From riding in a hot-air balloon to seeing inside the Royal Albert Hall, tick these things off your bucket list in 2017
Want to try something new this year? Here are five new things to experience, from balloon fiestas to going behind the scenes at the Royal Albert Hall
1. Take a ride in a hot-air balloon
The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot-air balloons, attracting over 150 balloons from around the world. From 10–13 August, Ashton Court Estate in Bristol plays host to this (free!) family-friendly jamboree where you can, under a sky filled with balloons, enjoy plenty of fairground rides and sample some great food. Go on Thursday or Saturday and late-night visitors can see the famous night glows as the balloons appear as giant light bulbs. Always wanted to see the earth from the basket of a hot-air balloon? Rides are available to book throughout the festival.
Boundless members can take advantage of free access to Boundless Basecamp at the fiesta, where you can enjoy discounted refreshments, meet up with friends, and try something new with one of our virtual-reality units.
2. Experience the thrill of seeing the Red Arrows
Now in its 25th year, the Eastbourne Airbourne Airshow features the very best in military and civilian aviation. Taking place along Eastbourne seafront, you can see astonishing displays from, among others, the Red Arrows, Typhoon and the much-loved Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
You can watch the air display free from the town’s seafront and, given how popular the event has been in the past, you can expect to be part of a large crowd. If you want to be away from the throng, however, there are plenty of opportunities to view from further afield – the air display line stretches for two miles.
3. Go behind the scenes of Downton Abbey
Have you ever fancied going behind the scenes and experiencing what it’s like to be in Downton Abbey? Be transported back in time to the early years of the 20th century with a tour around the locations used in the award-winning ITV series. You’ll get to visit such handsome locations as Lord Gillingham’s townhouse, Downton Village, Yew Tree Farm and Grantham House.
This day-long tour takes you from Temple Underground Station in London deep into the heart of rural Oxfordshire, and is a great day out, full of eye-wowing prettiness, even if you’re not a Downton buff.
4. See inside the awe-inspiring Royal Albert Hall
Since being opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, the Royal Albert Hall (it was named after the her husband, Prince Albert, who died in 1861) has played host to some of the world’s leading performers.
Truly one of the most impressive concert halls in the world, this 5272-seat building hosts more than 390 shows a year in its main auditorium, including classical, rock and pop concerts, opera, ballet, film screenings with live orchestra accompaniment, sport, award ceremonies and banquets.
With this special offer for Boundless members, you can take a tour of Royal Albert Hall and dine in style at one of the venue’s flagship eateries with a three-course lunch with wine for two in the Hall's stunning Verdi restaurant.
5. Feel what it's like to drive a tank
How many people can say they’ve driven a tank? Always secretly wanted to but never got round to it? Imagine it, one of you in the driver’s seat, one of you in the turret of an FV432 APC tank. Not only that, but you’ll be allowed to load, aim and fire a 40mm paintball.
Boundless members can get a discount on a tank driving experience for two.