Cotswolds Fun: 10 Best Leisure Activities
The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of England’s prime spots for leisure and sporting recreation. We’d love to list all of the available activities, but if we did then the list would be as long as the 102-mile-long Cotswold Way walking trail itself. Instead, we’ve picked 10 of our favourite leisure activities in the Cotswolds that you can enjoy while staying in Broadway.
Few places do leisure activities in the Cotswolds like the Cotswold Waterpark. This outdoor adventure playground occupies a 40-square-mile wetlands landscape and boasts a series of 180 manmade lakes. From boating, canoeing, paddleboarding and wakeboarding to archery, horse riding and rally driving, there are boundless activities in and out of the water. At the Cotswold Country Park and Beach the park also has the UK’s largest inland paddling beach.
Cotswold Wildlife Park
Curious and exotic creatures from around the world roam the lush grounds of the Cotswold Wildlife Park. A day trip to this popular wildlife park promises up-close encounters with lions, primates, zebras and hundreds of colourful bird species. It’s worth checking the park’s event timetable for big cat and penguin feeding shows. Once you’ve seen all the animals, enjoy lunch at the picnic tables and let the kids run off some steam at the adventure playground.
Cotswold Farm Park
For more animal encounters, head over to BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park. Get hand’s on while learning about traditional British farming activities at this interactive farm park. You’ll meet donkeys, goats, piglets and rabbits on your self-guided tour and also get the chance to ramble around lush farmland via marked trails. If that’s not enough then there are indoor and outdoor play areas, a café and a gift shop, too.
Clay Pigeon Shooting
The sound of guns going off is common in the Cotswolds, but before you get scared, rest assured that it’s people practising clay pigeon shooting. If you fancy smashing some clay then you can do so all year round at several places close to Broadway. Try either the Hailes Shooting Ground in Winchcombe or the Ian Coley Shooting School in Cheltenham. They are happy to arrange private lessons, and hen and stag do events.
Cotswold Way Walks
One of the best ways to experience the outstanding natural beauty of the Cotswolds is to explore the region via the Cotswold Way. The waymarked footpath travels along the Cotswold escarpment all the way from Chipping Camden to Bath. We don’t expect you to cover it all unless you really want to that is. Instead, break your discovery up into shorter routes that are ideal for day trips. We recommended the walks from Broadway to Wood Stanway and Broadway to Chipping Camden.
Outdoor Swimming Pools
When the sun shines, the open-air swimming pools of the Cotswolds are the places to be for fun and frolics in the water. We are lucky to have three great lido swimming pools in the region — Cheltenham’s Sanford Parks Lido, Cirencester Open-Air Swimming Pool and The Lido Chipping Norton. The water is always heated, so even on cooler days, you’ll be tempted to take a dip. The pools open for the summer season, but do ask about special Christmas Day and New Year’s Day swims.
GL1: Gloucester Leisure Centre
As much as we wish for the sun to shine constantly on this beautiful corner of England, sometimes it’s cold, cloudy and wet. GL1 Gloucester Leisure Centre is near perfect for rainy day leisure activities in the Cotswolds. It’s got four pools, each dedicated to different ages and swimming abilities, badminton courts and a spa, to mention a few things that’ll keep you and your holiday party busy.
Chedworth Roman Villa
Did you know that the Cotswolds played a role in the Roman Empire? Encompassed by an emerald green valley, the National Trust-owned Chedworth Roman Villa is believed to be Britain’s most majestic Roman villas. Wander across suspended walkways to see ancient mosaics and bathhouse rooms. Browse coins, jewellery pieces and other archaeological artefacts from the Roman period. If you want to learn more then join a guided tour of the site. Otherwise, drink in the Cotswold views from picnic benches.
Cycling in the Cotswolds
Narrow country lanes meander around the Cotswolds and connect old market towns and quaint villages. Sure you can drive to these places, but why not reach them by rented bike. En route, you’ll get a glimpse of the real Cotswold life. It’s under two hours pedalling to Chipping Norton, Stow-on-the-Wold and even Stratford-upon-Avon from Broadway.
For over a thousand years Sudeley Castle has stood at the foot of the Cotswold Hills and you are invited to tour a place visited by monarchs such as Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. From seeing the tomb of Catherine Parr to strolling around formal gardens and experiencing a Christmas light show, there’s plenty of fun activities. There are a few surprises, too, including an adventure playground and a pheasantry dedicated to rare breed conservation.
If we’ve missed off your favourite leisure activities then do let us know. Get in touch today and make a reservation at your home away from home in the Worcestershire Cotswolds.