Day Trips: Bath – For Mums And For Kids

Last week we were on our first camping holiday in the South West. Well I say camping, but really we were cheating somewhat with a rather comfortable borrowed motorhome (or ‘car house’ as G has christened it).

Anyhow, one of our day trips was to Bath, famed for its, well, baths. Of the Roman kind.

A little bit of cheeky borrowed babysitting time and it turned out to be the perfect day trip for both Mum (and Dad), and the kids.

First up, a family lunch at the rather lovely The Hop Pole pub on Upper Bristol road, about ten to fifteen minutes walk out of the city centre. Google had reliably informed me it did rather epic chips (and it proved correct!). It also did a rather nice line in chunky sandwiches, and were more than happy to oblige with my dairy free awkwardness.

The main attraction however, had to be its proximity to the rather amazing Royal Victoria Park playground directly opposite.

Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a playground quite so huge – this picture only shows about half of it!

With equipment to suit all ages, it was no surprise that it kept G entertained for, quite literally, hours. Admittedly the sand pit with hand operated ‘diggers’ took up a good chunk of that time, and also led to several days worth of finding sand in pretty much everything we owned.

Whilst G and C were happily entertained, Mum and Dad got to indulge in a trip to our own kind of playground – the Thermae Bath Spa.

We’re not really ‘spa’ people to be honest, but when in Bath, you have to go to the baths don’t you? And this place, opened in 2006, was a must visit.

Spread over 5 floors, including a rooftop open air pool, and fed by the natural thermal waters, it was well worth the hefty £27 entry fee for a two hour session (plus extra for robe/towel/slipper hire) for some seriously indulgent child free time.

Some might say it’s just a posh swimming pool, but the focus on the various baths and steam rooms rather than treatments (although these are available too) was totally up my street, and I was relieved that there was no whale music or candles in sight. The wristbands which you use to electronically secure your locker doubles as a charge card for drinks or snacks at the cafe, although we were too busy enjoying the pools to try that out.

We tried out the basement Minerva pool, with a jacuzzi area and river current; the four large circular steam rooms with different ‘flavours’ to each, a central huge waterfall shower and hot and cold showers to the sides; and of course the stunning open air rooftop pool with views over the city of Bath.

I’d started the day thinking we couldn’t possibly spend two hours in a swimming pool, and ended it wishing we could stay longer, but I was also itching to see what fun the girls had had, so off we went.

As it was they hadn’t missed us one bit. In fact G had to be bribed to leave the playground even though it was starting to get pretty chilly, and has already requested a return visit.

All in all it was a great day out and highly recommended if you’re in the area.

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