Top 10 FREE things to do with kids in The Cotswolds (& locally)
Top 10 FREE things to do with the kids in the Cotswolds (& locally)
We all like to have happy, entertained and exhausted children don’t we? When we can do this for free then all the better. The following few suggestions of free things to do with kids in The Cotswolds come from our guidebook and have proved very popular with families staying with us. We hope that they prove a hit with you too:
Pittville Park is a large ornamental park close to the centre of Cheltenham town. The park stretches around two large lakes either side of the Evesham Road. The Western Park comprises a figure of 8 footpath around a duck and swan lake with a beautifully crafted bridge. On the northern edge of this part of the park is a pitch and putt while along the southern edge you will find adventure climbing apparatus, tyre swings, climbing nets and stepping stones for children to clamber over. From the boat house you can rent a boat and go paddling on the lake. At this end of the park you will also find a tunnel into the Eastern Park. Here you will find a brand new refurbished play area complete with pirate ship and menagerie. Pittville Park has not one, but three cafes where parents can get a delicious coffee, and children the mandatory ice cream. Pitville Park is surely one of the best things to do with kids in the cotswolds!
This one is a major hit with our family and we know that it will be for you too. Drop the car off at the car park at Ewepen Buildings and follow the footpath along the wall, keeping it to your left. You will cross the old carriageway to the manor and then take a left through the woods where you will find swings, cabins, climbing frames, a love seat and a troll’s house. Depending upon the season you will see bluebells, snowdrops or at Halloween, witches and bats in the trees! Leaving the woods you skirt the grounds of the manor and arrive in Sherborne and the excellent village shop. This is where the trip stops being free but lunch will be delicious and the clientele always friendly. The home made cakes are wonderful. Families with smaller children will want to return the way that they came but the walk along the road through the village and back up through the far wood is great too.
3. Cooling the toes in the River Windrush
All children love to splash in a river and the Windrush at Bourton On The Water is the place to do it. Take a picnic and sit on the village green while the youngsters get to splash in the river. There’s plenty to do in Bourton with a bird park, a transport museum, a model village and a model railway exhibition but (shhh, don’t tell anyone) some people escape the tourists in the Windrush by nipping across to Lower Slaughter and having a wander along the River Eye to Upper Slaughter. If you time it right you can return to have a cream tea at the watermill just before they close and be there at feeding time for the ducks
This volunteer run museum is a treasure trove of aircraft related things to do with children encouraged to clamber into the cockpits of a number of aircraft. All of them have knowledgeable guides – very often retired pilots who are keen to share their stories and enthusiasm.
OK, so this one is not going to be free once the children realise that there are train rides, but they cost next to nothing. On around half a dozen Sunday afternoons of the year they open to the public. Buy a book of tickets for the kids and enjoy the teas and home made cakes in the garden. Combine with a visit to The Jet Age Museum
6. Gloucester Cathedral
While a visit to a Cathedral is not always high on children’s lists of things to do there is the added draw here of Harry Potter scenes. There is a regular programme of family oriented events including, on some Saturdays a bouncy castle – what else would you do in a Cathedral after all? Children also enjoy the Whispering Gallery. Just next to the Cathedral is a little Beatrix Potter gift shop with Tailor of Gloucester automatons upstairs.
7. Gloucester Docks
There are often events around the docks, or filming going on but even when not it’s a nice place to walk around looking at the boats and perhaps grabbing a toasted sandwich. Combine this with a trip to The Cathedral, looping back through Gloucester Park and the play area.
8. Broadway Playground
The town of Broadway is a pleasant place to wander around, looking at the shops and houses but just behind the main street, next to the horses field is a great activity park for children. Pack a picnic and a good book and enjoy the lovely area while the youngsters climb, swing and zip wire themselves tired. Pop into Russell’s for a pick-me up Fish & Chips or Prego for a pizza.
9. Belas Knap
Leave the car near Winchcombe and climb up the steep hill through woodlands to reach Belas Knap, an ancient burial mound. Continue the walk either as a loop back through the woodlands or along the ridge to Cleeve Hill, dropping down to catch the bus back to Winchcombe. You can, if you wish combine this with a steam train ride from Cheltenham Racecourse.
10. RobinsWood Hill Country Park
While there are lots of country parks in the area, Robinswood Hill is easily accessible and has plenty of trails for children. It’s also equipped with BBQs so you can feed the hungry horde.
Hopefully some of these ideas for free things to do with kids in the cotswolds will inspire you to visit soon! It really is a beautiful area! Check out even more ideas of things to do with kids in The Cotswolds.
This information was kindly contributed by the owners of @AirBNBChelt
About @AirBNBChelt is based on the western edge of Cheltenham so is easily accessible from the transport networks. We offer relaxed, family friendly accommodation for up to 15 guests in a modern home. Nothing fancy, just a comfy base. Check out our rental property here.
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