Whether you’re looking to visit Gloucestershire attractions that are difficult to reach by public transport or just fancy a road trip beyond the county borders, there are plenty of places to tempt you to buckle up and get behind the wheel.
From fun-filled family outings and romantic dates, to designer shopping trips and energetic days out in the countryside, SoGlos has selected 12 places worth getting in the car for.
Home to the world’s largest collection of swans, geese and ducks, Slimbridge Wetland Centre, located on the shores of the Severn Estuary just off the M5, offers plenty to entertain all ages. Visitors can expect to see rare birds and enjoy a host of hands-on experiences, while children will love Welly Boot Land.
While it might seem like an unusual place to go out of your way to visit, Gloucester Services, which has outposts on the north and southbound M5, are definitely worth making a detour for. Expect to find an abundance of local produce in the farm shop, along with foodie gifts galore, and on-the-go treats.
Situated on 160 acres of parkland near Burford, Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens is home to one of the UK’s largest zoological collections. Visitors can see an array of animals including birds, mammals, primates and reptiles, along with the magnificent rhinos that can be found grazing on the lawns.
Located in a beautiful Georgian mansion on the outskirts of Gloucester, Nature in Art is the world’s first museum and gallery dedicated to works of art inspired by Mother Nature. Soak up the impressive collection of pieces from more than 600 artists, with workshops, talks and temporary exhibitions also on offer.
Go back in time with a visit to Clearwell Caves, offering the chance to learn about 4,500 years of mining history in the Forest of Dean. Today, the natural cave system, which was extensively mined for iron ore, houses displays that tell the story of the people who worked on the mine, along with hosting events.
Most famous for its impressive snowdrop displays which blanket the grounds of the National Trust property every spring, Snowshill Manor is a Cotswold manor house packed with eclectic treasures collected by architect Charles Wade, with the attraction open to visitors from March to November.
If you love the great outdoors and are a bit of an adrenaline junkie then you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained in Symonds Yat in the Forest of Dean. From soaking up stunning views of the Wye Valley and canoeing down the River Wye, to mountain biking and abseiling, there are activities for all ages.
Hop over the border to Oxfordshire to visit Blenheim Palace, one of the county’s top tourist attractions. The impressive stately home is a World Heritage Site and offers the chance to explore the Palace’s stunning interiors along with the beautiful formal gardens and vast parkland.
Venture south to Somerset to explore Cheddar Gorge & Caves, located on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that encompasses dramatic limestone cliffs and stalactite caverns. Visitors can enjoy cliff-top walks, take an open-top bus tour, learn about the history at the museum or have a go at caving.
Brunel’s SS Great Britain, one of the world’s most important historic ships, is dry docked in Bristol’s Harbourside and is just waiting to be explored. Visitors can climb aboard the decks and discover what life would have been like as a Victorian sailor, complete with sights, sounds and smells.
If you’re a fan of designer clothes you’ll love an excuse to venture to Bicester Village where you can shop for top name brands for less. The designer outlet destination, located in Oxfordshire, offers everything from luxury fashion to homeware, while there are also a range of eateries to make a day of it.
Head south to the beautiful city of Bath and visit the Roman Baths, a well-preserved site that was used for public bathing. After learning about the history and sampling some spa water, visitors can enjoy afternoon tea at the Pump Room, or relax in the roof-top pool of the nearby Thermae Bath Spa.
By Anna Marshall
Wednesday 28 December 2016
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