xmlns:b='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/b' xmlns:data='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/data' xmlns:expr='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/expr' Bristol Bits: Down by the Harbourside, a Cautionary Tale | The Parent Game

Monday, 17 August 2015

Bristol Bits: Down by the Harbourside, a Cautionary Tale

Boy on Bus

Last week we visited one of our favourite local haunts. I mentioned it in #40DaysofSummer last year and it even got its own blog post, Bristol does Summer, but this story has a slightly different ending. Every city has its benefits and one of Bristol's is its vast array of free things to do. From museums, more museums, to parks, to crazy sculpture trails (this year it's Sean the Sheep!), there is something for even the most discerning of small people to enjoy. Now and again, we take the bus into town, to find something fun to do.

It always begins with excited bus-face...

Once we get to the bus station. it's a short hop on pretty much any bus that is pointed towards Portishead or Weston to drop us off at Anchor Road, although, if you have the time, it's only a fifteen to twenty minute walk to The Harbourside. Talking of sculptures, there's a brilliant one outside @Bristol at the moment. It's a huge whale, with waves made from plastic bottles and it's highlighting the amount of plastic bottles that are thrown away each year. It's really quite spectacular, and surprisingly beautiful!

Whale Sculputure Bristol
A whale of a time!

So, back to the reason for this post. The Harbourside is a fantastic place to visit, there are lots of fun things to do; boats, restaurants, attractions, more boats... the list goes on. However, in the summer, any short man-about-town wants to be seen here...

At-Bristol Splash Zone
At-Bristol Splash Zone

It's totally free and fantastic fun, especially on a hot day. There are benches and deckchairs for the grown ups and a lot of families bring a picnic and settle in for the day. However, there is one aspect of this yearly pilgrimage that fills me with dread. It's the sickening thud of various body parts hitting the concrete around the edge of the water. There is a design flaw in the architecture of the site that means, although the surface in the splash zone is textured, as soon as you step onto the surrounding paving next to it, it is shiny, wet, and very, very slippery. Even though Luke is fully aware that it is slippy and knows not to run, he still fell exiting the pool area. This was because there is a significant height difference at points around the water area, meaning he was slightly off balance stepping down onto the smooth, wet stone. So he still slipped. He wasn't badly hurt, but another, much smaller, boy fell backwards, hitting his head and it made us realise that this needs to be considered when visiting the site. So, next time we visit, Luke will be wearing plastic shoes or sandals, with grips on the soles. I can't recommend strongly enough that you do the same for your little ones. This is a brilliant, free attraction for children of all ages, but it's really important we keep it as safe as possible.

Entertaining Elliot
Family Fever


  1. not just the kiddies who need to beware when round wet areas, I have the scars :)

  2. It looks a great place, hope Luke is ok now though

  3. Seems like a fab place for a day out... My little boy would definitely would want to try those water fountains too! That's ashame with what happen to Luke though, hope he's fine! #TriedTested

  4. Oh dear, hope he is OK. We have a paddling pool in our local park which is similar, always slippy. Love the plastic bottle sculpture. Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

  5. Oh no, I just hate that about swimming pools and splash pads! I always panic when we're just walking round our local pool. It's the absolute worst when they fall in! We always start off our day trips with excited bus (or train) face too!xx

  6. Ouch! Yes, I often think the designers don't realise that children do run around and this really ought to be a major consideration. We have a lovely splash park near us, too, and similarly there are parts towards the edge which are very slippery
    Glad you had a good line and Like wasn't badly hurt
    Great post.

  7. Eeee you'd think they'd have thought out the fact it wasn't going to be slippy wouldn't you! Sounds like great fun though.
    Thanks for sharing your review on #TriedTested this week x

  8. an amazing place we found one in Bradford

  9. Looks like a great place for kids (apart from the slippiness!). Enjoy reading your Bristol Bits - I've visited Bristol a few times and it seems a brilliant place - so much to see and do there!

  10. Elliot and I visited Bristol a few months ago for the festival of Nature and I spotted the splash zone - Elliot was itching to go in but it was a rainy cold day when we visited! Bristol is a brilliant city though, we can't wait to go back again and explore more. Thanks for linking up to #LoveWhereILive xx


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