SoGlos’s Gloucestershire corporate away day guide offers a handpicked selection of some of the best venues for hosting team building activities in and around the county.
With a choice of activities spanning everything from clay shooting to world class sports, this indispensable corporate guide provides just the inspiration for businesses hoping to escape the boardroom and boost team morale and productivity.
Lowdown: Conveniently located in the countryside just five miles from Cheltenham, Ian Coley Shooting School offers colleagues the opportunity to bond while testing out their marksmanship skills. The school, run by six-time Olympic coach Ian Coley, has over 30 years’ experience of hosting functions for companies both big and small, with its corporate days offering the chance to combine a healthy bit of competition while picking up new skills.
Activities on offer: Ian Coley’s corporate packages encompass everything you’ll need on the day and include gun hire, cartridges and clays, safety equipment, use of the function marquee or shooting lodge, use of covered stands in case of bad weather, not to mention expert tuition from the school’s experienced team. The packages span a variety of shoots, from two-hour sessions to full day events, plus there’s also the option to combine sporting action with a choice of catering, from breakfast and brunch to afternoon tea and barbecues.
Facilities: The school has 24 different shooting stands, each with a minimum of two traps, three High Towers up to 120 feet high, Double Trap and Down-the-Line layout. Other facilities include a welcoming club house and there’s also the option to hire a marquee space for your function, making it ideal if you want to combine hosting meetings with team activities.
Parking: There is ample free on-site parking.
Accommodation: There's no accommodation at Ian Coley Shooting School, but there are plenty of options in nearby Cheltenham.
Perfect for: Businesses looking for a fun and challenging day out with colleagues – or ones hoping to tick a novel activity off the bucket list.
SoGlos loves: All attendees receive a complimentary Ian Coley cap worth £11.99 as a memento, plus there is 10 per cent off full-price clothing in the shop on the day.
More info: Call (01242) 870391, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit iancoley.co.uk directly.
Lowdown: From October to April each year, Cheltenham Racecourse plays host to world class jump racing action on its 350-acre course. Benefitting from stunning views of the Cotswold hills, Cheltenham Racecourse offers a thrilling day out for businesses.
Activities on offer: Eight meets take place across the racing season including the world famous Cheltenham Festival culminating in the Gold Cup, giving you plenty of choice when to enjoy a spot of sporting action with colleagues or clients. In addition to the three enclosures, Best Mate, Tattersalls and Club, Cheltenham Racecourse offers a selection of spaces that are ideal for hosting corporate away days, with both private box and restaurant packages available – and many including panoramic views of the course. Cheltenham Racecourse’s private box packages can cater from 10 to 30 guests, with an alternative option to dine with colleagues in the Gold Cup Restaurant, which offers excellent value for money. Numerous hospitality packages are available during each meet.
Facilities: Over the past two years Cheltenham Racecourse has been extensively redeveloped and offers first-class facilities including The Princess Royal Stand, a brand new five-and-a-half storey grandstand featuring restaurants, bar and viewing balconies.
Parking: Hospitality guests can take advantage of on-site parking at Cheltenham Racecourse.
Accommodation: There is no accommodation available at Cheltenham Racecourse, but there are plenty of choices in Cheltenham, with advance booking essential for those planning on attending The Festival in March.
Perfect for: Businesses looking for a thrilling slice of sporting action – with Cheltenham synonymous with horse racing.
SoGlos loves: Take advantage of the light spring evenings and head to the final meet of the season, the Hunter Chase Evening, in April and enjoy a relaxed take on racing.
More info: Call 0844 579 3003, email email@example.com or visit cheltenham.co.uk directly.
Lowdown: Brewerism is a unique business concept that promotes the idea of beer tourism through its fun and hands-on brewery tours that take in some of the south west’s finest beer producers. The business is run by self-confessed beer enthusiast Shandin Rickard-Hughes, who aims to promote the region as a beer destination and celebrate the diverse range of beers available on our doorstep.
