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Nov262014

Win tickets to At-Bristol



Get into the spirit of a white Christmas with At-Bristol's adults-only evening event this Advent. On 10 December, the science centre will be opening its doors after dark, allowing visitors to take in its myriad exhibits – with a glass in hand.

As well as the regular interactive experiences, which range from taking a tour of a walk-in womb to having a natter with a robo-waiter, there'll be the chance to sample a host of frozen treats, from instant ice-cream to the Millennium Square's ice rink and even indulge in a spot of stargazing in the centre's Planetarium.

Tech Monthly has two pairs of tickets up for grabs, covering entry to all of the above. Simply answer the following festive riddle. Who played the title role in the 2003 film, Elf? You'd better get your skates on though; the competition closes on 25 November.

Terms and conditions

1. The 'Win tickets to 'At-Bristol - After Hours: ICE' competition' (the "Competition") is open to residents of the UK aged 18 and over.

2. The Competition is not open to employees or agencies of Guardian News & Media Limited ("GNM", the "Promoter" or "We"), their group companies or family members, At-Bristol Limited, their group companies or family members, or anyone else connected with the Competition.

3. Entry into the Competition is deemed as acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.

4. To enter the Competition you must complete all fields of the online form above and submit your entry. If you have any questions about how to enter or otherwise in connection with the Competition, please e-mail us at tech.monthly@observer.co.uk email the correct answer to the question above to tech.monthly@observer.co.uk with 'Entry for After Hours: ICE competition' in the subject line.

5. Only one entry per person. Entries on behalf of another person will not be accepted and joint submissions are not allowed. You are responsible for the cost (if any) of sending your Competition entry to us.

6. No responsibility is taken for entries that are lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete or cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason. Proof of delivery of the entry is not proof of receipt.

7. The Competition closes at 23:59 on Tuesday 25th November 2014. Entries received after that date and time will not be considered.

8. Two winners will be chosen from a random draw of correct entries received in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.

9. Each winner will win a pair of tickets to 'At-Bristol - After Hours: ICE' taking place at At-Bristol, Anchor Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5DB on Wednesday 10 December at from 6.30pm –10pm, including entry to At-Bristol as well as entry to the Millennium Square's real ice rink and the planetarium show (the "Event"). More details of the Event can be found here: GNM accepts no responsibility for any costs associated with the prize and not specifically included in the prize including, without limitation, travel to or from the Event, accommodation and/or meals.

10. The winners will be notified by email by GNM on or before 27 November 2014 and given details of how to claim their prize. Due to the time limited nature of the prize, if a winner does not respond within 7 days of being notified, then the winner's prize will be forfeited and GNM shall be entitled to select another winner (and that winner will have to respond to the email from GNM within 3 days or else they will also forfeit their prize). If the winner rejects their prize, then the winner's prize will be forfeited and GNM shall be entitled to select another winner.

11. The prize will be sent to the winners by GNM by 10 December 2014.

12. The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and is not redeemable for cash or other prizes.

13. GNM retains the right to substitute the prize with another prize of similar value in the event the original prize offered is not available.

14. The name and county of the winners can be obtained after 10 December 2014 by sending a stamped addressed envelope to the following address: Observer Tech Monthly, Guardian News & Media Limited, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. The winner may be required for promotional activity related to the Competition and each winner shall participate in such activity on the Promoter's reasonable request.

15. GNM shall use and take care of any personal information you supply to it as described in its privacy policy, a copy of which can be seen at and in accordance with data protection legislation. By entering the competition, you agree to the collection, retention, use and distribution of your personal information in order to process and contact you about your competition entry, and for the purposes outlined in paragraph 14 above.

16. No purchase necessary.

17. Nothing in these terms and conditions shall exclude the liability of GNM under law for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation, or for death or personal injury as a result of its negligence.

18. GNM accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering the Competition or accepting the prize. GNM further disclaims liability for any injury or damage to your or any other person's computer relating to or resulting from participation in or downloading any materials in connection with the Competition.

