Local Expert – Karlie/ Bath

Name: Karlie

Instagram: @peeka_beau


@peeka_beau ‘s Instagram feed is a page dedicated to documenting Beau – an 18 month old, super energetic, super curious and super cute dude – through his early years! The account is run by me, Mummy, a.k.a. Karlie, I’m always looking to explore and find new child friendly places to visit where Beau can be the energetic toddler he is! Through the voice of Beau and his Instagram feed, we love telling other parents of our adventures and regularly recommend places to eat, visit and play!

 

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Favourite places to eat:

Velo Lounge (Moorland Road): A fantastic little child/family friendly cafe on a bustling local street about a 5 minute drive from the city centre. There’s enough space for buggies and highchairs are provided. There are a few toys to keep little ones entertained, colouring crayons and paper along with traditional board games and also a lovely little book swap corner! There is lots of choice on the kids menu, so if you stop for more than one of their delicious homemade cakes you won’t be stuck for choice – even with the fussiest eaters (as Beau can be!)

Wagamama (Bath): A fab place to encourage little ones to try new foods from around the world! The staff are always so accommodating and seem to enjoy their little diners coming in! There are normal floor highchairs available, but what I really like is the added choice of having Beau right at the table with me, using one of their clamp on seats (a seat which clamps on to the table top) which means Beau really feels part of the meal and can reach everything! They are totally happy for you to bring in your own toddler’s food if they won’t have a meal from the kids menu (I’ve sat there before with peanut butter on toast for Beau and they haven’t batted an eyelid) which takes the pressure off you trying to get them to eat if they really don’t like it! Colouring crayons and a colouring in sheet is always offered. There’s also plenty of buggy space and good baby change facilities.

Boston Tea Party (Alfred Street): A wonderfully spacious and light cafe/restaurant serving everything from gluten free cakes to burgers to full english breakfasts and everything in between! Loads of space for buggies with highchairs available. Colouring pencils and colouring sheets provided to keep little ones entertained. Al fresco dining available on the beautiful streets next to the Circus and the Museum of Costume is just round the corner (a must visit with older children!)

 

Favourite places to go:
Royal Victoria Park: Located a short walk from the city centre, this is Baths biggest and most popular park. With a huge playground featuring everything from swings, mazes, slides, spiderweb climbers to sandpits and diggers, this park has it all! Locals often pitch up here for the day and bring a picnic and blanket with them. There’s a fantastic little cafe inside the playground area with inside and outside seating serving hot and cold drinks alongside yummy cakes and sandwiches. An ice cream van is there most days for those slightly warmer days! A skate park is situated just next to the playground for older kids with bikes, scooters and skates. There’s lots of lovely walks to do including a squirrel park and botanical garden, but best for little ones there’s a big duck pond, so dont forget your old bread to feed the ducks! Just a very short walk along through the park is the famous Royal Crescent, so make sure to visit there too!
Go Bananas Writhlington Soft Play: This is about a 25 minute car journey away from the city centre, but is absolutely worth it! By far the best sift play we’ve been to. I’ve struggled with soft plays in the past as there’s never really much for Beau’s age… but this is the complete opposite! With a large area just for under 3s only, there’s a great big ball pit which has an air blower where you put the balls over where the air comes out and they hover over it (it keeps Beau mesmerized for ages!) in this section there is also slides, a Velcro noughts and crosses games and loads of things to climb! There’s also the other two great big sections which appeals to over 3s more, but that didn’t stop Beau – he loved those sections too! It’s huge in there so many people come for a large part of the day. There’s loads of seating and buggy space. A cafe serving hot and cold food and drinks. Many parents sit and do work on their laptops whilst the kids are off happy playing, but still in view from their tables.
We are the curious (formerly @Bristol): Ok, so this is a little more of a drive away from Bath (approx 40mins) but also absolutely worth every minute!! It’s a proper hands on, totally get involved and up close science museum! With so many experiments for you to try yourself, they actively encourage kids and adults to get hands on and touch the exhibits, use mobile phones to record the amazingness going on and to pick the oh so clever brains of any of the staff who work there! Make sure you visit the actual planetarium they have there too, it will take your breath away. Trust me, there is something for everyone here! A completely inclusive family day out for everyone from toddler to Grandad! Highly recommended!

