We need more family trips where we scooch off for a day to Somerset, Wiltshire or Wales. Just to get away from the familiar city living, see more greenery and simply take in some different sites.
Recently we opted for a little day trip back to Bradford-on-Avon, a beautiful town in Wiltshire surrounded by greenery. It's where the buildings seem teleported from the world of Harry Potter, it's populated with friendly people, and being way quieter than Bath that attracts more tourism, it makes for a pleasant family day-out especially with a buggy. Incidentally it's also where I proposed.
It was midday when we crammed ourselves onto a crowded train at Bristol Temple Meads, luckily the little man remained pretty happy trapped in his buggy until Bath when half the train got off.
The rest of the journey was nice, passing mysterious looking hamlets and grazing animals on steep fields. To keep little man occupied I took his tiny hands that wrap comfortably around my index fingers and walked him up and down the moving aisle while fellow commuters gave us nice smiles and an ancient looking gentleman accompanied by his carer blurted out non-sensical obscenities from the back of the carriage. It became background noise very quickly.
At Bradford on Avon we took a wrong turn in our intent to head for the food festival on that day, but instead moved off (in the opposite direction) into town. At least it wasn't far. We got our bearings, found the festival 15 mins later, found out it was cash only on entry, walked back to the centre to the only cash point at a supermarket, returned AGAIN to the festival, and then finally made it in.
During our little unnecessary stroll we got to appreciate the quaint houses, impressive historic churches and encountered several slow and cheerful elderly pedestrians always apologetic they weren't moving fast enough. There was also a new mum who was kind enough to give us some of her baby sunscreen as we were ill-prepared for the rays that day and we definitely wanted to avoid the experience of a sun burnt baby!
Inside the food festival, which was pretty busy, there was a lot of stalls. Lots of gin, flavoured rape seed oil, amazing cheddar cheese, pasties and pies, an Indonesian food stall, one stall ran by a cool Kiwi ( apologies if you read this and you aren't a Kiwi! ) with some exceptional hummus he'd made. It was a fiver to enter. We didn't have the highest of hopes but it was way better than expected. There was also the main tent hosting talks from chefs and cooking reality-show contestants and, of course, a main bar area.
After about an hour and quite a few gin samples and bread dipped in oil we sat down near the stage and had a drink in the sun while taking it in turns to walk Little Man around so he got his exercise with those cute clumsy little steps, half falling, half flailing.
Some friends joined us a little later, an old work mate and his partner who now live in B-O-A after many years in London. We got to go back around and point out our favourite stalls and make some purchases. Am finding it best at festivals to just get some cash and assign a certain amount that I'll spend there and then give it at-least 30-40 mins explore before starting to make some purchases. It's really hard to choose who gets some of that fiat as you can visit a stall, love the food, but then the next stall supersedes the goods on offer.
We left after a fair few hours, had a drink at our friends house in their garden after climbing the most lethal two flights of garden steps I've encountered, but the view was rewarding at-least. We then headed to the Beehive pub for dinner where their food never fails to satisfy. Our lamb burgers were unctuous.
After meal it was nappy time, I offered and ended up in the ladies where the only changing area was, as women came and went they all sounded pleasantly surprised and were all fine with my presence. It's not like unisex toilets in restaurants aren't a thing these days.
It was quite late when we left, past 9pm, but we didn't have problems getting babber to bed when we got home, the day had been lovely and we had a mini break feeling from travel for a fair few days afterwards. We saw somewhere different, spoke to friendly strangers, and yep , had a decent little day out.