Day out with kids in Bath
Where to go, what to do, places to eat and shop – and the best rope swing in town
Who better to ask about the best things to do with kids on a day out in Bath than Kate Austin and Emily Ingram – friends, mothers and co-owners of Bath’s award-winning independent children’s shop Spotty Herberts.
Their gorgeous shop, winner of the Best Children’s Business in the Somerset Muddy Stilettos Awards 2016 and a finalist in 2017, is on cobbled Queen Street in the centre of the city. It sells beautiful British brand clothes for children 0-10 and a magnificent selection of small traditional, toys and treasures – so you can browse the clothes while the kids spend some of their pocket money. Here are Kate and Emily’s suggestions for where to go, what to do and where to eat in Bath with your herberts this summer.
Take a trip on the river Avon
Our kids absolutely loved this hour-long trip on the Pulteney Princess, with talk of wildlife, spotting swans, woodpeckers, peregrine falcons and even a kingfisher. They loved the calm, smooth passage through the water and found it very relaxing. That is, after you’ve passed the loud rushing, slightly scary water of the weir at Pulteney Bridge when boarding!
Explore the Holburne Museum
Lots of workshops for children and families throughout the summer at this arty museum located at the end of Great Pulteney Street in Sydney Pleasure Gardens – and the garden cafe in the new glass extension at the rear of the museum is lovely. Head upstairs to the galleries for drawers to open and discover the treasures inside, with magnifying glasses and just the right amount of info to keep little ones interested. Sydney Gardens have swings, tennis courts, paths for scooting, hills for running, bridges to trip trap over and the railway runs along the very edge. You can get real close to the trains and if you wave hard enough the driver sometimes waves back. There’s also a little hut to buy ice cream.
Browse Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights
The best collection of books for kids in town is on Queens Street. If you can’t find what you’re looking for then just ask. We guarantee Mr B and his fellow book folk will find you something totally unexpected but perfect. There are spaces to get comfy and flick through the pages. Take a strong bag to carry your books home!
For lunch, head to The Real Italian Pizza Co.The pizzas at this York Street pizzeria are wonderful; children’s pizzas are served with bunny ears which is always a hit. There is plenty of room upstairs to host large and raucous get-togethers – the staff are unflappable and actually welcome big groups of loud kids! They accept any discount vouchers from any pizza company. Kids get small sweet lollies when they leave – another winner.
Watch a show at The Egg theatre
Step into the egg-shaped, intimate cocoon-like children’s theatre space and be entranced by award-winning visiting theatre companies visiting from around the world. The cafe is made for children, with small snacks, sandwiches and drinks, toys to play, books and, perhaps the best bit, a circular route around that cafe for endless relays round and round.
History comes alive at No.1 Royal Crescent
Wander around the rooms of this immaculately restored Georgian house to see how families would have lived in the 18th century. The staff are full of stories and love to chat to the children about the whims and ways of the their lifestyle – like renting pineapples! This summer, families can create artworks on a fabric square with the help of Beverley Ferguson, No. 1’s Artist in Residence. The pieces of work will be joined together to form a vibrant hanging for an exhibition at the end of the year.
Rainbow Woods has the best rope swing ever
Find the woods on the National Trust Bath Skyline Walk, a circular walk around the outskirts of Bath through, meadows and woods with the most beautiful views. A complete circular walk is around 6 miles but of course you can choose just how far to wander. Make sure you visit Rainbow Woods, the swing is suspended in a clearing between two enormous trees, there is a play area there and it’s a perfect spot for hide and seek. The path also takes you past The American Museum, show your printed skyline map for free coffee and cookies.
Room for cake? Pop into The Foodie Bugle
Silvana’s tea room and shop are beautiful – and the cakes are delicious. She will happily produce a basket of books, pens and magazines and loves to make a big – Italian mama – fuss of the kids! She’s just started running craft classes for younger children, run by a local Montessori teacher. You can sip tea in peace and browse through the fascinating selection of magazines whilst the tissue paper and glue frenzies upstairs.
Dragons at the The Victoria Art Gallery
This summer the gallery is full of dragons in all shapes and sizes created by some of the world’s best children’s illustrators and writers. Events all through the summer and an egg hunt around Bath too. Download the free app to be able to find and collect the virtual eggs, solve the puzzle to have a chance of winning a big goody bag.