Brunel’s SS Great Britain…The Ship That Changed The World @ssGreatBritain @VisitBristol



Before the Titanic there was the SS Great Britain. SS Great Britain is a former passenger steamship turned award winning visitor attraction located in Bristol’s beautiful harbour.

Over years she was carefully designed specifically for the Great Western Steamship Company’s service from Bristol to New York. Upon launching in 1843, the SS Great Britian was the largest vessel afloat. Adding to her accomplishments she became the first steamer to cross the Atlantic in 1845, a 14 day journey.

During her time in service she was employed to undertake an Australian route which was responsible for carrying hundreds of emigrants from Australia to England.  She suffered many mishaps but during her final run as a coal transporter an onboard fire damaged her beyond repair.

Beautifully restored and boasting over 150,000 visitors per year, the SS Great Britian is a Bristol must see.





Address: Great Western Dockyard,  Gas Ferry Rd, Bristol BS1 6TY

Weekend in Beautiful Bristol: Family Friendly Travel @mshedbristol @BristolAquarium @BristolZooGdns @AtBristol


Being a young(ish) family, we like to get out and explore, see new things and have a little fun all with our 19 month old busy body. To save on costs and travel time we often opt for day trips, weekend getaways or staycations exploring different parts of London. Thankfully there are some really fantastic places that we can travel to that are within a two to four hour radius of London. This particular weekend we decided to head to Bristol.

Nestled in South West England, Bristol is a city that is built around a historic and beautiful harbour. It’s bustling, it’s culture rich and ultra trendy with the perfect balance of history. It is indeeed a happy marriage of traditional and modern architecture that is apparent upon first entry into the city.

Weeks before our trip I literally immersed myself in the visitBristol website which gives all of the information needed for a trip to the city. It’s tourist friendly AND what makes it really nice is that you can plan your itinerary online so that you can have a clearly laid out trip. We didn’t do that. It is a little difficult to stick with a schedule in between naps, tantrums and feeding times….and that’s just “P” and I, NuNu has her own agenda that she keeps to!

On the two hour drive from London several thoughts came to mind. How will we get on in a trendy city with a baby? No doubt the hubs and I could hit all of the hot spots if we had a babysitter but will Bristol be enjoyable for a toddler? Thanks to the nice peeople at visitBristol for facilitating portions of our trip we had more than my half prepared list of “must visit” places to guide us through the city.

Novotel City Centre Bristol


First stop, hotel check in. We opted for Novotel Bristol Centre which was one of the family friendly accommodations listed on the visitBristol website. The location was prime, the hotel has available parking and is within walking distance of all of the sites.

We found our Superior Room with queen bed and convertible sofa to be more than enough room for the three of us. Even with a spacious work area, mini bar and tea and coffee console, the room still had space for our little NuNu to comfortably and safely run about. Extra plus was the small refrigerator that we used to store milk and juices. In addition to the perks of the room, in the lobby area there is an Xbox with games for older kids (or adults) to play. It was certainly a hit because it was in constant use with kids watching on as they wait their turn.

Novotel Bristol Centre was not a let down for us parents either. It is equipped with a full fitness suite with a lovely sauna and steam room. We included breakfast with our booking which I will say was top notch. It included all of the staples of hot and cold breakfast items served buffet style. I was even able to special order vegetarian sausages.  The staff were extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the surrounding area.  We would without a doubt recommend Novotel Bristol Centre.

Address : Victoria St, Bristol BS1 6HY

Bristol Aquarium


On our first day we decided to head out to Bristol Aquarium.  The aquarium boasts over 4,000 aquatic creatures and various forms of plant life. Visiting the aquarium makes for a great outing for the entire family. It’s like a maze of one exciting exhibit after another with sharks, octopus, and seahorses to name a few. You can tell when you are getting close to the clownfish display by the tiny voices echoing through the corridor yelling “Nemo!” 


Address: Anchor Rd, Bristol BS1 5TT



You don’t have to be a science buff to thoroughly enjoy this state of the art interactive science centre. With over 300 hands on science exhibits the centre lives up to its motto of making science accessible to everyone. In addition to the many exhibits, there are live science shows as well as a planetarium. Though most of the exhibits were well over NuNu’s level of comprehension, many of the exhibits provided a high level of sensory stimulation. If visiting with kids I suggest dedicating an entire afternoon to partake in all that the centre has to offer.

