SoGlos’s guide to the summer holidays in Gloucestershire in 2021 is guaranteed to make the six-week school break fly by – from cracking days out and fun family activities at newly-reopened attractions, through to energetic sports and some unmissable special events.
The summer holidays might be a little different in July and August 2021, with social distancing measures in place and prebooking required at many attractions, but there’s plenty of family fun to be had…
The award-winning Cotswold Farm Park, near Cheltenham, is welcoming guests of all ages to enjoy exciting, animal-packed days out during the summer holidays this 2021.
One of Gloucestershire’s most popular attractions, as well as the chance to meet all types of animals from goats and pigs to rare breeds, Cotswold Farm Park’s little day-trippers can tackle the outdoor play areas, jump for joy on the bouncy pillows, wear themselves out on a wildlife walk – before heading to the brilliant café for sausage baps and ice creams.
Brand new for summer 2021, in addition to its popular campsite and lodges, Cotswold Farm Park has launched a new glamping experience, with Strawberry’s Field giving families the chance to enjoy a festival feel staycation in luxury bell tents. And dogs are welcome too!
Day trips and overnight stays must all be booked in advance. Day tickets start from £16 for adults and £10 for children, while glamping breaks at Strawberry’s Field cost from £175.
For more information, call (01451) 850307 or visit cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk.
This summer holidays, the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham will be welcoming families along to watch Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain, which will be on stage from Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 August 2021.
The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham is hosting a series of performances of Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain to keep the kids occupied this summer holiday. With battling Boudicca, dastardly Dick Turpin and horrible Henry VIII, families are in for a treat.
The Everyman Theatre’s café will be open throughout the summer holiday serving kids’ lunches, including hot and cold sandwiches, wrap and jacket potatoes all made from fresh ingredients.
Ticket prices range from £16 and times per performance vary. To adhere to government guidelines, there will be a limited capacity and tickets will need to be booked in advance so not to be disappointed.
For more information, call (01242) 572573 or visit everymantheatre.org.uk/horrible-histories-live-on-stage-barmy-britain.
One of Gloucestershire’s most popular children’s holiday camps, Camp 4-2-11 has venues across the county including in Gloucester and Cheltenham — and this summer will see a new camp launched in the Cotswolds.
Each camp welcomes children aged three to 14 and runs from 9am to 4pm with extra time from 8.30am until 5.30pm available.
The Cheltenham camp runs for five weeks from Monday 26 July to Friday 27 August 2021 and is held at St Edward’s Senior School, while the Gloucester camp runs for three weeks from Monday 2 August to Friday 20 August 2021 at Dinglewell Junior School and the new Cotswold camp runs for four weeks at The Cotswold School in Bourton-on-the-Water from Monday 2 August 2021 to Friday 27 August 2021.
With so many things going on, children will be able to immerse themselves in new experiences and enjoy a whole host of activities including diving into a swimming pool, braving a climbing wall, archery, laser tag, circus skills, arts and crafts and more – all with recognisable friendly faces.
Camp 4-2-11 is not only fun-filled and action-packed, it is also rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted – giving Gloucestershire parents real peace of mind that their kids are in safe hands.
You can either book individual days or weekly sessions with rates at each camp varying.
Day rates at the Cheltenham camp and Cotswold camp cost £40 per day and weekly rates cost £180 per week and the Gloucester camp day rates cost £30 per day with weekly rates costing £130.
Please note that spaces are limited and some dates are fully booked, however you can join a waiting list.
For more information and to book a place, visit camp4211.co.uk.
Cheltenham’s Brewery Quarter promises a summer full of fun for families, with loads of activities from escape rooms to adventure golf, as well as a whole host of child-friendly restaurants.
Little ones will love The Play Farm, with Cheltenham’s largest soft play frame, as well as slides, ball pits and a new laser tag area too.
Cineworld Cheltenham offers Movies for Juniors every Saturday and Sunday morning at 10am, with discounted screenings of kids films from just £2.50 per ticket.
Older kids and teens can pit their wits against the Brewery Quarter’s latest attraction, Escape Hunt, offering four escape rooms to tackle with themes including Doctor Who, Alice in Wonderland and World War 2 – all suitable for children aged eight and over.
While competitive families can go head-to-head at Hollywood Bowl; or dive into Neptune’s Mist and Canopy Creek with a round or two of adventure golf at Mr Mulligans.
With dedicated kid’s menus at The Alchemist; Brewhouse & Kitchen; The Botanist; Nando’s; Prezzo; and Son of Steak, there are plenty of places to refuel after hitting the lanes, catching a movie or playing a round of golf – not to mention Creams Café for sweet treats too!
Cineworld Movies for Juniors, Escape Hunt, Hollywood Bowl, Mr Mulligans Adventure Golf and The Play Farm must all be booked online in advance.
For more information, visit thebreweryquarter.com.
Keep the kids occupied during the summer holidays with action-packed tennis camps at East Glos Club on Cheltenham’s Old Bath Road, running every week day from Monday 19 July to Friday 27 August 2021.