19. GNM reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, this Competition with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). The decision of GNM in all matters under its control is final and binding and no correspondence will be     entered into.  GNM reserves the right to discount entries if it suspects fraudulent bulk Entries or multiple Entries have been submitted to inappropriately influence or manipulate the selection of the winners.

20. GNM     shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations     where the failure is caused by something outside its reasonable     control. Such circumstances shall include, but not be limited to,     weather conditions, fire, flood, hurricane, strike, industrial     dispute, war, hostilities, political unrest, riots, civil commotion,     inevitable accidents, supervening legislation or any other     circumstances amounting to force majeure.

21. The Competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and will be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

22. Promoter:      Guardian News & Media Limited, Kings     Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9GU.


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Nov192014

The hot tickets



Lenny Henry

Homeward bound … Lenny Henry. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

Book now

■ Rudy's Rare Records

Following his triumphs in Northern Broadsides' Othello, Lenny Henry is back on home turf in this stage version of the warm-hearted Radio 4 series set in an old reggae record shop in Brum. Larrington Walker co-stars, and a live on-stage band will soundtrack the show with covers of Cliff, Dekker and Marley. The Rep, Birmingham (0121-236 4455), 4-20 September; Hackney Empire, London (020 8985 2424), 24 September-5 October.

■ The Promise

The Arnolfini has always had bold ambitions for Bristol, and its summer exhibition writs them large across the city, with both a gallery show and off-site commissions that reimagine Bristol's future – and past. Look out for Gabriel Lester's Aeolian harps on the harbourside, and book into an August boat ride to see the full works. Arnolfini, Bristol (0117-917 2300), until 9 November.

■ Titus Andronicus

Is multi-storey the new immersive? After Macbeth in a Poplar tower block, here's Titus Andronicus in a Peckham car park, with a beatboxed score by BellaTrix, a local community chorus and added parkour, as cast members take a running leap and a jump at Shakespeare's bloodiest play. Bold Tendencies, Peckham Rye Multistorey Carpark, London, 30 August- 30 September.

Book now

■ Hotel

A British family are holidaying on a remote Kenyan island. Mother is a senior politician, father has been involved in an internet scandal, and son has his own secrets to hide. Polly Stenham's latest has echoes of John Osborne and Sarah Kane amid its middle-class setting. Get day tickets for this Shed show to see for yourself. National Theatre, London (020-7452 3000), until 2 August.


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Nov192014

Cycling events for your diary



Festival fever

Peak District Summer ofCycling, from nowuntil October

Welcome to the Peak District's mega summer cycle festival. Highlights include the L'Eroica Britannia, a three-day vintage bike event from 20 June, offering 30-, 50- or 100-mile routes on the Monsal Trail through Victorian tunnels and viaducts. Pre-1987 bikes and retro apparel mandatory.

Warminster Wobble, Wiltshire, 21-22 June

As well as free bike rides from Warminster town park - including a 10-mile family ride with a stop-off at a country pub for lunch - the Warminster Wobble will feature mountain bike skills sessions, displays from pro riders and a bicycle polo match. And if your kids still have excess energy to burn off, there's a children's entertainer, juggler and circus skills workshop to tire them out. warminsterwobble.co.uk

Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride, 22 June

How big? Over 5,000 people are expected to take part in Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride. There are four traffic-free routes to choose from, ranging from nine to 38 miles, taking you under Bristol's mighty Clifton Suspension Bridge and into the countryside beyond. The city is also hosting its annual Cycle Festival from 5to 13 July. Highlights include a cycle-in cinema and bicycle ballet performance.

Celebration of Cycling, Cumbria, 22 July

Fancy making your own bike-powered smoothie? That is just one of the events on offer at this festival, held at the Brockhole National Park Visitor Centre. You can also join in free cycle skills sessions, guided rides around the shore of Lake Windermere and (if your legs need a break) try an electric bike.

New Forest Cycling Week, Hampshire, 25 July-2 August

Every year, around 200 people take part in this week-long bike rally, based at the Avon Tyrrell Activity Centre in Bransgore. Rides are arranged daily, so keep an eye on the information board in the rally marque and be ready to saddle up. Other activities include a children's time trial, children's bicycle gymkhana and a party to celebrate the festival's 40th birthday.

