Stop number one for kids in the Cotswolds is the Wildlife Park. Get in early for the penguin feeding, then stay for meerkats, giraffes, camels, tapir and a whole menagerie of exotic species. Keep the animal appeal going at the Cotswold Farm Park, home to guinea pigs, baby chicks and rare breeds.
Ride the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway from Broadway to Cheltenham Racecourse through some of the Cotswolds’ most-enchanting scenery. At the Cotswold Motoring Museum, the collection of rare vehicles and classic memorabilia offers a nostalgic glimpse into early life on the road.
Head to Birdland Park and Gardens for free-flying displays, feeding sessions and talks, plus the nation’s only breeding colony of king penguins. To Clearwell Caves or some of Britain’s most atmospheric and oldest underground mine workings. Or to Puzzlewood, peppered with roots, pathways and dramatic natural landscapes.
Jousting, fighting and falconry bring history alive before their eyes at Warwick Castle. And Blenheim Palace chips in with the fun, with mazes, railway and a parklands picnic. Walk the kids into bed with a pretty stroll between Upper and Lower Slaughter, through open fields along the banks of the Eye.
There’s enough on site to keep you going, including hundreds of acres of woodland and lake perfect for pulling on your running shoes or heading out in a boat. Then there’s the ArtSpa, a tranquil sanctuary of indulgence featuring an outdoor eco-pool, indoor and outdoor heated pools, sauna, steam room and gym.
Indulge yourself with over sixty treatments, from facials and hot stones, massages and manicures, pedicures and body waxing. Hire bikes, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards from the Activity Hub. Or take a stiff walk from Chipping Campden up to Broadway Tower. Refuel in the café.
Love to shop? Independent is the way to go here, in Cheltenham’s Promenade and Montpellier districts, and in Cirencester, with its golden-stone alleyways such as Tiny Black Jack Street brilliant for browsing. Head to the Brewery Arts Centre to see British craft-makers, or to Corn Hall for a range of stylish stores.
Or just potter around the Cotswolds, a land of honey-stone cottages, real-ale pubs and willows gently weeping into babbling brooks. Visit Bath because of its hot springs, Cheltenham because of its racing, Cirencester because of its markets, and beautiful villages such as Broadway and Chipping Campden – just because.