Whether they’re familiar with a racket or totally new to the sport, children can burn off some energy at East Glos Club’s daily tennis camps, learning the basics or mastering techniques at their own pace.
Kids will be taught by LTA-qualified coaches, with sessions designed to cater for all ages and abilities – featuring gameplay, competitions and changing teaching themes to help young players develop their skills on the court.
As the south west’s only home to padel, East Glos is giving Junior players the chance to try the up-and-coming racket sport during their sessions. Played on enclosed courts, the game is a tennis-squash hybrid that’s fun, sociable and easy to learn.
Mini tennis camps for four to eight-year-olds run from 9am to 11am on Monday to Friday – costing £18 per day or £90 per week. Junior tennis camps for nine to 16-year-olds run from 11am to 4pm on Monday to Friday – costing £40 per day or £185 for the week.
East Glos Club members are eligible for a 20 per cent discount but everyone is welcome to book a camp and join in the fun. Places must be booked online.
Tech-savvy kids can unleash their inner ninja and have a go at coding this summer, with Code Ninjas Camps running at Gloucestershire College’s Cheltenham campus on selected dates from Monday 26 July to Friday 27 August 2021.
Whether your kids are into Minecraft, Roblox or YouTube, Code Ninjas has something for every tech-lover at its summer camps in Cheltenham.
Budding engineers can try their hand at 3D printing and create their own custom model, or take part in a robotics bootcamp where they’ll learn how to design, build and code their very own LEGO robot.
Gamers will love the chance to design their own unique modifications within Minecraft using block-based coding, while Roblox fans can plan and create their own game world in the Roblox developer camp.
Or if your kids have had enough of watching YouTube stars, this is their chance to become one themselves – with the Become a YouTuber camp giving them the opportunity to get in front of the camera, as well as learn how to brand their channel; record, edit and upload videos; analyse popular YouTube content; and get to grips with copyright and fair usage.
Code Ninjas Camps are run by expert Code Senseis who will help children to turn their interest in technology into lifelong skills, while having loads of fun along the way – with the sessions also providing a safe space for kids to make friends, too.
Adventures in 3D Printing takes place from Monday 26 to Friday 30 July 2021 and Monday 9 to Friday 13 August 2021; Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer takes place from Monday 26 to Friday 30 July 2021 and Monday 16 to Friday 20 August 2021; Robotics Bootcamp using LEGO Education Solutions runs from Monday 2 to Friday 6 and Monday 23 to Friday 27 August 2021; Designing Modifications with Minecraft takes place from Monday 2 to Friday 6 and Monday 16 to Friday 20 August 2021; with Become a YouTuber running from Monday 9 to Friday 13 and Monday 23 to Friday 27 August 2021.
Code Ninjas Camps cost £150 each and run from 9.30am to 12.30pm or 1pm to 4pm Monday to Friday on the weeks they take place. All Code Ninjas Camps must be booked online in advance.
For more information, visit codeninjas.co.uk.
Enjoy a summer of fun at the spectacular Sudeley Castle, in Winchcombe near Cheltenham, with activities taking place every day until Tuesday 31 August 2021 – from exciting exhibitions, live entertainment to animal experiences.
Little ones can dress up in their finest fairy costumes and take to the Pixie Village, with tasks to complete for its tiny woodland residents along the enchanting nature trail around Sudeley’s beautiful grounds.
Fashion-lovers can explore a brand-new exhibition of doll-sized women’s fashion from 1066 to 1980 – with 74 miniature costumes featuring everything from glorious gowns and neck ruffs, swinging sixties miniskirts to edgy punk outfits.
Then throughout August, Professor Collywobbles takes to the Falcon Lawn every Wednesday, recreating events from Sudeley’s history through slapstick comedy, acting and music – with a little help from his friends, Punch and Judy.
On Fridays, Trevor Hill Animal Experiences give children the chance to meet exotic animals including meerkats, snakes and even an armadillo, while on Saturdays, Past-Time Living History brings Sudeley Castle’s resident Tudor queen back to life with its show Katherine Parr and the Tudor Court.
Sudeley Castle is also home to a spectacular Kingfisher sculpture, as part of the Cotswolds Kingfisher Trail. One of 20 artworks to discover, the Sudeley kingfisher was created by Winchcombe-based artist, Shiloha Levi, and can be found near the visitor centre.
Tickets to Sudeley Castle must be pre-booked in advance, with admission costing £17.75 for adults and £8.75 for children aged three to 15-years-old, with free entry for infants under three. Family tickets are also available for £48 for two adults and two children.
Activities and exhibitions are all included within the price of standard admission, with The Change in Ladies Costume from 1066 to 1980 exhibition taking place from Monday 19 July until Tuesday 31 August 2021; the Pixie Village trail from Friday 30 July to Tuesday 31 August 2021; Professor Collywobbles on Wednesday 4, 11, 18 and 25 August 2021; Trevor Hill Animal Encounters on Friday 6, 13, 20 and 27 August 2021; and Katherine Parr and the Tudor Court on Saturday 7, 14, 21 and 28 August 2021.
