Welcome to Gloucestershire, a county with something to offer for everyone. From families with toddlers to adults and even dogs, there are plenty of things to do and places to explore. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best attractions and experiences Gloucestershire has to offer.
Best Things to Do in Gloucestershire
Adventure Things to Do in Gloucestershire
1. Cotswold Farm Park
Cotswold Farm Park is a must-visit destination for families with toddlers looking to enjoy the great outdoors and get up close with farm animals. This working farm, owned by famous farmer and television presenter Adam Henson, offers a fun-filled day out for all ages.
Your little ones will have the opportunity to feed lambs, cuddle rabbits and guinea pigs in the petting area, and see rare breeds such as Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs and Longhorn cattle. There’s also an adventure playground where kids can run off their energy while parents relax nearby.
But that’s not all – Cotswold Farm Park also hosts seasonal events throughout the year, including a lambing season in spring and pumpkin picking in autumn. And if you’re feeling peckish after all that animal interaction, head to the on-site cafe for some delicious homemade treats made from locally-sourced ingredients.
Puzzlewood is an enchanting forest located in the heart of the Forest of Dean, perfect for families with toddlers seeking mystery and adventure. This ancient woodland has been used as a filming location for famous movies such as Star Wars and Doctor Who.
As you enter Puzzlewood, your family will be amazed by the moss-covered rocks, twisted trees, and hidden caves. The natural landscape creates a magical atmosphere that sparks curiosity in both children and adults alike.
One of the main attractions at Puzzlewood is its unique maze-like pathways that lead to secret tunnels and bridges. Your little ones will have a blast exploring these hidden routes while feeling like they are on an exciting treasure hunt.
The forest also features multiple play areas where kids can climb on wooden structures, slide down slides or swing from ropes – all while surrounded by nature’s beauty.
To add even more magic to your visit, don’t forget to check out Puzzlewood’s events calendar! From seasonal activities such as Easter egg hunts to spooky Halloween trails – there’s always something exciting happening here!
If you’re looking for an unforgettable outdoor experience with your toddlers filled with fun activities and a touch of mystique – then look no further than Puzzlewood!
3. Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens
Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens is an excellent location to take your toddlers for a fun day out. The zoo boasts over 260 species of animals, including exotic and endangered species like lions, giraffes, rhinos, zebras and many more.
Apart from the array of animals on display, Cotswold Wildlife Park also features beautiful gardens that are perfect for relaxing walks with your little ones. You can stroll along the winding paths that lead through themed areas such as the tropical house or Madagascar exhibit to catch glimpses of rare plants.
For those looking for some adventure, there’s a train ride around the park which covers a significant portion of it in just under half an hour. It’s perfect for those who want to see everything but don’t have enough time.
Cotswold Wildlife Park has various feeding times throughout the day, where you can watch different animals being fed by their keepers. This experience will be sure to excite kids as they learn about what each animal eats while getting up close and personal with them.
If you’re visiting during summer months when weather permits outdoor activities, then make sure you bring swimwear because Cotswold Wildlife Park has its own beach area complete with sandpits!
4. All Things Wild Nature Centre
All Things Wild Nature Centre is a great place to take your toddlers for an exciting and educational experience. They will have the opportunity to see a range of animals, from meerkats to tigers. The park has over 50 different species of animals, so there is plenty to see.
One of the highlights at All Things Wild Nature Centre is their big cats exhibit. Your little ones can get up close with some majestic creatures like lions and tigers while learning about their habitats and behaviours.
But it’s not just about big cats – this wildlife park also features playful lemurs, curious meerkats and even adorable otters that will surely capture your toddler’s attention!
The nature centre also offers various activities, such as animal encounters where toddlers can interact with friendly animals under supervision. There are also regular feeding sessions where you can learn more about each animal’s diet.
All in all, All Things Wild Nature Centre provides an excellent opportunity for children to learn about different types of wildlife in Gloucestershire while having fun at the same time!
5. Cattle Country Adventure Park
Gloucestershire is a fantastic destination for families with toddlers, offering plenty of opportunities to have fun and explore the great outdoors. From cuddly farm animals to exotic wildlife and mystical forests to adventurous outdoor parks, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful region.
Cattle Country Adventure Park is yet another wonderful option for families looking to entertain their little ones. This park offers a wide range of activities that cater specifically to young children. Toddlers can enjoy tractor rides, pony rides, giant jumping pillows and even an indoor soft play centre on days when the weather is not so kind.
The animal section at Cattle Country Adventure Park features everything from cows and pigs to reptiles and birds of prey. Guests can get up close with some furry friends in the petting zoo or take part in one of many animal encounters held throughout the day.
