Seventeen Super Things to do in the Cotswolds this summer
The Cotswolds is looking wonderful in the summer sun and now is a great time to visit this wonderful Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Cotswolds boasts plenty to see and do for travellers and visitors from all over the World in the form of picturesque villages, stunning countryside and great events, places and attractions.
But the Cotswolds isn’t all views and chocolate box villages, it is also interesting, unique and somewhere for families, couples or larger groups to go for an exciting and action packed short break or a holiday.
Browse these pages inspiration when planning that trip and check out this list of 17 Super Things to do when you visit the Cotswolds:
1. Sun and Sand in the Cotswolds
Head to the water… hey, you didn’t think you could do that in the Cotswolds, did you? Well, you can. Head to the Cotswold Water Park, located near Cirencester, and try your hand at outdoors adventure and an abundance of fun activities based around the 40+ square miles of 150 lakes, one of the UK’s largest Nature Reserves in fact.
2. The Secret Garden
The award-winning Cowley Manor near Cheltenham is one of the most exciting hotels in the Cotswolds. The magnificent grounds house a beautiful secret garden, one where Lewis Carroll supposedly were inspired to write Alice in Wonderland, and with many exciting events lined up over the summer, it’s one not to miss.
3. A Cosy Afternoon Tea
Indulge and visit The Tea Set in Chipping Norton or Broadway, tea rooms about so much more than just tea. Although their speciality is beautifully presented and deliciously tempting afternoon teas, the tea room offers mouth-watering lunches and cakes as well.
4. Time for a pint of Hooky
Have a pint of beer after taking a tour of the Hook Norton Brewery – over 150 years of brewing history. This family owned business still distributes beer to neighbouring pubs in the village by traditional horse-drawn carriage. Tours run Monday-Friday but reservations are highly recommended.
5. When in Rome
Do as the Romans do… Chedworth Roman Villa transport visitors back to one of the grandest Roman villas in Britain. Rediscovered over 150 yeas ago, this now museum holds rare artifacts and findings that will leave you in awe. From mosaic floors to bathhouse rooms, exploring the villa and its beautiful vista views will take you to a different era.
6. The most Glamourous Circus
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to Giffords Circus, the best circus EVER… yes, we said it, EVER! Acrobats, horses, magical performances and more, this is a family-friendly event that tours throughout the Cotswolds and beyond all summer long. Get your ticket to see the most glamourous troupe of performers.
7. Cotswold Balloon Safaris
A unique experience among the clouds in the sky, Cotswold Balloon Safaris take guests up in a hot air balloon and tours the below towns and villages of the Cotswolds, leaving guests awe-inspired.
8. Stanway Fountain and Gardens
A beautiful example of a Jacobean manor house, Stanway House and Fountain, the tallest gravity fountain in the world, brings together history, architecture and nature in beautiful harmony. From a 14th century Tithe Barn to an 18th century water garden–home to the magnificent Stanway Fountain, Stanway is an experience that will take your breath away.
9. Do Feed the Birds
From birdwatchers to families, there is plenty to discover all year round at the truly wonderful Slimbridge Wetland Centre just south of Gloucester in the Cotswolds. Enjoy amazing wildlife up-close and with experiences to suit all ages offering access to a huge variety of wildlife, it is no surprise this is an award-winning day out!
10. Lido Fun in the Sun
With its heated 25m pool and toddler pool, slide and café, The Lido is an oasis in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. Whether you’re a serious swimmer clocking up the lengths in our early morning sessions or a family looking for an afternoon’s outdoor fun, The Lido has something for everyone.
11. Cool Old Stones
An ancient relic, The Rollright Stones consist of three major elements: The King’s Men stone circle, the Whispering Knights, and the King Stone. Take a step into the mystery and the wonder that is The Rollright Stones.
12. Fun in the Trees
Home to the country’s largest private collection of trees and shrubs, Batsford Arboretum is an intimate and romantic place to visit for couples and a super fun place to visit for families and larger groups. Beautiful all year round, of course, but summertime really is something very special.
13. Teeny, Tiny Cotswolds
When visiting the village of Bourton-on-the-Water, go to The Model Village where you experience the whole village in just one ninth of its actual size. The Model Village is comprised of buildings, gardens, miniature trees, and even a smaller version of the River Windrush!
14. Choo Choo
All aboard the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, a 25-mile roundtrip journey through the beautiful scenery of the Cotswolds. Starting at Laverton, this epic train ride takes passengers pass towns like Toddington, Didbrook, Gotherington, and others. You will see Hayles Abbey, train workshops, the Vale of Evesham and so many other delights along the way.
15. A Feast and a Song
Family fun, live music and top chefs make up The Big Feastival! An annual summer event at Alex James’ Farm in Cotswolds, created and dreamt up by Alex James and Jamie Oliver. So, grab some good grub, dance to a variety of musical genres and participate in fun filled activities and glamping Cotswolds Style.
16. Lovely Lavender
All lavender, all the time. Home to the finest English lavender, Cotswold Lavender is rows on rows of beautiful purple lavender. In the shop, visitors can purchase a variety of lavender products including bath and shower, skincare, oils, and well-being items, and in the café a delicious scone or ice cream can be enjoyed.
17. A Very Special Garden
Step into nature’s party at the Rococo Garden in Painswick. Once a garden to entertain Benjamin Hyett’s guests, the garden is now home to beautifully-framed views, a variety of flora, and a woodland perfect for an afternoon stroll. Be sure to check out their monthly events.