For more information, call (01242) 604244, or visit sudeleycastle.co.uk.
The Big Feastival takes place at former Blur star Alex James’ Farm near Kingham in Oxfordshire on the August bank holiday weekend – kicking off on Friday 27 August 2021.
A whole host of music stars will take to the stage across the three day festival including Sigala; Nile Rodgers and CHIC; Rag’n’Bone Man; Sophie Ellis Bextor; Tom Walker; Ella Eyre; and All Saints.
There will also be live cooking demos with big culinary names like Nathan Outlaw and Mark Hix which are bound to get your taste buds tingling, as well as fun for all the family with children’s favourites such as Justin Fletcher; Dick & Dom; Roald Dahl & The Imagination Seekers; and Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park offering entertainment for families.
It’s called The Big Feastival for a reason and with some of the hottest names from the UK food scene expected to attend, there will be so much delicious food to choose from! With everything from pizzas; mac ‘n’ cheese; burgers; hot dogs; paella; souvlaki; doughnuts; churros; and plenty more.
There are very limited tickets left so snap up the chance to see some big-name musicians on Friday 27 June 2021 as all other tickets are sold out! Tickets start from £82 each for adults and £48.50 each for teens. Children under the age of 12 can attend for free.
Located in the heart of Cirencester, the award-winning Corinium Museum — renowned for its Roman Cirencester collections and exhibits — has a whole host of summer activities planned for both the little kids and the big ones. With everything from admiring the spectacular and internationally renowned treasures on display to taking a trip back in time with Ted’s Time-Travelling Toilet trail.
There are a whole host of new things to discover at the Corinium Museum this summer 2021. A new display, Stone Age to Corinium, takes visitors way back in time as it incorporates some old favourites with some remarkable and previously unseen objects – each with a unique story to tell.
Two more unseen objects have arrived at the museum too. On loan from the British Museum, a bronze ribbed bracelet — the first of its kind to be found in the Cotswolds — along with an exceptional flint dagger, will form part of the Bronze Age display. Both artefacts were discovered at Bronze Age Beaker Burial graves located in the Cotswold Water Park.
Take a guided tour with actor Ben Miller with the museum’s multimedia audio guide available to hire, this summer 2021.
Then embark on an epic adventure to the past with Ted’s Time-Travelling Toilet trail. Promising loads of fun this summer, the Corinium Museum, in collaboration with Award Publications, has created a trail around the museum galleries, based on the children’s book Ted's Time-Travelling Toilet: Roman Rewind.
And if that wasn’t enough, once you’ve finished your trip to the past, you can visit the museum’s new gift shop to pick up some treasures of your own, then head to the Café and Garden for a well-deserved treat.
The Corinium Museum is keeping it local with a group exhibition of local artists and makers in its new gallery, this summer 2021 too. The exhibition, titled WINGS | WOOD | WEAVE, will include an exploratory and eclectic mix of woodcut prints by Katie Ballard, photographs by George Brooks and hand-woven Saori textiles by Jak Harrison.
The exhibition is on until Sunday 1 August 2021 with the gallery holding a new exhibition every six to eight weeks.
Ted’s Time-Travelling Toilet trail will run until Wednesday 1 September 2021 with families able to follow in Ted’s footsteps and search for Roman swords, shields and helmets using their mobiles or tablets. The trail can be found on the museum’s website and children will receive a sticker at the end of the trail.
To continue with social distancing requirements, the number of visitors to the museum will be limited and tickets will need to be booked in advance online.
For more information, call (01285) 655611 or visit coriniummuseum.org.
Popular with families and nature-lovers all over Gloucestershire, Batsford Arboretum near Moreton-in-Marsh is welcoming visitors every day throughout the summer holidays – open from 9.30am to 5pm on Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 5pm on Sunday.
Little ones can put their detective skills to the test, searching for hedgehogs hidden around the arboretum from Tuesday 27 July to Sunday 5 September 2021. The Big Batsford Hedgehog Hunt costs an additional £2.50 per child, with a map provided for kids to jot down each hog’s secret hiding place – and a prize up for grabs, too!
The children’s trail offers a perfect way for families to explore the Cotswold arboretum’s glorious grounds, which are home to botanical species from all over the world. Soak up the sunshine while keeping the kids amused as they discover Batsford’s natural wonders.
Before the madness of the summer holidays hits, bring the kids along to Little Red Riding Hood & The Three Funky Pigs, an open-air show that’s coming to the arboretum on Sunday 18 July 2021. A modern mash-up of two fairy tale favourites, the performance is packed with songs and entertainment to amuse audiences of all ages.
Tickets to Batsford Arboretum cost £8.10 for adults, £7.20 for concessions and £3.15 for children aged four to 16, with under 4s free of charge. Family tickets are also available for £18.15. Tickets must be booked online in advance.
For more information, visit batsarb.co.uk/tickets.
Westonbirt, The National Arboretum near Tetbury, is open every day from 9am during the summer holidays.
