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Bristol for Families
Ashton Court estate
Explore around 850 acres of land boasting towering trees and lush green pasture when you pay a visit to this remarkable gem, just off the beaten path. Ashton Court is a beautiful historic site dating as far back as the 14th Century, which consists of a stunning house as well as a deer park that hosts a 19th Century garden.
Ashton Court’s grand mansion is one of Bristol’s most elegant event venues – belonging to the Smyth family for nearly 500 years before being taken over by the council and partly restored in 1946. Due to the high cost of restoration, only a quarter of the property is in a fit state for use and regularly plays host to weddings, celebrations and conferences. Many activities are also held on the grounds all year round, including the annual Balloon Fiesta, horse riding, cycle trails, a miniature railway, orienteering and a variety of specialist car events. Take little ones and furry friends exploring amongst the woodland garden, not before stopping off to take a look at the red and fallow deer living in the park! Whether you’re visiting for a family day out, taking your dog for a walk, going on a run, or just hoping to take in the scenery - Ashton Court has it all.
Even during the winter months, Ashton Court still makes for a suitable day out due to its appropriately-designated children’s play areas - both indoors and outdoors. Two onsite cafes – both dog friendly - are readily available to fulfil your needs if you need a caffeine break or a quick bite to eat. Alternatively, there’s also a picnic area for those who’d rather lounge in the sun (if you’re lucky) snacking on a sausage roll after a jam-packed day of thrilling outdoor pursuits.
Lovely place, - weddings, balloon fiesta or just a family walk, it’s a gorgeous bit of land with a gorgeous house.
Over 90 million guests have entered through the gates of Bristol Zoo since its grand opening in 1836; it’s the fifth oldest zoo in the world and has helped to save over 175 species from extinction so far. You can find it situated in the beautiful Clifton area of the city and it makes for an excellent all-weather family attraction – although some areas are outdoors, so bring an umbrella if it’s a rainy day!
Once inside, make your way through the nine various animal houses and see if you can discover the 400 species of animals who call Bristol Zoo their home. There are many star attractions here you won’t want to miss, including Gorilla Island, Monkey Jungle and the Pygmy hippo house. Over the years, the zoo has evolved and grown to keep up with modern times and to make room for all the exciting, new creatures as and when they’re discovered. It’s advisory to buy your tickets in advance to avoid queues to get inside, and arriving as early as possible since the car park can get full pretty quickly.
Children will love gazing at the creepy crawlies inside Bug World (even if you’re a little squeamish) and be wowed by impressive sea creatures as they dive into the underwater viewing tunnel situated in Seal and Penguin Coast. If you’re lucky, you might see some of the animals being fed and groomed, or even catch a glimpse of the majestic Asiatic Lions strolling around their enclosures. Walk amongst stunning butterflies dancing around your head and laugh at the cheeky Ring-tailed lemurs play fighting in the foliage above the ground – there’s so much to see! And there’s more than animals to explore here - enjoy a variety of different, fascinating exhibits which showcase around spring and summer every year, a favourite amongst big and little kids alike. When you need a rest, stop off at the appropriately named Pelican Restaurant and treat yourself to a sandwich and a coffee; alternatively you can bring your own picnic and set up camp on the greenery outside. Whatever the weather, Bristol Zoo is a fabulous excuse for an adventurous day out.
We The Curious
Formerly known as At-Bristol Science Centre, We The Curious is a fantastic new state-of-the-art visitor attraction which offers a wide range of scientific exhibitions, hands-on activities and workshops for guests of all ages. We The Curious encourages those who visit to get thinking, ask questions and try things out – all in the name of science.
There are over 300 exciting and fascinating exhibits waiting to be explored - walk through a tornado, create and appear in your own TV show, run in a gigantic wheel and step inside a giant bubble – you certainly won’t be bored! The ever-changing programme of special activities covers everything you can imagine. Let the amazing Live Science Team astound you with their endless astronomical knowledge as you journey through the inner workings of our world – incredibly informative for both children and adults. Make sure to take a look inside the UK’s first 3D Planetarium in an immersive experience which will surround you with breathtakingly stunning views from around the universe.
A very different and exciting part of We The Curious is that upon arrival each person is given a wristband with a unique barcode which you can scan to save your data from various experiments. You can then log in using your barcode at home to access and download everything you’ve saved, so you’ll never forget what you learned! If you start to feel peckish, there is a small café which serves food and drink as well as a designated picnic area for those bringing their own lunch. The best part? We The Curious is constantly updating and refreshing their exhibits in line with new technologies and advances in science, so no matter how often you visit you’ll always learn something. It’s recommended you ensure you have enough time to explore everything you want to see, as this is definitely an attraction which requires a whole day.
Delve deep into the natural beauty of the historic caves as you learn all about the history of Somerset countryside and take your family to the spectacular Wookey Hole. Tours of the famous show caves last around 45 minutes and run every half hour throughout the day, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to look around at a time that suits you. Watch your step as you explore awe-inspiring cave chambers decorated with pathways that carefully manoeuvre visitors above each cavern. The caves have delicate intricacies and unusual features which makes Wookey Hole a unique, family fun day out.
Excellent day out for the whole Family. Good value for money as plenty to do for the children as well having crazy golf, cinema and circus act (which was really good) included in the price.
But it’s not just caves, the attractions here are suitable for all ages - kids will love interacting with 3D animatronic dinosaurs and learning about the legend of the witch, whilst adults can enjoy sampling the world-famous Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar. Head over to the mystic fairy garden and challenge little ones to spot all the dragons, fairies, elves and even a unicorn hiding amongst the foliage! Take a tour through the small museum and look out for the bones of the witch who, you’ll notice, is repeatedly mentioned during your trip. You’ll also learn a lot of interesting facts here about the caves; did you know, they’ve been in use by humans for around 45,000 years? Make sure you still have energy after getting lost in the Mirror Maze to go panning for gold over on Pirate Island, not before partaking in an entertaining game of mini golf.
Staff are all very knowledgeable and friendly, don’t be afraid to challenge them with any question you might have about the caves. When the sun decides to show its face, take advantage by enjoying some local ice-cream from the onsite café outside, or bring your own picnic and find a relaxing spot to set up camp. It’s worth booking your tickets online before you go as they’re 20% cheaper than buying them on the gate.