Winter at Watermark

Experience Winter at Watermark

By | Blogs

If ever there was a Year of the Staycation, 2020 must surely be it. And, let’s face it, with international restrictions still in place and many of us feeling uneasy about travelling outside of the UK, it’s likely to be a while before we’re willing and/or able to venture to far-flung destinations. So why not try a Winter at Watermark?

Memorable holidays don’t always start in an airport lounge. Nestled in the heart of the Cotswold Water Park, just 90 minutes from London, Watermark is a haven of peace and tranquillity that’s easily accessible yet feels delightfully secluded.

Winter is a wonderful time to visit a Watermark lakeside retreat. Arriving for your winter staycation, you’ll feel your worries simply melt away as you take in the stunning Gloucestershire countryside, elegantly manicured grounds and natural beauty that is, quite literally, on your doorstep. The Cotswolds offers an array of attractions to explore, but the wonder of a winter at Watermark is the huge selection of exclusive activities available right here within our lakes.

Family fun is what we do best, and our on-site activities promise to keep everyone entertained, whatever the weather. Our Children’s Activity Park boasts swings, climbing frames and a super-exciting zip wire for thrill seekers of all ages! Older children and teens will love hanging out in our games room, while our youngest guests can burn off some energy in our soft-play room and sporty types can take advantage of our boules court, cricket nets, table-tennis pavilion and football pitch.

Most of our lodges have private decks that give you immediate access to the water, and we offer a variety of water sports for beginners and experts alike. Try your hand at fishing, glide out on a canoe or paddleboard, or have a go at wakeboarding or water-skiing if you like a faster pace. Fancy stretching your legs while taking in the scenery? Our lakeside paths range from a gentle 1.6km to a more challenging 18km and are all fantastic routes for walking or cycling.

However you choose to spend your day, you can look forward to returning to your cosy lodge, which will become your own secret hideaway for the duration of your stay. Hunker down in front of a film, relax with a book or bring out the board games for some good old-fashioned fun! If you enjoy cooking, our fully equipped kitchens provide everything you need to create home-cooked meals, but if you’re planning a complete break from chef’s duties you can order in from one of the nearby businesses that deliver mouth-watering food direct to your lodge. We love Jonathan’s Catering for irresistible meals prepared using the very finest ingredients, and Bibury Trout Farm for fresh trout and locally sourced groceries.

If you’re celebrating an occasion while you’re staying with us, be sure to check out Poulton Hill Estate for small-batch red, white and sparkling wines produced right here in the Cotswolds. And if you’re looking to surprise someone special, local florist Oops a Daisy can deliver beautiful bouquets and handcrafted chocolates.

When the day comes to an end and the kids are tucked up in bed, there is nothing more romantic than cosying up to watch the moon rise and the stars glow above the peaceful lake. You can even arrange your own private hot tub on the deck – the perfect setting for cracking open a bottle of bubbly and raising a glass to a day well spent.

What better way is there to escape the hurries of everyday life this winter? Have a Winter at Watermark!




Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival: Wondrous Week at Watermark

By | Blogs

Only a 35-minute drive from our luxurious holiday homes and lodgesCheltenham Festival – known as the most prestigious National Hunt jump racing event of the year – gathers the world’s top jump jockeys take to their greatest stage at Cheltenham Racecourse to compete for a myriad of prestigious trophies. Running from Tuesday 10th March and culminating with Gold Cup day on Friday 13th March, Cheltenham Festival transforms a day at the races into “Four Days of Extraordinary drama and high emotion, with moments of pure theatre thrown in for good measure.”

With your holiday home-away-from-home not far from the racecourse we take pride in going the extra mile, turning those four race-filled days into your personal Wonderous Week at Watermark. Read on as we outline this electric festival, and show you how Cheltenham Festival and Watermark are a match made in heaven – and we’re not horsing around!

Tuesday 10th March – Champion Day

The famous Cheltenham ‘roar’ will erupt to kick the week off at 1:30PM on the first day of festivities, allowing you to justify a well-deserved and undisturbed lie-in at one of our luxury lodges. With seven races lined up, including the Unibet Champion Hurdle, Champion Day throws you straight into the drama and action. After a day full of excitement, we recommend stopping off in Cirencester and finding a hearty pub dinner before hopping straight to bed as soon as you enter your lovely lodge.