Taking family forest walks to the next level, there’s a new chance to hunt for the famous Gruffalo at Westonbirt Arboretum this summer. With the augmented reality Gruffalo Spotter 2 app, children will be able to see the characters come to life in Westonbirt’s woodland – plus, there’s the original Gruffalo sculptures to spot in the grounds, too.
Don’t forget to pick up a natural play map to uncover more adventures, with everything from tyre tunnels and balance beams to a mystical troll bridge to find. With the kitchen and smokehouse delivering tasty refreshments to keep families fuelled.
For the very first time, Westonbirt Arboretum will become an open-air stage, when The Grimm Sisters outdoor performance comes to the magical tree garden takes place on Saturday 7 August 2021. Families can discover the twisted truth behind their favourite fairy tale stories, as told by the Brothers Grimm’s lesser-known siblings – with comedy, signing and live music for good measure.
General admission costs £11 for adults, £4 for children aged five to 18, and is free for children under five. Tickets go on sale seven days in advance and must be pre-booked online.
Tickets for The Grimm Sisters start at £15 for adults and £6 for children and include a day’s admission to Westonbirt Arboretum. Please note, the show is recommended for children aged six and above due to some dark themes.
For more information, visit forestryengland.uk/westonbirt.
Cotswold Alpacas family-run off-grid farm in Cowley, near Cheltenham, gives all animal lovers of all ages a unique chance to meet and walk its herd of gorgeous Huacaya alpacas this summer – with hour-long alpaca experiences and shorter meet and greet sessions in the Gloucestershire countryside.
If you’ve ever wanted to go on a walk with a friendly alpaca, you don’t have to go to the Andes to do it! Cotswold Alpacas in Cowley offers alpaca experiences where visitors can get to know its alpaca herd and even lead them on a walk around the paddocks on its 12-acre family farm.
The naturally inquisitive alpacas are regularly handled and are fully halter-trained, so they’re used to walking with humans. There are six newly halter-trained yearlings to meet this summer, as well as a number of adorably fluffy alpaca babies – called cria.
Cotswold Alpacas is run by Bridget and James Tibbs-Hamilton, after starting their herd 14 years ago. With Bridget also being a skilled craftsperson with more than 30 years of experience, she offers courses on alpaca husbandry, as well as spinning, natural hand-dyeing, felting and crocheting with alpaca fibre.
Anyone looking for a totally unique day out can also book bespoke packages combining alpaca experiences with craft sessions for groups – or buy gift vouchers for a totally unique present.
One-hour alpaca walks are available on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, costing £25 per adult and £12.50 per child, with a two adult minimum booking.
30-minute meet and greets with the herd cost £15 per adult and £7.50 per child aged five to 15-years-old, with a one adult per child minimum per booking. All activities must be booked in advance.
For more information, or visit cotswoldalpacas.
Enjoy the aptly-named The Muck Show from Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust this summer, with performances at Greystones Farm Nature Reserve, near Bourton-on-the-Water, and Crickley Hill near Birdlip, in July and August 2021.
Eddie the Environmentalist hosts The Muck Show this summer, showing little wildlife-lovers how to spot animal tracks; what barn owls eat for dinner; and sharing the yuckiest nature facts, including which animal has the stinkiest poo – gross!
After the 20-minute show, kids can go off on a nature walk to use their new-found tracking knowledge to spot some of the wildlife that call Greystones or Crickley Hill home – or enjoy craft activities instead.
Both Crickley Hill and Greystones Farm Nature Reserve boast plenty of space to run around in the Cotswold countryside, with Crickley Hill also offering glorious views over Gloucestershire too. Pack a picnic or enjoy refreshments from the on-site café at Greystones.
Advance booking to The Muck Show is essential, with tickets costing £5 per person. Children under three-years-old are able to come along for free with ticketholders.
There will be shows at Greystones Farm Nature Reserve on Friday 30 July and Friday 20 August 2021, with shows at Crickley Hill on Friday 13 August 2021. There are three shows per day at 10am, 12.30pm and 2.45pm, with visitors encouraged to bring their own picnic blankets or camping chairs to sit on.
Please note, there is no parking at Greystones Farm Nature Reserve, so visitors are encouraged to park in Bourton-on-the-Water and walk the short distance to Greystones.
Forget about parking and hop on a Stagecoach West bus when you head out on family adventures during the school summer holidays – with discounted tickets for family bus travel, free WiFi on most buses, and a whole host of destinations to visit.
With the Family Explorer Ticket giving families of up to four a day of unlimited travel on Stagecoach buses, there’s no better time to get out and explore Gloucestershire by bus.
From museums to outdoor playgrounds, the county is bursting with fantastic family days out. Take in the historical sights of Cirencester or pay a visit to Katherine Parr at Sudeley Castle and pretend to be a Tudor for the day; make a splash at Stratford Park Lido in Stroud or take to the trees at Go Ape at Beechenhurst; or even hit the shops at Gloucester Quays.
For more inspiration, check out our pick of 8 days out to enjoy by bus in Gloucestershire.
The Stagecoach Rewards scheme gives adventurous families discounts for attractions like theme parks, SeaLife Centres and even hotels and holiday camps, just for travelling by bus. Pick your offer, get a redemption code and show it, along with your bus ticket, at participating venues.
