Bristol’s nightlife is legendary, and you don’t even need to be a penniless student to enjoy the city’s frenetic club scene!
There are a huge number of nightclubs, bars and pubs in and around Bristol. The city has a big student population, but there are plenty of upmarket venues and gastropubs to appeal to a more sophisticated clientele. In the summer, many people head down to the harbourside area, where there are several popular pubs and bars. The Pitcher & Piano is a well-known chain pub, but if you prefer quirky venues, you don’t need to travel too far to find them.

Bars and Pubs in Bristol
The Cornubia is an award-winning pub. Its claim to fame is that it never sells the same beer twice, so real ale fans will be in seventh heaven. There is even a nice beer garden outside, so you can sip your pint of obscure ale and listen to the sound of seagulls in the distance.
The landlord of the Bag of Nails is a self-proclaimed cat fancier, so you know immediately that this is no ordinary pub. Come to the Bag of Nails for top quality beer from obscure microbreweries. Ask for a pint of lager at your peril.
The Steam Crane is a work of art; literally. The old pub was a rather notorious watering hole, but since a change of ownership, the Steam Crane has undergone a miraculous facelift. Today you can enjoy tasty food, cask ales, a fantastic selection of bottled beers, and a great atmosphere.

Clubbing in Bristol
Bristol has a fair selection of nightclubs, ranging from unbearably cheesy to the type of venue where top DJs show up to do a set or two. Motion is the largest and best-known nightclub in Bristol. If you like big venues and a wide variety of music, this is the place to go. From the outside, the venue looks like a dodgy skate park, but once you get through the doors, you’ll have an epic night. Be warned, though, most of the big events at Motion are ticket only.
The other two super-clubs in Bristol are Oceana and The Syndicate, but if you can’t stand chart music, avoid them like the plague.
Motion is huge, but there are plenty of smaller, more intimate venues if you want to get down and boogie on a cosy dancefloor. The Island is a cool alternative arts venue inside a converted police station. Check when the next club night is on and make sure you go. Cosies in Portland Square is another good night out.

Theatre and Alternative Nightlife
If you fancy an evening at the theatre, check out what’s on at the Bristol Hippodrome – this is one of the best provincial theatres in the UK. Another great venue worthy of a visit is the Colston Hall, which regularly plays host to comedy nights, pop, classical and rock concerts.

Travelling to Bristol
Driving into Bristol city centre is still the most popular mode of transport despite many public transport initiatives in the city. There are a number of car parks in Bristol, which tend to empty out as the evening approaches, so you shouldn’t have any problems locating parking. If travelling by train you’ll most likely arrive into Temple Meads railway station. There are always taxis on hand ready to take you into the city centre. Finally, if you’re travelling from a large city like London why not give someone a lift share to Bristol. You can halve the fuel costs and have a little company for the journey.
Bristol has it all, so make sure you plan a weekend break to this amazing city.


Whether they’re sleeping, playing or doing homework, your kids will be spending a lot of their time in their own bedrooms. It’s probably not a very big space so you want to use it as wisely as possible and make it look fun and amazing!

Whether your little one is still on the way or they’re all grown up and the cute paw prints on their wall are ‘just not cool’ anymore, if you don’t want your decorating to break the bank then here are some tips that are sure to save you a whole load of money! As with any advice I give, the first thing you should do is browse discount sites for coupons that will reduce any spending that you may have to do. There are many useful sites, such as, Coupon Sherpa or Discountrue, and many different coupons you can choose from!

Think Long Term
Avoid spending a whole lot of money on new furniture and decorations that your children will outgrow in a couple of years. Toddler friendly shelving and a matching cot might be cute at first but even if you resell it all, you’ll wish you had been wiser about your choices. When my daughter was born a friend advised getting multifunctional furniture. We searched and searched, and finally found a crib and a changing station combo that converted into a loft bed and a desk combo. She’s almost 8 years old now and still using that same furniture!

