festival and for that you need to get yourself down to Ashton Court at all sorts of times of the day.

The Fiesta kicks off on Thursday at midday with balloons tethering through the afternoon in preparation for the first mass ascent planned for 6pm.

That’s not it for the day though. As dusk sets, tethered hot air balloons light up in time to music followed by fireworks. That’s just day one!! If you miss the night glow on Thursday night, you get the chance to see it and the fireworks again on Saturday night.

It's All About Timing

If early mornings are your thing, or even if they’re not, you should take the chance to join some early birds huddled up with their bacon sandwiches watching the 6am mass ascent.

Not only is it the perfect chance to see an amazing sight of all of the balloons in the relative peace of the early morning but there’s always a feeling of solidarity and achievement when there’s a bunch of you who have all made it out at a time when you would otherwise be snoozing away.

Whatever time you get yourself to Ashton Court the Bristol Balloon Festival will not disappoint as there is plenty of entertainment and activities on site as well as with the sights.

Although the Fiesta itself is free, if you want to check it out, your transport will definitely need some planning as some roads will be closed and the parking there will need to be pre-booked.

International Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Our Top Tips

I have one more option here for you which combines the excitement of being at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta itself and the incredible views of the huge number of balloons soaring over Bristol.

Why not take to the air and go up in one of the balloons. This might not be the cheapest of options but would be an amazing opportunity to get an up close and personal view.

However you choose to be a part of this key date in Bristol’s calendar, you can be sure that it will be impressive and that you won’t be alone. The Bristol Balloon Fiesta always captures the imagination of the city and brings people together for four days of anticipation and enjoyment.

For more information, why not visit the official Bristol Balloon Fiesta website.

 

Top 5 Reasons to have a Hen or Stag party in Bristol

top reasons hen do bristol hero

Top 5 Reasons To Have A Hen Or Stag Party In Bristol

If some of you were lucky enough to get engaged over the festive period then this couldn’t come at a better time. We know that choosing where to have your last big bash before married life is a big decision. You will, only do it once after all. We are here to help ensure that you have the best send off possible. This is one decision you don’t want to get wrong so head to Bristol – you won’t be disappointed!

What is West Country Games?

West Country Games Home Page Logo

West Country Games embraces all the stereotypes of the West Country in one great day out, comprising of 9 totally hilarious games suitable for all sorts of groups.

If you have an upcoming, Stag do, Hen Weekend, Birthday Party or Team Building Day, then why not give us a try?

top 5 reasons for a bristol hen do

1. ACCOMMODATION

First thing to organise for any successful Hen or Stag do is a warm bed to stagger home to after one too many drinks. Whether you are saving all the pennies for the big day or want to indulge and treat yourself, Clifton Hotels will be able to help. Choose from four hotels which cover a range of price points, The Washington Guesthouse, The Clifton Hotel, The Rodney Hotel, the Berkeley Square Hotel and luxury apartments – Berkeley Suites (if you are feeling a little indulgent).

 

With this Bristol-born, independent hotel group, you can be sure of quality customer service and a great nights sleep, if that is you decide to get any! All are able to offer discounts for group bookings which will come in handy when you need to stretch the budget to pay for another round!

top 5 reasons for a bristol hen do

2. ACTIVITIES

No Hen or Stag do would be complete without some sort of activity that will make you all look ridiculous and keep you in stitches retelling the stories for the rest of the year. West Country Games offers just that.

 

Nine hilarious West Country inspired games, from Cider Run to Wurzel Knockout and our personal favourite, Welly Wanging. We recommend booking this nearer the start of the trip, it all look looks a bit much to tackle on a hangover; however we are sure some of you will be lad enough to take on that challenge…

top 5 reasons for a bristol hen do

3. BOATS

This may seem like a bit of strange one, but with the River Avon running right through the middle of the city we had to mention the wonderful array of boats you can wander onto and explore. If a civilised affair is what you have in mind, be sure to book a table at Glassboat. A delicious meal with lit up views over the river is probably just the thing to recover from a day wanging wellies. Alternatively head to Thekla for one of their infamous Pop Confessional nights if you feel up to it, where it will be guilty pop pleasures until 4 in the morning.

