We’ve been on a mini break this week to the beautiful city of Bath. Stuart attends the Ruby Conference which is held there at the end of March, so we are more than happy to tag along with him to keep him company in the evenings! I have been lucky enough to visit Bath on quite a few occasions now, and every time I visit I am taken with it’s gorgeous architecture and and history, and could quite happily wonder round for hours and drink lots of tea in the trendy cafes. However, with a 3 year old in tow, it necessary to amend your itinerary to suit!
I use Days Out With The Kids a lot when looking for things to do in areas that I am not very familiar with, and it’s a great source of information on things to do. You just put in your postcode, a radius and away you go. I picked out Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park as a place to visit on our first day. It’s about 20 minutes drive from Bath City Centre and was really good value for what was included. Adults tickets were priced at £6.00 and toddlers at £6.50 (toddler tickets include a quad bike ride and a tractor ride hence the extra).
There were lots of animals to see and feed, a huge soft play area (i’m not a fan, but Finley loves them) a miniature railway and an outdoor play area. I would really recommend a trip there if you are close by or in the area.
In Bath City Centre, we had picked out the Postal Museum as a good place to have a look at, but unfortunately, after a walk across the city to find it, it was shut! We went to the Jane Austen Museum as a plan B as it was close by, which to be honest I thought Finley would find really boring but he loved it! Kids are funny creatures!
I had pre-booked tickets for the Bath City Sightseeing tour and it was great to get front row seats on the top deck. The staff onboard were really helpful too with the pushchair and getting Finley up and down the narrow stairs.
I had promised Finley beforehand we would go to Sally Lunns Buns for lunch – he is a sweet tooth like his Mommy – and he predictably picked out a bun with Nutella! Me and Stuart had chicken and bacon for our toppings. The food was delicious but this building, like many other buildings in Bath, are very small, narrow and not pushchair friendly! A few of the cafes we went for breakfast were the same. If I had had been alone for mealtimes I would have struggled I think!
The Southgate Shopping Centre is a really nice shopping centre for chain stores, and as I had taken the dusty pushchair out of storage for the trip, I was able to have a few hours of blissful shopping, whilst I had tasked Finley with taking ‘tourist photos’ with his V-Tech camera!
We had chosen to stay in Travelodge Bath City Centre, which was a great location being positioned directly opposite The Roman Baths. The staff here were fantastic. It’s a new hotel, so there is lift access and as you would expect with a chain hotel, a good size family room with a nice big bath that me and Fin could both have a dip in on the second night when we were exhausted!
Despite a few tired tantrums on the first day following an early start, it was great to have a few days away, particularly as the sunshine seems to be on it’s way at last.
My top tips for city sightseeing with a toddler!
- If you can, go the night before. We learnt a valuable lesson on this trip! We were on the road by 6am and with Finley being a child that won’t nap, by lunchtime he was horrible (still lovely but yes, in a word, vile!) When we go away again, I would definitely pay the extra cost of an extra night in exchange for a happy 3 year old!
- Take a pushchair and activities. Finley doesn’t use his tablet a huge amount at home, but it was invaluable on this trip. It kept him happy sitting in his pushchair if we nipped in to cafes and i had to collect drinks etc, and it was something to do in the hotel room at night. We walked miles so the puchchair was essential. I can barely lift him anymore and I don’t think he could have walked all day.
- Take a portable charging unit. I was using my phone as a map so the battery wasn’t lasting a full day. Plus I was taking a lot of photos which doesn’t help!
- Research before you go and be organised! Finley is a child that likes to know what the schedule is so telling him beforehand saves any surprises for him. Plus it’s less stressful for you! I printed out all of our confirmations and tickets, as 4g can be quite patchy in Bath.
- Take plenty of cash! Entertaining a toddler for 2 days in a city is expensive!