Avoid Expensive Themed Decorations
Winnie the Pooh is adorable for newborns, but by the time they’re 7 or 8 they’ll be begging you for a ‘grownup’ room. It’s better to paint the walls with a neutral shade and use picture frames, removable wall stickers, bedding and accessories like lamps, mobiles or ornaments to set the theme. Another thing that we did was cover a corkboard with felt and mount it on the wall. Now we can tack new photos, posters, party invites, birthday and Christmas cards on the wall without damaging it. My daughter loves hanging her artwork in her room which is great, but there’s a new painting, drawing or collage every week so I’m saving myself the headache of sticky tape and picture nail damage!

Make Funky Shelves For Storage
Small wooden cubes, such as old crates, can be painted and used as shelves. When your children are toddlers they can be stacked close to the floor and when they grow up they can be mounted higher on the wall. These shelves can be used for everything from books and toys to ornaments, picture frames and that collection of pebbles they insist are gifts from the fairies in the garden.

The best piece of advice I can give you for decorating a child’s bedroom is that before you spend your money on something you can’t remove, like a wall mural, ask yourself if you can imagine it suiting your kids room in five or ten years. And if they’re old enough make sure that you get your children’s input. If they participate in the decorating of their room, you won’t have to deal with two months of ‘But Mommy, I wanted the blue heart pillow’!


NSPCC in Croydon appeals for volunteers to deliver a new service to help mothers protect their children from sexual abuse

The NSPCC is launching a brand new sexual abuse service for mothers and other female carers who have a relationship with a man who poses a risk of sexual harm to her children. It could be a current or ex-partner or a member of her family.

Women as Protectors provides education, emotional support and guidance that can keep the family safe. Women take part in group sessions run by an NSPCC practitioner, followed by ongoing individual support through a trained and supervised volunteer. Group sessions last for ten weeks while volunteers provide on-going mentoring for around 12 – 18 months.

The NSPCC needs women who are over 21 years of age to help them deliver this new service in the borough.

Sue Schofield, NSPCC Croydon service manager explained: ”As you can imagine, a woman in this kind of situation can feel isolated, confused and unsure about how to keep her children safe. Having a reassuring and supportive person to talk to can make a huge difference. That’s why volunteers are essential to this programme.

“It’s a challenging role but very rewarding. You don’t need any prior mentoring experience. All you need is a willingness to learn and to help. And we’ll give you all the training and support you need.”

Volunteers will be carefully matched to each mum or carer. They will provide emotional and some practical support, suggest ways she can support her children, encourage her to make friends or take part in activities, and let the NSPCC know if they’re concerned about the children in any way.

To begin with they may meet once a week, but as the woman becomes more confident, visits could decrease to fortnightly, and then monthly towards the end of the programme.

Being a Women as Protectors volunteer can give you a valuable experience and the chance to help a family through a difficult time. To find out more, to apply as a volunteer, or if you wish to make a referral, please contact the NSPCC Croydon service centre on 020 8253 1850 or email



The awe-inspiring valley of Jackson Hole in northwestern Wyoming is famous around the world for its scenery, its charismatic wildlife, and its Old West heritage. And from downtown Jackson to the white slopes of the Teton Range, activities specially suited for children have just been increasing in number and diversity.

Jackson Hole has emerged as an outstanding kid-friendly destination. Combined with the magical natural delights of nearby Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, the valley and its communities have endless attractions for all ages.

Delights In and Around Town

Children will surely find the town of Jackson enchanting just to look at: From the iconic elk-rack arch to the Old West-style storefronts, they’ll feel like they’re stepping back in time to the days of stout-hearted lawmen and gun-toting desperadoes.

But the family-friendly pleasures of Jackson run deeper than surface level. For example, there’s the awesome Jackson Hole Children’s Museum, or the Clubhouse. Hands-on exhibits such as the Wild Wind Machine, the Magnet Wall, and the Mountain Market provide lessons in science, history, and society. A live bullfrog and map turtle (Gumdrop and Speedy, respectively, the museum’s mascots) entrance visitors to the Creature Corner, while the Backyard Children’s Garden is a real working cultivated plot out back where kids learn how to grow and harvest vegetables. The Clubhouse Kitchen & Community Room renders cooking instruction catered to the pintsized crowd, while you can spend hours of quiet relaxation in the Book Nook. There are also plenty of play areas, including the Imagination Playground and the Tot Spot.

