How to Entertain Boys in Bristol

December 18, 2015

Have lots of visitors descending upon me and mine this festive period. Nearly all with boys. So when posed with the question "How shall we entertain these boys?" this Christmas I passed the question onto my three. This is their edit of the best things to do in Bristol.

Here's what they reckon:

Where there are younger boys involved (they were thinking age 5 and below)

At Bristol

Interactive, inside and a whole lot of creating / thinking /playing to be done. Youngest LOVES the giant lifesize lego (so do lots of competitive parents) and oldest loves the Aardman animation where you can make your own film (and save to take home). Middle child LOVES the virtual volley ball... . Oh and there's a planetarium. And this Christmas there's an Ice rink outside...

Go check it out. Spenny but worth while.

The "Docks" - complete with the M-Shed

A stone's throw away from @bristol there are the docks - or the harbourside. A circular walk to scoot, skate, bike or walk, you can stop at one of the many eateries including Za Za Bazaar - an enormous multi-national cuisine "all you can eat" - if that's your cup of tea. Or they're the Pantry Greasy Spoon on the same side as the M-Shed - a free Bristol based museum - or the Olive Shed for those with refined taste. Or on the other end the wonderful Cottage Pub - although better to save this for lazy summer days.

You'll also find the SS Great Britain, M Shed, The Watershed, The Arnolfini to name but a few. A whole day - or more - to be had here.

Do a circuit of the docks - and see if you can find the Banksy.

For outside stompers:

Leigh Woods 

Across the infamous Suspension Bridge, Bristolians are lucky enough to have the tranquility of Leigh Woods. Explore, get lost, get muddy. There is a Steiner Playground for those less keen on a stomp. For the stompers head to the Abbots Leigh Car Park and search out Paradise Bottom - taking you right down to the pathway by the river Avon. For less mud but good old fashioned fresh air, also try Ashton Court Estate.


Leigh Woods in Spring. In April the forest floor is awash with a sea of bluebells. Later in the spring the Wild Garlic takes over - Head to Paradise Bottom to forage for Wild Garlic Pesto. Follow directions in the Main Car Park - you'll smell when you're nearby!

The Downs

At the top of Whiteladies Road and Blackboy Hill. For fantastic views of the Avon Gorge - and a good "flat" spot for football.  Head from here to Clifton Village via the Clifton Downs to view the Suspension Bridge and stop off at the Observatory. The White Lion at the Avon Gorge Hotel makes a very pleasant place to stop for a drink with a view.

Park Street and Brandon Hill

From the City Museum down to the Cathedral and College Green you can traverse Park Street - or running parallel is Brandon Hill. Bristol style shopping v. Inner City Green. You'll find duck pond and Brandon Tower to scale and a fab all-ages playground on Brandon Hill. Perfect picnicing spot after a busy day shopping/climbing/exploring Bristol. 

To find Brandon Hill, take a right (when facing down the Hill) up Queen Charlotte's Street and enter via gate on the right side of the road.


Brandon Hill - looking up towards the Tower from the Playground. Reward yourself with an ice cream when you get to the top! 

For older boys - as they were present - they pointed out that we also have:

ON your way into the city

In the old fire station

A pretty awesome Skate Park

Any comments - please add. Aim - to keep those boys entertained this holiday!

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