One of my absolutely favourite places to explore in the UK with kids is the Cotswolds, a beautiful area in the middle of England full of chocolate box villages, plenty of places to get outside and play and some of the most delightful cafes we’ve visited. We like it so much we got married there and try to return every few years.
This fantastic insider’s guide on things to do in The Cotswolds with kids is written by our latest guest blogger, Laurie from the wonderful Guidebook Baby, a fab resource if you’re looking for family friendly things to do in the UK.
What is the best thing about Cotswolds?
It’s just such a beautiful part of the country with lots of really cute little villages to mooch about in. I also love that it is a fairly short journey from London but you are in quaint little bit of England. Last summer we visited Devon and the Cotswolds in a matter of weeks. The car rage from the twins on the way back from Devon still gives me flashbacks.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
There are so many great places to eat here and they usually do a cracking bit of cake.
We had a lovely lunch in The Hive in Stow on the Wold. They were so welcoming to our twins and my Dad’s dog. It can often be a bit of a nightmare picking somewhere to eat that will welcome all of us.
I would say there are lots of great places to eat in Broadway, with lovely alfresco eating opportunities, but we decided to get a picnic from the Broadway Deli.
We then went to the park just set back from the main high street to enjoy this picnic. It was the best and biggest park I have ever seen with so much for kids to try and explore.
A great village to wander round and enjoy an ice cream is Bourton on the Water. There are loads of Ice Cream places to pick from and all seemed pretty cracking.
Final tip would be to head to Daylesford Organic, if you fancied something a bit fancier. The salads are amazing! However I haven’t braved bring the twins here yet.
Any local hotel recomendations?
We stay in my Dad’s house when we visit here but my tips would be to also look Air bnb as there so many family friendly ones with play areas that are suitable for children.
What do you do when you want to relax here?
We head to the pub or for a long walk with the twins. It is just such a pretty part of the world that is worth just getting out and about in the fresh air.
We also really enjoy the Adam Hansen Farm Park. There is so much to do at the Farm there is easily a days entertainment for little ones.
What’s the best way to get around the Cotswolds?
I found with the twins having a car was the best way to get about. If your children are a little older then there are so many walks you can do between villages but they just wouldn’t be buggy friendly all the way.
Are there any child friendly bars or pubs to visit?
I found all the pubs, and it is very much a pub type of place, to be really child friendly. None of the ones we visited made us feel uncomfortable with our rather unruly toddlers.
Top tips would be The Kings inn, Bleddington as it has a play area, perfect for a lazy lunch!
How safe do you feel here?
It is a really safe feeling part of the world where you almost imagine people still leave their doors open.
What do you wish was different about The Cotswolds?
I wish I had my own house here so I could visit more often!
Where is the best place for a coffee break?
See the Hive above.
What’s your favourite thing to do in The Cotswolds on a rainy day?
I feel very lucky that every time we have visited it has been sunny. However if it was raining I imagine we may head to Cheltenham or Bicester to explore the shops.
Are there any good places for shopping?
Most of the villages have a good selection of independent shops where you can find some really great presents. We bought the twins some gorgeous tops in Stow on the Wold in Meggie’s. I would highly recommend buying some chocolate in the Cotswolds Chocolate Company, its amazing.
How helpful are the locals?
Really helpful and very proud of where they live. They love to show it off. We had one local guide us to a specific area while we were out walking as it had a particularly pretty view.
What’s the one thing you can’t miss when visiting The Cotswolds with kids?
Definitely the Cotswolds wildlife park in my opinion. There is so much to do you can easily spend a day here. Take a pack lunch as the food here didn’t really excite me.
Finally the Cotswolds Country park and beach when the weather is on your side.
How to get to the Cotswolds
If you’re visiting from London, you could probably do it in a day, the train will take you just over an hour and a half and there’s a stop in Moreton in the Marsh. It will take you over an hour if you’re driving (the main motorways to head for are the M40 or the M5) but having a car will back it easy to explore all those lovely villages and the wide range of things to do in The Cotswolds with kids.
Have you got anythings to add to the list of great things to do in The Cotswolds with kids? We’d love to hear what you think, just add a comment below and help other families plan their next big adventure.
If you’re heading to the Cotswolds with kids you’ll also like this guide on places to visit animals in Oxfordshire.
Make sure you pin for later for planning things to do in The Cotswolds with kids.