I used to love using a sling for Tibbs, although we never progressed further than the standard Baby Bjorn. I sometimes wish I’d got more into baby/toddler wearing, I love folding her little body into my squishy bits and cuddling her tight. Only using a buggy for nap walks is a bit restrictive.
If you’re still doing the sling or carrier thing, or you’re visiting Bristol for the first time with a little one, here’s my top list of different places for a Bristol walk, which aren’t so easy with the buggy.
St Nicks Market
It’s doable, but not enjoyable at lunchtime with a buggy. With a sling, you can head into the shopping area, shimmy into the Aladdin’s cave of small shops, and lean over the counters to try bits and bobs without slowing down the hungry hoards. And you can sit down at Ah Toots and eat a giant cake. Live the dream!
I’ve only been there twice, because there are a lot of (yes, really) steps which aren’t ideal for wheels. Start at the top with the sling, and check out the shops at the top where the end of Colston Street hits the steps. There’s the crazy vintage goods shop Dig Haushizzle. Awesome for if you want to pick up a stuffed something or a reclaimed something else. There’s Weber and Trings, the specialist liquor store and off license where the connoisseurs go for their booze. And right opposite, there’s the Bristol Cider Shop. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the pub at the bottom, the eponymous Christmas Steps, since it had a re-furb.
This has been on my list for so long and I still haven’t managed it. We drive past the windows of the glorious looking shops. The Japanese store, Amelie and Melanie, with the amazing kimonos in the window. Clifton Fine Art, a fab independent gallery. TShop, loads of rare and indy label sweaters and t-shirts. Cremona House, the 140 year old Bristol violin and cello specialist. Lastly, Bristol Handmade Glass, the Bristol Blue Glass specialist. Definitely one to browse without a pushchair!
Arnos Vale Cemetery
Controversial, because the majority of it is ok for buggies and it’s a great place for toddling. But if you’re the type that likes to take the steep paths, get amongst the wonderful Victorian gravestones and tombs, find the gems and take your time, it’s ideal for the sling walk. Plus, the coffee and changing facilities at the cafe are awesome.
Picton Street, Montpellier
Again, controversial as this is a very kid-friendly area, but if you want to really explore, you need hands free and distraction free browsing. The Radford Mill Farm Shop, which is the in-town retail arm of the farm of the same name out near Bath, is brilliant. La Belle Boutique’s vintage clothing and homewares are incredible, really original stuff. The Bristolian is a wonderful place to grab a coffee and has a strong breakfast game. Bohemia has retro fashion and homewards at pretty affordable prices.
Where do you go with your slings? What would you recommend for something different?
Images courtesy of Instagramers: @oak77uk, @rodemerson, @robot_d, @charlottepain90, @crywolv