Wednesday 11th March – Ladies Day

Infamous for its tens of thousands of fashionable festival-goers, Ladies Day opens the doors to those who want to show off head turning raceday outfits, adding a splash of colour to Cheltenham Racecourse. Although ladies and their outfits are the stars of the show, don’t forget to pay a visit to The Park, a new addition to the already variety-filled festival, that gives you the opportunity to enjoy a bite of street food whilst dancing to live music performances throughout the day. Travel light and party safe in the knowledge that your remaining outfits are quietly awaiting your return at our secure lakeside premises.

Thursday 12th March – St. Patrick’s Day

Traditional Irish folk music, celebrating the Emerald Isle, and two hugely competitive races – the Ryanair Chase and Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle – make St. Patrick’s Day at Cheltenham an unmissable event. Make sure your outfit lets you horse around and jig to the day’s fantastic music lineup, including performances by The Lucky 15’s, Taylor & The Mason, and All Folked Up. Even if you have no Irish blood, you’ll be overwhelmed with the Irish spirit and sense of community.

Friday 13th March – Gold Cup Day

An absolute must-do on any sports fan’s bucket list, the Gold Cup Day is the crème da la crème of jump racing, and marks the finale of Cheltenham Festival. You’ll be one of over 70,000 attendees witnessing the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup – a highly sought after trophy that only the best of the best compete for. With 22 fences over 3 miles 2½ furlongs (5,294m), this seven minute stamina sapping race is the blue riband of jump racing and is presented on a world stage. There’s no better place to be than live at the racecourse to experience the unforgettable atmosphere.

With home just around the corner, there’s no better way to spend Cheltenham Festival than coupling it with a private, peaceful, and perfect stay at one of our holiday homes. Get in touch if you have any questions about our holiday homes, and begin booking your Wonderous Week at Watermark.


Christmas in the Cotswolds

Watermark Wanderers: Christmas in the Cotswolds

By | Blogs

Whether you’ve just set foot inside one of our luxurious properties for a Christmas in the Cotswolds, or have invested in one of our award-winning holiday properties, we know how difficult it can be to find the exit after becoming acquainted with your home away from home.

With clearwater sailing, serene fishing, and a competitive game of tennis sitting just outside your front door, you’ll struggle to find a reason to stray too far from our water park. But there is so much more to do in the local area, and it’s all just a hop, skip and a jump away from your private haven.

Watermark Wanderers is a series of blog posts that helps you explore all things Cotswolds and beyond as you enjoy the peace of a lake getaway. In this edition, we’ll be wandering into a Winter Wonderland, and discovering the festivities all over the Cotswolds. From Christmas markets to illuminated castles, the Cotswolds offers thousands of classic Christmas card camera captures, with the authentic winter spirit to go with them!

Festive Food in a Pub

It’s hard to choose your favourite homely eaterie when The Cotswolds is laden with traditional British pubs that serve mouth-watering festive grub. If you’re looking for a nearby nook that serves all the trimmings, The Potting Shed Pub is a swift fifteen minute drive away, and is renowned for its cosy atmosphere, locally sourced ingredients, and exquisite Christmas Menu. Or, if you’re looking to break the norm to enjoy a very festive steak(!), Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa prepares delectable delights, and is a quick 30 minute drive away. Don’t forget to book first!

Sudeley Castle’s “Spectacle of Light”

Unmissable if you’re dazzled by the utterly dazzling, Sudeley Castle’s “Spectacle of Light” event leads you on an irradiated adventure through its grounds. With light displays strewn across the castle, gardens, and ruins, you’ll find it hard to hide the twinkle in your eye. 2019’s theme is Peter Pan, so be prepared to lose yourself in J. M. Barrie’s unforgettable tale, told in a way you could have never imagined.

Bath Christmas Market

Christmas in the Cotswolds

Combining wonderment, winter treats, and wondrous stalls, strolling through Bath Christmas Market forces you to reminisce about homemade mince pies and the waft of fresh-out-the-oven gingerbread. Overlooked by the architectural masterpiece that is Bath Abbey, you’ll find it difficult to turn a corner without your jaw hitting the floor – and what better way to close it with a variety of locally baked, tasty winter treats.

