Given that the area covers approximately 800 square miles of breath-taking rural landscape, you’ll find a vast range of outdoor pursuits and numerous ways to enjoy the natural environment, as well as museums, educational activities, and more – here are our top ideas for family days out in the Cotswolds!
A Cotswold Day Out for the Family
From animal lovers to thrill seekers, there’s something for everyone:
- The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens in Burford, where 160 acres of landscaped parkland and gardens play home to over 260 species of animal.
- You could try your hand at falconry and get up close and personal with an owl at either Cotswold Falconry Centre in Moreton-in-Marsh, or Walks with Hawks in Cheltenham.
- Take an alpaca for a walk at Cotswold Alpacas in Cowley, or spend a day as a llama farmer at Briery Hill Llamas in Newent.
- Discover the many rare breeds on show – from Cotswolds Sheep to Suffolk Punches – at the farm of BBC Countryfile’s’ Adam Henson, near Cheltenham.
- Attend feeding time at Birdland Park and Gardens in Bourton-on-the-Water – home to the UK’s only breeding colony of King Penguins – and enjoy its dinosaur-themed attraction ‘Jurassic Journey’.
- If you’ve a head for heights will love the award-winning Tree Top Walkway at Westonbirt Arboretum in Tetbury – at 300 metres long and 13m of elevation, the walkway snakes its way through the canopy of an astonishing 15,000 trees.
- If you prefer keeping your feet on the ground, how about Fairytale Farm in Chipping Norton? A sensory park that combines animals, classic fairytales and adventure play.
- Maybe try a bit of sleuthing in The Dragonfly Maze in Bourton on the Water – a traditional maze with 14 clues to solve in order to find the golden dragonfly hidden at its centre. And while you’re there, be sure to visit The Model Village – built of Cotswold stone at one ninth the size of the actual village, it is the only grade II listed model village in the country.
- What better way to learn about The Cotswolds than by taking The Cotswolds Discovery Trail? A choice of two routes sees you provided with an information-filled pack that includes maps to guide you through historic locations, along with ‘The Kids’ Cotswolds Challenge’ activity for younger children.
- The more mechanically-minded are sure to enjoy a journey on the Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Steam Railway, a visit to the Jet Age Museum to discover more about Gloucestershire’s aviation history, or a trip to Combe Mill in Witney – a working industrial museum that offers a glimpse of what work on a rural estate was like in Victorian times.
- There’s also the Cheltenham Science Festival at Imperial Gardens from June 6th – 11th: a fun and educational family day out where the children can even meet astronaut Tim Peake!
For the water babies among you, there is a whole host of activities in, on or by the water that you can try your hand at:
- Kayaking at The Cotswold Water Park – a 42 square mile wetlands landscape incorporating 180 lakes
- Swimming at one of the region’s lidos, or simply relaxing on the inland beach at The Cotswolds Country Park at Shorncote
- There’s huge family fun to be had there at AquaVenture – a ‘total wipe-out’ style inflatable obstacle course.
Add to this the exciting variety of family-friendly Cotswold music festivals that take place over the summer – like Wychwood, Barn on the Farm and The Big Feastival – and the whole family is sure to be kept fully entertained. Find out more about when to visit the Cotswolds.
We hope our ideas for family days out in the Cotswolds has inspired you. If you’re thinking of planning a visit this fabulous area of the country, then check out our self-catering Cotswold holiday accommodation and book your stay today!