Top five things to do this Easter in Gloucestershire
By Matt Hall
With the bank holiday weekend nearly upon us and the weather forecast looking promising, we have chosen our top pick of places to go and things to see in Gloucestershire.
Planning on popping into town with your friends or planning a day out somewhere in Gloucester with the family? Hopping on a Stagecoach Bus might be the cheapest and easiest option.
Since the new year, Stagecoach West have been offering significant discounts for group Dayrider tickets, as well as tickets for passengers under 19 years of age.
Any four passengers of any age who travel together, can save a huge £7.50 when they purchase a group day ticket via the app. That works out as just £1.88 per person - much cheaper than a taxi to go shopping in the Quays or to get into town for a night out.
Travellers up to the age of 19 can also enjoy savings up to £3.50 on their weekly tickets and £14 on a 28-day ticket.
For more information, click here.
Easter would not be the same without the thrilling Dragon extravaganza at Berkeley Castle.
Visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to experience fantastic dragon puppetry, get face-to-face with a baby dragon, and take part in the colourful Chinese Dragon Parade.
Join the Easter hunt and don't forget to collect your free treat, enter the magnificent Great Hall and sit captivated by Dragon Tales from the mystical dragon handlers.
Make sure you enjoy an Easter treat in the Yurt Tearoom, call into our *Dragon face-painter and create Easter-themed *Arts & Crafts.
*small fee applies
Horse racing fans are in for a treat on Easter Monday if they venture into the Cotswolds for the North Cotswold Point-to-Point at Paxford, near Chipping Campden.
Paxford Races is at the height of the local social calender and a perfect day out for all the family.
Torrential rain caused the last-minute cancellation of last year's meeting but the opposite is true 12 months later as the current dry spell is expected to continue over the holiday weekend.
Apart from the traditional selection of competitive horse races, there will also be the spectacle of camel racing for the first time at Paxford this year.
Camel racing is a huge sport in the Middle East and is becoming increasingly popular in the West. JAC has been thrilling audiences around Britain since 2000.
The camels and the jockeys are specially trained and wear fantastically colourful Arabian style outfits to add pzazz to the event. As well as racing, the camels are on display all day so the public can meet these splendid animals and learn more about them.
The Dean of Gloucester, the Very Rev'd Stephen Lake, will lead a team of ministers from the Cathedral and local churches who will be shoe shining in the middle of the Gate streets on Good Friday from 10.30am - 11.30am.
People are welcome to come along to have their shoes and boots cleaned as a sign of service to all.
On Good Friday Christians remember God's love for the world and Jesus' message of hope and salvation. What happened in a faraway city long ago is relevant in our city today.
The Dean explained the significance of offering to shine shoes on Good Friday. "Jesus washed feet in Holy Week as a sign of his unconditional love. We can't do that in our city, so we'll offer to shine shoes, and talk, and serve. We witness to Jesus who knelt and became the servant of all. Come along."
There's a host of egg-citing Easter events and activities taking place at Birdland throughout the Easter holidays.
As well as Easter trails, quizzes and daily egg-themed talks and shows, the Gloucestershire wildlife attraction is also expecting some egg-stra special new arrivals in their hatchery.
Dozens of eggs in special incubators are due to hatch out over the Easter break and visitors will have the rare opportunity of watching the newborn chicks make their way into the world.
"Easter is always a busy time of the year for us as we wait for the eggs to hatch," said Birdland's head keeper Alistair Keen.
The park, which is home to the only breeding group of king penguins in England, has an excellent record with its captive breeding programme for rare and endangered bird species.
Among the new feathered arrivals are a female crowned crane, a hamerkop, a male blacksmith plover, a Madagascan teal and a pair of blue bellied rollers which will all move into the park's new 'Out of Africa' feature.
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