Isle of Wight Cycling Festival, 13-28September

Love movies as much as you do cycling? You can enjoy both simultaneously, thanks to the festival's outdoor Cycle Cinema, run on pedal power. There will also be over 60 bike rides on offer, for all levels of ability, including the infamous Hills Killer - 13-, 26- or 52-mile courses over some of the island's most gruelling hills.

S is for Sportive

Louth Meridian Sportive, Lincolnshire, 28 June

Two races - one 85 miles, the other 51 miles - will set off from the picturesque town of Louth. Riders are rewarded with free leg massages and post-race food and two family members get free passes to the Meridian Leisure Centre.

Carnival Cycling Tour Sportive, Essex, 6 July

Bradley Wiggins wannabes have the opportunity to cycle the same roads that the pro riders of the 2014 Tour de France will be racing the following day (stage three). The 50-mile ride will begin at Saffron Walden Common, before heading towards Finchingfield. From there, you'll go up and over a few hills on the edge of North West Essex, and returning to Saffron Walden to a hero's welcome.

Tour of the National Forest Sportive Autumn Challenge, Leicestershire, 5 October

Here's one for parents and teens with an adventurous streak. Explore the quiet lanes and picturesque villages of Leicestershire on two wheels, choosing from 40.5-, 62- and 99.5-mile routes. Each one departs from Charnwood Forest, part of the 200 square mile National Forest just outside Loughborough that will be resplendent with autumn colours for the sportive.

Feeling charitable

Various sponsored cycles, Kent, 22 June

Turn your leg power into cash for charity. Departing from North Park in Ashford, you can opt for the 35- or 60-mile route, taking you through ancient towns and past quiet shingle beaches - and every penny raised will go to East Kent Hospitals Charity. Keen to get some swimming and running in too? Sign up for the Leeds Castle Triathlon from 27 to 29 June, or the Hever Castle Triathlon from 27 to 28September.

Cycle Live, Nottinghamshire, 21-22 June

On 21 June, there will be a series of family-friendly off-road cycle rides (2.5, 7.5 or 10.5 miles), as well as the high-adrenaline Nottingham Grand Prix - competitive races on a circuit around the streets of Nottingham. On 22 June, the Cerebral Palsy Sport Great Notts Bike Ride will see swarms of cyclists set off into the Nottinghamshire countryside on rides of 25, 50 and 100 miles.

Macmillan Dorset BikeRide, 6 July

There are five circular routes to choose from, all starting in Corfe Mullen, including a lazy 25-mile ride through Charborough Park (ideal for families) and a leg-burning 100-mile route along Dorset's quiet lanes. Meanwhile, off-road enthusiasts can test their map-reading skills on the 30-mile Dorset Dirt ride on 7 September.

Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines, Durham, 20 July

While this epic 60-mile ride, which departs from Barnard Castle and features over 2,000 metres of rugged climbing, is reserved for only the fittest of the fit, if you're blessed with sunshine it's worth watching from the sidelines. Cheer on your favourites, then reward yourselves with a slap-up lunch at a country pub.

Night riders

London to Brighton Night Ride, 12-13 July

Some 5,000 cyclists are expected to set off on this 60-mile ride through the night from Tower Bridge to Brighton beach, in association with the British Heart Foundation. The route follows country lanes before reaching the toughest part of the ride - a gruelling climb up Devil's Dyke - and descending to the sea just in time for sunrise.

Ride the Lights, Lancashire, 26 August

What better way to preview the spectacular Blackpool Illuminations before the official switch on than while cruising the promenade on your bike? Thousands of people (many in fancy dress) will descend on the Golden Mile - closed to all vehicles except trams and bicycles - to do just that at the annual Ride the Lights event.

Tour de France 2014

The Grand Dpart, Yorkshire, 5-6 July

Ever since the 100-day Yorkshire Festival kicked off on 27 March, bike enthusiasts have been counting the hours to the final weekend, when the county will host the first two stages of the 101st Tour de France (Leeds to Harrogate and York to Sheffield) - known as the Grand Dpart.