Gloucestershire has plenty of attractions that will keep your toddler entertained all day long. So why not pack your bags, grab your little ones’ favourite toys and come explore this beautiful destination today?
Things to do in Gloucestershire with dogs
1. The Forest of Dean
The Forest of Dean is a beautiful and vast woodland that offers many trails for dog walking. This ancient forest covers over 110 square kilometres, making it one of the largest forests in England. The forest has something for everyone with its diverse landscapes, including wildflower meadows, dense woodlands, rivers and streams.
The Forest of Dean provides an ideal backdrop for dog owners to explore new places and spend time with their furry friends while enjoying the great outdoors. With miles of trails to choose from, you can take your four-legged friend on a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike through the woods.
One popular trail within the forest is The Sculpture Trail. This 4-mile route takes walkers past unique sculptures created by artists inspired by nature and wildlife found in the area. Dogs are welcome on this trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
If you’re looking to escape into nature with your canine companion without encountering other people, then head towards Cannop Ponds, where there are plenty of hidden pathways leading through thickets and along babbling brooks.
2. Pittville Park
Pittville Park in Cheltenham is a beautiful and spacious park that offers plenty of opportunities for both dogs and their owners to enjoy. The park boasts a large lake where you can take your dog on a walk while they admire the scenic views.
What’s more, there are lots of open spaces within the park, which means your furry friend will have plenty of room to run around and play fetch. In fact, Pittville Park is so big that it’s easy to spend an entire afternoon exploring all that it has to offer!
Not only does this large park provide ample space for exercise and fun, but it also features well-maintained walking paths that make strolling around with your pup safe and enjoyable.
While visiting Pittville Park, be sure to bring along some treats or toys for your pooch, as there are many other friendly dogs who frequent the area. Plus, if you’re feeling peckish after all that activity, there’s even an outdoor café where you can grab a bite as you watch your furry friend play.
3. Crickley Hill Country Park
Are you looking for a placeto take your furry friend for an adventure? Look no further than Crickley Hill Country Park! This stunning nature reserve offers plenty of walking trails that will keep both you and your pup entertained.
With its expansive greenery, picturesque views, and fresh air, the park is sure to provide a relaxing escape from daily life. As you explore the trails with your canine companion, keep an eye out for some of the local wildlife that inhabits the area.
But it’s not just about walking – there are plenty of other activities to enjoy at Crickley Hill as well! The park also boasts picnic areas where you can stop for a bite to eat or simply enjoy some downtime in nature.
One thing worth noting is that there are certain sections of the park where dogs must be kept on a lead. However, this shouldn’t detract from your overall enjoyment of this beautiful location.
4. Westonbirt Arboretum
Gloucestershire is a fantastic place to explore with your furry friend, and there are plenty of activities for dogs to enjoy. From the stunning views at Crickley Hill Country Park to the vast trails in The Forest of Dean, you and your pup will never be bored.
Pittville Park is perfect for those who want more open space for their dog to run around freely, while Westonbirt Arboretum offers a beautiful tree garden where both you and your furry companion can explore together.
Things to do in Gloucestershire for families:
1. Gloucester Cathedral
Stepping into Gloucester Cathedral is like taking a mesmerizing journey through time. This magnificent Gothic structure dates back over 900 years and boasts some of the most captivating architectural designs in England. As you walk through its hallowed halls, you can’t help but be awestruck by the intricate stonework and breathtaking stained glass windows that adorn this sacred space.
A visit to Gloucester Cathedral promises an enriching cultural experience for your family. It’s not only a place of worship but also a treasure trove of history, with connections to British royalty, ancient legends, and even the world of Harry Potter! That’s right – several scenes from the popular movie franchise were filmed within these very walls.
Guided tours are available to provide visitors with fascinating insights into the cathedral’s storied past and impressive architecture. Don’t miss out on exploring hidden nooks such as Whispering Gallery or marvelling at The Great East Window – one of the largest medieval stained-glass masterpieces still in existence.
Whether seeking spiritual solace or simply appreciating its stunning beauty, Gloucester Cathedral offers families an unforgettable experience while visiting Gloucestershire.
2. The Cotswold Water Park
The Cotswold Water Park is a perfect destination for families looking to spend some quality time together. This water park is located in the heart of Gloucestershire and offers a plethora of outdoor activities.
One of the main attractions of this water park is its extensive range of watersports, including kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and windsurfing. Whether you are an experienced adventurer or a beginner trying it out for the first time, there’s something for everyone at this water park.
In addition to watersports, The Cotswold Water Park also offers biking trails that run through picturesque landscapes. You can rent bikes on-site and explore the beautiful scenery around you while getting some exercise as well.