 

If you like the sound of this then we do recommend you head to Three Brothers for a very large burger to line your stomach beforehand! Trust us, you’ll be thanking us in the morning!

top 5 reasons for a bristol hen do

4. COCKTAILS

When is comes to cocktails, this is one thing that Bristol does not take lightly. Whatever your tipple may be there will be something heavenly waiting for you in one of the many speakeasies hidden across the city. These places are strictly need to know, but we’re sure your maid of honour/best man will be up to the challenge and will be able to get hold of the information easily…no pressure!

 

Our favourites include The Milk Thistle and Red Light, (there may be a clue in the name to one of those but we’ll leave that to you). If you want to get a bit more hands-on head to The Square Club where they offer the option of not one, but two cocktail master classes to suit your specific needs.

 

Be sure to pay attention though as there will be competition at the end of the class to test your knowledge and there’s a bottle of bubbly in it for the winner!

 

Turtle Bay also needs a shout out. If you’re starting early then this one is ideal as it’s two for one on all cocktails from 12-7pm.

top 5 reasons for a bristol hen do

5. BREAKFAST

When you wake up with a dry mouth and a sore head from partying a little too much the night before, craving anything and everything fried, breakfast will be King. And our vote for King of the hangover breakfast in Bristol is Racks Bar and Kitchen.

 

They serve breakfast until 10am which means you can savour a bit of extra time horizontal before attempting to stand up! Stomach the full English with all the trimmings or take it easy and go for poached eggs on sourdough with a choice of toppings.

 

With Bloody Marys on offer why not opt for hair of the dog and we’re sure you’ll be feeling ready for the day in no time!

bristol things to do

Take a chance on Weston – The glamorous gran of the West

weston super mare hen weekend

Take A Chance On Weston – The Glamorous Gran Of The West

You have been entrusted to organise a hen party for your best friend. This seems a simple enough task except the hen wants to keep costs down. This will mean that flying to one of Europe’s hot spots is totally out of the question, especially so with the current exchange rates.

Basically you will have to look a little nearer to home and be at the mercy of the British climate. That said, finding somewhere fun for the hen weekend shouldn’t be an issue as there are numerous destinations that cater for hen parties.

You could follow the party crowd to Newquay, Newcastle or Brighton, or you could try somewhere a bit different that offers a seaside atmosphere, but is also within striking distance of a number of outdoor activities to keep the girls entertained.

With no further ado, let me introduce you to the number one seaside hen party destination in the west of England, Weston-super-Mare!

Don’t let the critics of Weston (and there are a few, quite a few actually) put you off. We are talking about a town that has a ‘glamorous grandma’ feel about it. Yes she has seen better days, but there is still life in the old girl yet.

Life’s about taking a chance, so take a chance on a Weston-Super-Mare Hen Weekend. What’s the worst thing that can happen (apart from the hen choking on her scampi)?

What is West Country Games?

West Country Games Home Page Logo

West Country Games embraces all the stereotypes of the West Country in one great day out, comprising of 9 totally hilarious games suitable for all sorts of groups.

If you have an upcoming, Stag do, Hen Weekend, Birthday Party or Team Building Day, then why not give us a try?

Weston Super Mare Hen Weekend

Getting To Weston Super Mare

Couldn’t be easier! Trains, planes, automobiles. No problem! It’s on the main London line and easy to get to from nearby Bristol Temple Meads.

The nearby summer car park, otherwise known as the M5 motorway passes close to the town. You could even fly to Bristol airport if you are coming from further afield. It might even work out cheaper than the train. Bristol airport is actually very accessible to Weston.

 

Weston Super Mare Hen Weekend

Accommodation In Weston

Lots and lots to choose from. The budget concious bride-to-be will love you. Weston is as cheap as chips. It also has cheap chips too, and scampi! Seriously though, all budgets in Weston are catered for and there are some lovely little traditional B&Bs near the beach, which is where you want to be right?

As per usual, it pays to book as far in advance as possible. Weston can be booked out solid during the silly season.

Weston Super Mare Hen Weekend

Activities In Weston And Surrounds

In Weston itself the main activities would centre around the beach and pier.

