Kids might just enjoy lifting their eyes from their iPads and exploring the half acre of woodlands and wetlands (watch out for the water). But horizons widen even further around Gloucester and the Forest of Dean.
At Cotswold Farm Park, you can meet over 50 flocks and herds of farm animals, including Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs and Highland cattle. There’s a similar theme at Avon Valley Adventure Wildlife Park, with play areas, animal handling, pony grooming and educational talks and walks.
At Birdland in Bourton-on-the-Water, woodland, river and water gardens are home to over 500 flamingos, pelicans, parrots, kookaburras and more. Trace the story of the Cotswolds at the Corinium Museum, or sit in the flight deck of a Vulcan bomber at the Jet Age Museum.
Elsewhere, there’s karting, zorbing, indoor and outdoor climbing, city farms and narrowboats. There’s world-class rugby to watch at the Kingsholm Stadium and the Severn river to cruise or fish, or even surf when the Big Bore is in town.
On site, pop your head out over the boathouse balcony and catch the spectacular Severn Bore, or just the calming everyday rush of meandering water. Hit the heated pool or games room. Off site, stay in the present or go back in time and see the wonders of history and pre-history.
Walk the walled monastery garden pursued by ducks and peacocks at Prinknash Abbey, wander the classical cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral, constructed by St Ethelred in AD 681 to honour St Peter. Honour history and heritage further at the Soldiers of Gloucester Museum.
Taste the grape at the Three Choirs Vineyard. Head for the Victorian docks for eateries and outlets and a taste of old and new. Get a load of four floors of antiques at Gloucester Quays Antiques Centre or grab lungfuls of fresh air at the Robinswood Hill Country Park with its 30-mile views. Or wind down with a stroll along the promenade at Cheltenham, a day at the races, or sampling the spa town’s continental café culture.
Pop out for a pint to the rustic Red Lion in Westbury-on-Severn, with its hearty roasts and real ales beneath traditional beams. Dining fine? It doesn’t get much finer than the Lords of the Manor, 5 North Street, the Butchers Arms or Le Champignon Sauvage, with five Michelin stars and just a few miles between them.