A Family Explorer Ticket costs £15 for a family of four and offers unlimited travel for one day on most Stagecoach West bus routes in Gloucestershire.
For more information, visit stagecoachbus.com or download the Stagecoach App.
Gloucester’s Over Farm is offering a whole host of summer activities during the school holidays, with its family-friendly farm trail open every day from Saturday 24 July to Friday 3 September 2021 – with a different theme for each day of the week.
Embark on a mini adventure around the farm on the Family Farm Trail, where little ones can enjoy lots of activities, catch a glimpse of some of the farm’s adorable animals and test their knowledge – with tractor-trailer and quad train rides included, too.
Plus, each day of the week has a different theme with exciting entertainment – with tricks and silliness on Magic Mondays; Mr WOW showing off his skills on Circus Tuesdays; hands-on reptile experiences on Reptile Wednesdays; interactive storytelling on Fantasy Thursdays; fun science sessions on Science Fridays; fancy dress competitions on Superhero Saturdays; and the chance to get up close to farming machinery and learn all about the workings of Over Farm on Farming Sundays.
And if that wasn’t enough summer fun, you can get your hands dirty picking your own fruit too, with strawberries, raspberries and blackberries all up for grabs – to pair with delicious double cream on sale at the Over Farm shop.
Over Farm is offering three days for the price of two throughout the summer holidays. Farm-loving families can book their first two visits online – they’ll then receive a card on their first visit, which they can bring along to be stamped on their second. The fully stamped card then entitles them to a free third visit.
There’s no need to book the third visit either, just turn up to the farm with the stamped card for free entry – with free visits available to claim until Sunday 5 September 2021.
Tickets need to be booked in advance for all activities at Over Farm. The Family Farm Trail costs from £5.50 per child for toddlers up to 18-year-olds and from £4.50 per adult – including entrance to the farm, a map and activity sheet as well as a small prize for children who have completed the trail.
Entertainers will take to the stage in the roundhouse at 11.30am and 2.30pm each day.
And tickets for the pick your own fruit fields are generally released two to three days in advance and start from £2 each, with strawberries costing from £6.75 per kilo and from £10.50 per kilo for raspberries and blackberries, depending on supply.
For more information, or to buy tickets, visit overfarm.co.uk.
Visit Gloucester’s most famous landmark this summer and rediscover Gloucester Cathedral with a free, family-friendly summer trail from Saturday 24 July to Sunday 5 September 2021.
As well as giving Potterheads the chance to walk in wizard’s footsteps, there is so much to see and do at Gloucester Cathedral – from visiting the tomb of King Edward II to wandering the famous Cloisters spotting the filming locations along the way. The Gloucester Cathedral app lets explorers experience the cathedral in augmented reality too, with a host of secret content adding an extra dimension to each visit.
There’s also a free Summer Challenge Trail with 18 activities to try in and around the cathedral – from finding the tomb of the aforementioned murdered king, sending a secret in the Whispering Gallery, to dressing up as a character in the interactive Tribune Gallery. Collect a free Summer Challenge sheet from the welcome desk and see how many your little ones can complete. One activity will earn them a sticker and nine or more will earn them a gold medal.
After hours of exploring, head to The Monk’s Kitchen and enjoy a divine afternoon tea, or grab an ice cream from The Monk’s Hut to enjoy on Cathedral Green.
Entry to Gloucester Cathedral is by donation, so visitors can pay what they can. Visiting hours are from 10am until 5pm Monday to Saturday and from 11.45am to 2.45pm on Sunday – but times can vary so be sure to check the Gloucester Cathedral website before visiting.
Some activities at Gloucester Cathedral, such as Crypt and Tower Tours, will involve an additional cost. Tours are currently not available but are scheduled to restart during the summer holidays, subject to the latest guidance around Covid-19.
For more information, visit gloucestercathedral.org.uk
Little ones can unleash their arty side at Nature in Art in Twigworth, with the museum hosting a series of children’s summer activity sessions on selected days from Wednesday 21 July to Friday 27 August 2021.
Encouraging kids to flex their creative muscles this summer, Nature in Art is welcoming children aged three to 12 to get crafty with a range of nature-inspired activity sessions in its garden.
From making hanging mobiles and wands from natural materials, to creating mosaics out of egg shells, printing flowers onto canvas bags, and even building a magical fairy house, there’s plenty for budding artists to get stuck into with something to suit every child’s interests.
For crafty kids that just can’t get enough, Nature in Art is offering a special discount for multiple sessions during the summer holidays. After booking three sessions, they’ll get to attend the fourth for free – giving them the chance to try a mix of activities, from weaving a gorgeous God’s eye to shadow tracing.
Each activity costs £5 per child, with two 90-minute sessions taking place each day at 10am and 1pm. All activities must be booked online in advance.
Parents are welcome to visit the museum and coffee shop while their little ones are crafting, although children aged three to four must be supervised. The sessions will cater for restricted numbers with social distancing and safety measures in place.
For more information, visit natureinart.org.uk.