For those who prefer more relaxed activities, there are plenty of picnic spots available where you can enjoy your lunch while taking in stunning views. There’s even a beach area where kids can build sandcastles and play games.
The Cotswold Water Park has everything needed to keep families entertained throughout their visit. From thrilling adventures to peaceful relaxation spots – this place has it all!
3. Tewkesbury Abbey
Tewkesbury Abbey is a beautiful historic abbey located in the town of Tewkesbury. This impressive building boasts stunning architecture that will take your breath away upon arrival.
The abbey has an interesting history dating back to the 12th century when it was established as a Benedictine monastery. During its early years, the monastery became famous for its scriptorium, where monks would meticulously copy books and manuscripts by hand.
Over the centuries, Tewkesbury Abbey played an important role in English history. It served as a place of worship for pilgrims and travellers passing through Gloucestershire.
Visitors can explore this magnificent structure on self-guided tours or join one of the guided tours offered throughout the day. The guided tour provides visitors with fascinating insights into how life at the abbey used to be.
A visit to Tewkesbury Abbey is an unforgettable experience that gives families an insight into English religious heritage while admiring some beautiful architecture along the way!
4. Berkeley Castle
Berkeley Castle is a stunning medieval castle located in Gloucestershire that is sure to captivate the imagination of visitors of all ages. The castle has been home to the Berkeley family for over 900 years and boasts a rich history, including being the site where Edward II was murdered in 1327.
One of the highlights of visiting Berkeley Castle is its beautiful gardens. These gardens have been lovingly tended by generations of gardeners and feature a mix of formal and informal planting schemes, as well as fountains, ponds, and statues.
Inside the castle itself, visitors can explore an array of rooms spanning centuries of history. From grand state rooms with priceless works of art to atmospheric dungeons where prisoners were once held captive, there is something here for everyone.
One unique aspect of Berkeley Castle is that it also hosts various events throughout the year. From outdoor theatre performances to historical reenactments and food festivals, there’s always something going on at this fascinating attraction.
If you’re looking for an enchanting day out surrounded by history and natural beauty in Gloucestershire, suitable for families, then Berkeley Castle should be high on your list!
5. The Jet Age Museum
With so many exciting things to do in Gloucestershire for families, there’s no doubt that a trip to this beautiful county will be packed with fun and adventure. From exploring the stunning architecture of Gloucester Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey to enjoying outdoor activities at Cotswold Water Park, there’s something for everyone.
If you’re interested in aviation history, don’t forget to pay a visit to The Jet Age Museum, where you’ll find an impressive collection of aircraft and interactive exhibits. Families can learn about the evolution of flight technology while having fun engaging with hands-on displays.
Gloucestershire truly has it all – history, culture, nature, and entertainment. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable family vacation!
Things to Do in Gloucestershire for Adults
1. Gloucester Quays
Gloucester Quays is a shopping centre located in the historic Gloucester Docks. It’s an excellent spot to spend a day, combining retail therapy and entertainment all in one place. The mall has plenty of stores to choose from, including high-end brands like Calvin Klein and Adidas.
But it’s not just about shopping here. There are numerous restaurants and bars dotted throughout the centre where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy cocktails with friends. You’ll find everything from pub grub at TGI Fridays to Italian cuisine at Carluccio’s.
If you’re looking for some downtime after browsing stores or eating, there’s also a cinema on-site showing the latest blockbuster movies. With comfortable seating and great sound quality, this is an ideal way to unwind after a busy day exploring Gloucester Quays.
Gloucester Quays offers something for everyone—whether you’re there for shopping or just hanging out with friends over food and drinks.
2. Cheltenham Racecourse
Cheltenham Racecourse is a historical venue that has hosted some of the most prestigious horse racing events in the UK. The course dates back to 1815 and is known for its challenging obstacles and thrilling finishes.
The racecourse hosts several major events throughout the year, including The Festival in March, which attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. During this four-day event, spectators can witness some of the greatest races on earth, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle.
Apart from that, there are many other racing fixtures held at Cheltenham Racecourse throughout the year, such as New Year’s Day meeting, November Meeting and more. Each fixture offers different experiences with unique races to watch.
Visitors who want to enhance their experience at Cheltenham Racecourse can also indulge in hospitality packages ranging from champagne breakfasts to fine dining experiences overlooking breathtaking views of Cotswold Hills.
All in all, if you’re looking for an exciting day out filled with adrenaline-pumping action, then visiting Cheltenham Racecourse is definitely worth considering when travelling to Gloucestershire!
