Balloons with a View: enjoy Bristol Balloon Fiesta at 360 café

Balloons with a View: enjoy Bristol Balloon Fiesta at 360 café

Bristol’s world-famous Balloon Fiesta began today; with just three days left, we wanted to remind you that we’ve extended our café opening hours to join in with the celebrations!  Situated upstairs on our rooftop terrace, ‘360’ is named for its spectacular views across the Bristol countryside and cityscape, and there’s no better place from which to watch the balloons before they disperse over they city! Join us for the mass hot air balloon lifts at 6am and 6pm, this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We’ll remain open right through, from the early morning lifts ‘til 9:30 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 8:30 pm on Sunday. Against a leafy backdrop, our friendly team will be serving a selection of the best local refreshments, including Bristol Twenty’s colourful and classic teas and coffees, Cakesmiths’ sweet treats (many of which are gluten free and vegan friendly) and Marshfield’s irresistible ice-creams. After the Fiesta, we’ll be back to business as usual – you can join us from 10 am to 7 pm, every day of the week. This is subject to change based on the ever-fickle English weather and resulting custom, but you can always contact us before setting off to avoid disappointment. In a prime walking spot at the top of the luscious Downs, we of course welcome dog-walkers, with well-behaved four-legged friends on leads, seeking a place to pause. Whether you’re grabbing coffee to go or a quiet glass of bubbly (served after midday), we are happy to offer a calm, family-friendly space in an otherwise bustling city. If you like your brew with a view, then 360 is the place...
Gromit Unleashed 2: Clifton Observatory to join the charity trail

Gromit Unleashed 2: Clifton Observatory to join the charity trail

If you happened to be enjoying a jog or a stroll across the Downs soon after sunrise yesterday morning, you will have spotted some familiar, but unexpected figures on our doorstep… As of July the 2nd, a pack of newly decorated Gromits will be returning to Bristol for Gromit Unleashed 2! Here at the Observatory, we were lucky enough to have a sneak peek at a few of the sculptures before they take up their posts alongside the landmarks of the city this summer. And we’re pleased to announce that the Clifton Observatory has been selected as one of those landmarks! The world-famous man and dog duo, Wallace and Gromit, were brought into being in Bristol, by Nick Park nearly 30 years ago. Alongside entertaining audiences of all ages in their on-screen adventures, the characters also lend their names and faces to two wonderful charities: Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Charity, and the Wallace & Gromit Grand Appeal. The Wallace & Gromit Grand Appeal is their home-based project, raising money for the children’s hospital here in Bristol. Since it started in 1995, the Grand Appeal has raised over £50 million, which has been put to incredibly good use saving lives, and supporting sick children and their families. Out of the Grand Appeal, Gromit Unleashed was born. In 2013, 80 individually decorated sculptures of Gromit were placed around the city. After 10 weeks outside, and a grand exhibition where visitors could see them all at once, the Gromits were auctioned off. Gromit Unleashed raised an astounding £2.3 million for Bristol’s Children’s Hospital! After Gromit’s great success, a herd of Shaun the...
Watch the balloons from 360 at the Observatory, Bristol’s newest rooftop café

Watch the balloons from 360 at the Observatory, Bristol’s newest rooftop café

  It’s official! Bristol’s newest rooftop café has just opened atop Clifton Observatory and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome you. 360 at the Observatory is the new name for our recently renovated roof terrace, where you can grab a refreshing drink and a snack and watch the world go by. Serving tea, coffee and soft drinks, as well as a range of ice creams from Marshfield Farm, what more could you need to go along with these stunning views?!     Join us from Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th August when the annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta returns to Bristol, and grab yourself a spot at the second highest point in the city (after Cossham hospital) – perfect for a balloon-spotting session during the 6am and 6pm mass ascents. We will be open from 6am until late during the balloon fiesta (weather dependent).     Make sure to tag us in your photos on Twitter and Instagram! We look forward to seeing...
Camera Obscura Day!

Camera Obscura Day!

  In celebration of Aristotle’s 2400th birthday, come and take part in a day of fun with cameras at Clifton Observatory. Wear an I-scura Climb into a Tri-clops Draw your own Canaletto Find out how to make your home into your own ‘walk in’ camera obscura! Come along to the Clifton Observatory on the Downs from 1pm till 4pm on Sunday 1st May (bank holiday weekend) where pinhole photographer Justin Quinnell will be showing you how the world should be seen – upside down! This is a free event, taking place outside the Clifton Observatory. Entry to the Clifton Observatory Camera Obscura and Giant’s Cave is £4 for adults and £2.50 for children under 14. www.pinholephotography.org  ...
Brian Blessed hails a successful Flash Gordon @ Observatory

Brian Blessed hails a successful Flash Gordon @ Observatory

  When Bristol Sunset Cinema came to the Observatory this September for a screening of Flash Gordon (1980), we weren’t expecting the all-star cast to make an appearance. It was a fantastic surprise to receive two very enthusiastic messages from Prince Vultan (Brian Blessed) and Flash himself (Sam J. Jones) to introduce the screening!   Blessed, originally from Yorkshire, trained in drama at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and called Bristol his ‘second home’.     Jones, who is rumoured to be appearing in a reboot of the 1980s cult classic, gave a warm “hello” and a very wide smile to his Bristol audience. In an interview with Den of Geek earlier this year, Jones revealed that Fox Studios have writers working on the sequel’s script. When asked if he would like to play an older Flash or mentor a younger star in the next instalment, Jones said: “Whatever a younger, leading man can do, I cannot only match him, I can do more!”     The evening itself stayed beautifully dry and calm which, we’ve heard, is typical of Bristol Sunset Cinema’s screenings. One attendee commented: “The atmosphere was really suited to the movie, with fans cheering and clapping along to their favourite scenes. The moon rising over the screen with the Observatory in the background made a great setting too.” – Tomm, South Bristol       Were you there? Let us know what you thought in the comments...