The historic pier is certainly worth a few hours of the girls time. There are lots of fun and games that are not just targeted at children. It’s so much fun that it might even keep the thirstier hens out of Wetherspoons, for a while anyway.

There is a £15 entry fee that some people find a little on the steep side, possibly due to the fact that in Weston you could be thigh high in chips and prosecco for considerably less.

With a traditional British seaside pier there is always the chance of winning back your entry fee. There are the penny slots and bingo. Hang out with those wise old blue rinses and it might just be your lucky weekend!

If you are prepared to take a trip out of Weston then you could sample the nostalgic delights of an ‘It’s a Knockout’ themed games. West Country Games are located nearby towards Bristol and offer a fun filled couple of hours which will likely be the most memorable event of your Weston super mare stag & hen weekend.

In fact the West Country Games experience might even be more memorable than the wedding itself! They cater for groups sized from 8 to 30 or more. If you are under 8 in numbers, they can still offer you the games experience, but you’ll need to pay for 8 places.

Perhaps after the more active stuff you could take the girls out for traditional afternoon tea in one of Weston’s many tearooms. The areas you need to head to are Grove Park, Ashcombe Park and Clarence Park. Think of it as somewhere to go that offers a little ‘calm before the storm’ wind down action. Cake is also a nice way to line those stomachs too!

Weston Super Mare Hen Weekend

Weston Super Mare At Night

There are plenty of places to eat in Weston and all budgets are catered for, well perhaps not a Saudi prince, but the girls will no doubt be full and happy!

There are the usual brand restaurants like Prezzo and Pizza Express. Weston also has a large number of independent places too, after all, the crowds still flock to the old girl for their summer holidays.

Of course you cannot leave Weston without sampling some of the best fish and chips in the world! What kind of hen party would miss out on a fish supper?

As for drinking, there are lots of pubs and clubs which are usually quite busy on Fridays and Saturday nights. We are also talking about cheap drinks here. This is not Monte Carlo, but don’t let that put you off.

 

All New & Exciting – West Country Indoor Games

west country indoor games

All New & Exciting – West Country Indoor Games

You don’t need an Olympic gold medal to take part in West Country Indoor Games.

Regardless of whether your second home is the gym or you last exercised with Mr Motivator in the 1980’s, everyone is back on the same level when it comes these games!

Age also holds no barrier, with rave reviews from the most youthful to the most senior of participants, you certainly don’t have to be a millennial to enjoy the West Country Indoor Games experience!

What is West Country Games?

West Country Games Home Page Logo

West Country Games embraces all the stereotypes of the West Country in one great day out, comprising of 9 totally hilarious games suitable for all sorts of groups.

If you have an upcoming, Stag do, Hen Weekend, Birthday Party or Team Building Day, then why not give us a try?

West Country Games are an activity company celebrating all things “West Country”! Their hilarious events have been drawing in people from far and wide since 2011 and they have earnt themselves the #1 spot for outdoor activities in Bristol on Trip Advisor.

Hugely popular with stag and hen groups visiting Bristol and Bath, West Country Games’ outdoor events welcome over 400 people a day at the height of season. On the back of this success, the popular Bristol-based activities outfit are now moving indoors.

Their barn-themed venue will play host to the indoor version of their West Country shenanigans from November 2016. West Country Indoor Games will run on Saturdays until March 2017 and take place at Merchant’s Academy Sports Centre, Withywood, Bristol. Starting times are 10:30am or 1:30pm, subject to availability.

8 INDOOR GAMES

west country indoor games

PERFECT FOR A STAG DO, HEN WEEKEND OR BIRTHDAY PARTY

The activity day features up to 8 themed activities, each of which is dafter than the next! Each game uses a selection of large inflatables, catapults, skittles, wellies and even a ride on sheep.

Games include The Cider Run, Sheep Shenanigans, West Country Wipeout and Wurzel Knockout. From podium battles with giant pitch forks to jumping over a sweeper arm operated by somebody on an exercise bike, the side-splitting games are guaranteed to have you rolling in the hay with laughter all day long.