Jackson’s Recreation Center, meanwhile, offers swimming and an open gym. It’s the perfect place for kids to use up some of those unfathomable stores of energy. A full day, meanwhile, can be happily spent touring the otherworldly sights of the town’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum.

Because Jackson’s still delightfully compact, all these in-town attractions are easily reached from most local hotels, such as the White Buffalo Club (

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the Wednesday- and Saturday-night Jackson Hole Rodeo provides all-ages drama–including a calf scramble choreographed especially for children. Also during the summer, the famous (and free!) Jackson Hole Shootout puts on an exciting Wild West reenactment in the Town Square Monday through Saturday evenings at 6 p.m.

In July and August, meanwhile, the Grand Teton Music Festival at Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village offers occasional family concerts with programs well-suited to kids.

Kid-Friendly Outdoor Activities

Of course, many of Jackson Hole’s greatest attractions lie outside town. Kids will love spotting moose, coyotes, and other free-roaming critters amid the sagebrush flats and woods of Grand Teton National Park. From Junior Ranger programs to canoeing, the park (as well as nearby Yellowstone) provides a precious natural playground ideal for introducing children to the wonders of wilderness.

In winter, kids can enjoy a wagon-ride safari through the National Elk Refuge, which attracts thousands of wintering elk as well as other large mammals. Meanwhile, some of Jackson Hole’s world-famous ski/snowboard areas have expanded their services for younger visitors. The Jackson Hole Resort, for example, has not just added more beginner runs but also lots of off-slope options for families, including indoor swimming pools and a daycare.

Whether you’re playing your way through a science lesson downtown or whizzing down a Teton Range mountainside, you’ll find loads of wonderful activities in Jackson Hole that the whole family will enjoy!

Jerry Williams loves to take his family to Jackson Hole. A father of four and avid blogger, he enjoys sharing his experiences and insights online. Look for his informative articles on a variety of today’s top websites and blogs.


No matter what the style of your home, there are always going to be practical features that you have to take into account when picking items of furniture or soft furnishings.

For those looking for new sofas to buy, practical choices are particularly important. Children and pets can be one of the most important things to consider as you need to ask yourself what happens if they make a mess? Or what if the cat scratches up the sofa just days after you’ve bought it?
To make the best decision for you and your family you need to weigh up the pros and cons of different sofas styles as well as different materials. Leather and fabric are your two main options here … but which is best?

Leather sofas are a definite advantage when it comes to cleaning, simply wipe the dirt off and the job is done. There are even leather polishes which give them a fresh smell and appearance for after they have been cleaned.
Fabric sofas don’t offer such immediate cleaning results but their cushion covers can often be removed and washed separately to keep them looking at their best. This can offer a deeper, more thorough, clean than is available with leather sofas but the process is more time consuming and the risk of stains more pronounced.

Scratches and damage
Cats are known for scratching furniture – whether we like it or not. Leather sofas are definitely not great at withstanding this sort of damage and once damaged they are difficult to revert back to their original condition unless you know what you’re doing or get it done professionally.
Fabric sofas are very good at hiding wear and tear like cat scratches, but they do fade with time and stray threads can become a real snagging hazard. The best option for either sofa is to discourage pets from climbing onto furniture and using throws, blankets or covers to protect your sofa when you are not around to keep pets off the cushions!

Fabric sofas are cosy and warm but you may find that some cheaper materials can feel a little scratchy on the skin. Leather sofas, on the other hand, are typically a lot softer but the material can be a lot colder in the winter and cause bare skin to sweat and stick to it during the summer.

Ultimately, only you can decide which material is best for your family sofa but as a general rule leather is the best choice for long-lasting appearances and easy cleaning while fabric is better for hiding damage and scratches and for deeper cleaning.