3. Three Choirs Vineyards
If you’re a wine lover, then Three Choirs Vineyards should be on your list of things to do in Gloucestershire. This vineyard is located in Newent and offers wine tastings and guided tours of their beautiful estate.
During the tour, visitors get to learn about the history of winemaking and how the grapes are grown and harvested. You’ll also get to see the winery where all the magic happens before tasting some of their award-winning wines.
The vineyard also has an on-site best restaurant that serves delicious food paired with its signature wines. The menu features fresh local produce like cheeses, meats, and vegetables that complement their wines perfectly.
If you want a more immersive experience, then stay at one of their luxury lodges overlooking the vineyards. Wake up to stunning views every morning while sipping on a glass of wine from grapes grown just outside your door.
Three Choirs Vineyards is an excellent destination for those looking for something unique to do in Gloucestershire. It’s perfect for couples or groups of friends who appreciate good wine amidst beautiful surroundings.
4. Slimbridge Wetland Centre
Slimbridge Wetland Centre is a beautiful wildlife reserve situated in the heart of Gloucestershire. This reserve is home to numerous species of birds and other wildlife, making it an ideal destination for those who love nature.
The centre offers visitors the chance to see rare and endangered species up close, including swans, geese, ducks, and cranes. You can also spot waders feeding on mudflats or sandbanks from one of the many hides located around the site.
If you’re looking for a more immersive experience, Slimbridge offers guided tours led by expert guides who will help you identify different bird species and explain their behaviours. There are also various workshops available throughout the year that allow visitors to learn about topics such as bird ringing and wetland ecology.
In addition to its educational opportunities, Slimbridge Wetland Centre boasts stunning scenery with winding pathways leading through tranquil marshes and lakes teeming with life. It’s truly a place where visitors can escape into nature while learning about the fragile ecosystems that support these unique animals.
Slimbridge Wetland Centre is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in nature conservation or simply looking for a peaceful day out surrounded by beautiful wildlife.
5. Highnam Court Gardens
In summary, Gloucestershire offers a diverse range of activities for adults seeking fun and adventure. From shopping at Gloucester Quays to enjoying wildlife sightings at Slimbridge Wetland Centre, there is something for everyone in this beautiful county.
For those who appreciate history and stunning views, Highnam Court Gardens is a must-visit attraction for tourists. With its rich history and breathtaking scenery, it’s no wonder why visitors return year after year.
So whether you’re a local looking for new experiences or a visitor in search of unique attractions, be sure to add these top things to do in Gloucestershire to your list. You won’t be disappointed!
Unusual Things to Do in Gloucestershire
- Explore the ancient Forest of Dean by zip-wire or rope bridge.
- Go llama trekking through the beautiful countryside.
- Take a hot air balloon ride over the stunning Cotswolds.
- Visit the haunted Woodchester Mansion, an unfinished Gothic revival mansion.
- Explore the world’s first museum dedicated to badminton, the birthplace of the sport.
- Go on a guided tour of the historic Gloucester Docks by kayak.
- Visit the ‘Folly Tower’ on Broadway, a quirky Victorian tower with stunning views.
- Take a tour of the Gloucester Brewery and sample their unique craft beers.
- Visit the Jet Age Museum, showcasing the history of aviation in Gloucestershire.
- Take a tour of the Cotswold Distillery and learn about the art of gin-making.
Gloucestershire is a beautiful county with plenty to see and do, from exploring the rolling hills of the Cotswolds to discovering the rich history of Gloucester City. Cheltenham offers a touch of elegance and culture while Cirencester boasts Roman ruins and charming old buildings. The Forest of Dean is perfect for nature lovers, while Stroud has a vibrant arts scene.
Whether you’re interested in history, art, or just enjoying the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone in Gloucestershire. So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip today and discover all that this stunning county has to offer!
FAQs on Things to do in Gloucestershire
1. Is Gloucester worth a visit?
Yes, Gloucester is definitely worth a visit. It is a historic city with a lot to offer visitors. You can explore the city’s stunning architecture, including the Gloucester Cathedral, the historic docks, and the Gloucester Waterways Museum. There are also plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars to enjoy, and the city has a lively cultural scene with many festivals and events throughout the year.
2. What makes Gloucestershire so different?
Gloucestershire is different from other counties in England because of its unique blend of stunning natural beauty, rich history, and cultural attractions. The county is known for its picturesque villages, rolling hills, and beautiful countryside, as well as its historic cities like Gloucester and Cheltenham. Gloucestershire also has a rich cultural scene, with many festivals and events celebrating music, literature, and food. Additionally, the county is famous for its production of cheese, with Double Gloucester and Single Gloucester being local specialities. All of these factors combine to make Gloucestershire a truly special and unique destination.