For the competitive ones amongst you, points mean prizes! So knuckle down and battle it out with your friends or colleagues as the person in your group with the highest score will win a prize. Don’t forget to do your lunges and hamstring stretches beforehand as your instructors will be looking for the most accurate Welly Wangers, the most determined Cider Runners and the fiercest Vicky Pollard Handbag wrestlers out there.

west country indoor games

SO MUCH FUN...

Once the day is finally done, you may fondly reminisce about the time you were gripping onto a sheep’s back for dear life or battering your friend with a handbag. Fear not if your memory is a little hazy as you can prompt it with your free group photographs.

Your enthusiastic Activity Host will gladly snap away as you take on each of the games and will be sure to capture some winning shots of you all in your finest moments of athletic achievement! To add to the fun, West Country Games will provide your stag, hen or birthday person with free fancy dress.

Choose between a selection of farm animal onesies; pigs, horses, sheep, chickens, ducks and cows, as well as some rather fetching milk maid outfits that will make any stag feel at one with the West Country! Snacks and drinks are available throughout the day and there are changing facilities and free parking on site.

west country indoor games

HOW TO BOOK YOUR GROUP ACTIVITY

West Country Indoor Games begin their indoor season on Saturday 12th November 2016. Prices are £39.50 with a special offer of 15% off currently running. You can book with a £50 deposit and the final balance isn’t due until 28 days before your activity day. A minimum group size of 8 people applies. Go to our indoor games webpage for more information.

west country indoor games

Stag Do Fancy Dress

west country games stag fancy dress

Stag Do Fancy Dress – The Best Stag Do Costumes

Having an epic stag do is about more than just getting drunk. It’s about having a laugh with your mates, it’s about trying new activities and it’s about the most hilarious, embarrassing stag do costumes you can possibly think of! Back in the day, a stag do was just a night out in the pub with a few pints of lager but today? Well, the sky’s the limit… literally! You want to go skydiving dressed like Superman? Go on then. How about a whole group of you driving a tank in terrible nun stag costumes? Why not!

Although each stag do is different, there are a few common stag do themes you can choose and the only limit is your imagination when it comes to dressing up. Once you’ve grabbed a great bunch of mates and decided where to go then the only thing left to worry about is which stag do costumes will cause the most embarrassment to the stag! We’ve put together a few of our favourite stag do fancy dress ideas to help you on your way.

What is West Country Games?

West Country Games Home Page Logo

West Country Games embraces all the stereotypes of the West Country in one great day out, comprising of 9 totally hilarious games suitable for all sorts of groups.

If you have an upcoming, Stag do, Hen Weekend, Birthday Party or Team Building Day, then why not give us a try?

The Great Tradition of Stag Do Fancy Dress

Stag fancy dress has evolved over the years, and what was once just a chance to dress up like a woman and get drunk is now big business. As early as the 1800s, men were heading out in groups to have a drink or three before one of their number got married, and right from the start there was fancy dress involved. Stag do fancy dress ideas were slightly lacking back then though so it was often just making someone wear the wrong hat for their type of suit (true story)!

Nowadays it’s a rite of passage to grab a set of matching stag costumes and head out on the town, and you’ll rarely see groups of lads out drinking the last of their freedom away without some kind of fancy dress. Which leads us on to a very important consideration…

stag party history fancy dress

Fancy dress to embarrass the stag

This is only going to happen once, right? And the groom was a dick to you at school so this is your chance to get your own back! There are hundreds of embarrassing stag costumes to choose from, and picking the worst will make sure that it’s a night to remember for all the right reasons. Well… for you, anyway!

Try to work with their personality. Are they really image-conscious? Put them in something that makes them look horrendous; a baby’s bonnet to ruin their hair, or a mankini to leave nothing to the imagination. Or do they love being one of the lads and hate being told they’re under the thumb? A massive ball and chain might do the trick, followed by posting a million photos on Facebook! The best stag do costumes are the ones that cause maximum embarrassment to the stag while making you and your mates laugh the hardest.

What can you get away with (in public)?

The stag do fancy dress ideas we’ve mentioned so far have been pretty tame, because sadly there’s a limit to how much you can get away with in public. If you’ve hired a villa somewhere and it’s just you guys then that’s a different story, just don't forget that infamous Prince Harry photo in Las Vegas and think through your choices a little!

