We are just back from a weekend in the south west, staying with my brother near Cheltenham. I spent a few years of my childhood here, near Cirencester, so it is familiar territory. As I moved around quite a bit as a child, I always find it reassuring to return to places where I grew up and to re-aquaint myself with them. My brother has a stream in his garden so of course the boys spent hours digging and re-channelling the water. I wonder if we had our stream, would they spend as much time in it or is it the novelty factor here that is the draw?
On Sunday we spent the day in Bristol, a city we all decided we'd like to return to as there seemed so much to see and do here. It's got quite an edgy feel to it with lots of shack-style cafes teaming with hip-looking twenty and thirty somethings.
The waterfront is where it is happening with lots more cafes and bars right spilling onto the water's edge. We took the regular commuter riverboat from Temple Quay down to the MShed further down the river. Traffic does clog up the roads here so this is seems like a good way to travel and you get a good look at the city at the same time.
The MShed is Bristol's new museum, housed in a dockside transit shed, on Princes Wharf beside the floating harbour. It's free admission and is a good place to learn about the story of Bristol from its great engineering projects and its creative input in the world of art, music and industry as well as its role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
There's a light and spacious family-friendly cafe here too with big glass windows so you can look out onto all the river action. Coffee and brownies were the order of the day.
We walked back through town past the Bristol Old Vic Theatre which I explained to the boys had been the training epicentre for many of our well known actors and actresses. The theatre is in a charming cobbled street lined with a host of olde worlde pubs - plenty of choice for a post-show bevvie. I bet they've got some stories to tell......
We definitely want to return here as there was so much we didn't get to see in just one day. It's the sort of place you could come for a few days, spending time in the city as well as getting out into the countryside around it.