Activities on offer: The guided tours, which take place in Cheltenham, Gloucester, the Cotswolds, and Bristol, are ideal for corporate away days and offer the opportunity to learn more about beer, discover lesser-known breweries and of course sample some of the tipples. Both walking and minibus tours visit three breweries or pubs and there is the option to add lunch or dinner if you want to experience beer and food pairing.
Facilities: The minibus and walking tours include a guide, driver, beer samples at each brewery and a snack stop.
Parking: The tours, which tend to last between three and four hours, begin and end near public transport links to make the experience even more enjoyable, and can arrange minibus pick up and drop up in many locations.
Perfect for: Businesses who are looking for an alternative corporate away day.
SoGlos loves: Brewerism also runs beer tasting and food pairing evenings that are ideal for client entertaining or bonding with colleagues over a love of beer. The evenings typically involve tasting around six beers, with cheese and nibbles or a food pairing option available.
More info: Call Brewerism on 07564 017670, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit brewerism.co.uk directly.
Lowdown: Funky Warehouse is an indoor trampoline park, offering fitness classes, soft play, parkour and a Ninja Warrior-style assault course. Specialising in children’s parties, the team at Funky Warehouse know how to organise a fun-filled day out of the office. They can even offer catering packages for delegates to refuel after all that bouncing!
Activities on offer: With more than 40 trampolines available, you can literally bounce off the walls at Funky Warehouse. Who wouldn’t want to let off some steam by pushing their colleagues into a foam pit, or beat the boss on the gladiator-style battle bar? For the most competitive team mates, there’s even a parkour zone and Ninja Warrior course.
Facilities: As well as the energetic activities on offer, there are dedicated ‘party’ rooms available for hire at Funky Warehouse. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s a fully stocked café and catering options available, too.
Parking: Free parking is available on site.
Perfect for: Businesses which are looking for a fun-loving corporate away day, sure to delight your inner child.
SoGlos loves: Some gentle competition is never a bad thing, especially if you’re armed with a massive padded drumstick! The battle bar is the perfect way to bond with work colleagues and embrace your inner gladiator.
More info: Call Funky Warehouse (01242) 300101, email email@example.com or visit funkywarehouse.co.uk directly.
Lowdown: Dunkertons has been producing organic cider since it was founded by Ivor and Susie Dunkerton in Pembridge, Herefordshire in 1980. Since then the business, which produces cider using apples and pears from its own orchards, and without using chemicals or concentrates, has gone from strength to strength. In 2014, the couple’s son Julian, founder of Superdry, took over the running of the business. In 2016 the production of cider moved to Gloucestershire to a specially developed site in Dowdeswell, just outside of Cheltenham.
Activities on offer: Dunkertons has a variety of different options for corporate events, including the chance to go a tour of the cidery. Guests kick off the session with a glass of cider before heading out on a guided tour, followed by a talk from Dunkertons’ retail manager who introduces three ciders or Perry to taste with organic cheeses. If you’re tight on time, then you can just go for the meet and greet and tasting, with the opportunity to sample one or two ciders with matching cheeses.
Facilities: The cidery includes space for groups to host cider and cheese tastings, while the shop is ideal for stocking up on some tipples and organic produce to take home.
Parking: There is ample free on-site parking.
Accommodation: While there is no accommodation on site, Dunkertons is part of Dowdeswell Estates along with The Lucky Onion boutique hotel collection, which includes No. 131 and No. 38 The Park in Cheltenham, and The Wheatsheaf Inn in Northleach, offering plenty of places to stay nearby.
Perfect for: Businesses who want to enjoy a truly local experience and sample some delicious cider.
SoGlos loves: If you’re looking for space to host meetings, lunches, dinners, and team building events, businesses can use The Lucky Onion venues. The experienced events team can help with designing bespoke packages to suit their needs in order to offer the ultimate chance to relax and bond with colleagues, away from the office.