The basic rule for stag do costumes is this: embarrassing? Yes. Offensive to others? No! If you want to make the groom spend the night in a lady’s thong then crack on, but just be aware that you might not get let into bars, and if there are children around then you might get more than just complaints!

The same goes for anything that’s more offensive than just the groom’s naked body- needless to say, nothing sexist or racist please - just something that pokes fun at the man of the hour rather than offending a whole class of people.

stag wrestling costume funny

Our top 5 original stag do themes and costumes

So on to the good bit - our run-down of the best stag night costumes around.

Number 5 – May The Force Be With You

star wars stag do costume

This is one of the best stag do themes- Star Wars. It sounds a bit random but think about it- loads of you get to dress up as Storm Troopers, the one with the best beard gets to be Chewbacca and the groom has to dress up as Princess Leia in her famous bikini! You can always make yourself Darth Vader and force the rest of them to buy you drinks all night.

Number 4 – Avengers Assemble!

stag fancy dress super heroes

It’s everyone’s childhood dream! Becoming superheroes! These are pretty versatile stag do costumes, as it’s up to you whether you go the whole way and rent the padded suits or just pick up a few logo t-shirts at Primark. Either way, when there’s loads of you dressed like it you’re sure to get some attention!

Number 3 – More Tea?

stag do fancy dress nuns

Our choice at number 3 is the ever-popular tarts and vicars. What it loses in originality, it gains in hilarity; obviously the groom needs to be a tart, and it’s up to you whether all of the rest of you just go demure and laugh at him while fully-dressed as vicars or join into the exposure game! Expect plenty of jokes about where he’s keeping his wallet

Number 2 – I’ve Got A Brand-New Combine Harvester!

west country games stag fancy dress

This the West Country classic- farmers. Everyone loves a yokel and this is one of the easiest stag do costumes to create from what you’ve already got at home. If you’ve got a checked shirt, braces and a flat cap then you’re already 90% of the way there so all you need to do is perfect your Somerset drawl and hit the bars! Alright, my luvver!

Number 1 – Ladies’ Night

stag do fancy dress baywatch

Our top pick, beating all comers as the classic must-do stag night costume, it’s dressing up as women, whether it’s schoolgirls, old ladies or the groom’s bride-to-be! It’s worth saying that this last option is one of the highest risk stag do fancy dress ideas, as it comes with the distinct possibility that the groom might call the wedding off if he’s too repulsed… Short skirts, wigs and fishnet stockings are all obligatory, and at least one of your mates will shave their legs for the occasion, we guarantee it.

pirate stag fancy dress

Where to purchase your stag do fancy dress

Now you’ve got some great stag do fancy dress ideas, you need to know where to buy the costumes. Jump on Google and take a look for local fancy dress shops; even if there isn’t information on the website, most places will have a good selection of ready-to-buy costumes if you head in for a visit.

Alternatively the internet is your best friend for this one. eBay has a seemingly unlimited selection of stag fancy dress, and you can usually buy 15 or 20 of the same costume at the same time to save everyone shopping separately. Our only warning here is to order it all in advance and then try it on before you want to wear it- the sizing can be weird and you don’t want to get stuck trying to force yourself into lady’s skirt at the eleventh hour! That said, maybe that’s your whole costume… we’re not judging!

stag do fancy dress embarrassing
Get that Stag Dressed!

So, there you have it! A great stag do starts with great stag fancy dress, and now you’ve got the lowdown on how to smash out the best stag night ever.

5 of the best free days out in Bristol – Free activities in Bristol

Balloon Fiesta Hero

5 Of The Best Days Out In Bristol That Won't Cost A Penny

They say the best things in life are free and there’s plenty of fun things to do in and around Bristol that won’t cost you a thing.

If it’s where you call home or if you’re planning a visit, we’ve rounded up some of the best free activities for a brilliant day out on a budget in the South West’s biggest city.

What is West Country Games?

West Country Games Home Page Logo

West Country Games embraces all the stereotypes of the West Country in one great day out, comprising of 9 totally hilarious games suitable for all sorts of groups.

If you have an upcoming, Stag do, Hen Weekend, Birthday Party or Team Building Day, then why not give us a try?

