Yeah, I know, this is Bristol, we’re all supposed to walk or get a bus fuelled by poo, or share a bike. But, if you’ve got a car and a child under three, the chances are you’ve done your share of engine-idling, climate controlled, driver’s seat reclining, phone browsing, with your kid hanging in the balance between sleep and screaming in the back.
And here’s some thoughts you’ve probably had whilst you were there:
- Why, why do I not keep a book in the car?
- Why, why do we not have drive-thru’s everywhere like in America?
- Why, why do I not keep a charger in the car
- I’ve got to turn the engine off, I’m going to run out of petrol. But omg, it’ll wake them up. No. I’d rather run out
- OMG, that couple over there are totally having an affair, I always see them in this car park
- FFS that guy just dropped his sandwich wrapper out the window. If I didn’t have a baby in the car…
Anyway. I have extensive car napping knowledge, having raised a child who loves a bit of a car sleep in the city from 7 months till 2.5, and still going strong. Here’s my top tips for a better quality of car-based nap-time location:
There are drive thrus…
Even if you cannot bear the thought of limboing under the Golden Arches for food, ever, accept their cheap and ok coffee and don’t look back. If you live anywhere near the Bath Rd, there’s the Krispy Kreme drive thru. You’re welcome. There’s also a drive in Starbucks at Membury Services on the M4, if you’re literally in for the long haul nap.
Not a National Trust member? No problem. Car park and cafe and baby changing are before you pay to get in. Park up, take a camping chair, enjoy the view, get awesome cake when the baby wakes up.
Riverside Garden Centre, Southville
Not idyllic to look at, but again, out of the traffic, not a supermarket car park, and has a nice cafe for when you can escape the car.
Pretty, shaded, always people around so you don’t feel like a freak. Again, take a chair!
Outside your mate’s house
Bonuses include coffee brought to your car, company if they are good at whispering, and if you’re right outside…WiFi!
Arnos Vale Cemetery
Quite limited parking, only about six spaces, but very quiet and delicious coffee and snacks at wake-up time.
Chew Valley Lake
Best view a nap time can give. Plus, Salt and Malt for the coffee and cake, right there in the car park
The playground of dreams for wake up time, decent loos near the car park, lots of space, with some shaded spots
Bishops Knoll, Nr Avon Gorge
Look here for the map and the free car parking. A very tranquil spot with lovely walks.
The seafront, Clevedon
I’ve rocked down there occasionally and parked in one of the sea-facing spaces for an hour or so. Have never paid, but then again I never looked to see if I had to!
May your nap times never include another Asda car park again. Unless you need to go to Asda, of course.