Kids can stay active during the school holidays with summer camps from the brand-new Cheltenham & Gloucester Gymnastics Club based in Gloucester, taking place on selected dates from Sunday 25 July to Monday 30 August 2021.
Whether they’re first-time tumblers or have mastered the cartwheel, kids of all abilities can take to the competition floor at Cheltenham & Gloucester Gymnastics Club – with summer camps suitable for both beginners and developing gymnasts aged four and over.
Little ones can learn new skills and burn off some energy, discovering new moves with gymnastics training; playing team games; and putting their talents to the test in mini competitions. And with Olympic-standard apparatus and Brazilian aerobic gymnastics champion, Jimmy Taylor Cardoso, as head coach, there’s no better place to learn the ropes!
Giving grown-ups ultimate flexibility, all camps include up to 30 minutes early drop-off and late pick-up options at no extra charge – with working parents able to book a morning and afternoon session, dropping their kids off at 8.30am and collecting them at 5.30pm.
Camps also take place on most Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer holidays, if you need a bit of time out on the weekend.
Each camp is three-and-a-half hours long, costing £22 per person – with morning sessions kicking off at 9am and afternoon sessions starting at 1.30pm. On Sundays, camps run from 1.30pm to 5pm.
Parents can save by booking camps in blocks of five, costing £88, and selected dates are also available at a 50 per cent discount.
For more information and to book a camp, visit cggymnastics.co.uk/summercamps.
Explore The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Book Artists at the Museum of Gloucester on Brunswick Road this summer 2021 – and help to find the lost books and matching postcards along the way.
Help the Museum of Gloucester locate the books on its Lost Ladybird Book Trail. There are 25 classic Ladybird books hidden amongst the museum’s fascinating historical artefacts, with little ones encouraged to look for all the ones that match the collection in The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Book Artists exhibition.
Or have a go at the Book Cover Bingo trail. Ideal for grown-ups and older children, pick up the five postcards from the museum reception, look very closely at the Ladybird book walls in the exhibition to try and find the books that match, then take the postcards home to keep – or send one to a friend or loved one to tell them all about your day at the museum!
As well as all the attractions at the Museum of Gloucester, from dinosaurs to Roman tombstones, its latest family-friendly exhibition documents the untold stories of the artists behind the Ladybird books – with a chance to get to know each artist and see the people, places and things that inspired their illustrations. There’s also the Reggie the Raptor trail to have a go at too.
There’s a whole programme of Ladybird-themed events happening at the museum during the summer holidays – including music making, a bug hunt, magical storytelling and crafts, and even a bug ball, all at affordable prices.
The Lost Ladybird Book Trail and Book Cover Bingo Trail run for the duration of The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Book Artists exhibition, until Sunday 26 September 2021.
Admission to the Museum of Gloucester is free, with entry to the exhibition on a pay what you think basis. Lost Ladybird Book Trail sheets are available for a donation to the museum made either online or in person during your visit, while the Book Cover Bingo Trail costs £2 per person and includes five postcards to take home and keep.
For more information or to book admission, visit museumofgloucester.co.uk, or to book any of the trails, visit the museum reception on arrival.
One of Gloucestershire’s favourite family attractions, Cattle Country Farm Park in Berkeley is open to visitors every day of the summer holidays.
From hands-on animal experiences to outdoor play, there’s lots of fun to be had at Cattle Country during the summer holidays. As well as reopening all of its popular attractions, including tractor rides, pig racing and the boating lake, kids can also let loose on the park’s epic adventure playground, indoor play barns and all-new trampolines.
After a day of farmyard fun, cool down with a dip in the splash pool or enjoy a cone from Winstone’s Ice Cream, serving refreshments every day in the middle of the park. While its onsite café, GRAZE, offers fresh, locally-sourced food to satisfy hungry tummies.
For the perfect summer photo opportunity, don’t miss Cattle Country’s brand-new sunflower patch when it opens in August 2021. Families can wander through an acre of dazzling yellow sunflowers, with the chance to pick their own to take home, too.
Tickets to Cattle Country Farm Park cost £12 for adults, £13 for children aged four to 17 and £8.50 for concessions and toddlers aged one to three. Babies under one and registered carers go free. All tickets must be booked online in advance.
For more information, visit cattlecountry.co.uk/tickets.
Berkeley Castle near Stroud is open from Sunday to Wednesday every week during the summer holidays, with plenty of seasonal activities to keep young royals entertained.
Adventurous kids can channel their inner-Robin Hood every Monday during the summer holidays, watching archery displays, wielding their own bow and firing some arrows; while on Wednesdays, Berkeley Castle’s jester will be roaming the grounds to entertain guests with his tricks and stunts.
Throughout the season, visitors can expect Victorian magic shows; falconry demonstrations; meet-and-greets with Tudor royalty; and even the chance to see Gloucestershire’s bravest knights battle it out in an exciting jousting display.
Little warriors can put their bravery to the test at Berkeley Castle by attending Knight School on Sunday 15 August 2021. Inviting youngsters aged five to 12 to don their armour, the sessions will see accomplished swordsmen, Dressed to Kill, share their skills and teach kids the way of the warrior.