Top 5 Free Days Out In Bristol

Bristol Museum

Bristol Museum And Art Gallery

A billion-year journey around the world? Not bad for a free day out!

The museum is the perfect place to spend a rainy day and will certainly keep you busy as you walk with dinosaurs, travel through the land of the pharaohs and discover the age of aviation and beyond.

The museum also hosts touring collections of artwork and artefacts throughout the year so, even if you can’t fit the whole history of the world into one day, there’s always an excuse to go back!

Bristol Banksy

Banksy Walking Tour

When you think of famous faces from Bristol, chances are you think of Banksy…even if nobody knows what he looks like.

The anonymous artist calls the city home and it’s where some of his first and most famous artworks have appeared.

Grab a map and your walking shoes make sure you’re eagle-eyed as you embark on a walking tour to find some of his earliest and most well-loved works. They’re hidden in various locations around the city and sometimes in places you’d least expect!

The Downs

Situated on the border of Clifton Village, Clifton and Redland, The Downs is made up of acres of picturesque, protected parklands that offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

They’re a fantastic place to explore and enjoy a relaxing stroll but are also home to a number of exciting events throughout the year.

The highlight of The Downs’ calendar is The Downs Festival which has grown into one of the biggest music events in the South West.

Arnolfini

Arnolfini is Bristol’s harbourside home of contemporary art. It has an ever-changing programme of performances, films, music and exhibitions that celebrate culture from both Bristol and the wider world.

This modern, award-winning venue is also part of the Plus Tate network, a programme that allows some of the most exciting exhibitions, curated by the Tate museums, to visit other UK cities.

Entry to the centre and main galleries is free although there is a small ticket charge for some exhibits or performances.

Bristol Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge has been an iconic part of Bristol’s landscape since it’s completion in 1864. Crossing by foot is free and it’s certainly worth the walk; there are brilliant, panoramic views of the city to be enjoyed from either side.

Our favourite is from Observatory Hill, just after dusk, when the bridge’s illuminations are lit. There’s a visitor centre nearby where you can learn about the history of the bridge and free guided tours from run from the Clifton Toll Booth every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday Monday from Easter to October.

There’s plenty of attractions in Bristol to keep you entertained without breaking the bank or even needing to visit a cash machine at all.

In fact, there’s so many, why not challenge yourself to see the city on a shoestring and combine a few on our list to create a big day out?

 

 

Hen Do Fancy Dress Ideas

hen party fancy dress farmer

Hen Do Fancy Dress Ideas – The Best Hen Party Costumes

Everyone wants a great hen do before they embark on married life. Who doesn’t love a good time with their friends, getting a bit drunk and generally putting the world to rights? Where once you might have had a quiet evening in a local bar though, today it’s much more about cutting loose and sending the hen off in style. And what’s one of the best ways to do that? Grabbing some crazy hen do costumes and hitting the town, that’s how! 

If you’re after some great hen do fancy dress ideas then you’re in the right place. We’ve pretty much seen it all at West Country Games, so we’re well-placed to give you some inspiration on hen do themes and help you plan the most epic weekend possible for the bride. If you’d like her to look classy then there are some good chic hen costumes available, but if you want to embarrass the life out of her then you’re in luck as that’s what the majority of hen do costumes are all about! We’ve put together our pick of the best.

What is West Country Games?

West Country Games Home Page Logo

West Country Games embraces all the stereotypes of the West Country in one great day out, comprising of 9 totally hilarious games suitable for all sorts of groups.

If you have an upcoming, Stag do, Hen Weekend, Birthday Party or Team Building Day, then why not give us a try?

The Great Tradition of Hen Do Fancy Dress

Go back 50 years and hen dos weren’t so much of a thing. While the men were out drinking to celebrate an impending marriage, women often stayed at home to prepare for the big day. Luckily that’s very much no longer the case! Having a hen do is an integral part of getting married, and hen do fancy dress ideas have got weird and wonderful.  

Your weekend might be a low key chill out with friends or a mental weekend in the pubs and clubs, but nowadays it’s easy to find hen costumes for both. You can go as sedate or as crazy as you like...as long as the hen is a good sport!

history hen party fancy dress

Fancy dress to make the hen feel good…or embarrass them!