Address : Anchor Rd, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5DB

M Shed


City museums are typically small and rarely showcase the history of the people up to present day but this free museum does so in a very notable manner. From the first step into the museum visitors experience the struggles, trials and triumphs of Bristol’s past and present. I originally approached the M Shed with one mission and that was to caste my eyes on artwork by Bristol’s own, the infamous Banksy. That I did. It was a rather small piece but I also discovered that Bristol has a rich history in the labor movement, women’s rights, trade industry as well as the arts. Atop the M Shed is one of the most amazing views of the Harbour via its fully accessible roof top terrace.


Address : Prince’s Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol BS1 4RN

Clifton Suspension Bridge


If you are looking for the most stunning views in the city, Clifton Suspension Bridge is the place. Soon to celebrate 150 years, the bridge is long standing, spanning Avon Gorge and the River Avon. I will admit that out of my fear of bridges I didn’t dare to take any of these photos. I did however enjoy the views from the lookout point which in itself was breathtaking enough. This spectacle takes sightseeing to extremely new heights.



Bristol Zoo Gardens


Since I was a kid I loved a day out at the zoo so I had to take this opportunity to give NuNu her first experience. She absolutely loves animals and having been on several safari excursions in Zimbabwe the child now thinks that a lion is as cuddly as a kitten! The Bristol Zoo is a fantastic 12 acres housing over 400 species. There are also cafes and exhibits which ensures that there isn’t a shortage of animals to see and things to do. Allow yourself 2-3 hours to take it all in especially if you are interested in the many attractions such as ZooRopia (high ropes obstacle course) or Zooniversal Studios (an intractive acting experience).

Address : Clifton, Bristol BS8 3HA

The Verdict

Bristol is a city with everything for everyone and scores high marks for being very family friendly. It is a place that can be enjoyed by those with an affinity for the arts, music, nature, architecture or those that can appreciate a beautiful, rather chilled out scene. Bristol is a place that we will be returning to as well as recommending!

Basking in the City of Bath…Baby in Tow


London is a lovely, culture filled, bustling city with many things to see and do, but sometimes it’s good to get away from the city and retreat. Day trips and weekend escapes are perfect for families or those with limited time but in need of a quick getaway. Over Mother’s Day weekend (UK) we wanted to get out of the city and recoup by going to a place with wonderful sites, restaurants and a place that not only we could enjoy but one that NuNu would as well. We chose Bath, just 2 hours West of London.

Bath is a beautiful city situated in the county of Somerset, surrounded by the most intriguing hills and water sources. As soon as you drive into the heart of town it becomes obvious why it is a designated World Heritage Site. First known as Aquae Sulis, Bath was established as a spa town, and prides itself on its history.  Bath is home to an abundance of theatres, museums and interactive sites that will peak the interests of anyone with an appreciation for visual and performance art. Bath is internationally renowned for its tourism and just walking down the street takes you into centuries past. The Roman remains and the Georgian architecture will draw you in, giving you an urge to explore.

With all of the delicate historical elements of Bath, I wondered if it would make the place seem like one big museum of things displaying signs reading “Do Not Touch!” which of course make them more appealing to NuNu, the extremely curious 14 month old. Would it be like letting a milk wasted toddler loose in a china shop? We took our chances and headed out.

Visit Bath


Being someone that loves to travel, I enjoy reading up on places before getting there to see what the place has to offer as well as to help plan my trip. I’m not the type to stick with an itinerary but I like to have a rough idea of what I will be doing. The VisitBath website is a perfect source of information for a trip to Bath. We planned everything from our accommodations to where we could find some great vegetarian eats.  The best tool EVER is the free Official Bath App . Having the app is like having the key to the city! It details hundreds of attractions, things to do, restaurants, and any and everything in between. It came in handy to find out hours of operation for sites, admission prices, and info on the “Must See” attractions of Bath. When we arrived we headed straight over to the Visitors Information Centre where you can purchase tickets, get additional information and advice on trip planning and an easy to follow map. Our most difficult decision of the trip was figuring out which sites we wanted to take in.


We stayed at the Hilton-Bath City. I have stayed in loads of Hilton hotels and I have always had a great experience. We booked a “Compact Double Room” which initially sounded like a great idea until we rolled in the pram. The closet that is available couldn’t fit our full sized pram so we were constantly having to squeeze by it. For families travelling with little ones I suggest opting for an average sized room because this room is really as advertised…COMPACT.  We didn’t spend very much time in the room other than to rest our heads so it wasn’t too much of a bother. It’s prime location, right in the centre of the city made up for it all together. The buffet breakfast was great with hot and cold options. The facilities were very clean and the service was tops. Added bonus, we were in walking distance of EVERYTHING that Bath has to offer. There is an abundance of accommodations in Bath. If you are looking to stay in a traditional Hotel, a cozy Bed and Breakfast or a place perfect for the on the go back packer, Bath has it. To see more accommodation options click here.

