Spend an afternoon exploring the enchanting woodlands and lakes at Woodchester Park. Followed by some much deserved hot chocolate and baked treats at Jolly Nice. Whatever the season we think this would make a lovely day out in the Cotswold’s for romantic getaways or family holidays.
After a leisurely breakfast in your cosy log cabin, drive 35 minutes through the beautiful Cotswold hills to this National Trust property. We have to admit we got a little lost but the locals we asked quickly pointed us back on track! Feeling energetic we took on the clearly way marked 7-mile valley walk that led us through old English woodland valleys, past the Victorian gothic mansion and around the chain of five lakes. If you’re with the family or haven’t got as much time there are shorter walks of 1.7 miles through woodland and a 3.5 mile boathouse walk. This ‘lost landscape’ from an 18th- and 19th-century parkland estate also includes a heronry on one of the islands, large carp in the clear waters and a magical boathouse that evokes old-fashioned family scenes of Victorian England.
The property is open to dogs too and is a great dog-friendly day out with walking on and off the lead depending on where sheep and cattle are being grazed. If you’re on a family day out, follow the blue markers from the car park to the 3km of play trail which includes bridges and beams, a see-saw and swings, musical logs, hopscotch, a great zip wire and climbing logs. Finally, if you’re here on a couples holiday perhaps bring a picnic rug, choose a spot – from grasslands with lake views to secluded woods and clearings, and enjoy a delicious picnic with some delicacies picked up from the Jolly Good farm shop en route.
On the way back we discovered this brilliant find – Jolly Nice. A roadside haven for local Cotswold delicacies – some ready to eat, some for taking home. Grab some organic veg from Duchy Home Farm, Organic Dairy produce from Woefuldane Organic Dairy (a few miles up the road), delicious bread baked by a local artisan baker and locally reared rare breed meat. There are also some ice creams which we will definitely be heading back for in summer months. It may take a while to try every flavour on the menu though. There’s a stylish yurt with a wood fire from which you can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a sweet treat after your day exploring the Stroud valleys.
Find out more on the National Trust page here: Woodchester Park. Parking is free for National Trust members or £3 if not. So all in all a very cheap day out.