Warming Winter Walks

After all that Christmas Market food, what better way to burn those calories than to admire the very best scenery the Cotswolds has to offer. Pack your warmest gloves and don your thickest coat as you set off on a chilly, yet peaceful amble in some of the most beautiful public parks the country has to offer. Two of our favourite hiking trails are Broadway Tower (30 miles from your front door) and Cotswolds AONB (only 15 miles up the road). Make sure to check the opening times before setting off on a superbly memorable mosey.

What are your favourite activities and sights in and around The Cotswolds during Christmas? Do you think we’ve missed something that absolutely has to be included on your Watermark winter itinerary? Get in touch to let us know what you think, tag us in an Instagram post at @watermarkcotswolds, or Tweet us at @watermarkclub.

Watermark Wanderers

Watermark Wanderers: Cirencester

By | Blogs

Watermark Wanderers is a series of blog posts that helps you explore all things Cotswolds and beyond as you enjoy the peace of a lake getaway. In this edition, we’ll be wandering the streets of Cirencester, the Cotswolds largest market town which is simultaneously bustling and tranquil, with the centre situated only six miles from your porch. Why book a flight when there’s so much to see in your own back garden?

Whether you’ve just set foot inside one of our luxurious properties for a magnificent weekend getaway, or have invested in one of our award-winning holiday properties, we know how difficult it can be to find the exit after becoming acquainted with your home away from home.

With clearwater sailing, serene fishing, and a competitive game of tennis sitting just outside your front door, you’ll struggle to find a reason to stray too far from our water park. But there is so much more to do in the local area, and it’s all just a hop, skip and a jump away from your private haven. Follow Watermark Wanderers for more information.

Cirencester Town Centre

‘Quintessential’ is an overused word when it comes to describing something as English as warm beers and cricket – but there truly is no better adjective to use when referring to Cirencester town centre. The charm of discovering homemade goods at the Charter Market in the shadow of the 12th century parish church is too English for words. Any words outside “quintessentially British” that is.

Church of St. John the Baptist

Acting as Cirencester’s centrepiece, the Church of St. John the Baptist has stood proudly for over 800 years. Combining an architecturally unique zig-zagging upper balcony, and a hallmark open-plan Gothic interior, the church is the first thing you’ll see when arriving to the town centre, and is the first thing you’ll want to explore.

Corinium Museum

Cirencester was once an important Roman settlement so it’s no surprise that hundreds of Roman artefacts have been discovered at the site of Corinium over the years, and displayed in the Corinium Museum. From incredible floor and wall mosaic displays, to more recent medieval sculptures, the Corinium Museum oozes history and teaches you more than a thing or two about Gloucestershire’s fascinating past.

Cirencester Park – Bathurst Estate

If you’re looking to escape the business of the town centre, Cirencester Park lends its 3000 acres to allow visitors to mentally tune out and temporarily forget responsibility. The park offers a perfectly peaceful environment for picnics on a clear skied day, wonderful walks for some spontaneous mental meditation, and long paths for breezy bike rides. Time it right and you could be a spectator of the Cirencester Park Polo Club enjoying a sportsmanlike game of their favourite English pastime.

What are your favourite activities and sights in and around Cirencester? Do you think we’ve missed something that absolutely has to be included on your Watermark itinerary? Get in touch to let us know what you think, tag us in an Instagram post at @watermarkcotswolds, or Tweet us at @watermarkclub.

summer at Watermark

A day with Watermark this summer

By | Blogs

If you’re wondering what a summer at Watermark has to offer you, read on! Here you will discover what a typical day spent in the Cotswolds could look like – packed full of family fun and delicious food, Watermark has plenty of options to make sure this summer is spent doing what you love.



Whether you decide to make the most of your self-catering amenities and eat al-fresco by the lake, or choose to dine out, the most important meal of the day deserves to be done in style to set you up for a day of adventures. Amongst the various cafés and coffee shops around the Cotswold area, The Gateway Café provides an excellent freshly cooked breakfast, with Avocado on Toast, Buttermilk Pancakes and their classic ‘Big Breakfast’ with local Kelmscott Smoked Back Bacon – you won’t be disappointed.


