No, I’m not kidding. I honestly do think you should walk up, or actually, down, Park Street with your buggy. For those not familiar or from out of town, Park Street is a long, straight hill.
Often a bit associated with students during the day, and rammed with party goers at night, there’s so much more to it than you think. If you can, do it with a sling, as some of the shops and cafes have little steps into it. Start at the top, and on a sunny day with the wind in your tail, you could have a very fun few hours with your little ones.
Here are my top recommendations from top to bottom:
The RWA (which is not technically on Park St, but still!)
The RWA is an excellent, unique to Bristol gallery, with a facade like a classical master but a modern and approachable interior for parents and kids. It’s often much less busy than the museum, and is absolutely ideal for you to while away some artistic appreciation with a small, maybe sleeping child on your person.
I would honestly suggest you get takeaway from Pinkmans if you have a pushchair or two. It’s not the biggest, and the tables and stools are high. However, it’s a must visit, especially early on, for the doughnuts, which always sell out quickly. Their takeaway salads are incredible, as is the bread, and if you like to watch, the bakery’s in the back. They do have a flat access loo and baby change too.
Anokhi is a clothes store for those who adore Indian prints and fabrics. Indian cotton just has that unique scent and feel, and I love it. I have a couple of Anokhi things that I bought in Delhi and I love to poke around this shop. There’s some lovely, breastfeeding friendly clothes in there. You might need to save up a bit though, it’s not all cheap.
Bristol Folk House cafe
I only visited here with Tibbs for the first time quite recently, and was blown away by it’s awesomeness. It’s a proper oasis of tranquility and lots of gluten-free cake. It has a lovely sunny cafe and an equally lovely couple of tables in an enclosed courtyard. Plus, you can pick up a brochure and plan that course you’ve always wanted to take.
The Bristol Guild
Nearly as old as the Folk House and equally worth a look inside if you’re a fan of beautiful homewards, original Bristol makers, artworks and artisan food and cosmetics. It also has a great toys section. The cafe on the first floor is fab for meet ups and even has a little outdoor garden. However, it doesn’t have a lift, I don’t think, so visit with slings. Also, it is not a great place to take toddlers who grab stuff off shelves – there’s a lot to grab!
Brandon Hill Park
This is where you take your Pinkman’s doughnut, and your coffee, and your book or your phone, and, suck up the walk up the hill, get the baby off to sleep, and RELAX. Look at it! Nowhere else like it.
The little playground at the bottom is a total winner as well. For a start, it’s safe and dog-proof. For finish, the ice cream van is miles away at the top so you don’t get your head pecked. Not many playgrounds you can say that about!
Bristol Central Library
Do this walk on a Monday or Friday, and you can finish it off by attending the best kept secret in Bristol – baby bounce and rhyme in a majestic setting. You can also do it on Tuesday mornings, and the holy grail of parenting, Saturday too! The children’s section is ace, and even has a boat to read in.
Where do you like to go on Park Street? Let us all in on your secrets!