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Family holiday in Bath: what to do with the kids

With the summer holiday season upon us, most parents are frantically trying to think of ways to keep their children entertained for the whole six-week stretch. Happily a family holiday in Bath offers plenty of fun activities to keep even the most hyperactive of little ones occupied so that you, their parents, can enjoy your stay.

Panda Sanctuaries’ beautiful range of Bath self-catering properties prioritise comfort and convenience. All our Bath holiday cottages and apartments are within a relaxed ten-minute walk of the historic centre making it easy to access everything the city has to offer during a family holiday in Bath. Get in touch or head to our special offers page to find out about any deals and discounts you can benefit from when booking Bath rental accommodation direct with Panda Sanctuaries.

Here we have listed some of our top tips for some fun with the kids in and around the city during a family holiday in Bath:

Child friendly fun for a family holiday in Bath

Family holiday in Bath: enjoy river and canal based activities
Family holiday in Bath: enjoy river and canal based activities

Fun on the water

There are lots of fun river and canal-based activities with riverboat trips, canal cruises, canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding all available to enjoy during your family holiday in Bath.

For a truly spoiling trip try Bath Electric Boats whose beautiful Victorian river launch, named Lady Lena, and waterbus, Sir John Knill, are both available for private charter and take guests on cruises up the idyllic Kennet and Avon canal.

Alternatively, you could explore the canal by renting a traditional narrowboat for the day with Bath Narrowboats and try your hand at working the locks. If the river takes your fancy, look up Pulteney Cruisers for one-hour boat trips on the Avon, leaving from Pulteney Bridge.

The delightful Bath Boating Station has a range of Thames Skiffs for rowing, Canadian canoes and kayaks, punts and rowing punts for hire by the hour or day which can all be used to explore the River Avon. The station is conveniently placed next to the Bathwick Boatman riverside restaurant for those who simply want to sit back and watch the boating.

For a more adventurous experience, go to Original Wild which provide stand up paddleboarding, raft building, canoeing and kayaking.

Family holiday in Bath: The Avon Valley Railway is great for kids
Family holiday in Bath: The Avon Valley Railway is great for kids

Avon Valley Railway

Travel back in time with a steam train journey through the beautiful Somerset countryside. Start in Bitton where you can admire the restored Victorian railway station before hopping aboard your locomotive to chug six miles up and down the Avon valley. You can choose to enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in the station buffet, or book a Sunday lunch served in the traditional railway dining car.

Bath Sports and Leisure Centre

Nearing the completion of an £8 million revamp, the leisure centre in the heart of Bath now boasts a 25-metre swimming pool and a new Extreme Trampoline park complete with a trapeze, wipe out and dodgeball court. If swimming and trampolining don’t appeal it also has a new eight line bowling alley or, if your little ones just want to roll around and expend some energy, you can take them to the soft play area with an impressive five storey structure.

Family holiday in Bath: Victoria Falls Adventure Golf is perfect for all ages.
Family holiday in Bath: Victoria Falls Adventure Golf is perfect for all ages.

Victoria Falls Adventure Golf

This 18-hole mini golf course located in Bath’s Royal Victoria Park, in the heart of the city, is great fun for all ages. The beautifully landscaped course takes players up and down over rushing waterways and waterfalls. It is open all year round. If you and your kids prefer a proper game of golf, Bath can cater for this too with the Bath Approach Golf Course, also in Victoria Park, offering 30 par 3 holes of varying length. It is an ideal place for novice golfers to learn and build confidence in a relaxed environment.


Just 40 minutes’ drive from Bath, the ancestral home of the Marquis of Bath offers a vast array of fun things to do, the highlight being the drive-through Longleat Safari Park.

Visitors can come face to face with dozens of exotic creatures from monkeys in the Monkey Drive-through to lions on the African Plains, as they motor six and a half miles through the park. You can watch sea lions swim alongside you on the Jungle Cruise boat, see huge gorillas and dainty meerkats in Jungle Kingdom and hand-feed gorgeous lorikeets in Monkey Temple.

The 438-year-old Longleat House is an amazing example of Elizabethan architecture surrounded by 900 acres of Capability Brown landscaped grounds which are also well worth a visit for all ages.

Family holiday in Bath: Longleat safari park is a must visit
Family holiday in Bath: Longleat safari park is a must visit

Bike rides

There are many beautiful and fun bicycling routes in and around Bath – with the cycle path that leads from central Bath along the route of an old railway line to Bristol or the tow path along the canal to Bradford on Avon in the other direction.

There are plenty of places to rent bikes in Bath including Green Park Bike Station, nextbike Bath or Bath Bike Hire. Or if you would prefer a guide to help you explore Bath’s and take you off the beaten track, why not try Bath Bike Tours.


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