More info: Call (01242) 650145, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
Lowdown: Located on the outskirts of Gloucester and within 10 minutes of the M5, Hatherley Manor provides a convenient location for hosting corporate away days in Gloucestershire. The three-star manor house hotel is set on 37 acres of beautiful grounds, offering ample space for an array of functions.
Activities on offer: Whether you want to enjoy a few rounds of clay pigeon shooting, get competitive on a treasure hunt, try your hand at driving off-road buggies, or get mucky on a quad bike, there are plenty of activities for businesses hosting corporate events at Hatherley Manor.
Facilities: The hotel benefits from a 13-acre team building field, walled garden and lawns that can be used for activities for up to 500 delegates. If you want to combine hosting corporate away days with meetings, the venue has a variety of function rooms and suites for up to 300 people.
Parking: There is complimentary parking for over 300 cars at Hatherley Manor.
Accommodation: Hatherley Manor has 51 en-suite bedrooms, making it a perfect venue for residential events.
Perfect for: Businesses wanting the option to combine a variety of different activities on a team building day out.
SoGlos loves: The hotel’s newly revamped spa is the perfect place to enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation and makes a great treat for employees.
More info: Call 0300 303 8302, email email@example.com or visit hatherleymanor.com directly.
Lowdown: Set in a picture-perfect spot in the heart of the Forest of Dean, Hillside Brewery makes an ideal choice for those looking to escape from the boardroom. The independent family-run brewery, which is located on a 40-acres farm in Longhope, has been crafting a range of real ales since it launched 2014, with over 36 awards so far. The versatile venue offers some very different away day experiences and is the ideal setting for getting team members together.
Activities on offer: Hillside can offer all the traditional events around the brewery, for example, tours or brew your own beer, but also so much more. It offers bespoke packages including team building and experience days, which are designed to be fun yet beneficial for improving relationships in the workplace. The team building packages can encompass everything from problem-solving tasks and business games, to team competitions with prizes, with a brewery tour and beer tasting to finish. There’s also the chance to team brewery tours with a choice of different activities including Archery Tag, clay pigeon shooting, and an Indian cookery course, with the option to combine activities for a truly unique day out.
Facilities: The high-quality Hop Barn with a fully stocked bar is an adaptable space that’s perfect for hosting a range of events and can seat up to 250 people, while the terrace, which benefits from far-reaching countryside views, is the ideal place to kickback with a beer after a day of team building. The venue also benefits from two meeting rooms, one with capacity for 12 and the other for up to 100. There is a five-star rated professional kitchen and all food requirements can be catered for.
Parking: There is parking for 100 cars.
Accommodation: Hillside Brewery can arrange on-site glamping or a range of other local accommodation in the Forest of Dean.
Perfect for: Businesses looking for corporate away days that combine a host of activities.
SoGlos loves: If you discover a favourite beer during your visit to Hillside, bottles and boxes can be bought directly from the brewery to be enjoyed at home. You can even create a custom labelled beer (for an additional cost), which is great to make an event extra special.
More info: Call (01452) 830222, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit hillsidebrewery.com directly.
Lowdown: Situated in a peaceful setting in the heart of the Forest of Dean, Harts Barn Cookery School offers participants the chance to pick up hands-on skills while discovering new flavours and recipes. The school opened its doors in 2011 and has received rave reviews for its down to earth approach to teaching that aims to promote the ethos of cooking for all.
Activities on offer: With an array of cookery experiences to choose from, the school has plenty to tempt business to step away from the office to enjoy a bit of fun-filled team bonding. The corporate offerings include the chance to take part in a Ready, Steady, Cook challenge and compete against each other and the clock to see who can whip up the best dishes; try your hand at a Cook and Dine lunchtime, evening or weekend session; combine a cooking experience with a craft workshop, or test your skills on a culinary-themed team building challenge. There’s also the opportunity to use the first-class cooking environment to host client entertainment, with delicious food provided by the team at Harts Barn Cookery School.
