We may be biased but we believe there’s no better place to spend the summer than in the Cotswolds. From festivals to film screenings, walking the Thames path to enjoying a day on the water here is our pick of things to do this Summer.
1. Sudeley Sculpture Safari
The Sudeley Sculpture Safari is back again this summer until the 20 October 2022. As you wander around the gardens of Sudeley Castle you’ll find life-sized sculptures of camels, kangaroos, rhinos and a whole herd of elephants all made from natural materials such as pampas grass, tree bark and flowers.
2. The Cotswold Way National Trail
There’s no better way to take in the beauty of the Cotswolds than on a walk so why not make a start on the 102-mile route of The Cotswold Way National Trail. The route runs all the way from Chipping Campden to Bath and takes in castles and country houses as well as breath taking viewpoints and historic towns. From Chipping Campden and Broadway in the North to Painswick as you get closer towards Bath there are plenty of quintessential towns and villages along the way.
3. The Alfresco Film Co
Here at StayCotswold we love a classic movie so this year we will be hoping to catch Jaws, Mamma Mia and Grease at a spectacular outdoor cinema venue. The Alfresco Film Co have selected venues such as Cowley Manor, Cotswold Country Park and Beach and the new Amphitheatre at Berrybank Park near Stow-on-the-Wold. Or choose from the Greatest Showman, Dirty Dancing, Moulin Rouge and West Side Story brought to the area by Luna Cinema.
4. Sandford Park
After outdoor cinema there’s also outdoor swimming at one of the area’s traditional Lidos. Sandford Park in Cheltenham has been home to a Lido since 1935. There’s an open-air pool in Cirencester and the 25-metre pool at Chipping Norton Lido is surrounded by gardens, perfect for a post-dip picnic.
This summer we’ll be making our first visit to the newly opened Amphitheatre at Berrybank Park where the season runs from June through to September. With a summer of music, theatre and comedy planned we will find it tricky choosing between a play from the Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour, the Broadway Baby production which brings musical theatre hits from Broadway and the West End and the Cotswold Comedy Festival.
6. Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta
The Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta is not to be missed over the weekend of the 17-18 June 2022. From the stands at Cheltenham Racecourse you will be entertained with not only hot air balloons from across the UK, but a family friendly fun fair, the acrobatics of the Bold Dog Lings freestyle motocross team and a birds of prey show. Throw in monster trucks, a dog and duck show and the evenings firework shows and it’s certain to be a fun filled weekend.
7. Olimpick Games
One of the oldest, and we think quirkiest events is the Olimpick Games just outside Chipping Campden. Dating back to 1612 the games were started by Robert Dover and the events today range from shin-kicking and tug of war to hammer throwing. All topped off by an evening of fireworks and a torchlight procession into Chipping Campden.
8. Music Festivals
Music Festivals are renowned across the Cotswolds 2022 looks set to not disappoint.
- The 2000 Trees Festival taking place from the 7-9 July at Upcote Barn in Withington features over 130 rock and indie bands across five stages.
- Barn on the Farm from 30 June to 3 July is a farm based music festival boasting James Bay, Easy Life and Holly Humberstone
- Nibley Music Festival has grown from a village affair to a festival that attracts thousands over the weekend of the 1-3 July. Fantastic family fun is on offer with headliners Feeder, Dub and Spector.
- Cornbury Music Festival is said to rival Glastonbury with its line-up of Bryan Adams, James Blunt and Ronan Keating. Grab tickets and head over to Great Tew Park from the 8-10 July.
- Former Blur star Alex James hosts The Big Feastival on his farm near Kingham each year. With Stereophonics and Anne-Marie headlining this year alongside cooking demos and family-friendly activities the August weekend festival looks set to be another fantastic event.
- Possibly our oldest music festival, Cheltenham Music Festival dates back to 1945 and is well known for its sensational concert set in the town hall and Pittville Pump Room. You’ll find classic concerts alongside contemporary music from the 8-16 July.
9. Gloucester Warwickshire Steam Railway
If you find a less sunny day this summer then a ride on board a steam train on the Gloucester Warwickshire Steam Railway is just the ticket. With trains running between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway you can take in the local scenery and hop on and off at Cheltenham, Winchcombe, Toddington and Broadway.
10. Royal International Air Tattoo
The Royal International Air Tattoo returning this July to RAF Fairford, is the world’s largest military air show. Make like Maverick and enjoy the fast jets before you marvel at the historic aircraft from around the world as they take to the skies. Alongside the air displays there’s an activity zone packed full of ‘have a go’ attractions, a techno and STEM zone featuring interactive exhibits to inspire the next generation of engineers and a Vintage village and food court for a spot of shopping and ‘r and r’.
11. Hidcote Manor
The Cotswolds is littered with historic houses and gardens so you will find plenty of opportunity to immerse yourself in the grandeur of years gone by. The Arts and Crafts inspired Hidcote Manor near Chipping Campden is awash with colour throughout the summer months. The walk from the car park at Snowshill Manor takes you through the apple orchards and past the tea rooms where you can stop off for a cake and a hot drink before venturing on to the manor house itself. Each room of the manor has a different theme and is dedicated to the collections of Charles Paget Wade. The quirky Indian-style Sezincote House and Gardens near Moreton-in-Marsh is a 3,500 acre family run estate with a 200 year old Moghul Indian palace at its heart.
12. Abundance of Artisan Food and Drink Products
Foodies flock to the Cotswolds for the abundance of artisan food and drink products. Our favourite spots are for coffee and cake at one of the branches of Lynwood & Co and the delightful Huffkins Tea Room in the heart of Burford Village. Both delightful eateries offer take-away – perfect if you can find a spot of grass on which to enjoy a little picnic. If your food will last long enough you could pick up a sourdough toastie or pizza from the Cotswold Cafe and enjoy it atop the highest point in the Cotswolds, nearby Cleeve Hill.
13. Food Festivals
Food Festivals are a plenty in the Cotswolds and in 2022 you can choose from The Great British Food Festival at Sudeley Castle on the 18-19 June, the Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival the following weekend on the 24-26 June or the Cotswold Show and Food Festival in Cirencester Park on the 2-3 July. We fear gym membership may be on the cards after three consecutive weekends packed with delicious food.
14. Charlbury Beer Festival
Less of a food focussed but still a festival, the Charlbury Beer Festival falls this year on the 25 June. In it’s 24th year you will find around 50 real ales alongside ciders, perrys and wines. Fortunately, there are also food stalls to soak up the beer, plus live music, talks and children’s entertainment. What a perfectly well mixed festival.
15. Woodchester Valley Vineyard
Slightly unexpected but the Cotswolds is home to the Woodchester Valley Vineyard near Stroud. The family run vineyard produces white, rosé and sparkling wines, all of which you can learn about on a tour. Don’t worry, there is plenty of time for tasting too on their Wednesday ‘tour and lunch’ which marries a locally sourced picnic lunch with a fabulous tour and tasting. Keep your eye out for occasional events too such as their legendary Friday Fizz and Chips!