Our top picks for fun family days out and activities to enjoy with the kids. From farm shops and toy museums to miniature villages and wildlife walks. Make sure you remember all of the things from our quick checklist too to ensure a perfectly smooth day for kids and parents a like!

1. Safari at Cotswold Wildlife Park…

Near the beautiful town of Burford, lies the Cotswold Wildlife Park. Here you can see eye to eye with a fantastic collection of animals big and small, inhabiting the 160 acres of landscaped parkland. From red panda’s to lions and giraffes.  There are even options for feeding which kids obviously love. Two brilliant playgrounds and a train that tours the grounds tops off this top day out. Pack a picnic in the if you’re with us for a summer holiday, sourced from one of the many farm shops en route. It’s pet friendly too but dogs must stay on leads and cannot be taken to some areas of the park.

2. Watersports in the Cotswold Water Park…

If your kids fancy trying some activities on the water they will be spoilt for choice. From a days waterskiing or ringo riding to sailing lessons or paddle boarding adventures. Courses are available for individuals and groups and most of these lakes have great value restaurant’s and bars too. Check out our ‘Ultimate Guide to the Cotswolds’ for details of the best lakes.

3. Picnics with the kids in the Cotswolds…

Fill your basket with the best of the many foods and drinks on offer at nearby farmers markets, deli’s and farm shops. There a lots of hidden spots around your private 100 acre lake or in the Cotwold hills. Coaley Peak Picnic Site  in the Stroud valleys offers panoramic views over the Severn Vale and the picnic tables and car parking makes this super convenient with kids.

4. Roman adventures…

The attractive village of Chedworth is a lovely day out. All the family can learn about Roman life at the villa – from their newly invented under floor heating to mosaics and bathhouses. Surrounding this top attraction is rolling Cotswold landscape with some great walks too.

5. Get your hands dirty at the nearby Butts Farm…

This farm of rare and traditional breeds will be sure to excite the kids. They can even help milk a goat, feed the pigs or give baby goats their bottles. At the weekend tractor and trailer safaris can be enjoyed at 2pm. Before you leave pick up some of the lovely food on offer to enjoy that evening by the lake. Butts Farm is Just 10 minutes drive away – so no “Are we nearly there yets?”.

6. A family friendly Cotswold circus…

Throughout the summer the world class Gifford Circus holds shows in their sparkling vintage tent. Shows are always hilariously funny with live music, flying people and dancing horses to list a few highlights. Perfect for all the family.

7. Designer outlet shopping for rainy days…

Swindon Designer Outlet is housed in a beautifully renovated old Railway building and is one of the largest covered designer outlets in Europe. With big labels reduced by up to 60 per cent – make sure you don’t go too mad! There are plenty of options for lunch too and playgrounds if the kids aren’t that impressed! If you are coming from London or the South East this is a great stop en route to your log cabin holiday.

8. Exploring the Cotswolds on foot…

One of the most famous walks in the area is the easy mile long stroll between two of the area’s prettiest villages: Upper and Lower Slaughter. Perfect for children. Following the River Eye and open pastures you can look forward to a well deserved pub lunch or cream tea on arrival. Direction for the walk can be found here: Walking Route.

9. An excursion to the source of the Thames!

Our holidays are a great base for walking holidays in the UK. This walk is just over 4 miles so would be better for slightly older kids. Unless you fancy carrying them too! Taking you from your luxury getaway to the source of the great River Thames where it literally gurgles out of the ground. You can drive to within a few hundred metres of it at Kemble alternatively and walk from there. Amazing to think this is the same river than later flows through London.

10. Walks and cycles in the surrounding Cotswold Water Park…

There are lots of great circular walks that you can start and finish from your log cabin. The flat nature of the area is perfect for gentle days out that don’t require being a champ! A fold out map with these can be found in your cabin. Take a look at the walks on the Cotswold Water Park Trust’s webpage here: Walks in the CWP. As always with the Cotswolds there are some top pubs to be found en route.

