I have always found it a near impossible task to name my 'favourite book'. As a former English Literature student, I have read and loved so many that I could never pick just one. However, Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus is certainly a book which would always make it onto the shortlist. A flamboyant tale of enchantment and magic realism, it is the story of Fevvers: a famously winged aerialiste in a nineteenth century circus.
Whilst I never harboured dreams of running away with the circus (although a childhood friend of mine really did just that!), I have always thought how marvellous it would be to see a circus like Fevvers' in action. Incredible then, to discover just such a circus only a few miles away from here.
Gifford's Circus is as close to perfect as it is possible to get. It is every bit the magical and timeless show that I always imagined Carter's circus to be. Every single one of our family was utterly charmed and entranced by our visit.
We are now counting down the days until the circus returns next year.
PS: In an attempt to experience the circus fully, and not through the viewfinder, I deliberately left my camera at home. As a result of which, all the photos were taken on my phone using Instagram. I rather regretted my decision as it was one of the most photogenic places I have ever visited. Next year I will be back, firmly clutching my DSLR!