Gifford’s Circus — a magical day for the family

Gifford’s Circus is so very special. And it is good for your soul! You will leave with a smile, filled with magic, and in awe. You escape the world and become a child again, just for a few perfect hours. Surrounded by true artists, seamless choreography, amazing live music, smiling staff, and captivated by genuine suspense, it is the dreamiest day!

Every year for six years I have adored going to my annual Gifford’s show for a dose of magic. For me, and now for my family, it is a highlight of our year.  It is a little slice of the past, entertainment and innocent escapism. This is an event circus packed with lots of laughs, tonnes of fun, and it is also breathtakingly beautiful. We were gobsmacked by the gorgeous details. 

Giffords Circus is a village green circus that tours England from May to September. It was started by Nell Gifford, an English woman who decided to follow her childhood dream of  starting her own circus. Nell says, “I held the jewel of my childhood up to my eye, and through it I saw ponies and a dressing-up box and a tent, and that was Giffords Circus.”

The costumes are handmade, the animals are trained by them, the sets are painted in the barns on our farm, and they burn the midnight oil to conjure new visions for the show. It’s all they do. This circus is their love. And it shows.

This is an experience which entices all the senses. From the lovely warm smell of popcorn mixing with candy floss, to the soft velvet curtains, and the vintage handmade signage. With a kind and approachable team of travelling artists, musicians, chefs, clown, not to mention the animals!

Speaking of animals, this is not your typical circus, with little loved Shetland Ponies, a horse, several dachshunds, and a few turkeys (yes they are part of the entertainment!) and made me laugh out loud! Meanwhile, Joseph was speechless the whole performance, completely mesmerised and in awe. Yet he left beaming and didn’t want to go home ‘more circus mummy,’ he said. I don’t blame him.

The finale performance welcomes children into the ring for a dance with the approachable entertainers! Beatrice jumped at the chance and quite possibly wanted to run away with the circus! 🙂

And after the entertainment, you can feast on great food options — yummy wood oven pizzas, hot dogs, and even beetroot burger! There is also Circus Sauce Restaurant, which we plan to try next year. Old-fashioned fun with the perfect snacks, places to picnic, and even modern baby change areas too.

Leaving the tent at the end of the show, we truly felt like we had just gone on holiday. Giffords is good for your heart, your soul, and your happiness. I only wish we could bottle it up and share it with the rest of the globe, but the magic is in the moment. So you must plan it in your May – September.  My children are already talking about next year’s trip. I would say that is a pretty good review from my 5 and 2 year olds. 

As we went to bed that evening, I asked those happy little faces what their favourite part of the circus was. Of course, it was the silliest… when Tweedy, the clown, lost his trousers and showed off his boxer shorts! 🙂

Humor and happiness go hand-in-hand.


Visit the Gifford’s website to see where the Circus is travelling to from early May – the end of September.


ps We also love this Summer friendly spot, for some cooling down fun in Granary Square.


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