One of the best issues to do within the Cotswolds with children

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There are few locations in England which might be prettier than the Cotswolds – however whilst you absorb these views of honey colored cottages, historical stone bridges and rolling inexperienced hills, there’s a complete string of issues to do within the Cotswolds with children too.

Street lined with honey coloured stone cottages under a blue sky in the Gloucestershire village of Icomb in the Cotswolds - and my tips for the best things to do in the Cotswolds with kids
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Scattered throughout a number of counties, largely Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, the Cotswolds is the most important Space of Excellent Pure Magnificence in England so that you’re spoiled for alternative in relation to child-friendly locations to go to.

One of many best methods to discover is to base your self in a single spot and journey from there to among the completely different villages, in addition to the varied household points of interest within the Cotswolds.

Bourton-on-the-Water is attractive, with a shallow river working by means of the center of the village, whereas Higher and Decrease Slaughter, Fort Combe and Moreton-in-Marsh are among the different hottest choices – this does imply they’ll get busy in excessive season, so another choice is to remain in a close-by metropolis.

Cheltenham is a superb alternative, lower than half an hour from Bourton-on-the-Water, but in addition contemplate Tub and Oxford – house to the fabulous Story Museum and Museum of Pure Historical past, in addition to having a lot for Harry Potter followers.

For extra issues to do in Tub with children, try my choose of the most effective

Contents – click on to leap to a bit

Blenheim Palace

The one non-royal nation home in all of England to carry the title of palace, Blenheim Palace at Woodstock within the Oxfordshire countryside, is likely one of the most spectacular stately properties to go to.

Well-known for being the birthplace and residential of wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, it’s additionally an extremely child-friendly day trip within the Cotswolds, together with a terrific audio tour of the grand palace itself.

Within the 2,000-acre property, you’ll discover immersive household exhibitions on the palace’s historical past, in addition to sprawling gardens that characteristic a kids’s play space, a two-mile hedge maze, a miniature practice, butterfly home and pony path for little ones, to not point out particular occasions all year long.

Go to within the run-up to Christmas, and there’s an illuminated path to comply with as properly.

Exterior of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, seen across a statue in the gardens under a blue sky - one of the best day trips from London with kids

Sudeley Fort, Gloucestershire

Stunning Sudeley Fort is finest recognized for its hyperlinks to Queen Katherine Parr, the final spouse of Henry VIII – the one who ‘survived’ within the rhyme. Her house and her remaining resting place, you possibly can nonetheless see her tomb within the fifteenth century church, though Sudeley’s historical past goes again round 1,000 years.

It’s not solely the Tudors who performed a component within the citadel’s historical past: Richard III had hyperlinks to Sudeley, whereas Charles I’s nephew used it as a royalist base in the course of the Civil Struggle. There’s an exhibition to introduce you to among the historic highlights (and lowlights!) with all the things from royal love letters to a Roman stone god, plus a guide of hours relationship from earlier than the Black Loss of life.

Add in common occasions and actions, the citadel rooms to discover, the gardens, and the gathering of pheasants, and it’s a terrific day trip.

As a remaining bonus for youths, you possibly can consider you’re inhabiting (and defending) your personal citadel within the journey playground, with a fort at its coronary heart, towers to look out from, bridges, slides, a climbing wall, and plenty of hidey gap. There’s additionally a zipper wire, impediment course and journey path as an added bonus.

Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire

This fascinating historic city is definitely proper on the sting of the Cotswolds however it’s such a terrific place for households to go to, that I’ve included it as one other nice base to discover.

Finest recognized for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare, you’ll discover loads of points of interest linked to the well-known playwright as you discover.

Go to the home that Shakespeare grew up in, the place you’ll be greeted by tour guides in genuine Tudor costume who deliver the expertise alive and are nice at partaking children of all ages

The historic timbered house that is William Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon - a fascinating day out from London with kids

There’s additionally a hop-on hop-off bus tour of Stratford-upon-Avon, which hyperlinks a number of of the city’s highlights, or you might expertise a Tudor lesson in Shakespeare’s schoolroom, the place the younger William was educated.

Mary Arden’s farm – the house of Shakespeare’s mom – is one other enjoyable family-friendly attraction, with its many cattle, individuals wearing genuine Tudor outfits and conventional crafts and actions which children can attempt for themselves, together with archery and falconry.

