While I am over here in England, I’m using my trip as a great excuse to say yes to everything I get asked to do. The more english it happens to be, the better.
One of the things I always used to go and see when I lived in Gloucestershire was Giffords Circus, the really rather fabulous 1930s-style circus that tours south west England.
A circus like no other, it’s choreographed, owned and run by Oxford educated Nell Gifford who also, by the way, happens to be Emma Bridgewater’s sister (can you tell? Pic below, with the larger than life EB teapot, is of their travelling restaurant that serves locally sourced food after the evening performance).
Their whiter than white big top and their vintage style posters that this year look something like this…
…and are slapped on various lamp posts around the two counties, always seem to herald the start of summer.
We sadly missed it when they were in our nearest town; Moreton in Marsh was one of the venues and a stone’s throw from where we were staying but the circus had moved on by the time we arrived. Instead we had to settle with catching them in Bicester, by no means an idyllic Cotswold village and about an hour away.
But despite that, it was spellbinding and exactly what you’ve always hoped a trip to the circus would be like. There’s dance, music and theatre topped off with some incredible circus acts and all loosely interwoven with a storyline and a theme (which changes annually, I can only assume).
Think prancing ponies, strong men and fawns on tightropes rather than tigers in cages and red nosed clowns and you will not be disappointed.
Absolutely worth coming up from London for and not to be missed if you can help it.
Try to go to an evening show which is generally much fuller and more fun than the daytime ones (because we had small people with us we went to a morning performance and it was disappointingly empty…but I think I was the only one that noticed, everyone else was entranced).
To make a reservation at the restaurant or to book tickets, log on to the Gifford Circus website. The circus is touring until mid September.