10 Fun Things to do with Kids in the Cotswolds

Ten Fun Things to do in the Cotswolds with Kids

The Cotswolds is high on so many families’ list of places to visit, as there are so many fun things to do in the Cotswolds with kids of all ages.

With beautiful towns full of pretty chocolate box houses in honey-coloured stones, the Cotswolds is quite simply the quintessential British experience.

The Cotswolds stretches over 6 counties, from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, now to Bath in Somerset in the south. Pretty rivers pass through towns and villages, each surrounded by wild hedgerows, woodland and rolling hills. There are so many places to go enjoy nature with kids. And after a day or a few hours of enjoying the splendid outdoors, tea rooms and country pubs welcome you in for a cosy Cotswold experience.

Cotswolds Motoring Museum

The Old Mill, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BY.

The Museum has seven galleries - overflowing with vintage and classic cars, caravans, precarious-looking motorcycles, original enamel signs, a unique toy collection and an intriguing array of motoring curiosities - and is even home to BBC TV’s Brum! It provides a nostalgic journey through history, complete with sounds, smells and stories from the eras. For a vintage family day out, all roads lead to the Cotswold Motoring Museum.

South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre

Lake 12, Spine Road, South Cerney, Cirencester, GL7 5TL.

Based in the Cotswold Water Park between Cirencester and Swindon, the South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre provides excellent facilities and resources by a 47-acre lake of crystal clear water and the River Churn, to promote outdoor learning and low-cost outdoor activities for young people.

The centre provides a range of progressive activities, events and expeditions for Youth Groups, School Groups and College groups on a daily or residential basis, and also nationally recognised courses for individuals, adults and corporate groups, a work placement programme, a volunteer scheme and instructor courses.

Cotswold Water Park
Combe Mill

Combe, Blenheim Palace Sawmill, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 8ET.

Combe Mill was once the sawmill of Blenheim Estate and also the workshop and blacksmiths’ forge. Now, run by friendly and knowledgeable volunteers, the mill offers a charming glimpse into a bygone age.

Its rare Thomas Piggott beam engine and waterwheel have been preserved and can be seen in action (on steam days) driving original woodworking machinery via line shafting and belts.

The upstairs pattern shop also houses collections of various trade and craftsmen’s tools which are used for demonstrations.  A working collection of historic tower clocks is also here.

In the riverside picnic area, visitors can enjoy refreshments and the tranquillity of the River Evenlode.

Combe Mill
The Model Village

The Old New Inn, High Street, Bourton on the Water, GL54 2AF. 

The Model Village in Bourton on the Water is the only grade II listed model village in the country.

Built of Cotswold stone it is a one-ninth scale model of the actual village, complete with a model village within the model village! 

The River Windrush flows under Bourton's famous bridges providing a beautiful backdrop to the miniature beeches, cherries, and chestnut trees. You'll also hear music in the tiny model church and can wander the lanes peering into all the different buildings. 

The Model Village
Birdland Park and Gardens

Rissington Road, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BN.

Birdland Park and Gardens, in Bourton-on-the-Water, is home to one of the largest collections of exotic birds in the UK.

Located in the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds, the park’s magical combination of woodland, riverside and gardens makes it the perfect day out.

Meet over 500 birds including birds of prey, large cassowary, and rare species like the Waldrapp ibis. Spot flamingos, pelicans, cranes, and waterfowl that live in our riverside habitats with many more inhabiting over 50 aviaries.

Birdland
Westonbirt Arboretum

Westonbirt, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8QS.

Westonbirt Arboretum is a remarkable place for families to enjoy and learn about trees. Borne of a Victorian passion for plant collecting, around 15,000 trees from all over the globe now offer the perfect setting to escape, relax or have an adventure…

Created by Victorian entrepreneur Robert Holford, its 240 hectares (600 acres) were planted during an exciting period of plant hunting, when trees and shrubs from all over the globe were introduced to Britain.

Unlike other arboretums, the landscape here was laid out aesthetically rather than in a botanical order, meaning Westonbirt Arboretum is truly one of the most beautiful tree gardens to be found anywhere in the world.

Westonbirt Arboretum
Blenheim Palace

Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1UL.

A visit to Blenheim Palace offers an unforgettable experience. It’s a chance to share the splendours of Baroque architecture designed in the 1700s by Vanbrugh and Hawksmoor, to wonder at the collections of art, tapestry and antiques, and to explore the Park and Gardens and discover landscapes crafted by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown to form magnificent vistas of English countryside.

If you are visiting Blenheim Palace for the first time, we have 300 years of history and 2000 acres of beautiful landscapes for you to discover. In just a single day, you can enjoy guided tours of the Palace, home to the Dukes of Marlborough and the greatest Briton, Sir Winston Churchill. You will find exhibits that tell the story of their lives, and the lives of those who have run the Palace and Estate for three centuries, through diaries, artefacts, photographs, and film.

Woodchester Park National Trust

Nympsfield, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL10 3TS.

The tranquil wooded valley at Woodchester Park contains a 'lost landscape' with remains of an 18th- and 19th-century landscape park with a chain of five lakes. Park Mill Pond is the last of these lakes and features a man-made island that is now a heronry. Large carp can also be seen in the waters.

Secreted away in the surrounding woodland, you'll find an old Boat House, built in the early 19th century. It was restored in 1998 and bats now roost in the roof space, emerging at dusk to hunt over the lake. The wood also hides a disused quarry, which was in use until the early 1900s and provided stone for the Woodchester Estate.

There’s a play trail and several waymarked walks which lead through picturesque scenery and pass an unfinished Victorian mansion (not National Trust).

Woodchester Park
Corinium Museum

Park Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2BX.

The Corinium Museum is located at the heart of Cirencester, the ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’. Our principal collection consists of the highly significant finds from the Roman town of Corinium. However, the museum today is much more than that, taking you on a journey through time and charting the development of the Cotswolds from its prehistoric landscape to the modern day.

Explore the light and modern galleries that offer you an exceptional interactive experience.

Discover thousands of objects on display, from Prehistoric tools, Roman mosaics, Anglo Saxon grave goods to Medieval sculpture! Every object has a story to tell.

In 2019 our 'Stone Age to Corinium' project will transform our prehistory gallery and garden. Please note these areas will not be accessible during this work, see our website for details.

The museum is renowned for its learning provision, with an education centre and temporary exhibition space that ensure a vibrant, changing programme of events and activities for everyone to enjoy, please see our website for more details. Fully accessible with a Cafe attached. A gift shop and the Cirencester Visitor Information Centre are on site.

Cotswold Water Park

Spine Road, South Cerney, Gloucestershire, GL7 5TL.

140 Lakes and wetlands covering 40 square miles, south of Cirencester. All outdoor needs satisfied - nature reserves, country parks, water sports, cycling, fishing, riding, caravanning, and camping.

The Cotswold Water Park has much to offer, from a beautiful lakeside stroll to lunch in a Cotswold village pub; from an exhilarating day of water sports to a tranquil morning of birdwatching.

Cotswold Water Park