Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Our Year of Get Up and Go with Best Western - Bath and Longleat

When I told my son we were going to Bath, he said: "But Daaaaaaad, I had one yesterday."

His mood soon changed when I explained as being part of Best Western Year of Get Up and Go, we were off on an adventure rather than going to our bath tub.

He was further excited to know that we were headed to the place that one of his grandmothers went to university.

Mind, I found Bath really posh.

I'm surprised they let her study there.

I jest of course, I think my mother was quite well-to-do before I was born, but Bath really is a beautiful place.

I'd never been before, but found it to be like Harrogate, yet with bells on.  A Harrogate Plus if you will.

We stayed in the Best Western Abbey Hotel, centrally located, and, for us, absolutely spot on in terms of size, service and amenities.

I don't know what makes a good family hotel for you, but for me, and us, it is one that offers a bit for everyone, rather than being solely focused on its younger or older guests.

If you are a family that expects your children to know how to behave in a decent restaurant, and to not let excitement completely dominate them all the time when on a trip, then it could well be for you too.

The hotel is called the Abbey, as it sits literally within egging distance of Bath Abbey.  Apparently Bath is notoriously difficult to navigate by car and to park, but we were given simple directions that avoided the difficult centre to a car park only a one minute or so saunter to the hotel.

As the sun was shining we appreciated a speedy check-in, Max tested his bed.

Then we were off for a little picnic in the park opposite our hotel.

We know how to fit in like a saw thumb with our fast food picnic.

Then we had a little explore of Bath, passed the Pump Rooms, picking up an ice-cream on our way through to Royal Victoria Park and an epic mini-golf challenge.

I consider myself a bit of a mini-golf shark, in fact, our whole family does, but in my beautiful girlfriend I have more than found my match.

Max loved it too.

The park is lovely, and we went to see the hot air balloons that are regularly launched there.

Hot air balloons look wicked fun.

On our way back to our hotel we also took in the marvellous Royal Crescent, which even Max found cool, well, he did after we told him that Captain Jack, Johnny Depp, had stayed there.

Our evening in our hotel was more than pleasant.  Service in the restaurant was superb.  During our two-night stay we were served by a lovely waitress, Danielle, who seemed genuinely interested in what we'd been up to.

A real personal service, and very willing to cater to our little whims and deviations from the menu.

It was good for Max to experience this type of restaurant, one that while not stuffy, would expect you to be as pleasant as its staff.

I like things like this, and I was chuffed that by the second evening Max was ordering food for us all, including a steak for himself.  As a child I don't think I was as confident and I am hoping to empower my boy to be comfortable with little, yet massive, things like these.

The reason we'd chosen Bath for our first stay with Best Western was because it was within decent distance of Longleat Safari, which is where we spent our second day.

In summary Longleat is wicked.   Now our favourite UK safari park.

You get that close to the animals I literally have an eagle scratch on my head.

This owl also had a good go.


And there is so much to do.

We arrived at 10:30am, and despite our only queueing time limited to ten minutes for their Jungle Cruise adventure, we didn't get round to entering the car safari until 4:30pm.

Max was too busy photographing ant eaters.

Feeding birds.

Holding snakes.

And completing their Easter Egg hunt challenge.

It really is a great day out.

And Bath is a fabulous base to do it from.

We spent our final day wandering around Bath and its shops, I took the opportunity to get my boy some new school uniform, but as well as the high-street stuff it has some marvellous independent retailers.

I've also earmarked Bath as a good place to come back to for a sporting break.

The Abbey is situated across from both the rugby and cricket grounds.  And apparently isn't far from the race ground.

My mother asked me if I'd taken in any of the Jane Austen - Bath's most famous resident - inspired attractions, but we didn't have the time.

Max was also a little gutted that we didn't catch the open top bus which stopped right outside our hotel.

One of the many reasons it wouldn't be difficult to tempt any of us into a return visit to Bath.