Let’s Explore: Bath
2nd August 2019
Illustration by Lucy Begent // Words by ToyDrop & Friends
Hello West Country! I’ve been saving this amazing round-up of Bath for when I could truly do it justice and can’t wait to share what I’ve found, along with the help of the amazing @lucybegent, @batheats, @lobellaloves_jo, @julieferryauthor, @lionheartmag, @lexillustration and @neondigitalclicks.
Bath’s always been really close to my heart but I’ve not spent much time there since the boys were born so this list has really prompted me to book a trip for later in the year, although I’m not even sure a weekend will be enough after seeing this in full. It might just have to join the list of places to move to one day!
As well as being one of Bath’s most iconic building’s (of which obviously there are many), The Holburne Museum is really well set up for families. Children’s workshops run all year round and exhibition’s often have young people in mind, including this summer’s Lauren Child: The Art of Illustration.
Got a teenager (or pre-teen) who just wants to shop fast fashion and roll their eyes? Pop on down to Bath’s Fashion Museum, where they can go behind the scenes of its rich history, learn a thing or two about the art of clothing and maybe even skip the Primark haul next time.
From interactive storytelling to puppet-making workshops, exhibitions and performing arts of all kinds, this contemporary arts centre is part of the University of Bath and absolutely worth a few hours of your time.
The Egg is a nationally recognised hub for exceptional outreach work with young people, community groups, schools, universities and colleges across the country. Its productions are always beautifully considered, wonderfully diverse and fundamentally important to the art scene in our country.
This dinky little Picturehouse opened its doors in 1935 and is one of the UK’s most beloved old cinemas. Playing all the current blockbusters, NT live and classics too, it’s perfect for putting the whole family’s feet up on a rainy day.
This cultural highlight runs every year during Sept/Oct and attracts the most fabulous, bestselling authors. This year’s line-up includes meet and greets with legendary authors such as Micheal Rosen and a talk with Dougie Poynter about his new book ‘Plastic Sucks’.
As the UK’s number one Safari Park, Longleat would be a top contender for best day out in the UK. The lions are legendary, as are the monkeys, who will pull off your windscreen wipers when you drive through the enclosure. If that doesn’t give the kids a lifetime of lols (I will never forget my dad’s reaction to those monkeys ruining his car as I sat in the back and laughed!) they have an amazing playground there these days, as well as the stately home to explore.
Not quite feeling the Longleat entry price? Take a trip to the farm instead. You might not find lions but there’s plenty of furry friends to pet and events running all year round, like bushcraft survival for 11-16s. Watch out Bear Grylls.
This brand new soft play, trampoline park and bowling alley right in the city centre is great for tiring them out when the weather takes a turn.
Probably one of the best parks in the UK. It’s amazing for kids with plenty of space to run around, ducks to feed and an enormous playground which has something for all ages, from toddlers to teens.
The Elf & Fairy Trail here has 15 little fairy doors hidden in the trees for kids to find. There’s also a woodland play area with rope swings, stepping logs and much more to fuel tiny imaginations and fill hours of fun!
Another amazing National Trust near Bath. This one’s great for deer spotting, sprinting and scoffing massive scones. Keep an eye out for tractors and make sure to wander around the beautiful gardens too.
You literally can’t move for National Trusts near Bath and this one, designed in the 18th century by Ralph Allen and Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, is definitely worth a visit. The beautiful, spacious park has amazing views over Bath and cultural significance from the poems of Sir Alexander Pope.
If you’ve ever been to one of The Pig hotels, you’ll know what we mean when we say you’ll never want to leave. The Pig near Bath is no different. With gardens to explore and animals to find, crocquet to play and the best food, locally sourced within 50 miles, it’s probably best suited to slightly older kids but be a day to etch in their memory banks.
This is no ordinary book shop. Mr B’s is full of the most wonderful and innovative books you could ever imagine (as well as all the ones you’re actually looking for). You can rent out a reading booth and get a hot drink there too – perfect as long as you’re out of the toddler stage.
This Queen Street staple is every child’s dream. Packed with playful unisex clothing by British designers, such as Tootsa MacGinty, Bob & Blossom and Dandy Star, as well as a selection of carefully chosen, randomly presented, simple toys and treasures, it’s the ultimate way to keep little magpies happy (for ten minutes at least!)
This beautiful toy shop is renowned, not only for its amazing edit of cool, sturdy and innovative toys, but for its customer service that goes above and beyond every time. What was founded in 2005 by a knackered mum of two toddlers has developed to become a haven for loveable gifts that become favourites every time.
This is a modern take on the hearty British pub, with classic dishes taken to a new level through beautiful presentation and an interesting combination of flavours. @BathEats favourites include the twice-baked blue cheese soufflé and the truffle and spinach macaroni cheese balls – they’re to die for. For the kids, they have a great kids menu as well as high chairs for the little ones.
This is one of @BathEats all-time favourites in Bath. They serve gorgeous fresh fish and seafood dishes, as well as smaller portions of their fish & chips and fishcakes for little ones.
This is one of @BathEats absolute favourites in Bath. It focuses on classic pub food with an international, modern twist. Not to mention, the view down into the valley is absolutely stunning. It’s cosy enough to be perfect for a cold winter’s evening, but also has a great outdoor seating area for warmer sunny days. They have a kids menu, activity pack, an outdoor play area, changing facilities in both the male & female toilets, high chairs and kids drinks – literally the perfect place for a family outing! You can even bring dogs too!
A lovely café for breakfast, lunch and an afternoon or mid-morning coffee. A personal favourite is their banana bread – so delicious and the perfect pick-me-up treat. They have both a kids menu and high chairs!
Another great place for both breakfast or lunch. Their avocado toast topped with halloumi is really really yummy, and ideal for those with more savoury palates. They do small versions of most things for kids, and have high chairs.
This organic farm shop come restaurant come café come supper club is a short drive out of Bath to the village of Midford, where husband and wife team Pravin and Leah have created the ultimate space for delicious, seasonal fare. Whether you’re after breakfast, lunch, curry or cocktails, a luxury supper club or indulgent Sunday Roast, take the drive. You won’t regret it.
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