There’s plenty around here to get active kids huffing and puffing, and then carried off to bed so mum and dad can collapse on the sofa with a well-earned wine. You can kick things off on horseback at Shepperdine Riding, then tackle the high ropes, assault course, climbing and den-building on offer at Mojo Active.
There’s more opportunity to scale rock faces at Bristol Climbing Centre and Clip n’ Climb. And it’s totally legal to shoot your friends and family at Delta Force Paintballing. You can surf inland at The Wave or ski without mountains at Gloucester Ski Centre. Go Ape in the Forest of Dean or bounce yourself into oblivion at Air Hop.
You can walk with alpacas at Painswick, see 40 naturally themed displays at Bristol Aquarium, or visit Bristol Zoo or its sister project, The Wild Place. It’s designed to link specific ecosystems and conservation programmes across the world and hosts okapi, red river dogs, wolverine and linx.
Take a heritage trip through the rolling countryside on the Avon Valley Railway. Meet the cute and the cuddly at farm parks such as Cattle Country and Old Down Country Park. Go underground at Cheddar Gorge and Clearwell Caves. Or find out about the history of Bristol for free at M Shed.
You’re on holiday. So spoil yourself with treatments at Cotswold Spa. You’ll have earned it after your trail walks from the doorstep, your climb up to Tyndale Monument, or your rounds of golf on beautiful courses such as Cotswold Edge, Thornbury and Chipping Sodbury. Or indeed if you hired bikes from Bristol’s Cycle the City.
For a more relaxing time, you can fish for roach, rudd carp, bream, tench and roach at Tan House Lake. Walk some more around the Forest of Dean, or along the Cotswold Way, the Severn Estuary or the Gloucester Canal. Watch out for the Severn Bore, a sort of mini tidal wave popular with surfers and kayakers.
Bring history to life at Tudor treat Newark Park or baroque Dyrham Park. Take the Boathouse Walk at Woodchester Park. Take a trip around Berkeley Castle, built to keep out the Welsh, or beautifully preserved Chepstow Castle. Stay in town for the horse racing. See stunning cathedrals at Gloucester and Bristol and Benedictine Bath Abbey.
Take in six miles of meadows, ancient woodlands and secluded valleys complete with heartbreaking views of the city on a Bath Skyline Walk. Reward yourself with a distillery tour at Six o’Clock Gin in Thornbury or a brewery tour at nearby Wickwar, home of Black Rat beer.
You’ve on-site entertainment to keep hens happy at every turn. Start with drinking and dining: book The Chalkboard and fill up on beef bourguignon and lemon posset washed down with Prosecco, all wrapped up with a coffee and petits fours. You don’t even need to load the dishwasher.
When darkness drops, head out to the terrace to soak up the views of the night sky in the bubbling hot tub. Then robe up, put on some popcorn and pile into the cinema room with surround-sound and 80” TV. Drinks optional. We’d recommend using the stair slide before evening refreshments, not after.
Thinking of shipping in some entertainment? Call up Le Tartistry for afternoon tea delivered to the door. Owned by Karen Ley-Greaves, who once worked in Claridge’s kitchen, the business will supply you with traditional sandwiches such as roast beef, ham and wholegrain mustard, and egg and cress.
Sweet tooth? How about a chocolate-making hen party with Chocolate Genie? Or put the art into party with a life-drawing session care of Nude Life. Mix things up with an in-house cocktail-making class. Or call up the Belvedere Pamper Company for beauty, massage and other treatments.
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