Top 10 things to do in the Cotswolds

Days out, February Half Term

The Cotswolds is one of the UK's most sought after holiday locations due to its picturesque landscapes, glorious rolling hills and idyllic villages. Marvel at this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in its unspoiled rural setting - an unspoilt corner of England.

Not only does the Cotswolds have plenty to see, but it’s also brimming at the seams with things to do. Its family-based activities and days out give you fantastic things to keep you busy whilst seeing the famous English countryside. We've picked just some of our favourite things to see and do, from animal attractions to family activities and gorgeous places to visit including lakes, parks and historic buildings.

1. Westonbirt Arboretum

Westonbirt Arboretum in the Cotswolds

Just three miles from Tetbury, Westonbirt is a fantastic day out, whatever the season. There are so many things to see - enjoy over 15,000 species of nature in this setting of escapism or even venture through the grassland to have an adventure. Walk, cycle or take your dog to Westonbirt. It's a must-see for lovers of the outdoors.

Opening times: Open from 9am-5pm every day except Christmas Day. Last entry at 4pm between December and February, and 4.30pm between March and November.

Prices: Vary by season. Adults: £7-£10, concessions £5-£7, children £3-£4. Group discounts available

Dog friendly?: Dogs are welcome in two-thirds of the arboretum (Silk Wood).

Accessibility: Hard paths suitable for wheelchairs and buggies - trails off the path may not be suitable in wet conditions. Disabled toilets, shuttle bus and wheelchair/scooter hire available. Assistance dogs welcome.

Facilities: Toilets, baby changing area, playground, restaurant, cafe, shop and parking.

For the satnav: GL8 8QS

2. Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

Cotswold Wildlife Park in the Cotswolds

Prepare for a unique and exciting experience at Cotswolds Wildlife Park and Gardens, one of the biggest zoos and animal parks in the area. Mingle with Ruby and Ian, the park's famous rhinos, watch the penguin talk and feed, get up close and personal with the giraffes or view the oversized manes of the Asiatic lions. Perfect for the kids, and the big kids!

Opening times: April-October: 10am-6pm (last entry 4pm), November-March: 10am-5pm (last entry 3pm). 

Prices: Adults £16, over-65s £10.50, children £10.50, under-2s free. Discounts available for online tickets.

Dog friendly?: Dogs welcome in outdoor areas only, except those with free-roaming animals. 

Accessibility: Fully wheelchair accessible. Disabled toilets, wheelchair/scooter hire, discounted tickets. Assistance dogs welcome.

Facilities: Toilets, baby changing areas, play areas, picnic areas, restaurant, kiosks, gift shop and parking.

For the satnav: OX18 4JP

3. Cotswold Falconry Centre

Bird of prey at the Cotswolds Falconry Centre

Housing over 150 birds of prey, Cotswolds Falconry Centre demonstrate birds in flight in many specialist shows and events. Book a course to experience these magnificent creatures for yourself or explore the owl woods, where the birds can be seen in their natural habitat. A different and memorable activity, you can meet eagles, owls, hawks, falcons and vultures during your visit.

Opening times: Open from 10.30am - falconry displays at 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3pm and 4.30pm during the summer.

Prices: Adults £10, concessions £7.50, children £5, family tickets £25.

Dog friendly?: Dogs are not permitted at this attraction.

Accessibility: Fully wheelchair accessible. 

Facilities: Toilets, snacks and ice creams available, parking.

For the satnav: GL56 9AB

4. Cotswolds Motor Museum

Classic cars at the Cotswolds Motor Museum in Bourton-on-the-Water

Journey through the 20th century of motoring in one of Britain’s prettiest villages, Bourton-on-the-Water. Home to the legendary Brum, Cotswolds Motoring Museum offers a tour around vintage car collections, motorcycles, and many other intriguing motoring assortments. A remarkable day out for the whole family, the entire history of 20th century motoring is covered at this comprehensive museum, which regular features special exhibitions.

Opening times: Open from 10am-6pm - last admission 5.30pm.

Prices: Adults £6, children £4.25, family tickets £18.75. Group tickets available.

Dog friendly?: Dogs are not permitted at this attraction.

Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible. 

Facilities: Toilets, gift shop. Parking and refreshments available within walking distance throughout Bourton-on-the-Water.

For the satnav: GL54 2BY

5. Cotswolds Farm Park

Adam Henson's Cotswolds Farm Park in the Cotswolds

Owned by one of the faces of BBC’s Countryfile, Adam Henson, Cotswolds Farm Park brings farming to life introducing youngsters to goats, pigs, sheep and many other breeds of animals. Discover live lambing shows, milking demonstrations and pony rides, all deep within the heart of the Cotswolds. This is a great day out for big kids and little kids alike, thanks to its array of animals, demonstrations and activities.

Opening times: Open from February 10th-December 24th, 10.30am-5pm.

