The Bristol Parent

Family lifestyle, things to see and do, in Bristol and beyond

Latest posts


Bilbao – your next family holiday


I thought having kids would mean the end of city breaks. I remember mourning this quite extensively in the early days of motherhood. My husband asked me “what can I do, to make it better, what would you really like to do?” and my reply was “I’d like to be sat outside an osteria in Venice with you, a coffee, a prosecco, with my shades on, in the winter sun, all afternoon.” Yeah, the above pic, Venice 2009. Not happening again for a while. But, on our European road trip… Read More

Everything you need to know about the Bristol Baby Bank Network

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I talked to Eva Fernandes today, co-founder of Gloucester Road’s iconic organic and fair trade baby shop, Born, and more recently Chair of the Bristol Baby Bank Network.   The Bristol Baby Bank Network is a charity set up to ensure that local parents who cannot afford new or second hand baby items. It distributes donated, pre-loved baby goods to families in need.  Over a quarter of Bristol’s children live in poverty (21,835 children, 26.7%), according to the Bristol Child Poverty Strategy 2011-­2020, from Bristol City Council. When given by constituency Bristol South… Read More

The beautiful Western Algarve – family travel at its best


  This week I was asked by Clickstay to write the first in a series of posts for them about family travel. I chose to write about my pick of the best beaches on the Western Algarve because when I daydream about being on holiday (as it’s easy to do at 6am on a Saturday morning when you’re woken up by a whining puppy!) it’s about the blues and yellows of that sunny, delicious area of South West Portugal. It has everything I adore. Variety of landscapes, from sweeping sands to… Read More

What’s on for kids at Bristol Harbour Festival?


I think Bristol Harbour Festival is the biggest weekend of the year here! I’ve had a sneaky peek of the full programme and picked out a few things which those of you with kids might especially enjoy. For those who’ve never been before, Bristol Harbour Festival encompasses a two-mile stretch of the city, roughly from College Green downwards, including the Lloyds Amphitheatre, Millennium Square and the waterfront, then across to Queen’s Square, M Shed, down to the SS Great Britain and all the water in between. It’s big. It’s almost… Read More

Glamping in the Dordogne, a safari tent and stunning summer countryside


Of all the places we visited, Simply Canvas, small permaculture glamping in the Dordogne, is the memory that sticks in my mind from our month-long road trip to France and Spain. I don’t think we’ll ever forget it. It was such a surprise. I thought it would be the most difficult stay – a tent in the heat, a puppy and a toddler on an open, relaxed site. But it was the easiest, liberating, most relaxing, joyful experience. Six safari tents flanked by shady cherry trees which were dripping with… Read More

Children’s Scrapstore Summer classes – Room to Play


Children’s Scrapstore is two things. Absolutely unique, and the answer to every Bristol parent’s dream if you want your children to enjoy messy and noisy play, but don’t necessarily have the nerves or the space to have it happen at home. This summer, at their newly expanded space in St Werburghs, Children’s Scrapstore are running Room to Play, a series of lively, imaginative and awesome looking classes for kids of all ages. There’s something going on a few times every week in the summer hols, you need to book in… Read More

Win tickets to Grillstock Festival Sunday

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Grillstock, the festival of meat, music and mayhem, returns to Bristol this year on July 11th and 12th. I have been twice before, including the very first year, and it’s so much fun. If you enjoy your barbecue in the sunshine, with cold beers and very eclectic music, it’s a Bristol must. Two things have caught my eye – firstly that all under 12s go FREE, which means you can have a blast with the kids there as well, and secondly, BrewDog are involved, and we love BrewDog Punk IPA… Read More

Things you will see in Bristol on a hot day like today


Perfect way to spend the evening #ashtoncourt #summertime #igersbristol A photo posted by Dave Stannard (@snapper_stan) on Jun 30, 2015 at 2:39pm PDT 1. Someone drinking a can of Thatchers on your way to work. You’ll briefly consider how nice and cold it might be. 2. Someone drinking a can of Thatchers on the bus home after work. You’ll briefly consider stealing it from them. 3. Someone sunbathing in a very small bikini, or topless, in Queen’s Square 4. Some people fighting over the last paddling pool in Asda or… Read More

Things to do in Bristol when it’s too hot!


In the same way as rain can spoil play, too much sunshine is also something that’s hard to manage, especially with pre-schoolers. I won’t got into the annoyances of the constant sun creaming and the hat situation, there are plenty of other blog posts (here’s the ever funny Mother’s Always Right on going to the beach). Here’s some suggestions for things to do in and around Bristol with pre-schoolers when it’s as hot as it promises to be this week. Places to go splash: There are more splash pools and… Read More

A stay in Cantabria, the beautiful mountains of Northern Spain

We didn’t know what to expect when we booked an annexed cottage high up in the mountains of Northern Spain, in Cantabria. After the searing heat of Indre et Loire and a long journey, we were surprised to find cooler weather, lush green mountainsides, and an incredibly rural calm. Nature was in full effect and the quiet was only broken by the echoing brays of local donkeys around the steep wooded hills. The clouds hung low over the trees, I honestly felt like we could have been in the Thai… Read More