Here’s the lowdown on some of our favourite arboretums and gardens to visit with kids in Gloucestershire and surrounding areas. And, because we know long journeys with children are rarely fun for anyone involved, we’ve made sure to include destinations that are less than an hour’s drive from our holiday homes in Cirencester.
Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh | GL56 9AT
When the kids need to let off some steam in the fresh air, Batsford Arboretum is the perfect spot to let them loose! Located near Moreton-in-Marsh, it offers incredible views across the Evenlode Valley and is home to one of the largest private tree collections in the country.
Batsford is guaranteed to wow no matter what time of year you visit, but our favourite time to wander its 56 acres is in autumn, when the colours of the changing leaves are simply sensational. There’s also a play area for little ones and a fun children’s trail that will teach them about the natural beauty around them. Dogs are welcome too, so there’s no need for your four-legged family member to miss out!
Tetbury | GL8 8QS
Another botanical garden that’s especially magical in autumn is Westonbirt, The National Arboretum. Located in Tetbury, it’s home to 2500 different tree species, which can be seen in all their glory from the Tree Top Walkway.
Dotted around the deep dark woods are some character sculptures that children will find very familiar – The Gruffalo, the Gruffalo’s Child and other characters from Julia Donaldson’s much-loved tales! When you’ve found them all, kids of all ages can use up any remaining energy in the Natural Play Trail, where they can build a den, clamber over logs, scramble through tyre tunnels and much more!
Bourton-on-the-Water | GL54 2BN
Looking for something a bit different to do as a family? The Dragonfly Maze certainly ticks that box and is an ideal activity to incorporate into a visit to the picturesque town of Bourton-on-the-Water.
This traditional yew-hedge maze consists of around half a mile of pathways and has a fun twist: dotted throughout the maze are 14 clues that make up a rebus puzzle. Solve the puzzle to find the hidden golden dragonfly at the centre of the maze!
Cotswold Country Park and Beach
Cirencester | GL7 6DF
If you thought you’d have to travel to the coast to get some beach vibes, think again! The Cotswold Country Park and Beach is quite possibly the region’s most surprising attraction! With a sandy beach, a swimming lagoon, a host of water sports and lots more activities, it’s the kind of day out you can make as energetic or chilled out as you fancy.
One of the most popular attractions for kids (age 6+) and adults alike is Aquaventure: a giant inflatable water park made up of more than 40 challenging obstacles for sliding, bouncing, jumping and splashing on!
We often have last-minute availability in our luxurious lakeside lodges at Cotswold Water Park. It’s the perfect location for exploring the Cotswolds’ finest parks and gardens, or simply kicking back and making the most of some precious family time.
Contact us now and we’ll help you plan your perfect getaway.