Bath Abbey


Bath Abbey, originally instated in 1499, represents the last of medieval churches, still operating as a fully functioning parish centuries later. Beautiful stained glass windows and intricate, detailed carvings adorn the walls. An absolutely stunning feature. During our visit the  choir was rehearsing which made the visit that much more pleasant. Take a tour of Abbey tower by climbing all 212 steps to experience breathtaking city views.(

Roman Baths


Truly a Bath “MUST SEE”. Key to affording Bath it’s World Heritage Site designation, it is a beautiful temple still flowing with natural hot water once enjoyed by the Romans. We were impressed by the Roman Baths from beginning to end. This is one site that is a parents dream. Even though pushchairs and prams are not allowed, they have pram parking AND they also provide child carriers for babies and toddlers. This made it super easy for us to navigate the stone pavement and steps throughout the entire exhibition. NuNu particular enjoyed the costumed characters that were spot on with their roles from their style of dress to mannerisms. You can enjoy the wall projections depicting Roman life and remnants of the Temple Pediment as it stood nearly 2000 years ago. Audio guides are available in 8 languages. (

NuNu in the provided baby carrier

NuNu in the provided baby carrier

The Pump Room

Collage 2014-04-09 10_15_11~2

Fancy going to a traditional English tea room, this would be your place.  Used for entertaining and socializing  for over two centuries, The Pump Room has a feel of prestige yet remains inviting and unpretentious. The decor is impressive with it’s high ceilings, sparkling chandeliers and cozy fireplaces. Open for tea during the day and available for event hire in the evening, I would add The Pump Room as a “Must See and Do” of Bath. (click here for more information on The Pump Room)

Fashion Museum & Assembly Rooms

Collage 2014-04-09 10_31_35~2

The Fashion Museum is just as the name suggests, a magnificent display of the past and present of fashion. From contemporary to historical garments, you will be in total awe as you walk through this jaw dropping exhibition. For the budding fashionistas there is even an area to try on  and have a go at modelling a few replicas of period pieces. The Fashion Museum also houses the Assembly Rooms which consists of The Tea Room, Card Room, Octagon, and The Ball Room, all of which have been used for entertainment since the 18th century. Certainly a beautiful location for weddings and gatherings. (

Collage 2014-04-09 11_21_44~2

Postal Museum

Collage 2014-04-09 10_39_05~2

Bath has had a tremendous influence in the revolution of the British Postal Service. At the Postal Museum visitors can experience the many “postal firsts” that took place in Bath, one being the first mail coach run in 1784. Kids can dress up as post master and participate in activities such as colouring and games. (

The Jane Austen Centre


The centre is dedicated to honour the life of famed author Jane Austen.  Visitors learn about her familial relationships and how the great city of Bath influenced some of her most famous pieces of work such as Pride & Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility. As you are guided through the centre by “characters” in full regency garb taking you through exhibits that chronicle Jane’s life, you feel as if you have been transported to the 18th century. The centre offers visitors an interactive look into life during Regency times through a short film and a “dress up” area where you can see what it’s like to dress as novel characters, Mr. Darcy or Elinor Dashwood. I do recommend bringing an alternative to a pram for the Jane Austen Centre if possible as there are a number of stairs that are difficult to navigate. (

Pulteney Cruisers

Collage 2014-04-09 10_54_17

Just off of Pulteney Weir, you can hop on an open top boat and cruise down the River Avon. This hour long round trip excursion gives great views of  Pulteney Bridge as well as Bathhampton Down, an Iron Age hill fort along with many other places of interest. Plenty of wildlife can be spotted along the river such as wild ducks, geese, Kingfishers and otters. The operators provide knowledgeable commentary and the service was great. With fares of just £8 for adults, £4 for children, and under 5’s free, this experience isn’t just fun for the whole family but it is also very affordable. Prams can be stored on the lower deck and cold drinks can be purchased during your cruise. This tour hit the spot in terms of relaxation. (


Collage 2014-04-09 11_11_58

Bath is a shoppers dream. The streets are literally lined with shops filled with one of a kind pieces. Whether you enjoy big brands or quirky, independent shops, Bath has something for everyone. There are markets in the city centre where you can literally buy anything from scarves, fancy dress outfits to pet supplies.

How does Cocoaonthegogo rate Bath?

★★★★★ (5 stars)

Bath gets 5 stars for being family friendly, accessible to parents with small children, and having more than enough fabulous attractions. Bath is a place that you can visit continuously and do/see something different each and every time. We really can’t wait for our next visit!