When you’re looking for some perfect hen do costumes you’ve got two options. If you’re feeling kind (and worried about what the bridesmaid dress might end up looking like!) then go for a flattering, sexy number like a slinky air hostess. The hen will be the centre of attention for all the right reasons, and will feel a million dollars. She’ll love it. 

But what about if you’re feeling naughty and want to embarrass her instead? That’s OK too! She must love her husband-to-be, she is marrying him after all, so how about building the hen fancy dress around him? Have masks made from his face, dress everyone up like him and watch her squirm!

granny hen party best fancy dress

What can you get away with for hen fancy dress?

It might be hilarious to think of a million ways to embarrass the bride, but just be careful that you don’t go too far with your hen night costumes if you’re heading out in public. Dressing her up like a porn star is going to give all your mates a great laugh but it might not go down too well in a nice restaurant! 

When choosing a hen do theme it’s also a good idea to keep the bride’s sense of humour in mind. A bride-to-be sobbing in the toilets is a sign you’ve gone too far! A bit embarrassing is normally OK, but totally horrifying generally isn’t. You still want to be invited to the wedding after all!

Our top 5 original hen do themes and costumes

We’ve put together our pick of the 5 best hen do fancy dress ideas to help you on your way.

5. The Shepherdess

shepherdess hen fancy dress

First up is one of the classic hen do costumes: the shepherdess. Meek and demure yet a little bit risqué if you throw in a bit of cleavage, this is a good one for ladies who want to dress up and look glam.

If the rest of the hen party all want to dress up as sheep then so much the better!

4. Pub Golf

hen costume pub golf

Next we have pub golf, which is not a typical hen costume but is a great choice because of the entertainment that comes alongside. Dress up as sexy golfers with pleated skirts and long socks, grab a scorecard here then hit the pubs to hit a round of cocktails and shots!

Plus don’t forget the amazing benefit of golf-related hen costumes- you get to wear trainers with your outfit. You’ll be thanking us at 4am!

3. Air Hostess

air hostesses hen fancy dress party

Hen fancy dress outfit number 3 is the super-sexy air hostess. This can be made as full-on as you want with some slinky outfits and tight-fitting shirts, or a bit classier if you go along the more buttoned-up route to turn it into a chic hen costume. Expect lots of attention from everyone else in town, and maybe a few generous offers to be your pilot!

2. Pink Ladies

pink ladies hen costume

At number 2 on our list of hen do fancy dress ideas it’s the ever-popular Pink Ladies from the film Grease. The film is a classic and the hen night costumes are too!

We’re talking tight black trousers, spike heels or trainers, shiny pink jackets and hair as crazy as you want. This one is a good choice for mixed groups as it allows everyone to design their own outfit. 

1. Farmers

hen party fancy dress farmer

Topping our list as one of the best hen do costumes around, it’s that West Country classic of dressing up as farmers! You can go wild with this one. Want to channel your inner Wurzel? Go for it.

Or have the bride as the farmer and everyone else as the farm animals? That works too! Dungarees, denim, checked shirts and straw hats are all great accompaniments to a night out.

Where to purchase your hen do fancy dress

The final step in organising the perfect hen weekend is to turn your hen do fancy dress ideas into reality. Google is your best friend as it lets you search for local fancy dress shops which might have some bargain hen costumes on offer. Alternatively, lots of retailers have online shops so check out Amazon or eBay to see what you can find. Make sure you buy the right sizes though, there’s nothing worse than an ill-fitting shepherdess outfit!

superhero hen fancy dress
Your Hen Fancy Dress Inspiration... Done

And that’s it! Now you know how to find the ultimate hen party fancy dress costumes, all you need to do is add prosecco and some good mates. Enjoy!

Bristol Harbour Festival – Host to Bristol Harbour festival 2018

Bristol Harbour Festival

Drinks, Music And Fun In The Sun At Bristol Harbour Festival

The Bristol Harbour Festival is one of the biggest events in the city’s calendar, and if you’re making a list of must-do Bristol activities then look no further.