The Cotswold Water Park has a beautiful selection of walking routes so that you and the family can explore the countryside together. Ranging from a relaxed 1.6km walk on Route 1 to an impressive 18km on walk/ cycle Route 6, you can decide which intensity suits you, and embrace the glorious summertime rays.


It’s time to refuel, and there are plenty of excellent local options, from pubs and restaurants to delis and farm shops:

The Lakeside Brasserie can be found on Spring Lake, and is the ideal spot to sit and unwind next to the water. If you’re lucky enough to be around on a Sunday afternoon, you could dig into one of their succulent home-cooked roasts. Delicious.

If picnics are your thing, you must make a stop at Jesse Smith Farm Shop and Coffee House for artisanal fare and fresh, local produce. The Organic Farm Shop has a lovely café, and is well worth a visit.

The Potting Shed Pub is a short drive away, and home to the best pub lunch around, with a creative, seasonal menu championing British food. We recommend booking in advance!

Afternoon activities

Now, your afternoon plans could take two very different routes, depending on how tired you are from the morning walk…

Totally chill out. Crack open a bottle of wine, fire up the BBQ and lounge on your private deck. A cosy Summer’s evening spent underneath a blanket could be just the thing.

Get wet! For the thrill seekers there are a great range of water sports available. The Lakeside Ski and Wake welcomes beginners and experts alike.

If you’re in the mood to step out, there are plenty of superb restaurants to try in Gloucester and Cirencester.

Watermark’s luxury lodges

What to do in the Cotswolds when the weather isn’t on our side

By | Blogs

When visiting Watermark’s luxury lodges this summer, you may be expecting a getaway jam-packed with the various fun and thrilling outdoor activities that are readily available. Wake boarding, Paddle boarding, Cycling or a 9-hole round of golf. What more could you ask for? But this isn’t always possible with the stringent hold of mother nature, causing an imagined sunny break to suddenly twist into a wet weekend.

However, don’t let this rain on your parade. Watermark have 100% got you covered. Not only do the lodges provide a beautiful interior, fit with everything you would need to completely relax and unwind within the natural surroundings of the Cotswolds, the indoor activities at Watermark and the surrounding area can also provide a fun-filled getaway:

Get your skates on in Swindon: Only a 22-minute drive from Watermark, Link Centre provides a fantastic escape from the rain with their ice arena. This centre is noted to attract people from all over the south west, providing those damp days an exhilarating frosty spin. Whether you’re a beginner or an ice-skating pro, Swindon’s rink provides all people the chance to brush up on their skating skills.

Splash around at Cricklade: Splashing in the water isn’t restricted to Watermark’s outdoor lake activities – Cricklade Leisure Centre can also provide fun for all the family. With family swim sessions only costing £12 and fun & float activities running every weekend, there’s no stop to what joy both parents and children can experience. Of course, for the dare devils amongst us who would still like to splash about during the outdoor water sports, be our guest, but if indoor water activities are more suited for you, then Cricklade Leisure Centre may be the answer.

The De Vere, Spa6: Watermark’s neighbouring luxury spa also provides an idyllic way to dodge the rainy weather and unwind by taking advantage of the various spa facilities. Amongst the steam rooms and relaxation suites, Spa6 also provides a variety of beauty treatments and men’s grooming – but if you’re wanting to truly embody the rural feel of the Cotswolds, the ancient Rasul Therapy will guarantee to maximise your experience. And to make sure you get the best from Spa6, this June a special two for £50 offer is running Monday to Thursday, that includes access to various spa treatments and the choice of lunch or afternoon tea. You won’t want to miss out.