Tickets to Berkeley Castle cost £14 for adults, £12.50 for concessions and £7 for children aged three to 16. Children under three go free, with family tickets available at £39 for two adults and two children. All tickets must be purchased online in advance.
Most summer holiday activities are included in the price of general admission, but entry to Knight School must be booked separately – costing £7.50 per child.
For more information, and to book tickets, visit berkeley-castle.com.
Slimbridge Wetland Centre near Stroud is open seven days a week all-year round – with lots to discover at the WWT site during the summer holidays.
Home to wetland wildlife from all over the world, families can get closer to nature at Slimbridge – from watching ducks deep-dive at the Waterscapes Aviary; spotting all six species of flamingo; to handfeeding Hawaiian geese and peeking inside the duckling nursery at the brand-new Mission Possible exhibit.
See birds flying overhead at the open-air Living Wetland Theatre; explore Slimbridge by water on a canoe safari experience; meet colourful amphibians at Toad Hall; and make a splash at Welly Boot Land – perfect for cooling down on a hot summer’s day. And don’t forget to share your summer experience using #MySlimbridge, too.
Families can unlock the secrets of Slimbridge this summer, using the free Wetland Heroes app to explore everything the nature reserve has to offer. Discover lesser-explored areas and connect with nature, completing fun challenges and fact-finding missions to become a Wetland Hero!
Tickets to Slimbridge cost £14.50 for adults, £12.27 for concessions and £8.40 for children aged four to 16, with free admission for children under four. Tickets must be booked online in advance.
For more information, visit wwt.org.uk/slimbridge.
An enchanting 18th-century pleasure garden that’s now one of Gloucestershire’s most loved family attractions, Painswick Rococo Garden near Stroud is open from 10am to 5pm daily during the summer holidays.
From discovering the secret wonders of the garden to letting loose on the natural play area, there’s plenty to keep kids happy at Painswick Rococo Garden during the summer holidays. With plenty of space to roam and even a magical fairy tale castle to find hidden in the woodland, parents and children can nurture their sense of adventure as they explore the great outdoors.
With a whole programme of open-air summer theatre too, families can bring a picnic and discover a tale as old as time when Beauty and the Beast is performed on Monday 30 August 2021.
There’s a magical mystery to solve at Rococo Garden this summer – Unipiggle has had his choco-magic powers stolen and can no longer turn anything he wants into chocolate! With the thief hiding somewhere in the garden, it’s up to little detectives to find them by following the Magic Mayhem family trail from Thursday 22 July to Sunday 5 September 2021.
Tickets to Painswick Rococo Garden cost £9.30 for adults and £4.25 for children aged four to 16, with under fours free of charge. Family tickets cost £23.95 for two adults and four children. Advanced booking is required.
The Magic Mayhem family trail costs 50p per child.
For more information, visit rococogarden.co.uk.
Wear the kids out this summer with unlimited forest fun in Gloucestershire’s ancient woodland – with popular sites like Beechenhurst and Symonds Yat open for families to explore.
With adventure trails, picnic spots and attractions to keep the little ones entertained, the Forest of Dean is bursting with ideas for active family days out. Hire bikes at Cannop Cycle Centre and pedal the nine-mile Family Cycle Trail; or try Gruffalo Orienteering at Mallards Pike, where there are also several running and walking routes.
There’s also the chance to find famous creatures at Beechenhurst by following the Gruffalo Spotters Trail – just remember to download the Gruffalo Spotter 2 app before you head to the forest.
Ideal on a hot summer’s day, visitors can find the perfect paddling area at Wenchford. Cool off under the shade and dip your toes in Blackpool Brook, with several picnic benches dotted around the site for those looking to bring tasty treats.
Parking charges apply at the six Forestry England sites, while members can park for free. Visitors are encouraged to have a back-up plan in case the car park they want to use is full.
For more information, visit forestryengland.uk/the-forest-of-dean.
Whether you’re looking to push yourself, reach new heights or simply enjoy the fresh air this summer 2021, Forest of Dean Adventure near Coleford offers high ropes and outdoor challenges that are great for all ages and abilities.
Families can head to the treetops and take on the exhilarating Adventure Challenge, testing their nerve as they swing, climb, jump and fly around the high ropes course at Forest of Dean Adventure – with qualified instructors on hand to supervise and encourage participants all the way around.
If the dizzying heights aren’t for you, there’s plenty of fun to be had on the low-level assault course, where you’ll need to balance, crawl, leap and wobble your way around various challenges – with or without blackout googles! Plus, put your hand-eye coordination to the test and try archery, with professional instructors to help you unleash your inner-Katniss Everdeen and group competitions to show off your new skills.
There’s so much going on at Forest of Dean Adventure, so if you can’t choose just one activity, why not make a day of it and combine them all? There’s even the option to book in groups so you don’t have to brave the challenges alone…
Archery activities are available on Thursday to Sunday with sessions lasting one hour and costing £15 per person. Budding Robin Hoods must be over eight years old and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Groups must be no bigger than eight.
