Day Trips in the Cotswolds

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Fancy heading out on a day trip this autumn? Local blogger Lesley Sainty has rounded up her top 5 places to visit in the Cotswolds with her son Ed and what makes them great.

Day Trips in the Cotswolds

We love Cheltenham and the Cotswolds – there are so many things to see and do. From swimming in the fantastic lido to visiting all the pretty villages. There are also a number of great family-friendly attractions which we love to visit. Here is a list of our favourite places to go:

1) Batsford Arboretum
This is our favourite arboretum in the Cotswolds. It feels more like you’re walking around a secret garden at times and rather magical. You can encounter other-worldly trees along with wonderful little grottos, statues and a Hermit’s Cave. There are also loads of events and activities at the arboretum including a ‘Forest School for Tots’ ‘Sculpture Exhibition’ and ‘Mindfulness Meditation’ all in September.

2) Cotswold Farm Park
I think it would be hard to find a better and more ‘ethical’ farm park in the country. Along with meeting and feeding animals from rare breed goats to guinea pigs, there is so much to do including: a farm tractor and trailer ride, tractor school, indoor play barns, soft play, bounce pillows, conservation area and woodland walk. There’s also the chance to meet a lovely Father Christmas in late November to December and you also might bump into Adam Henson!
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3) Bourton-on-the-Water
This place sums up the Cotswolds for us. There’s the famous Model Village (miniature of Bourton), a fantastic model railway museum that only costs £3 to get in, a river with ducks, a motor museum and Birdland. Other things that make it special: a Christmas shop, numerous places to buy ice cream and some nice bakeries. It’s great if you get there early before all the tourists and it’s quite magical with the early morning sun reflecting off the Cotswold stone.
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4) Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway Rides
We love a steam train! The sense of nostalgia and going on a journey. Kids love the excitement of it all and the Cheltenham to Broadway route is just perfect as the train takes you through spectacular Cotswold scenery: views of the Malvern Hills and little villages with stops at stations along the way. There are plenty of places to sit on the old-fashioned trains, including separate compartments. The journey to Toddington takes about 40 minutes and all the way to Broadway, about an hour. You can get off at a number of stations to have a picnic or visit a tea room and there are a few small museums and vehicle displays. You might also be lucky enough to go ‘up front’ to see the engine! it’s always worth asking. The heritage railway is entirely volunteer operated and the guards, drivers and ticket collectors are all so friendly.

5) The House of the Tailor of Gloucester
The museum itself is wonderfully quaint with an upstairs and downstairs full of Potter facts and memorabilia. A little display of the tailor and mice with a replica of the waistcoat is particularly lovely. There are little figures of most of the characters and old copies of Beatrix Potter’s famous collection. The House of the Tailor is staffed by volunteers who are both enthusiastic and knowledgeable about Beatrix Potter and her works. The museum and shop are open to the public every day.

Stand by for more round-ups of great things to do around Cheltenham and the Cotswolds, and if you're looking for something to do today, browse Cheltenham Rocks for inspiration. Don't forget you can filter by day, age, cost and distance.

To read more about Lesley and Ed's adventures, follow Places with Ed on Instagram