Wyvern Theatre and Arts Centre: if jazzing up a peaceful stay in the Cotswolds is more your style, then from the 26th of June Rhythm of The Dance is taking Swindon by storm. This event promises an evening full of Irish dance prowess, bursting with colour and energy to truly transport you from everyday life. But, if Irish dancing isn’t for you, there are many other events running through the entire summer period at the Wyvern Theatre and Arts Centre. Shows like the Rock of Ages, running from the 8th to the 13th of July and Rob Beckett’s hilarious Work in Progress on the 27th of June, guarantee that there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

When the rain comes crashing down you may rightly question your decision to visit Watermark’s luxury lodges. But do not fear, this list of both fun and relaxing indoor activities will ensure that your stay in the Cotswolds is as idyllic as possible. Don’t just take our word for it, come see for yourself.

easter at watermark

Easter adventures at Watermark

By | Blogs

Easter at Watermark is fast approaching and the lure of a lakeside lodge has never been more appealing. Relax, recharge and reinvent how holidays should be spent; have Easter at Watermark. Watch the sun rise and set over tranquil waters and take time to enjoy experiencing how it truly feels to escape. It’s not chocolate that you crave or the sweet seduction of sugar this time of year, it’s stopping what’s expected and being open to spontaneity. And staying with us guarantees exactly that.

No two days are the same when you’re living the lakeside life. From water sports and long wild walks to toasting bubbles within the thermal springs of your private and picturesque hot tub, you choose the pace as well as the activities. Fresh air is the tonic to your wellbeing. And with so many exciting outdoor events surrounding us this season, you’ll be sure to re-set your mojo and soak it all in:

Cheltenham Festival: Hear the roars of an adrenalin-fuelled crowd as hooves pound the ground before you. You’ll soon understand why there’s no festival quite like Cheltenham. Feel the hairs rise on the back of your neck and your nerves tingle as the thundering thoroughbreds gallop to the finish line. The pinnacle jump racing event of the year boasts four days of extraordinary racing from 12-15th March as well as live music, boutique shopping and an unrivalled atmosphere.  Take advantage of some top racing tips before your flutter at the festival preview evening on Sunday March 10th from some of Cheltenham’s champions. Bringing a little friendly rivalry to the forefront Oli Bell and Nathan Murphy captain a panel of racing enthusiasts including trainer Paul Nicholls, Irish football legend Kevin Kilbane, Gold Cup-winning Jockey Richard Johnson, Niall Quinn and Kate Harrington for an evening promising banter in abundance.

Easter Wonderland at Blenheim Palace: For an Easter egg hunt with a difference – try finding your bounty at Blenheim. A four-day celebration of family fun promises giant 8ft decorated eggs hidden amongst the Pleasure Gardens. And that’s not all – find the special ‘Blenheim Egg’ and you could have a chance of winning an Easter surprise.

Cheese Rolling: Ancient traditions arouse curiosity and this one is no exception. Believed to have originated as a way to distinguish grazing rights on common land, cheese rolling is now officially an extreme sport. Attracting competitors and spectators worldwide the atmosphere alone is something to be experienced. Cheese rolling at Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth takes place on May 27th 2019 and a new King of Cooper’s Hill will be crowned. Watch the stampede of runners chase a 9lb Double Gloucester cheese (travelling at 70mph) down the hill. The winner is the first runner to the bottom – the prize is the cheese and instant Cotswolds’ fame.

Cheltenham Jazz Festival: From 1-6 May there’ll be jazz cats worldwide coming to the Cotswolds. Join them and jam while enjoying international jazz icons from Jamie Cullum to Charenee Wade. Boasting Gregory Porter as artistic curator this is a festival of high acclaim. With free outdoor music in Cheltenham’s Montpellier Gardens, let the sweet sounds of the sax soothe your soul – surrounded by food, drink and the company you choose.

Surfing on the Severn: Here’s a date the thrill-seekers amongst you will already have marked on your calendar. March 22nd 2019. The first of three five-star bores heading to the River Severn, promising a swell for surfers and spectators alike. With waves set to reach heights of 10m plus, this natural phenomenon always attracts a crowd. Now a world-famous event it sees surfers across the globe head inland and upstream for an alternative adrenalin-fuelled adventure.

Whether you’re looking for family-fun, musical enlightenment, fast-paced adrenalin action or the safety of being a spectator, there’s something for everyone this Easter at Watermark. And there’s your home from home waiting for you with us at Watermark. We’re the Cotswold’s best-kept secret…stay with us once and you’ll want to keep us that way.

