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Snowshill in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds

Map showing the area covered by the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is an area of outstanding natural beauty with thousands visiting each year on sightseeing tours making it one of the most popular things to do in Gloucestershire for adults. The area extends into a number of counties but is mainly found in Gloucestershire. The area is noted for it's gentle hillsides (wolds), quiet villages of beautiful cottages constructed from a local honey-coloured limestone.

Harvest time in the CotswoldsCotswold villageStopping to admire a church in the CotswoldsSnowshillPicturesque Cotswold villageA grand hotel in the Cotswolds, it was too expensive for us however

Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham Racecourse is one of the top racecourses in the country. Cheltenham is called the "home of National Hunt racing", largely because it hosts the four-day Cheltenham Festival, held in March of each year and featuring the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Cheltenham Racecourse has a full calendar of events to enjoy and could be combined with some of the other attractions in the area.

Cotswold Farm Park

Cotswolds Farm park

Cotswold Farm Park has all the fun of a farm and the possibility of seeing the brilliant TV presenter from Country File - Adam Henson if he is around. If anyone can tell you about farm life, Adam can.

The park has Roller racing, tractor skills, sand pit, tractor rides, cotswold lion maze, adventure play ground, giant jumping pillow, farm safari, touch barn, demo barn, rare breeds, wildlife walk, camping and horse riding. Lots of great fun!

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International Bird of Prey Centre - Newent


Prinknash Bird & Deer park - Gloucester


Birdland Park and Gardens - Bourton-on-the-water


Cattle Country Adventure Park - Berkeley


Horseworld - Whitchurch


Slimbridge Wildfowl & Wetlands centre - Nympsfield

Gloucestershire Waterways Museum

The waterways museum in GloucestershireHands-on demonstration at the waterways museum in GloucestershireMachinery at the waterways museum in Gloucestershire

The Waterways Museum Gloucester brings to life the fascinating story of 2,000 miles of waterways and Britain’s most inland port.  Visitors can climb aboard heritage boats in the Waterside Gallery, delve into the fascinating world of Gloucester’s Victorian docks and meet the people and wildlife of our wonderful waterways.  Plenty of hands on fun and interactive exhibits for all the family to enjoy.

Gloucestershire Leisure Cruises

Gloucestershire pleasure cruises

Boat trips depart from the National Waterways Museum and it is possible to purchase a combined boat trip and museum entry ticket. There are Daily 45 minute boat trips on board Queen Boadicea II from April to October along the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal .

Gloucestershire - Warwickshire Railway

Gloucestershire - Warwickshire Railway

The railway offers a 25-mile round trip between Laverton and Cheltenham Racecourse through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Cotswolds.

Walking, Cycling & Riding the Cotswolds Way

Map showing the Cotswold way walking route

Cotswolds Way map by Celtic-trails.com

The Cotswold Way National Trail is a 102 mile route that takes you from Chipping Campden in the north to Bath in the south.

The route is mainly through gentle undulating countryside with the occasional steep slope.

The route pass through a number of beautiful villages and it will not be difficult to arrange accommodation in some fantastic hotels or a bed and breakfast.

Cycle Routes

Walking Routes

Places to visit in Gloucestershire

The Source of the River Thames

The source of the River Thames

The Thames is England’s longest river and the start is marked with a stone. In summer little can be seen at this spot but after prolonged periods of rain or in the winter months water can be seen issuing from this spot and gently trickling away on the 184 mile journey into London and out to sea.

Severn Bore

Surfing on the River Severn Bore

The Severn Bore is a large wave that that travels up the River Severn against the flow of the river. It forms upstream of Sharpness, and can be seen as far as Maisemore. The highest recorded bore wave was 9.2 feet, higher than many waves on a beach. The bore attracts lots of interest during high tides and is popular with surfers. Severn bridges.

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Berkeley Castle

St Briavel's Castle

Cirencester Roman Amphitheatre

Great Witcombe Roman Villa

Sudeley Castle

Romantic ruins, award-winning gardens and one thousand years of fascinating history are among the many reasons to visit Sudeley Castle, which nestles in the Cotswold Hills in the historic town of Winchcombe, Gloucestershire.

Sudeley Castle

mosaics at Chedworth roman villa

Chedworth Roman Villa was home to some of the richest people in the country during its heyday in the 4th century. The villa was built with fantastic views, near a spring, with underfloor central heating, bath houses and large reception rooms. Sadly only ruins remain although some of the mosaic floors have survived.

Chedworth Roman Villa

Tewkesbury Abbey

Tewkesbury Abbey was built to house Benedictine monks. The Norman Abbey took approximately 20 years to build and has had a number of additions in subsequent years. The Abbey has a team of highly knowledgeable guides that will guide you on a tour and be delighted to share their knowledge with you.

Tewkesbury Abbey

Things to do in Gloucestershire

The Royal Forest of Dean

Aerial view of the Royal Forest of DeanCountryside at the Royal Forest of DeanCycling at the Royal Forest of Dean

The forest covers an area of approximately 42 sq miles and is roughly triangular in shape, bounded by the River Wye to the west and north, the River Severn to the south, and the City of Gloucester to the east. The area is ancient oak woodland that hides industrial relics from more than one industrial age. This could be one of the things to do in Gloucestershire with teenagers as they will experience a variety of activities and enjoy the freedom to explore.

The Gruffalo trail at the Royal Forest of Dean

The best place to start your visit is the Dean Heritage centre. The Dean Heritage centre has a new 'Gruffalo Trail' based on the children's book. There are also a number of other activities including: five onsite galleries exploring the history of the Forest from the Ice Age to the present day; a reconstructed Victorian cottage; a charcoal burner's camp; an adventure playground; chainsaw carving demonstrations; a variety of animals, an onsite gift shop.

Gruffalo Trail

Puzzlewood at the Royal Forest of Dean

Puzzlewood was originally a pre-Roman open-cast iron-ore mine. The site that covers about 14 acres contains deep ravines and passageways through a moss-covered landscape and forms an unusual maze. The best views of the area are from Symonds Yat Rock (473ft) where you can see the forest and the River Wye below.

Puzzlewood

Guided tour at Clearwell caves

Clearwell Caves

The Forest of Dean has a number of attractions all as a result of earlier 'industrial' work. One such attraction is Clearwell caves. It is believed that Iron ore has been mined here for up to 4000 years. The result has been the creation of huge caverns that descend to a depth of 500ft.

Hopewell Colliery guided tour of the mine

Hopewell Colliery

In the 16th century much of the forest had been used to power the charcoal furnaces. As the ironworks declined, coal mining began to flourish. Hopewell Colliery allows you to visit one of the local mines to see the conditions and understand some of the local history.

The Big chair at the Forest of Dean sculpture trail

Forest of Dean

Sculpture Trail

The Forest of Dean Sculpture trail has many permanent artworks by artists such as Andrew Darke, Annie Cattrell, Bruce Allan, etc, and many more.

Forest of Dean

Go Ape


Go Ape tree top adventure at the forest of dean

Go Ape at the Forest of Dean has the popular Tree Top adventure with the usual safety wires and training. There is also the Tree Top Junior Adventure and the forest segway experience.

Theatres Concerts & Festivals in Gloucestershire

Cheltenham Town Hall

Sun Dial Theatre - Cirencester

New Olympus theatre - Gloucester

Roses Theatre

Chipping Norton theatre

Playhouse theatre - Cheltenham

Everyman Theatre Cheltenham

Bacon Theatre Cheltenham

Find great things to do, the best Gloucestershire attractions, cheap family days out, romantic weekend breaks & fun things to do visiting Gloucestershire this weekend.