The Cotswolds is always a favourite destination among families as it’s got so much to do throughout the country and is only a few hours’ drive from London, Birmingham or Cardiff. Some people like it for the absurd amount of watersports while others enjoy the chance to get away from the big cities and back to nature – a brilliant family-friendly place for a holiday.

Planning a trip for you and the kids it the tough bit so here’s a selection of the best places for family days out in the Cotswolds to make it easier. Pick and choose where you’ll go and what you’ll get up to from the activities in this list.

Cotswolds Water Park, Gloucestershire

We’ve mentioned there’s an absurd amount of water sports you can do in the Cotswolds. Spend a day out at Cotswolds Waterpark where 150 lakes cover 40 square miles; you could easily spend one or several days venturing all over this great attraction. Go paddle boarding, windsurfing, sailing or even water skiing.

The park is so big, they even have a load of things to do that are not on the water. Go ziplining or paintballing, try archery or learn wilderness skills.

Where to stay:

Nutkin’s Nest, sleeps 7: In the heart of the Cotswolds Water Park, this holiday home has lakeside views and there’s a shared play area where the kids can go burn off steam.

Cotswolds Canoe Hire, Lechlade-on-Thames

Take it down a notch for a quieter, more private trip on the water with the kids when you hire a boat from Cotswolds Canoe Hire in Lechlade-on-Thames. From their base, paddle down the river to the pub Ye Olde Swan at Radcot for a bite to eat to make a day of it.

Where to stay:

The House By The Lake, sleeps 8:

Prinknash Bird & Deer Park, Cranham

This quaint country attraction is home to reindeer, pygmy goats and kookaburras, just the place for kids to see a range of exotic birds and meet a few animals. Children can play in the ‘follies’ here and feed the carp fish in the pond.

Where to stay:

The Old Chapel – Sapperton, sleeps 6: With a woodland outside, kids can enjoy scrambling up the hill and wandering through the trees.

Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power

Farming demonstrations, talks about the animals and tractor safaris make it a top place for a family day out. Say ‘hi’ to the many animals about the farm from chickens right up to cattle, see the sheep show and let toddlers get involved in one of their messy play sessions.

Where to stay:

Winchcombe – Robin Cottage, sleeps 4 and 1 dog: A five-star luxury getaway for the whole family including man’s best friend.

Greystones Nature Reserve, Bourton-on-the-Water

This wildlife park has field and woodland to explore and an interactive discovery barn to get kids enthused about the area. They can dress up in Iron Age-style clothing, see the archaeological finds, and have a go at the multi-level wildlife quiz – there’s also a café where you can all have a sit down and bite to eat.

Where to stay:

Jacobean Cottage, sleeps 4: A fun chance to step back in time with the kids in a grand old 17th-century manor house, located in Bourton-on-the-Water.

Corinium Museum, Cirencester

They are great at getting kids involved in history; this museum regularly offers creative workshops for kids and in the past, they’ve given kids the chance to make mosaics, explore the museum while filling in your own logbook and make a full set of armour to become a Roman soldier.

Where to stay:

Hyacinth Barn, sleeps 6 and 2 dogs: A holiday home with style; it has a lawn where kids can run about and dogs are welcome.

The Dragonfly Maze, Bourton-on-the-Water

A traditional yew hedge maze, a great place to get lost with kids and find clues. Find the Minotoad and the Golden Dragonfly in the Central Pavilion. It’s an easy and fun way to entertain the kids and you can head down to the River Windrush in Bourton-on-the-Water afterwards for a walk or get food at a pub in the centre of the village.

Where to stay:

Garden Spa, sleeps 4 and 1 dog: A comfy bungalow with a hot tub for the parents, a lawn where kids can play and a wood burner for cosy evenings.

There’s plenty of things to do in the Cotswolds; it’s a top place for kids to get outside or discover some history. If you liked these ideas and are looking for a place to stay, check out these Cotswold cottages.

Collab with Holidays in the Cotswolds.

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