February half term

Welcome to the best five days of February

By | Blogs

Welcome to the place where time stands still. With us. At Watermark. Planning your February half-term holiday couldn’t be easier. Put your hand on your heart and you’ll hear the Cotswolds calling. It’s time to celebrate the start of Spring. It’s time to try new experiences. To take a break from the cold morning commute, stressful school run and from being who people expect you to be. Time to relax and unwind. Time to turn off your phone without asking permission. To disconnect* from the digital world and connect to those who are most important. Time to walk barefoot. To taste the frost on your face/lips. Time to dip your toes. To get muddy. Get wet. Feel wild and refreshed. Time to wander.

Pause and clock-off from the 9-5 and take time. Quality time. On your own schedule with your loved ones in our luxurious lakeside lodges. Discover new half-term adventures in the great outdoors and pick the pace that suits your personalities. From introverts to adrenalin junkies there’s something for all the family. Feel-good family time in the fresh air. February is the month of love and you’ll feel it in the air at Watermark – watching your family make memories with us:

Cycling: bring your bikes or hire ours. Whether you fancy a relaxing ride around the country lanes and lakes or an adrenalin-fuelled off-road adventure, you’ll be spoilt for choice from Salisbury to Cirencester.

Horse riding: feel the air in your lungs on a crisp morning hack on horseback. From novice to experienced rider, the Cotswold countryside is yours to walk, trot or canter.



Children’s activities: choose from our outdoors activity park with zipwire, swings and climbing frame or our children’s playroom with cushioned floor and soft mats for toddlers through to gymnasts. Not forgetting our games room for teenagers and big kids, complete with pool tables, consoles and cyber-escapism.

Sports: From table tennis, boules and football to wakeboarding, fishing, sailing and golf – racket sports to water sports – there’s something for everyone, exclusively to our lodges, seasonally and all year round.

Photography: capture the views, wildlife and water via your lens. Or visit Wallsworth Hall and marvel at the ‘Nature in Art  photography exhibition, from the world’s most prestigious wildlife photography competition from London’s Natural History Museum. Showcasing over 100 images of intimate animal portraits, atmospheric landscapes and revolutionary photojournalism.

Lambing live: Take a walk in the fields and see the bouncing baby lambs or visit Cotswolds Farm Park for lambing live from 16-28th February. Try bottle-feeding the lambs and goat kids or let your own kids loose in the soft play. Climb aboard the tractor safari for a trip around the farm and meet a few familiar faces along the way.

Pack your wellies: The South West puddle jumping championships takes place at Slimbridge on 18-24th February. Style your splash in the perfect puddle and practice lakeside in advance.

Of course, this list doesn’t cover everything. Inspired by your surroundings, the artists amongst you may wish to write, draw or paint from the comfort of your lakeside living room. Or maybe you’d prefer to feed the ducks from your private jetty or relax in the hot tub with a glass of bubbly after bedtime. It’s your time and your choice.

However you spend your stay, one week is never enough. You’ll want to return again and again. We recommend staying with us to experience every season…then pick your favourite month – starting with February half term.

Half-term? Turn your question mark into Watermark.

*(of course, there’s Wi-Fi for those who don’t remember life without it)

Winter at Watermark

Winter at Watermark

By | Blogs

Picture a winter at Watermark; a cosy lodge with a bubbling hot tub overlooking a frozen lake on a winter’s evening. Marshmallows fall like snowflakes into steaming mugs of hot chocolate before family members, young and old, race to pick their seat on the sofa ready to watch the Polar Express. Cushions tumbling. Laughter chortling. Now open the door and join them.

Hunker down and spend quality time together this Christmas. With your loved ones.  Away from the stresses of home. There’s room for all the family in our luxurious lodges. And plenty of space to still enjoy time to yourself away from the celebrations. With country walks, waterside views and Wi-Fi – there’s something for all the family.

If distance is what divides you all, why not meet in the middle? Create your own village in the heart of the Cotswolds and use us as the perfect base for your festive celebrations. Including all the pre-Christmas preparations:

Step inside a fairy-tale

Wander through a winter wonderland at Blenheim Palace in a search for Cinderella. Promising to be bigger and better than ever, this year’s experience is truly magical. With hidden surprises both indoor and outdoor, the Palace State Rooms stage your own adventures as the estate’s evening illuminations ignite your imagination. From December until January 13th this dreamland is on your doorstep for the duration of your stay with us.