Sky rides

Sky Ride Plymouth, Devon, now until 9November

Sky Ride Plymouth has over 30 free events to choose from, listed under three categories: easygoing, steady and challenging.

Sky Ride Bournemouth, Dorset, 1 June-14 September

As well as a line-up of family-friendly rides, such as the Pootle along the Promenade and Discover the Dunes rides (both around six miles long), there are more challenging options for people looking to up the pace. Get back to nature on the 37-mile loop around the New Forest.

Mountain biking galore

Wiggle Mountain Mayhem, Gloucestershire, 20-22 June

When it comes to cycling endurance events, this one takes the biscuit. Held at Gatcombe Park, home of HRH The Princess Royal in the Cotswolds, this is a 24-hour mountain bike event open to soloists and teams of four, five or 10. The aim of the game? To complete as many laps as possible in 24 hours. Youngsters keen to get involved can join in the Mini Mayhem event for under 17s.

Wiggle South Downs Epic MTB, West Sussex, 22 June

Saddle up for one of three mountain bike routes (39, 28 or 17 miles) in the South Downs. Expect panoramic views of the coast from the top of St Roche's Hill and challenging climbs, including Cocking Hill, and some let-the-wheels-run descents on quiet bridleways. Under 16s ridefor free.

For more information on holidays in England, go to VisitEngland.com


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Nov122014

Somerset-Attractions At-Bristol



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Nov052014

Number 38 Clifton, Bristol: hotel review



Number 38 Clifton terrace, Bristol

Number 38 Clifton terrace, Bristol

Be it a drink in the lounge or an iron sent up to your room, if you want anything at Number 38, ask for it before 8pm. After that, the communal areas close, the friendly staff sign off and, essentially, this handsome B&B shuts down for the night and guests can access only a lobby and stairwell bereft of life but for owner Adam Dorrien Smith's striking art collection.

Number 38 Clifton

38 Upper Belgrave Road,

Bristol

BS8 2XN

+44 (0)117 9466905



number38clifton.com

B&B doubles from £125



Depending on your point of view, this either gives the nine-bedroom townhouse an eerie, Mary Celeste feel, or turns it into an oasis of serenity. You are just off busy Whiteladies Road, but looking out over either the Downs or the city below. Real life – traffic, noise, people – seems very remote. But for an occasional door closing or floorboard creaking, you could imagine you are the only guest. Any celebrity looking to hide away with a lover (late arrivals let themselves in with an access code), should have Number 38 on speed dial.

My "house room", a standard room with added freestanding bath, had a tropical feel: ceiling fan, colonial shutters, plain grey-green panelling, Roberts radio broadcasting birdsong. But the mini-bar, (Chablis, champagne, Green & Black's), bed (feather pillows) and bathroom (REN toiletries) lift the simple and uncluttered room to the luxurious level of its locale – upmarket, gentrified Clifton.

Yet I have niggles. Corporate-style Wi-Fi that requires your name and email, and a £1.50 charge for bottled water, encapsulate Number 38's impersonal feel. A tea tray with fresh milk, locally made (if bought-in) biscuits and assorted Clipper teas, but no freshly ground coffee, likewise suggest a venue going through the high-end motions. Number 38 lacked the quirky touches that make small, independent venues stand out.

The fundamentals of my room were sound (idiot-proof heating, instant hot water, spacious if fixed-head shower), but when stumbling in the dark at 5am the double doors into the bathroom seemed a daft design affectation. And making tea on a small, oddly shaped shelf under a large, flat-screen TV was fiddly.

Next morning at breakfast, the background noise (easy-listening jazz, businessmen discussing sales data) made me long for last night's silence. But the food perked me up. From fat pats of Netherend butter to rich, expertly spiced black pudding, this was a memorable full English.

Think of Number 38 as a peaceful, discreet, less flashy Malmaison. You pay a not-insignificant amount for efficiently rendered luxury. Many people love it. I prefer more personality and action.

• Accommodation was provided by Number 38 Clifton. Train travel between Manchester and Bristol was provided by CrossCountry Trains See visitbristol.co.uk for more information


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