Bath is often seen as a destination for romantic getaways, but if you’re visiting the area as a family, what’s on offer? The city is full of young families, and there are plenty of ways to keep children entertained, whatever the weather.
For younger children, a bus or train trip is an adventure in itself, and Bath is easily reached from Bradford on Avon by either means. The train takes around 12 minutes, the bus just over half an hour, both travelling through the beautiful Limpley Stoke valley and offering a stress free alternative to negotiating Bath’s traffic and parking.
Bath is full of beautiful green spaces, from the enormous Victoria Park with its extensive playpark, to the sedate Parade Gardens which is a great spot for a picnic lunch. You can get right down to the river’s edge – watch out for the hundreds of fish hovering in the warm currents. A favourite park with children is Sydney Gardens – the train track runs right through here and the drivers will often give a wave and a hoot of their horn. The Holburne Museum in the centre of the park has a lovely cafe and runs regular family events, while the little kiosk by the park gates serves fantastic ice-cream. There’s also a small playground tucked away in a corner.
From Sydney Gardens you can step straight out onto the Kennett and Avon canal towpath, perfect for a level walk and easy with pushchairs or bikes. Turning left from Sydney Gardens takes you out into tranquil countryside – you can often spot herons and kingfishers – while turning right brings you towards Bathwick and Widcombe, where elegant Georgian villas have boats moored at the end of their canal-side gardens.
Bath’s sports centre is looking a bit grimy round the edges, but the leisure pool keeps children happily entertained with a shallow sloping area for little ones and two waterslides for older ones. There are two cinemas, both offering children’s clubs on a Saturday, while the Egg Theatre has various productions for children aged 3 upwards. The Egg also has a very family friendly cafe, with plenty of space for pushchairs.
A favourite destination for the under fives is My Small World, a magical toyshop where children are actively encouraged to play with the toys. It now has its own wonderful cafe, with more toys to play with and delicious cakes, snacks and lunches.
If you’re visiting the area with children, we can accommodate babies up to around 2 (or as long as they’re happy in a travel cot) at the Studio, while Hollyhocks is perfectly suited to a family of four with its double and twin rooms.