Those aged six and above will be able to brave the assault course with groups limited to a maximum of 10. The sessions last one hour, cost £10 per person and are available on Sundays and Wednesdays.
And those looking to master the Adventure Challenge must be over eight. Groups are limited to a maximum of six people and cost £20 per person. The sessions last two hours and take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
For more information, call 07584 710202 or visit forestofdeanadventure.co.uk.
Famous for its strange rock formations, secret caves and ancient trees – not to mention being a filming location for Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Puzzlewood is a magical environment with so much to explore and discover this summer 2021, including a unique willow maze.
Puzzlewood’s enchanting environment changes throughout the year, with summer being a great time to spot Soft Shield and Harts Tongue ferns, as well as a range of wild fungi growing on old tree stumps, and soft, feathery moss that covers the rocks – all of which look particularly lush after a spot of rain!
Explore The Willow Maze, a living work of art created using traditional basket-making techniques and more than 4,000 willow twigs from seven different varieties. Find your way through the Celtic double spiral where you’ll venture through tunnels and arches finding igloos and dead ends, as well as wildlife.
And if the weather isn’t great, there is also an indoor maze which will provide plenty of fun for both children and adults, negotiating secret doors, dead ends, twists and turns, all while trying to find nine hidden animal pictures — and the exit, of course.
Keep an eye out for the variety of animals that call Puzzlewood home too, including goats; donkeys; Shetland ponies; Highland cattle; Soay sheep; hens; ducks and rabbits. Some are native and rare breeds, while others originate from Africa and Asia. The wood is also alive with the sound of birds with everything from wrens, robins, swallows and more living in the trees.
Once you’re all tired out from exploring the enchanting wood, head to the Puzzlewood Café to indulge in takeaway food and refreshments available throughout the day. Offering baguettes and sandwiches with a variety of delicious fillings as well as snacks, including confectionary, crisps, ice cream, cakes and hot and cold drinks. Children’s lunch boxes are available, too, as well as a small selection of gifts.
Tickets to Puzzlewood must be booked online and cost £7 for adults, £6 for children aged three to 16, with children aged two and under going free.
The forest is open from 10am with last entry at 5pm. The takeaway café closes at 5pm and the and gates to the forest close at 6pm. Unfortunately pooches are not allowed at Puzzlewood, but local doggy day care service, Rambling Rovers, provides a personalised ‘home from home’ day boarding service for up to eight hours.
For more information, or to buy tickets, call (01594) 833 187 or visit puzzlewood.net.
Go Ape has two sites in the beautiful Forest of Dean, with an exhilarating high-ropes course and Segway safari at Mallards Pike and courses better suited to little monkeys at Beechenhurst. Both sites are open throughout the summer holidays.
Explore the ancient Forest of Dean from great heights this summer 2021, taking on the Treetop Challenge at Go Ape. Brave climbers can head 15 metres up into the canopies at Mallards Pike, where they’ll encounter wobbly stirrups, crossings and an extended zip line for an adrenaline-pumping finish.
Through the trees at Beechenhurst, little explorers of all ages can test their courage on the Treetop Adventure course, finding their feet on bridges and crossings before whizzing through the air on the double zip wire.
Plus, brand-new for 2021 is the Treetop Adventure Plus course, offering a more advanced challenge for kids over six – with higher platforms and extra wobbly crossings!
Those who want to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground can hop on one of Go Ape’s all-terrain Segways for a forest floor adventure. With winding trails and bumps in the road, the safari-style ride will put daring drivers’ skills to the test as they soak up the forest wildlife.
The Treetop Challenge at Mallards Pike is suitable for adventurers aged 10 and above, who are at least 1.4 metres tall. It costs £26 for under 15s and £33 for those aged 16 and over. Meanwhile, the Forest Segway costs £29 and is suitable for all ages.
Over at Beechenhurst, the Treetop Adventure is suitable for all ages over 1 metre tall and costs £19. The extended Treetop Adventure Plus course is designed for over six-year-olds who are taller than 1.2 metres and costs £24.
Families can hop over the Herefordshire border to discover Eastnor Castle near Ledbury, open from Sunday to Thursday every week during the summer holidays.
If the castle and its impressive grounds – featuring walking trails, adventure playgrounds and ride-on Land Rovers – weren’t enough, Eastnor Castle is also hosting a varied programme of events and activities throughout the summer season.
Dinosaur-obsessed visitors can bump into a walking, roaring T-Rex; while there are also chances to reach new heights, scaling a 25-foot climbing wall; or clown around learning circus skills. Plus, round off the summer holidays in style with a family fun day complete with zip-wire and garden games on Sunday 5 September 2021.
As one of the only historic houses in the country that welcomes dogs into its grounds AND castle, Eastnor Castle is a day out the whole family can enjoy – with their four-legged friends in tow!
Tickets to Eastnor Castle cost £12.50 for adults and £7.50 for children aged three to 15, with family tickets costing £33 for two adults and up to three children. Summer holiday activities are included in the cost of admission.
For more information, visit eastnorcastle.com.
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