Away from the city’s Shakespeare connection, you possibly can see the mechanical artwork on the uncommon MAD museum, spend a while at Stratford’s Butterfly Farm and take a soothing boat journey alongside the River Avon.

Broadway Tower

One of many quirkiest sights in the entire of the Cotswolds, Broadway Tower sits on the border of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire – and on the second highest level of the Cotswolds escarpment.

Which implies you get some unbelievable views throughout the countryside from the highest (as much as 16 counties and 62 miles on a transparent day).

The Georgian folly reopened in 2022 after a significant restoration, with the rooms embellished as they may have been again within the 18th century when the Earl of Coventry had the tower constructed as a present for his spouse.

View of Broadway Tower against a blue sky - the Georgian folly has some of the best views if you're visiting the Cotswolds with kids

In addition to the intricate new furnishings, there’s a terrific audio information to share a few of its uncommon historical past (the tower was house to a printing press, a favorite of the Pre-Raphaelite painters and artist William Morris used to take baths on the roof, only for starters). Children may design their very own folly and ornamental wallpaper, among the many interactive enjoyable.

With 60 steps and a windy rooftop, it’s not one to attempt when you’re within the Cotswolds with toddlers, however a enjoyable cease with older children. The positioning is house to a nuclear bunker, with plans to open this extra to the general public, a straightforward round stroll across the tower and a four-mile hike alongside a part of the Cotswolds Means, linking Broadway village and the tower.

Get a peek inside Broadway Tower in my quick video

Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park

A enjoyable day trip within the Cotswolds for youths and adults alike, the Cotswold Farm Park is ideal to work together carefully with all types of animals.

Oowned by Countryfile presenter Adam Henson, the farm park was opened by Adam’s father within the Seventies as the primary of its sort on this planet.

See newly hatched chicks and lovely child bunnies proper as much as fairly rambunctious goats and big Highland cattle, and you’ll feed and pet a lot of the farmyard animals – don’t overlook to purchase some animal feed on the way in which in.

In addition to the various animals, you’ll discover loads of different enjoyable actions for youths of all ages, together with an indoor play barn, outside play areas, farm safari, maze, big bounce pillows plus the muddy kitchen for little ones to get their palms soiled.

Grey rabbit sitting on straw in a hutch - the best days out in the Cotswolds with kids

Cotswolds Wildlife Park

One other of the most effective issues to do within the Cotswolds with children who love animals is a go to to the Cotswolds Wildlife Park.

Set inside 120 acres of gorgeous parkland and gardens, the big wildlife park has over 260 completely different animal species, together with lions, zebra, giraffe, rhinos, lemurs and extra.

The spacious, spread-out enclosures really feel extra like a strolling safari park than a zoo, and help you get nearer to the wildlife than you’ll elsewhere.

Children can even you’ll want to love the farmyard space, the place they’ll feed and contact the animals, the outside journey playground and the mini railway.

Fairytale Farm, Chipping Norton

The Fairytale Farm is a novel farm park that mixes traditional fairytales, animals and journey play to create the most effective points of interest within the Cotswolds for younger kids.

The park is cut up into six completely different zones, together with the Enchanted Stroll for a fairytale sensory expertise, Alfie and Pals the place you possibly can meet the farmyard animals and Huff and Puff for enjoyable journey play.

The format of all the farm park was additionally designed with disabled kids in thoughts, making it one of the crucial accessible and inclusive kid-friendly points of interest within the Cotswolds.

Two crocodiles in a zoo, one with its jaws open - Crocodiles of the World is one of the best things to do in the Cotswolds with kids, a family-friendly animal attraction with a difference

Crocodiles of the World

Older kids who fancy one thing somewhat extra adventurous on their days out will love a go to to Crocodiles of the World. The primary and solely one in all its sort within the UK, this Cotswolds zoo is house to 130 crocodiles and alligators from 15 world species.

The underwater viewing areas, animal encounter classes and dwell feeds will allow you to get nearer to among the world’s most feared predators than you’ve ever been earlier than.

The zoo can also be house to a number of different species, together with meerkats, otters, big tortoises and even a uncommon Komodo dragon.

The Mannequin Village, Bourton-on-the-Water

Who doesn’t need to really feel like an enormous wandering down the miniature streets of Bourton-on-the-Water’s mannequin village.

