This summer we spent a week in the Cotswolds with our 2 children, aged 6 and 2.5 yrs vsiting some of the wonderful attractions the Cotswolds has to offer.
There’s such a huge array of wonderful things to see and do in the Cotswolds, it can feel a little overwhelming when you start researching days out so I thought I’d share these little gems to hopefully help you plan your next trip there.
Having enlisted the help and advice of my super helpful Instagram followers we put a list together and visited the following places.
First on our list was the Cotswold Country Park and Beach. A 25 minute drive from where we were staying in Coln St Aldwyns and a 10 minutes drive from Cirencester.
Along the shores of South Lake Family beach there is a fantastic sandy bay where children can paddle, swim and build sandcastles. (Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach but are allowed in other areas of the park).
There are Pedaloes & Rowing boats for hire and on the banks of the shore there are bookable BBQ’s and a huge children’s play area. Here you will also find the all important (slightly wasp invaded – can’t get away from the useless blighters these days) ice cream parlour.
Over on the North Lake is where the slightly older children find their entertainment in the form of a huge Aquaventure.
Paddle Boards and Kayaks are also available for hire over on the North Lake.
We were blessed with fantastic weather and Mummy even got 5 minutes to read a magazine whilst Daddy paddled in the lake with the kids!
Entrance: £16 (this is the charge per car of up to 5 people)
How to find it: Sat Nav Postcode: GL7 6DF
Food: We took a picnic but there are plenty of places to buy food when you get there. Or hire a BBQ for £25!
Tip: It can get very busy on hot days in the Summer Holidays so it’s advisable to book the day before.
Next on our list was Dyrham Park located near Bath. This was an hours drive from Coln St Aldwyns and is 25 minutes from Bath.
Dyrham Park is an ancient deer park spread across 270 acres.
Within the park, as well as the grand main House, you will find the stunning and beautifully tended Gardens. My eldest (6yrs) loved looking at all the flowers whilst our 2.5 yr old played in the gravel!
After a lovely walk along the tree lined main drive we had worked up quite an apetite and stopped for a picnic lunch in the “Old Lodge” area.
Within the Old Lodge there are lots of sit on tractors for the kids to ride around on as well as an allotment area and a little farm area with wheelbarrows which kept our 2 amused for a good 20 mins (that’s a win in our book!).
We then headed down the hill to the main house to explore more of the gardens and find ice cream! The next best bribe beside Father Christmas!
One quick last look at the deer (another highlight for my eldest) and then it was time to catch the bus back to the main car park. It’s quite a hill to walk back up but there is a very handy shuttle bus that runs every 15-20 mins.
Admission: £15 per adult £7.50 per child (Free to National Trust Members)
How to find it: Sat Nav Postcode: SN14 8HY
Food: We took a picnic lunch but there is a main tea room which serves an array of hot and cold food
Tip: Dogs aren’t allowed in the main deer park, houses or garden, other than assistance dogs.
Next on our list was a trip to The National Arboretum, Westonbirt
But first some history!
Robert Stayner Holford inherited Westonbirt aged 31 in 1839. Holford invested a vast amount of his wealth into creating Westonbirt Arboretum, collecting plants from across the globe including Europe, China, Japan, Chile and many more.
Fast forward to 2019 and there are now over 2500 species of tree to discover. Each tree is marked with its name and country of origin.
We began our day walking across the incredible Tree Top Walk Way. It’s pretty high up so not for those who have a fear of heights!
We had lots of fun learning about the trees and where they originated from. The kids loved running from tree to tree looking for their name badge.
The children then got involved in some nature activities which included painting with blackberry juice (aprons are provided!) and learning about different seeds and how they germinate.
Then came the bit the children had been waiting all day for! The Gruffallo Trail! Safe to say the kids loved it!
Admission: £10 per adult & £4 per child (under 5’s go free)
How to find it: Sat Nav Postcode: GL8 8QS
Food: There’s a large cafe on site
Tip: Dogs are allowed. There are dog free family areas too.
And our final day out was spent at the Cotswold Wildlife Park. I think you might say we saved the best till last (without realising it when we planned it!).
There is something for everyone here with lots of animals spread across the vast expanse of the Park, beautiful gardens and plenty to keep the children entertained alongside the animals.
We are very lucky to have Chester Zoo on our doorstep but the most notable difference at Cotswold Wildlife Park is the amount of space and . The giraffes, rhinos & camels have huge amounts of space to roam and with lower wooden fences it really does make you feel closer to the animals.
There’s a fantastic play area for the kids suitable to all ages. Our 6 year old loves to climb and had a ball.
There’s a fantastic children’s farmyard where they can feed the goats if they are feeling brave enough!
And the train was a huge hit with adults and children alike!
Admission: Adults £16 & Children 3yrs + £10.50
How to find it: Sat Nav Postcode: OX18 4JJ
Food: There are plenty of places to grab some food around the park and plenty of space to have a picnic.
Tip: If you book your tickets in advance online then prices are reduced to £14 & Children 3yrs + £9.50
And that concludes our list of Cotswolds attractions. What a fantastic week we had, creating many wonderful memories.
I hope this list helps and inspires anyone looking for things to do with the family whilst in the Cotswolds.
If you have any places to add please do comment below.
Read all about where we stayed whilst we visited the Cotswolds here