11. Horseriding in the Cotswolds…

If your kids are hooked on horse riding and can’t bear to be without some riding for a few days there are loads of great places for them to saddle up. Lessons and guided hacks with body protectors, hats and boots provided can be arranged at the South Cerney Riding School or the Camp Riding Centre in stroud.

12. How is your head for heights?

A fun, adrenaline filled activity for all ages. The Head 4 Heights high ropes course is no more than 2 minutes down the road so is perfect if you want to keep everyone happy whilst avoiding time at the wheel on your precious few days away in the Cotswolds.

 13. Wild swimming and beyond…

Swimming in the lake is fantastic from June through to September. Colder months are more refreshing but equally lovely if that’s your thing. Jumping in between hot tub sessions certainly helps! If you fancy sticking to a pool though, check out the Cirencester Open Air Swimming Pool which is heated from May to September.

14. Everyone loves a duck race…

In case you are lucky enough to spend Christmas with your family at the lake, head to the quaint town of Bibury for their Boxing day duck race. The race raises thousands of pounds for charity and is a great day out for all ages.

15. Play gladiators…

Continue the Roman theme of your day out at Chedworth Roman Villa and head to the now grass covered but great condition Roman Ampitheatre in Cirencester. With a capacity for 8,000 spectators this English Heritage site is one of the best-preserved in Britain and kids will love charging around and ‘playing to the death’!. Just a short walk from the town centre, this is also free which is bonus!

16. Immerse the kids in the world famous Westonbirt arboretum…

The National Arboretum at Westonbirt is nature at it’s best. Sitauted just beyond the visit worthy town of Tetbury this 600 acre estate is spectacular in all seasons. It’s perfect for the kids to blow off steam and to follow self guided educational trails that really engage. There are also play areas to sweeten the deal. Kids go free from 21 July to 31 August which helps sweeten the deal for you too on your next family holiday.

17. The Cotswold’s most beautiful village…

Quaintly called the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’, this lovely village scene is best known for the clear water river, crisscrossed by stone bridges. There are endless tea rooms to enjoy and little shops to explore. It does get busy in the summer so head here out of season or early in the day if possible. There is a wonderful model village which the kids love. Birdland is another must here. Complete with emperor penguins, pelicans and flamingos, it’s the perfect choice for those with little ones. Cotswold Motor Museum in Bourton-on-the-Water and the Toy Museum in Stow-on-the-Wold are also highly recommended – particularly if the weather is not as perfect as the village itself.

18. For when you want to enjoy something a little less child friendly…

With lots of special days out for the kids you may feel like you now deserve a few moments of peace. Why not drop the kids of at the great soft play centre, Magicland, in Cirencester which is open 10am-6pm 7 days a week. They will love this so no hard feelings! Now, how about a balloon ride, a spa massage in your cabin or some moments of true bliss in the lakeside hot tub.

We haven’t even mentioned things to do at your own private lake yet…Most people find it hard enough to leave the luxury of their lakeside log cabin, steaming hot tub and private walks. From fishing and boating to nature trails or a special day on Friday Island. And for cosy days in the cabin there are board games, DVD’s and an eclectic mini library. Sorted. Check out our website and Family Holidays page for more… 

Packing checklist…

  • Suncream, hat and shades – yes it does get sunny her in the Cotswold’s!
  • Treats for the road – keep everyone happy with some healthy snacks along the way. Saving money on costly restaurants too. You will need lots of energy for ticking off all of the above.
  • TomTom – whatever navigational device you use make sure you have your destination plugged in before leaving. The Cotswolds has a knack of having ‘No Signal’ just when you might need it. Don’t forget to keep our postcode on hand too for when you want to race back to your secluded hot tub to finish the day off. GL7 6ED in case you want it now!

FIND OUT ABOUT OUR SPECIAL FAMILY HOLIDAYS

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