Prices: Adults £14, children (age 4-15) £12.50, seniors £12.25, toddlers (age 2-3) £8.50, under-2s free.

Dog friendly?: Dogs are not permitted at this attraction.

Accessibility: Indoor barns, visitor centre and cafe are wheelchair accessible. Those using manual wheelchairs may struggle in other areas of the park.

Facilities: Toilets, baby changing area, gift shop, cafe, restaurant, play area, parking.

For the satnav: GL54 5UG.

6. Broadway Tower

Broadway Tower, iconic folly tower in Broadway in the Cotswolds

Just outside of the village of Broadway sits Broadway Tower, one of Britain’s most recognised icons. Displaying history from William Morris, exhibitions from the Cold War and a viewpoint over a woodland of Red Deer, Broadway Tower is great for looking out upon the rolling hills of the Cotswolds before heading to the nearby café for lunch. This unique folly tower is a must-see during your Cotswolds visit, if only for the brilliant photo opportunities and surrounding views.

Opening times: Open from 10am-5pm.

Prices: Adults £5, children £3, concessions £4.50, under-6s free, family tickets £14.

Dog friendly?: Dogs are not permitted at this attraction.

Accessibility: There is no disabled access.

Facilities: Toilets, cafe, shop and parking.

For the satnav: WR12 7LB.

7. Dragonfly Maze

Dragonfly Maze, an attraction in Bourton on the Water, Cotswolds

Can you make your way through the maze and solve the puzzles? The Dragonfly Maze does exactly what it says on the tin! Located in Bourton-on-the-Water, this hedge maze offers plenty of brainteasers to get those cogs working, in order to seek the hiding place of the Dragonfly. A fun activity for the family, the maze is trickier than it looks!

Opening times: Open from 10.30am-4pm.

Prices: £2 per person

Dog friendly?: Dogs are not permitted at this attraction.

Accessibility: Please enquire.

Facilities: Amenities in surrounding Bourton-on-the-Water (parking, cafes etc). Toilets next door.

For the satnav: GL54 2EE.

8. Birdland

Penguins at Birdland in Bourton on the Water, Cotswolds

For a fantastic day of family fun, visit one of the UK’s biggest bird gardens, discovering the natural setting of river, water gardens and woodland. Birdland is inhabited by over 500 birds including pelicans, flamingos, penguins, parrots and owls. Come here for a relaxing and informative day. Also set in the heart of Bourton-on-the-Water, you can come and go as you wish to this fun-packed park throughout the day to enjoy the surrounding village.

Opening times: Easter-October: open from 10am-5pm, November-March: open from 10am-4pm

Prices: Adults £9.95, seniors/students £8.95, children £6.95, under 3s free.

Dog friendly?: Dogs are welcome throughout the attraction.

Accessibility: Fully wheelchair accessible.

Facilities: Toilets, baby changing, play area, picnic areas, cafe and gift shop. Pay and display parking located nearby.

For the satnav: GL54 2BN.

9. Far Peak Climbing

Girl climbing on a wall at Far Peak Climbing, Northleach, Cotswolds

Practice your upper body strength in this test of agility and stamina. Far Peak Climbing in Northleach offers indoor climbing facilities as well as outdoor archery, tree climbing and adventure courses. It's the perfect rainy day activity and a great way for the kids to let off some steam. This beautiful site spans 25 acres and is also connected to some of the Cotswolds' finest walking trails.

Opening times: Opening times vary daily - check website for full details. Open longer during the school holidays.

Prices: Adult day-pass £9.50, under 18s day-pass £6, concessions day-pass £7.

Dog friendly?: Dogs are not permitted at the attraction.

Facilities: Cafe, toilets and parking.

For the satnav: GL54 3AP.

10. Cotswold Water Park

Duck in a lake at the Cotswolds Water Park

Set within the rural countryside of Wiltshire and stretching over 150 lakes, the Cotswold Water Park is awash with photographic opportunities, as well as birdwatching, walking trails and plenty of watersports. Spanning over 40 miles, this popular attraction offers plenty to do for all ages! Among the things to do available are walking, cycling, sailing and kayaking, while the area is also packed with stunning nature reserves where you can soak up the scenery.

Opening times: Always open.

Prices: Free to enter, prices for activities vary.

Dog friendly?: Dogs are welcome at the attraction.

Accessibility: Varies throughout the park - see website for full details.

Facilities: Parking at various sites. Gateway Information Centre has a cafe, tourist information, toilets, a shop and parking.

For the satnav: GL7 5TL (visitor centre).

Holidays in the Cotswolds

These are just a selection of some of the fantastic attractions on offer in the Cotswolds, ready to add to your Cotswolds holiday itinerary. Take a look at our holiday cottages in the Cotswolds to make the most of your getaway!

Posted by Hannah on 17th June 2018