All aboard the Santa Express

Travel to the north pole by steam train with the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway’s Santa Special.  From Cheltenham Racecourse to Winchcombe this festive treat will guarantee a little magic. Sit back and enjoy a slower pace while elves entertain the children with colouring activities, jokes and surprises. Visit Santa’s grotto on arrival in Winchcombe and enjoy time with the man himself before enjoying a complimentary mince pie and hot or cold beverage in the platform café. Every child receives a quality present and experiences an adventure they’ll never forget. Seats sell out fast, with just four trains each day (Sat-Sun) so be sure to book your tickets in advance.

Christmas markets in the Cotswolds

From our quaint villages to bustling towns you’ll be spoilt for choice to grab your mulled wine and warm mince pie this year. Whether daytime or evening you can soak up the season with carol singers, street entertainers and an abundance of twinkling Christmas lights across a variety of Christmas markets. Broadway, Cheltenham and Cirencester and all promise traditional homemade gifts, delicious artisan food, unique arts and crafts, live music and fair rides from mid-November – 16 December.

Special effects at Sudeley Castle

Experience hypnotising illuminations with vibrant colours and special effects against the back drop of Sudeley Castle’s glorious gardens. Savour festive food as you stroll around the grounds with mulled wine or hot chocolate warming your hands. Taking place in the evenings of December 8 – 9, December 12-23 and December 27-30, let Winchcombe’s finest bewitch you.

Whether you’re planning a Christmas retreat, New Year reunion or winter hibernation, celebrate the season and have a winter at Watermark. Relax, refresh and recharge. Discover life undiluted and unadulterated. Discover Watermark.


Cheltenham Racecourse

Real winners stay at Watermark

By | Blogs

It’s that time of year again…you can feel it in the air. Adrenalin building as you hear the thundering charge of hooves pounding the ground, the smell of tweed and excitement on the autumn horizon. There’s only a few weeks to go until Cheltenham Racecourse hold their Showcase Meeting to start the season on 26th/27th October.

With its backdrop of the rolling cotswold hills, Cheltenham is the theatre of dreams for many this time of year. Maybe not for the bookies but for the grooms, trainers, breeders, owners, jockeys and punters alike – the dream of a winner is constant. It steals their sleep and sharpens their focus for months leading up to October. And you can feel the tension building. The excitement and drama of the new season waiting to start.

Like you, we can’t wait               

The National Hunt season will welcome the rising stars of Cheltenham as top trainers and owners showcase their new talent. Each year reputations are forged from the terraces to the paddock and are celebrated in the winning circle – and this year will be no exception.

Since the first race meeting took place here in 1815, Cheltenham Racecourse has grown in popularity year on year. Boasting a £45 million redevelopment in 2015, the venue now welcomes over 700,000 visitors each year.

Home of jump racing, and one of 14 prestigious courses owned by The Jockey Club, Cheltenham is famous for its Festival and The Gold Cup. Racing enthusiasts will already have 12-15 March 2019 highlighted on their calendars and accommodation booked before the madness of March approaches. The months ahead are the warm up and will entice you to visit again and again.

When it comes to luxury you’ll like our odds

The race to find accommodation in Cheltenham has started but that doesn’t mean you have to jump at the first overnight deal you find. Why not treat yourself to a little luxury, extend your stay and reside in style with us at Watermark. Wake up refreshed, relaxed and ready for the racing after a night in one of our lakeside lodges. Enjoy post-race dining and come down from your sporting high in the neighbouring spa. Relieve the stress from the tensions of the day and take in the beauty of the Cotswolds countryside from your sofa.

Entertain your clients, colleagues and corporate guests dining at Chez Roux at the racecourse or for a more informal gathering, welcome them all to a lakeside BBQ back at your lodge. You’re welcome to stay with us for the season, not just for the first meeting. We’re at your disposal from October to April, including New Year’s Day, and beyond the racing calendar.

Celebrate the start of the racing season, and your winnings, at Watermark.