If you’re planning a weekend away for the upcoming bank holidays, half term or school summer break, the Cotswolds makes for a great choice of destination. With activities and attractions aplenty, there’s a lot to see and do for children of all ages, and adults too! If you’re looking for family-friendly days out and things to do during your weekend in the Cotswolds, try some of these enticing suggestions…
Forest of Dean
This picturesque part of Gloucestershire has a great choice of attractions to satisfy thrill-seekers, nature-lovers, sporting enthusiasts and culture vultures. From a quiet stroll around a nature reserve to throwing yourself about in the treetops, there’s never a dull moment:
- Go Ape: A high rise rope course in the forest, suitable for all ages, but perhaps not for the faint-hearted! Younger Tarzan wannabes (1m+) can explore the canopy on the Treetop Adventure, while the full course is open to those aged 10+.
- Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail: Discover world class contemporary sculpture in a beautiful setting on this free trail. These fabulous artworks are discretely placed within the ancient woodland, and families are encouraged to explore and investigate however you wish. The full trail is over 4 miles long, but you can also explore with shorter marked routes.
- Perrygrove Railway: This is a unique railway attraction that makes a complete family day out. Explore secret paths and passageways and build a den in the woods. Your train tickets last all day and you can ride between the four station stops as many times as you like!
The historic market town of Tewkesbury has a pretty waterfront setting and plenty of history to explore. Take a boat trip along the Avon, or a stroll by the river Severn, then explore the rest of the town with its traditional high street and beautiful buildings.
- Battle Trail: Follow the marked route to step back in time and join the Yorkist and Lancastrian armies as they prepared for the Battle of Tewkesbury, which was fought on Saturday May 4th 1471. Guided walks are available on selected dates, or by arrangement.
- Tewkesbury Treasure Hunt Trail: A 1.6 mile spy mission themed self-guided circular trail suitable for all ages with the chance to win real treasure! This is the perfect way to explore at your own pace, and there’s even a mobile text service to provide you with clues if you get stuck along the way.
- Tewkesbury Abbey: Renowned for being one of the UK’s greatest examples of medieval architecture, Tewkesbury Abbey is a striking and significant presence in the town. Take a visit and marvel at the stunning stained glass windows. You will be welcomed all year round by a friendly and knowledgeable team of guides; you could join a regular service, or even take in an evening concert.
The spa town of Cheltenham is situated on the edge of the Cotswolds, and is home to the famous Cheltenham Racecourse, upmarket shops and independent boutiques, world-class restaurants and the historic Pitville Pump Room, all surrounded by beautiful English countryside.
- Sandford Parks Lido: A paradise for active children on sunny days, open 26th March – 7th October! A 50 metre outdoor heated pool complete with slides, children’s pool and paddling pool, great for cooling off in the heat or using up excess energy.
- Shopping: Cheltenham is recognised as a key UK shopping destination, ideal for a spot of retail therapy. From big high street names to unique and memorable independent retailers, there’s an impressive line-up here to suit all tastes.
- Cheltenham Festivals: If you’re heading to Cheltenham during the summer months, visiting a festival is a must! From the Jazz Festival in May, to the Science Festival in June, the Music Festival in July and the Literature Festival in October, you can meet your favourite artists and authors; see live demonstrations, performances and experiments, and much, much more.
Try as we might, it’s simply not possible to cram all the wonderful activities, excursions and attractions that the Cotswolds has to offer into a single article. From the outstanding Cotswold Wildlife Park to the beautiful and vast Cotswold Water Park, encompassing over 150 lakes set in a 40 mile area, there is so much to see and do in this gorgeous area of England. Whether you’re interested in history, wildlife, exploring nature, adrenaline-pumping sports or music and culture, a weekend in the Cotswolds can never be enough to see it all.