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

Days out, Family

Posted by Kate Atkin on 7th June 2021

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 and things to do in the Cotswolds on a rainy day 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 to check out some fabulous Cotswold indoor attractions.

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


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 superhero 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.

Highlights:

  • The motoring museum is the home of Brum, you'll find him in the Mill gallery, from which he headed out on his adventures on TV!
  • Visit the recreation of Jack Lake's garage - he was a local motoring legend, who helped introduce cars to Bourton-on-the-Water.
  • Take a peek inside the museum's 1920s caravans which look like their owners have just stepped out for a spot of sightseeing.

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 £4.60 per child (under 4s are free)

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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. There is even a café to enjoy some refreshment in between adventures. It's fine to just turn up and climb, but what you're able to do will depend on your experience. Arrive 15 minutes early to fill in the registration forms, or register at home before your visit.

Highlights:

  • There are climbing taster sessions for kids and adults starting from £10 per person. Try out climbing with the help of an instructor depending on your age or ability.
  • A 4.5m bouldering wall challenges climbers, with 60-70 routes.
  • The Hayloft Cafe offers hot and cold meals and drinks and has daily specials, including wood-fired pizza evenings and fish and chip nights.

Where is it? Northleach

When is it open? Term time: 12 -10pm weekdays, 9.15am - 6pm weekends. Holidays: 9.15am-10pm, weekends: 9.15am-6pm

How much is it? Day pass starts from £6 

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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 Cotswolds 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.

Highlights:

  • There are lots of special events throughout the year 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.
  • You can ride the heritage steam train and the 1920s diesel rail car, all for the price of one rover ticket.
  • There is a model railway at Winchcombe Station which is open most weekends and on special events dates.

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 (under 5s are free)

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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 farm's 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.

Highlights:

  • The adventure barn has three themed play areas: Barefoot Beach, Forest Floor and Construction Corner. Refreshments are available from The Shed.
  • Go on a Farm Safari, towed in a covered tractor's trailer and learn more about the farm as you travel.
  • Get up close to the residents of the farm in the animal barn and discovery barn. See if you can spot chicks hatching and have a turn at holding them, as well as other cute critters.

Where is it? Guiting Power, North Cheltenham

When is it open? 8 February - 23 December 10.30am - 5pm (Member entry from 9.30am)

How much is it? Flexi-tickets from £10 for 2 and 3-year-olds

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Rugrats and Halfpints, Cirencester

Younger family members will be in their element at Rugrats and Halfpints, two indoor play areas bursting with ball pools and soft play fun. With baby and toddler areas and cafes for adults to rest and unwind, these exciting kids’ attractions in the Cotswolds are perfect throughout the year, come rain or shine, and are sure to be a hit with the tiniest of tots.

Highlights:

  • Self-proclaimed UK's largest baby and toddler play area
  • Slippy slides, soft building blocks, role play section and more - plenty to keep children busy for hours!

Where is it? Banbury and Cirencester

When is it open? Open 7 days a week, 9.30am - 6.00pm (please note: they close from 3.30pm (Banbury) and 4.30pm (Cirencester) on the first Tuesday of each month for a disability session). Last entry is 5pm, except for members.

How much is it? Prices from £2.50 for 0-5 months and the first adult is free.

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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.

Highlights:

  • Wander around the fully furnished, opulent rooms and pretend you're royalty!
  • Browse the exhibitions amongst which you'll find a Queen's love letter and a Roman stone statue of a God which was lost for more than 100 years!
  • Outside, the children can make the most of a gap in the rain with a play in the adventure castle!

Where is it? Winchcombe

When is it open? 10am - 4pm, please check as times vary with the seasons and for special events

How much is it? Prices start from £7.95 per child (under 3s are free)

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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.

Highlights:

  • The museum suggests visiting after 2pm on weekdays for a peaceful and reflective visit.
  • Admire the stunning mosaic floors of Roman dwellings, laid out and beautifully lit.
  • Play the ancient board games and find out what our ancestors did for fun!

Where is it? Cirencester 

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

How much is it? Prices start from £2.80 per child (under 5s are free)

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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.

Highlights:

  • The staff are fantastic - friendly and approachable. Lessons are available to book.
  • Great variety of ramps for all abilities, including street areas, bowls, resi ramp and foam pit for adventurous stunts!
  • Scooter, skateboard and helmet hire is available if you've left yours at home

Where is it? Brimscombe, Stroud

When is it open? Check the website as there are different sessions. Fully closed on Monday; closed until 4pm on Tuesday and Thursday.

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

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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 Marlborough 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 2,000 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.

Highlights:

  • Enjoy a delicious meal in the orangery.
  • Take a tour from one of the knowledgeable guides who are full of fascinating stories about the family and their guests.

Where is it? Woodstock

When is it open? The Palace is open 10.30am - 5.30pm (Last entry 4.45pm), please check online for seasonal restrictions including Christmas closures

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

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National Waterways Museum, Gloucester

Kids of all ages will enjoy getting their hands wet and discovering how canals work at the National 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.

Highlights:

  • There are puzzles, toys and interactive exhibits to keep children interested and engaged.

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 £5 per child (under 5s are free)

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Map of indoor attractions in the Cotswolds

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


Stay with us in the Cotswolds

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.

Browse family cottages in the Cotswolds

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

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.