The Cotswolds with Kids – BFB’s Travel Guide
Escape the normality of your everyday and discover the picture-perfect setting of The Cotswolds. This area of outstanding natural beauty has many ways to captivate, from the rolling green hills to the chocolate box villages. When the kids aren’t roaming free and spotting the nature of the area, there’s plenty to do for families – whatever the Great British weather.
Things to do
Explore the countryside
The Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful areas of England, but don’t just take our word for it – adventure out of your holiday villa and explore the miles of countryside. Drive through the picturesque villages, stop for a charming pub lunch, or take a wander along quaint canals. Villages worth visiting on your explorations, include: Bourton on Water, Burford, Cirencester, Broadway, Fairford, Painswick, Naunton and Chedworth.
Take a regal afternoon out
It’s not just tiny villages The Cotswolds are famed for. Take a trip to the regency town of Cheltenham and enjoy a busy family day taking in the regency buildings, browsing the shops, and stopping for a cake. The town is also home to a wealth of playgrounds and parks, including the popular Pittville Park which has a huge adventure playground, boating lake and three café stops for ice-cream or cake!
Follow the trails
When you’re feeling energetic, strap on the baby carrier and take to the various family-friendly Cotswold walking trails. Head to the railway station at Bradford-on-Avon to park and then walk along the banks of the River Avon and its canal or visit the Rollright Stones near Chipping Norton where you can walk several acres of green hills and see the Neolithic monuments founded there.
One of the best parts of a family holiday? Eating well! The Cotswolds is awash with wonderful eateries to satisfy every taste, from award-winning fish and chips to a traditional pub lunch. Plus, the locally made produce is worth a try too.
Cotswold produce to try
Single Gloucester cheese
A prized local cheese, Single Gloucester tends to stay in the county, sometimes known as the haymaker’s cheese due to its short maturation – it was ready to eat by farmers in haymaking season. This full fat hard cheese is mild with a naturally mouldy rind. It’s a nice one for the kids’ cheese on toast.
Gloucester Old Spot pork
Gloucester Old Spot is a rare bred of pig famed for its succulence and unique flavour (the pigs are traditionally reared in cider orchards). Look out for Gloucester Old spot sausages on the local pub menus or head to a butcher’s and pick up some chops for a family dinner back at the holiday house.
If you want to taste a local delicacy that goes back to the 16th century, visit the attractive market town of Tewkesbury and pick up a pot of Tewkesbury Mustard. This artisan product was even mentioned in Shakespeare’s Henry IV – a fun fact for any studious members of the family.
Places to eat
The Hive – Stow-on-the-Wold
Sit back and tuck into breakfast or lunch at this gem in the historical town of Stow-on-the-Wold. The Hive is known for its warm and attentive service and delicious food.
Cuisine: British, Healthy
The County Kitchen – Cheltenham
Tucked away off the high street, this family-favourite is tiny but highly raved about so booking in advance is a must. A great place for breakfast, lunch, or a quick snack stop. Don’t be deceived by its exterior ‘café’ appearance, The County Kitchen has been argued to serve the best food in Cheltenham.
Cuisine: British, European
The Fuzzy Duck – Armscote
If you’re looking for something sophisticated, try The Fuzzy Duck in Armscote. This beautifully decorated, elegant ‘posh pub’ is welcoming of families of all ages and has a dedicated ‘Little Ducklings’ menu. Weather permitting, there’s a lovely garden out the back too.
Cuisine: British Pub
Gems for the kids
Go back in time at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock
Walk down the grand drive toward 2,000 acres of parkland as you’re welcomed into the home of Blenheim Palace. This World Heritage stately home was not only where Winston Churchill was born and the home to royalty (the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough) it has been used in films like Harry Potter and Mission Impossible. Kids will love the miniature train rides around the grounds!
Make four-legged friends at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power
Head to the heart of the Cotswolds for a fun-packed day at the Cotswold Farm Park, owned by TV’s Adam Henson. Visitors young and old will love the chance to get up close to over 50 types of farm animals. Plus, there’s a Maze, Tractor School, Playgrounds, Touch barn, and sand pits.
Discover the magic of the woods with a Puzzlewood, Coleford
Pop on their wellies and get ready to follow their lead through the mystical woodlands of Puzzlewood. This world-famed forest, with its protruding roots and dramatic landscapes, has been featured in the likes of Star Wars Episode VII and Dr Who. Look out for the toddler racing track if you really want to tire them out!
Where to start with this modern treasure of a property! This 3-bedroom house is situated at the side of a glimmering Cotswold Lake and his built in a charming New England style. Inside the contemporary design provides a relaxing space for grown-ups to unwind while it’s also well-equipped for children with toys, books, and DVDs for under-5s. The house also has a safely enclosed decked terrace for summer barbeques overlooking the water.
Set in the grounds of a grade-2 listed building with uninterrupted views over Cotswold orchards, this cottage makes a wonderful base for a rural getaway. There are 3 bedrooms (sleeping 6) with the master bedroom benefiting from an adjoining ‘baby suite’ with cot and baby essentials. Located in the village of Beckford, nearby highlights include a playground, pub, and nature reserve.
This isn’t just a holiday cottage, this is a chance to turn back time and live like royalty in the estate of Blenheim Palace. Once a 200-year old hunting lodge, it is now well equipped for babies and toddlers too. Space to play, toys, books and all the paraphernalia you’ll need for a comfortable family break.
Browse more child-friendly Cotswold villas now.