Facilities: The corporate packages can accommodate up to 24 people for cooking activities in the glass-fronted cookery school, while the adjoining Apple Barn offers a flexible space that can be hired for a variety of corporate functions, along with offering the option of a licensed bar.
Parking: There are plenty of spaces for guests to park at Harts Barn Cookery School.
Accommodation: There is no overnight accommodation at Harts Barn Cookery School, but plenty of options in the Forest of Dean.
Perfect for: Businesses looking to offer employees the chance to enjoy good food while picking up new skills.
SoGlos loves: The courses at Harts Barn Cookery School also make a great choice for businesses looking for reward packages for employees, with the opportunity to treat staff to a cocktail and canapé demonstration, a chocolate making workshop, or a cooking skills workshop.
More info: Call (01452) 831719, email email@example.com or visit hartsbarncookeryschool.co.uk directly.
Lowdown: Gloucester Rugby is one of the best rugby clubs in the country with a loyal fan base who flock to Kingsholm Stadium to catch the premiership team in action. Located in the centre of Gloucester, the stadium has capacity for crowds of over 16,500 and offers a lively setting for spending an away day with colleagues or clients.
Activities on offer: Choose from a range of match day hospitality packages which offer the chance to combine dining and networking with watching the Cherry and Whites on the pitch. In addition to match day dining in the 1873 Club, there are also a limited number of private executive suites at Gloucester Rugby accommodating up to 16 people for hire, which are available two hours prior to kick-off giving you ample time to enjoy a two-course meal before heading out on to the private balcony to watch the game. Another option for corporate away days is The Legends Experience, including a four-course meal in the Legends Lounge Restaurant, before a live question and answer session with former and current players.
Facilities: There are a range of match day hospitality options at Kingsholm Stadium perfect for away days – ranging from executive private boxes in the main stadium and the 1873 Club, to The Mira Showers Stand and the JS Stand which both provide private boxes and covered seating, with The Shed and The Stowford Press Stand both offering unallocated standing.
Parking: Certain hospitality packages include onsite parking at Kingsholm Stadium or parking allocation in nearby carparks.
Accommodation: There is no on-site accommodation at Gloucester Rugby, but there are a range of nearby options in Gloucester
Perfect for: Businesses looking to catch premiership rugby players in action with colleagues and clients – and enjoy networking in a friendly, relaxed environment.
SoGlos loves: Perfect for the new 2016-17 season, if you want to entertain clients or treat staff to corporate away days regularly, choose from a seasonal hospitality package, and enjoy watching matches from the comfort of a private suite throughout the year.
More info: Call (01452) 872261, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit gloucesterrugby.co.uk directly.
Lowdown: Woodchester Valley is an award-winning boutique vineyard and winery in the South Cotswolds. The family-run business produces a range of white, rosé and sparkling wines at its sites in Amberley, Woodchester and Doverow Hill.
Activities on offer: Throughout the year, 90-minute guided tours are available at the Woodchester site, which offers groups the chance to learn more about the winemaking process for still and sparkling wines, before enjoying a tutored tasting of five wines.
Facilities: The venue can arrange private group tours for 10 to 22, making it the perfect choice for corporate away days. Light lunch or refreshments can be organised from external suppliers so you can be sure to make a day of it.
Parking: There is plenty of on-site parking.
Accommodation: There are three separate barn guest rooms adjacent to Woodchester vineyard, while there’s also a two-bed farmhouse that sleeps four.
Perfect for: Businesses looking for a day out with a difference.
SoGlos loves: Don’t miss the chance to stock up on a selection of wines before you head home. The Cellar Door shop is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays and stocks the whole range of wines, including some exclusives.
More info: Call 07710 605 558, email email@example.com, or visit woodchestervalleyvineyard.co.uk directly.
Wednesday 02 January 2019
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