Ten things to do with kids on a rainy day in the Cotswolds


little girl umbrella rain

The Cotswolds, renowned for its rolling hills, outstanding countryside scenery and picturesque villages is a great destination for UK family holidays. Unfortunately, even in the Cotswolds it can’t be sunny all the time, but the good news is that there are plenty of wet weather activities to keep the kids entertained. From fascinating museums to fun farm parks and indoor play centres, there is something for all ages when it’s raining and pouring outside, so you’ll be more than happy to head under cover.

Here are our top ten suggestions for things to do with kids on a rainy day in the Cotswolds:

1. Cotswold Motoring Museum and Toy Collection, Bourton on the Water

Take a fascinating journey through motoring history and visit the Cotswold Motoring Museum, overflowing with vintage car collections including the much-loved children’s TV character ‘Brum’; kids can have their photo taken with this little super hero car and even create their own individual Brum brass-rubbing to take home as a memento of their visit. This is a great value day out in the Cotswolds; adults and children alike will love discovering the intriguing motor curiosities spread over seven impressive showrooms.

Where is it? Bourton-on-the-Water

When is it open? 10am-6pm, latest admission at 5.30pm

How much is it? Prices start from £4.25 per child

2. Far Peak Climbing Centre, Northleach

Enjoy a family day out in the Cotswolds at Far Peak Climbing Centre, where kids and adults of all ages and abilities can have a go at climbing and bouldering. There is a dedicated indoor kids’ climbing area suitable for little ones as young as three and they offer lots of fun activities for kids during the holidays such as abseiling, archery and bow and arrow making. There is even a café to enjoy some refreshment in between adventures.

Where is it? Northleach

When is it open? Term time: 12-10pm, holidays: 9.15-10pm, weekends: 9.15-6pm

How much is it? Day Pass starts from £6 

3. GWR Steam Railway, Toddington

Experience the magic of the GWR Steam Railway as you chug through the hills on a 20-mile round journey through the beautiful Cotswold countryside. Children will be enchanted by the sound of the whistle as you set off and the whirr of pistons and wheels in motion; best of all, they can on occasion sit with the driver as the train trundles along the tracks through tunnels and over viaducts, a truly memorable experience. Throughout the year there are special events to keep kids entertained such as ‘Santa Specials’ and the famous ‘Teddy Bear Tuesdays’ during August where kids will be delighted with fun activities and a teddy bears picnic, held in the waiting room or the railcar if it’s raining.

Where is it? Stops at Broadway, Toddington Hayles Abbey Halt, Winchcombe, Gotherington, Cheltenham Race Course

When is it open? Varies, check the timetables to find what suits you

How much is it? Prices start from £8 per child

4. Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power

With covered areas for rainy days, kids of any age will love the interactive experience of getting close to nature and farm life at the Cotswold Farm Park run by BBC Countryfile’s Adam Henson. Hours of fun will be spent meeting the farms’ cute and cuddly animals, getting hands-on with bottle feeding and sheep shearing, watching cows being milked and seeing the experts at work. There are plenty of hands-on seasonal activities as well as a café serving delicious locally-sourced food.

Where is it? Guiting Power, North Cheltenham

When is it open? February 10th-December 24th, 10.30am-4.00pm (Member entry from 9.30am)

How much is it? Prices from £12.50 for a child's ticket

5. Magic Land, Cirencester

Younger family members will be in their element at Magic Land, a 13,000sq ft. indoor play area bursting with ball rivers, log ramps, zip slides and a host of thrilling winding slides. With a baby and toddler area and a story corner to enjoy imaginative adventures, this exciting kids’ attraction in the Cotswolds is perfect throughout the year, come rain or shine, and is sure to be a hit with the tiniest of tots.

Where is it? Cirencester 

When is it open? Open 7 days a week, 9.30am-6.00pm (please note: they closed from 4pm on the last Tuesday of each month for a disability session)

How much is it? Prices from £3.50 for 6-11 months and the first adult free

6. Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe

If it’s raining outside, head inside the historic rooms of Sudeley Castle and discover the extraordinary exhibits full of fascinating treasures, from ancient Roman times to the present day. Walk in the footsteps of King Richard III, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Katherine Parr and Lady Jane Grey as you explore the romantic ruins of the castle and enjoy the variety of seasonal activities and shows for the whole family.

Where is it? Winchcombe

When is it open? 10am-5pm, please check as times vary with the seasons and for special events

How much is it? Prices start from £7.50 per child

7. Corinium Museum, Cirencester

No holiday to the Cotswolds is complete without visiting the award-winning Corinium Museum, home to one of the largest collections of Romano-British antiquities, found in and around Cirencester, which was the second largest city in Roman Britain. Leave the 21st century behind and gain an authentic insight into life in Roman times, discovering treasures of the Cotswolds with interesting exhibitions, beautiful mosaics and a huge selection of exciting events for families during the school holidays. The museum is great for kids of all ages as it brings history to life with plenty of hands-on activities and interactive experiences.

Where is it? Cirencester 

When is it open? April–October it is open Monday-Saturday: 10am-5pm, Sunday: 2pm-5pm, whereas throughout November–March it is open Monday-Saturday: 10am-4pm, Sunday: 2pm-4pm

How much is it? Prices start from £2.70 per child

8. Rush Skatepark, Stroud

Kids will love whizzing around Rush Skatepark, one of the largest indoor skateparks in the world. This family-friendly attraction in the Cotswolds welcomes all ages to have a go at a unique rider experience of BMX, Scooter, Skateboards and Aggressive Skates. It’s fully-marshalled and offers a viewing platform for parents to sit back and relax with a cuppa whilst watching their kids having fun in the park.

Where is it? Brimscombe, Stroud

When is it open? Prices vary due to seasons and current sessions

How much is it? Prices start at £3 for under 5s 

9. Blenheim Palace, Woodstock

Spend anything from a few hours to a whole day exploring the magnificent Blenheim Palace. If the weather isn’t on your side there is plenty to discover inside the palace with fascinating tours led by knowledgeable guides telling the story of its interesting history as the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and the current home of the 12th Duke of Malborough and his family. There’s plenty to keep little legs busy and buggy tours to keep you dry if you fancy seeing more of the beautifully landscaped gardens set within 2000 acres of spectacular parkland. Kids will be amazed when they recognise the palace from some of their favourite films and TV programmes, including Harry Potter.

Where is it? Woodstock

When is it open? The Palace is open 10.30-17.30 (Last entry 16.45), please check online for seasonal restrictions including Christmas closures

How much is it? Prices start from £15.50 per child

10. Gloucester Waterways Museum, Gloucester

Kids of all ages will enjoy getting their hands wet and discovering how canals work at the Gloucester Waterways Museum. From navigating a lock, testing out different designs of race boats and trying their hands at boat building and traditional decoration on one of the computer displays, the museum is bursting with exciting interactive displays to keep kids well entertained. Let them climb aboard heritage boats in the Waterside Gallery, take part in a wildlife trail or have fun in one of the events and workshops that run throughout the year.

Where is it? Gloucester

When is it open? Open daily throughout the year, 11am-4pm (10.30am-5pm during July and August)

How much is it? Prices start from £3.25 per child

Map of attractions:

Plan your family holiday in the Cotswolds by finding your favourite indoor family attractions from the list on the map below.

If you’re looking to stay close by and explore these indoor attractions in the Cotswolds, take a look at our full collection of cottages in the Cotswolds for some inspiration on where to base your next family holiday.

*Prices are correct at the time of publishing; however, they are subject to change.

Posted by Kate Atkin on 19th November 2018