 

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Favourite places to shop:

My Small World Toy Shop (Southgate): It’s a toy shop… but it’s a toy shop like you’ve never seen before. As soon as you step in through the doors you’re catapulted in to a world where even I feel like a child again! Specialising in traditional wooden toys but with lots of the latest in innovative educational toys thrown in as well, this place has something for everyone. You’ll probably say to your kids ‘Don’t touch anything’ just as you walk through the door but all that changes when you meet the super lovely staff, who want and encourage you and your children to get hands on and play with EVERYTHING (most of the time they join in too!) They even have a very expensive looking rocking horse, which you’d absolutely think was out of bounds… but nope, totally available to ride away on until your hearts content! With little steps up to the counter which means little ones can actually pay themselves, this gorgeous shop is totally made with little people in mind. We’ve had many a tantrum trying to get Beau to leave (not that I blame him!) but there was no need for me to feel embarrassed because the staff just whipped out a pot of bubbles and created a beautiful game of ‘Chase the bubble trail’ all the way out the doors and halfway down the street, meaning that Beau is totally distracted from the fact he’s just been whisked away from his favourite place in the world! Genius! Put it on your bucket list…you must go!!

Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights: A gorgeous little bookshop nestled just between Queen Square and Milsom Street, this fab little independent book shop is a must visit for all of the family. There is a special room for children’s books which stock unusually brilliant books from baby board books right up to teenage reads. The way it’s set out is just amazing and not like your not standard bookshop. Along with your normal floor to ceiling bookshelves there is a tree in the middle of the children’s room which displays books and also a bathtub full to the brim with of yet more super amazing books! With little chairs dotted around, they encourage little ones to pull up a chair and lose themselves in a book for a while! With regular book readings by authors, it’s worth checking out their website to see what’s on!

Up to Seven: A gorgeous little children’s clothes shop, selling the most beautiful handmade pieces… a lot of which are from makers in Bath. This little gem is situated on the gorgeous Pultney Bridge, overlooking Parade Gardens and the famous Weir (so yet more sightseeing can be tied in with this visit!). They stock the famous Blade and Rose leggings and sell cute little knitted hats and cuddly toys! This shop is just delightful and definitely one of our favourite places to kit Beau out in super comfy and super cute wardrobe staples!

 

 

Favourite classes and groups:

Adventure Gym (Baskervilles): This little class aimed at children of ages up to 3 is a free play class in a gym where gymnastics take place (so has all the equipment you could think of!) With a huge area including trampolines, bouncy castle, hula hoops to name but a few, this class is brilliant for letting your little one run free and explore. Great for defining crawling and climbing skills! There’s three classes a week at different times so make sure you check our their website to find a time which suits you! www.baskervillesgym.co.uk There’s also a great big field and play park in the grounds, so if they’ve not burnt off enough energy after they can have a run around and a play after!

 

Any other local tips?:

There’s so many beautiful landmarks to visit in and around Bath so wherever you and up going you’re sure to come across many of them. One little hidden gem that only most locals know of is the Two Tunnels cycle path, which starts just off of Bear Flat and cuts right through the beautiful countryside alongside the train line. There are, as the title suggests, two tunnels which have been lit up and paved especially for cyclists to travel through… halfway through the second tunnel there is a lovely little musical installation there where classical music and LED lights play as you ride past. If you head on further along the track you eventually come to Midford where there is a lovely little pub called The Hope and Anchor which serves coffee and cake along with the usual home cooked pub classics… and wine (very important after a long bike ride!!)

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