From sipping some of the region’s finest spirits to enjoying a hearty meal in a centuries-old pub, the Cotswolds are full of exciting and exciting ways to spend your time.
The Cotswolds is an idyllic region filled with more history than your average museum and where Mother Nature’s beauty is on full display. Characterized by honey-coloured stone architecture and rolling green fields, the Cotswolds are made up of several towns and villages just waiting to be explored.
If you’re unsure how to spend your time in this picturesque region, which has also been classified as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, we’ve put together a guide with something for everyone. Whether you fancy a nature walk on one of the many hiking trails or admiring your favorite animals, the Cotswolds is the best place to enjoy the great outdoors.
Cotswold Water Park is that place to go when you want to pack as many activities as you can into just one day. Cotswold Water Park is also recognized as the largest marl lake system in the UK with 180 lakes, making it one of the best places to observe nature in all its glory. From archery to horseback riding and from swimming to bird watching, this park has something for everyone and allows you to enjoy all the fun this amazing destination has to offer.
Another day, another park and gardens to explore. Located in the heart of the Cotswolds on the edge of the small, charming village of Somerford Keynes, the Cotswold Sculpture Park is an art lover’s dream. Stroll around the park and admire more than 170 sculptures created by both international and local artists, surrounded by 10 acres of stunning green and lush bushland. The good news? If you love an individual piece so much, you can buy it and take it home with you! If that’s not the ultimate souvenir, we don’t know what is.
3. Dig into a hearty meal at a centuries-old pub
Deciding where to eat can be difficult, especially when there is no shortage of great pubs in the Cotswolds. Regardless of where you choose to spend lunch or dinner, each pub has its own distinctive twist on all your favorite meals, many of which focus on using fresh, local produce. But it doesn’t just stop at the food. There are so many Cotswold pubs that are dripping in stylish decor, timeless charm and classic English architecture, including The Churchill Arms at Paxford and The Bell Inn at Langford.
4. Cycle in the endless, green landscape on one of the many cycle routes
Try to find a place better for cycling than the Cotswolds. We are waiting. The Cotswolds are made up of hundreds of miles of nature parkland, vast countryside and breathtaking scenery, making it a perfect place for either a challenging cycle ride or a lazy afternoon cycle ride. The terrain does not offer many hills, but is not completely flat either, so you can enjoy all the beauty as you pass through charming villages and rolling fields. With routes that take you a few hours or a full day, you can make the most of your time in the Cotswolds by bike.
Located in the stunning town of Burford, Cotswold Wildlife Park is set in more than 160 hectares of natural parkland, divided into four sections for an action-packed day out for kids and kids at heart alike. With sculpture gardens, a Victorian manor house, picnic areas and hundreds of animals including penguins, lemurs and sloths, this park is certainly not short of things to do or creatures to see. Whether you want to head over to the Amur Leopard enclosure and get up close and personal with the world’s most endangered big cat species or spend a few hours in the Tropical House, The Cotswold Wildlife Park delivers the fun. Big time.
If you’re looking for something guaranteed to kick your holiday up a notch, then having fun at Cotswold Country Park & Beach should be high on your priority list. Boasting the largest inland paddling beach in the UK, this attraction offers a variety of water sports such as kayaking as well as mini golf and go-karts that are sure to keep you entertained throughout the day. Whether you want to catch some sun in front of a beautiful swimming lagoon or take a ride on the ‘Aquaventure’ course, this fun destination is not to be missed.
Fresh from their Traveller’s Choice Award win given to them by Tripadvisor, Cotswolds Distillery first opened in 2007, offering visitors the chance to sip their range of world-class single malt whiskies, gins and liqueurs. With a range of activities to take part in, including a gin and whiskey blending masterclass or a tour and tasting session, this must-see is the first full-scale distillery in this picturesque region. Focused on quality and taste, this adults-only attraction is sure to have you sampling the best of the Cotswolds.
8. Spend a day in Moreton-in-Marsh
While there are many charming Cotswold villages worth a visit, Moreton-in-Marsh is perhaps the finest of them all. You only have to stroll down the High Street and take in the Jacobean and Georgian facades to see it. This town is not only steeped in ancient history but also in historical literature with various locations in the village said to be the inspiration behind famous landmarks in JRR Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Whether a visit to Curfew Tower is on the agenda or the beautiful structure of St. David’s Church is where you want to spend an hour or so, there is something for everyone in this idyllic town.