Do you ever have those crazy ideas where you say, let’s stop off on our long journey over the Bank Holiday weekend? As if the traffic isn’t usually bad enough over a BH weekend we broke our journey to south Devon in Bristol. It’s one of my favourite cities and one we rarely go to since we had our kids. I have such happy memories of exploring Bristol with my husband and longed to re-visit some of our old haunts. So we booked into the Bristol Marriot Royal Hotel for a whistle-stop adventure in Bristol as a family of four.
We’ve stayed in the Bristol Marriot Royal Hotel a few times and it’s the perfect location, right in the heart of the city. We checked into the hotel, dumped our bags and went out exploring. We had less than 24 hours so decided to concentrate on things which the kids would enjoy.
24 hours in Bristol with kids
We walked along to the Harbourside and visited the Tourist Information Centre. We picked up a few leaflets which helped us decide what to do. The kids love boat trips so we chose to go on a 45 minute Bristol Packet Boat Trip. This was the perfect way to find out more about Bristol and we got to see some amazing sites, such as the SS Great Britain and the Matthew of Bristol.
Then it was on to explore some of the city by foot. We really wanted to visit At-Bristol Science Centre but we couldn’t justify the price of a ticket as we didn’t have much time. Instead we explored the area around it, Millennium Square. There was a large water feature which the children really wanted to paddle in but sadly we didn’t have time. The weather was lovely and it was full of kids splashing around. Instead we walked around and looked at the statues of famous Bristolians such as Cary Grant, William Penn, William Tyndale and Thomas Chatterton.
I had picked up a walking map of the street art around Bristol and we decided to visit a few. We walked over to M Shed to see Banksy’s Grim Reaper which was taken from the side of the ship Thekla. The museum looked amazing, and was free, so we definitely want to go back.
We walked back past our hotel to go in search of more Banksy and street art. We found Banksy’s Well Hung Lover, which I just *loved* explaining to the kids.
Then walked over to the Banksy behind Bristol Library which has sadly been half knocked down with a door put through it. After that it was time to head off and meet some old friends for dinner.
The next day we were able to visit the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Observatory. I love Clifton but had forgotten how hilly it was! Thankfully it helped walk off some of the breakfast we had indulged in at our hotel! We climbed up to the Observatory, past a little play park which thankfully the children didn’t spot. You can climb up as there is a lovely little cafe at the top, a brilliant place to stop and admire the view.
We had a brilliant time, albeit a little rushed and short. There were so many things we could have done, like re-visit the SS Great Britain. My 5 year old saw a Bristol Pirate Walk taking place which we’ve promised we’ll do next time. We’ve been lucky enough to visit when Bristol Doors Open Days takes place and seen inside some amazing buildings which are not normally open. There are so many things I love about Bristol that I’m sure we’ll be back for a longer visit soon.