Imagine the scene… Groups of friends sat on the harbour walls, sipping local cider and soaking up the afternoon sunshine. A flotilla of boats bobbing in the harbour and the sound of flags snapping in the breeze fills the air. Live music from the open-air stage drifts across the water and the atmosphere is relaxed and happy. Welcome to Bristol’s annual harbour festival!

This year’s 2018 festival will take place on the weekend of 20th – 22nd July and there’s plenty to get excited about. It’s long been one of the highlights in the local calendar and is the ideal focus for a Bristol hen weekend or a stag do and the best bit – it’s all totally free!

Here’s our run-down of the best that the festival has to offer, to help you make the most of a weekend packed full of Bristol Harbourside festival fun.

What is West Country Games?

West Country Games Home Page Logo

West Country Games embraces all the stereotypes of the West Country in one great day out, comprising of 9 totally hilarious games suitable for all sorts of groups.

If you have an upcoming, Stag do, Hen Weekend, Birthday Party or Team Building Day, then why not give us a try?

Bristol’s Harbour Festival

Bristol Harbour Festival

What’s The Deal?

The Bristol Harbour Festival was set up to celebrate Bristol’s proud naval heritage, and every year hundreds of boats converge on the floating harbour to moor up and join in the fun.

Famous ships like The Matthew make an appearance and there are water-based displays of everything from Newfoundland rescue dogs to the local fire service.

The city is taken over by music and dance and it’s a great showcase of the area for visitors, as well as being a great way to celebrate a hen, stag or birthday weekend.

The Best Music?

The Bristol Harbourside Festival starts on Friday night with a free, live music concert in the newly-revamped Lloyds Amphitheatre on the banks of the river.

Previous years have featured a concert orchestra providing the warm-up for UK rapper Roots Manuva so expect an eclectic mix!

There are eight different music stages at the Bristol Harbour Festival showcasing a range of music styles, so there’s something for everyone.

A trip to the famous floating nightclub the Thekla is at the top of the list of things to do that shouldn’t be missed; host to a stage in its own right, this is a unique chance to enjoy a bit of live music on board during daylight hours.

Bristol Harbour Festival

The Best Food?

Bristol is considered the culinary capital of the UK with a large host of great eating venues to indulge in. The Bristol Harbour Festival embraces this tradition and there is some top-quality food on offer over the festival weekend.

Many local places offer special deals for festival-goers and with three Michelin-starred restaurants in the centre of town you could certainly choose to push the boat out!

Don’t fancy a sit-down meal? There are a number of ‘Market’ areas where you can grab some food on the go featuring cuisines from all over the world.

The Best Drinks?

Drinking is also taken very seriously at the Bristol Harbour Festival, and if you’re a fan of craft ales and ciders then you’re in luck. Local producers take the chance to promote their best vintages and sinking a pint of Somerset cider outside the Arnolfini is a must-do, as well as any of Bristol’s best pubs.

No Bristol stag or hen weekend would be complete without a drink or two, and the festival doesn’t disappoint here either. Pop-up cocktail bars are normally found near Queens Square, or take some time out of your Bristol harbour festival experience to sample a couple of hand-crafted drinks in The Rummer on Corn Street.

It’s at the heart of the Bristol drinks scene and is well worth a visit.

Bristol Harbour Festival

The Best Activities?

If you’re organising a group trip to Bristol, then you’ll probably be interested in finding something unusual to entertain the gang at the harbour festival.

Head to Queens Square to the dance stage to try your hand at everything from Salsa to Bhangra, or try out the circus tent to see some gravity-defying performances.

There’s plenty to see on the water as well. Keep your eyes peeled for tall ships moving in and out of the harbour throughout the weekend- the sight of a traditional ship sailing down the river under the Suspension Bridge is not to be missed. Charge up the camera batteries, this is Bristol at its finest!

Fancy something a bit more active? Get involved in the Dragon Boat Racing display! It will get your pulse racing while giving you a great view of the city from the water.

If that seems like hard work then there are plenty of other traditional events on offer across the weekend, like morris-dancing and pirate walks.

Give In To Pier Pressure, And Enjoy!

The Bristol Harbour Festival is an unmissable blend of culture, music and fun. Bring your mates, bring the family, make it the centre of your weekend and enjoy the party. This is the West Country at its best!