The @SarahfromBath column

Family Days Out – West Country (& Covid-19) Style

As the restrictions stay in place across the UK to keep us all safe from the Coronavirus our urge to get out and about increases with the great outdoors providing the best way to stay socially distanced, safe and secure whilst still picking us some much needed Vitamin D and actually leaving the home postcode! Those reading this who are tasked with the impossible challenge, like me of finding family friendly activities, never had their work cut out more than right now. Having already spent a good deal of ‘quality’ time with their brood these past 6 months, I think its fair to say we are low on energy, resource’s, and creativity. 

With that in mind, here is some days-out inspo. for you, offering budget, geography, and activity choices. 

Westonbirt, Tetbury

It is no secret that Autumn is my favourite month. Westonbirt, a Forestry Commission arboretum, has firmly been on my ‘things to do in October’ for a few decades, a permanent fixture on my seasonal list. I am a sucker for the Cotswolds and what I call ‘House Envy way’ plus there are a few foodie pubs between my house and South Gloucestershire too for re-fuelling after a stomp. 

Parking is easy, food is on site, there are facilities for all and the walks can be buggy and children friendly, dog friendly too, with trails and plenty to look out for; plus your Instagram feed will thank you and mine will be full of auburn leaf spam anytime soon. Who does not like to do a leaf throwing boomerang at least once a year? And catching a falling leaf brings you good luck, did you know that?! And whilst there are plenty of open spaces and tree filled woodlands in the south west to plunder for easy family days out this is a winner. 

Prices adult £15, kids £4, under 5’s go free

Currently open through the week 9am til 5pm

The Wave, Easter Compton, Bristol

Brand new and making waves (get it?) as a destination attraction locally is The Wave, the 180-metre long inland surfing lagoon. If your gang are sporty then this is the place for you and right on our doorstep too, no M5 nightmares. Whilst not cheap for sure, if you have not been able to get away this summer (I think that is most of us) and looking for some family style getaway treats then Waves could be for you. Whether you are a novice or a Kelly Slater wannabe, there is a wave session with your name on it. With teachers ready to share their skills, and sessions for more confident dudes, the Wave prices include EVERYTHING you need including wetsuits, boots and boards making it a hassle-free trip. It also means someone else has the job of drying all the kit out at the end of the day. Alternatively, bring your own. There’s a local’s pass for some BS postcodes too. Here are some cool stats: the wave technology can generate up to 1000 quality waves each hour between 1.7ft ft and 6.5 ft (that is between 50cm and 2 metres…tall!). Surf’s up my lovers. 

Prices start at £65

Surfing starts at 7am and last surfers enter lake at 8pm

Whether you opt for a leaf kick around Rainbow Woods and a good inhalation of the west country’s finest views from Prior Park on the Bath Skyline, or head to Victoria Park which continues to provide parents with a place to exercise big and little kids alike, or you take the cycle path from Bath to Bristol and back again, I wish you a wonderful month. 

Next issue:

Sarah takes a look at the best Sunday Lunch venues across the city, and may also find time for a pint or two.

Bath City Farm, Twerton, Bath 

This much-loved community farm, in the heart of the west side of the city, uses the tag line ‘transforming lives through food, farming and nature’. Bath City Farm is a charity, hard hit by the Covid-19 crisis and therefore super keen to see visitors return to this 37-acre green haven. There is no fee to visit but they are asking for donations to help them continue their work. 

What can you enjoy? 

Animals, obviously, pigs, sheep, goats, ponies, chicken’s, and ducks! 

You can also go back in time and take the ‘History Trail’ and spot dinosaurs or climb inside a World War II replica air raid shelter. With ten markers to unearth this trail covers approximately a mile and will take 45 minutes. 

Or take the ‘Nature Trail’ another mile-long stomp through woodlands, and the farms meadows using the trail map available from the farm shop (70p).

For tired farmhand’s, the café ‘The Trough’ is ready to serve sandwiches, salads, and soups many of which are grown or made on or near the site. And if your crew still need to burn off some energy then visit the fort play area for climbing and more. 

Currently open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10 til 3pm 

Café open Thursday, Friday & Saturday 11 til 3pm

With that in mind, here is some days-out inspo. for you, offering budget, geography, and activity choices.