Courting again to the Thirties, the Grade II listed mannequin village is a one-ninth scale mannequin of the charming Cotswolds village through which it sits. There’s even a mannequin village throughout the mannequin village!

Peer into the home windows of the tiny outlets and buildings to see miniature shows, together with a singing choir within the church. Plus don’t miss the miniature variations of Bourton’s well-known bridges over the River Windrush.

In the event you’re planning a day trip from London to the Cotswolds, you possibly can be part of a tour from London to the Cotswolds, though these are higher with older kids because it’s a protracted day exploring.

The village of Bourton-on-the-Water in the Gloucestershire, with buildings seen by a stone bridge over the River Windrush - with several family attractions nearby, this is a great base if you're looking for things to do in the Cotswolds with kids

Birdland Park & Gardens, Bourton-on-the-Water

Additionally positioned in Bourton-on-the-Water, just some minutes stroll from the mannequin village, is the thrilling Birdland Park and Gardens.

The big chicken life centre has over 500 birds to see, together with flamingos, pelicans, penguins, cranes and storks. You’ll be able to even get hands-on with among the birds within the park’s encounters space.

Dinosaur lovers can even love the Jurassic Journey exhibition, which takes a have a look at the direct ancestors of the park’s feathered residents. Children will be capable to uncover life-size dinosaurs hidden amongst the greenery and timber, and seek for prehistoric fossils alongside the path.

The Dragonfly Maze, Bourton-on-the-Water

Proper subsequent door to Birdland, you’ll discover Bourton’s Dragonfly Maze. Not your conventional hedge maze, this one has an thrilling twist which is bound to maintain little ones entertained. 

Reasonably than discovering your method out of the maze, you’ll want to trace down the 14 hidden clues with a purpose to attain the golden Dragonfly within the centre. 

The maze ought to solely take you round 20-Half-hour to finish, so makes a enjoyable exercise so as to add alongside the opposite family-friendly points of interest in Bourton-on-the-Water.

Historic buildings lining the streets of Cirencester, Gloucestershire - the Corinium museum here, with its Roman history, is one of my top things to do in the Cotswolds with kids

Corinium Museum

Step again in time to the historic Cotswolds on the Corinium Museum, positioned in Cirencester – the city additionally payments itself because the ‘coronary heart of the Cotswolds’. The award-winning museum is house to one of many largest collections of British-Roman artefacts.

A lot of the artefacts had been discovered within the native space within the Roman city of Corinium Dobunnorum (now Cirencester), one in all Roman Britain’s largest cities.

The museum’s superb collections are fascinating for all ages, plus there are some nice immersive exhibitions to interact children together with a kids’s treasure path, play space and particular interactive occasions.

For extra Roman locations within the UK to go to with children, try my prime picks

The Cotswold Nation Park and Seashore

In the event you’re visiting the Cotswolds with children in the course of the heat summer season months, Cotswold Nation Park and Seashore is unmissable.

The sequence of freshwater lakes are house to sandy inland seashores, a swimming lagoon, quite a few watersports and the tremendous enjoyable aquaventure inflatable waterpark. 

Within the surrounding parkland, you’ll additionally discover some pretty nation walks, pedal carts, a high-ropes course and mini golf, so put aside a complete day (and you continue to gained’t need to go away).

Greet station on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Heritage Steam Railway- a fun day out in the Cotswolds with kids

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, Toddington

In the event you’re fed up of driving round winding nation lanes, discover the gorgeous Cotswolds countryside on a soothing family-friendly day trip on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire steam railway.

The 28-mile spherical journey on the volunteer-run heritage railway travels between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway to see among the space’s most spectacular surroundings and prettiest villages.

Not solely will children love using on a traditional steam practice, however the railway additionally has loads of actions to maintain youthful ones entertained, together with puzzle books, jigsaw puzzles and particular seasonal occasions.

For extra concepts of issues to do in Cheltenham with children, try my prime picks

*first printed 2021, up to date 2022*


The best things to do in the Cotswolds with kids - family days out, animal attractions, and one of England's great palaces are among my pick of the best days out with kids in the Cotswolds, with ideas from across Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and more.

Disclosure: This put up comprises affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I could obtain a small fee

Broadway Tower copyright MummyTravels, all different photos courtesy of Depositphotos



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