Friday 29 May 2020

10 affordable family friendly attractions in Gloucestershire

Keep the kids entertained without spending a fortune, with SoGlos’s selection of 10 affordable, family-friendly Gloucestershire attractions.

Savvy parents can keep the kids entertained without splashing the cash, thanks to SoGlos’s handy hot list of 10 affordable, family-friendly attractions in Gloucestershire.

With everything from mazes to farm park fun, there’s plenty of inspiration to keep the whole family happy.

About the sponsor – Dean Heritage Centre

For a fun-filled family day out in the Forest of Dean, Dean Heritage Centre is overflowing with history, arts, crafts and culture within a stunning, five-acre setting. From the old Forester’s Cottage to the Victorian School Classroom, visitors can step back in time and discover more about the area’s rich history.

Boasting activities for all weathers, families can spot wildlife around the Mill Pond or learn fascinating facts inside the galleries, which explores life in the Forest of Dean dating back to pre-historic times.

For more information, visit

1. Go back in time at Dean Heritage Centre

Costing just £6 for children and £8 for adults, you could easily spend a full day at Dean Heritage Centre which is full of family activities, for all weathers. An educational day out for the little ones, you can visit an old Victorian Classroom to dress up in traditional clothing, find out what life was like for the old freeminers at the coalmine replica, and step back in time at the Forester’s Cottage.

On sunny days, wander through the woods on The Gruffalo trail or, if the skies are grey, discover the Forest of Dean’s fascinating history inside the galleries, before cosying up in the tearoom. A popular attraction for all ages, keep an eye out for the demonstrations that take place all year round, from exciting chainsaw carving to charcoal burning.

2. Outdoor exploring at Puzzlewood

Equally enchanting for children and grown-ups alike, Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean offers hours of exploring fun in the magical woodlands – and with entry costing £6 for children aged three to 16, it won’t break the bank either!

Animal lovers can meet the donkeys, goats and ponies; the willow maze is just waiting to be explored; toddlers can enjoy the racing track and outdoor playground; and the 14 acres of wonderful woodlands promise plenty of outdoor fun.

3. Meet some furry friends at St James City Farm

Offering free entry and a whole host of friendly farmyard faces to meet, children will love getting up close to the animals at St James City Farm in Gloucester.

With its resident animals including giddy goats, gorgeous guinea pigs, cute pigs, and fluffy sheep, among others, youngsters are sure to love the experience, whilst adults can enjoy the chance to save some pennies.

4. Collect the clues on Cheltenham Treasure Hunt Trail

Promising to keep the kids entertained, proactive parents can purchase a Cheltenham Montpellier Treasure Hunt Trail booklet online for £9.99. Perfect for exploring outdoors, the self-guided trail is suitable for children aged six years-old and up.

Keen kiddies and their parents can head off on the circular trail route and see if they can solve the sneaky clues hidden amongst Montpellier’s buildings, features and monuments, for the chance to uncover the hidden treasure at the end!

5. Settle down for a family flick at Sherborne Cinema

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With its jam-packed programme including plenty of family-friendly films to keep even the youngest of visitors entertained, Sherborne Cinema in Gloucester invites children to enjoy a movie for as little as £4.

What’s more, with a host of classic cinema snacks such as popcorn, slush drinks, sweets and ice-cream starting from £1, as well as teas and coffees for parents, the Art Deco cinema is the perfect destination to catch a feel-good flick for less.

6. Run wild at Batsford Arboretum

Little legs can let off some steam in the great outdoors during a trip to the beautiful Batsford Arboretum, with entry free of charge for under fours and £3.50 for children aged four to 15 years-old.

Open all year-round, the Cotswold attraction promises the perfect place to pitch up with a picnic in the summer months, soak up the fireworks of autumn colours, and pile on the wellies and coats for a winter walk too.

7. Putt a hole-in-one at Mr Mulligan’s Lost World Golf

With two 18-hole courses to choose from, little and big kids can putt their way around exciting Cheltenham attraction, Mr Mulligan’s Lost World Golf, which offers the perfect wet weather activity for all ages.

Visitors can play their way through the other-worldly course, encountering 15-foot smoking volcanoes, weird and wonderful creatures, and hidden treasure along the way. Entry for an 18-hole game costs £7 for under 12s.

8. Get lost in the maze at Painswick Rococo Garden

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The glorious Painswick Rococo Garden is bursting with things to see and do, including a magical maze to explore and a woodland play area awaiting visitors, with entry just £4.60 for four to 16-year-olds.

Mini explorers can muse over the tree carvings, test their knowledge with a child-friendly quiz and run free around the glorious grounds. What’s more, on winter days don’t miss the famous ‘full works’ hot chocolate when you refuel in the café!

9. Take a trip into the forest at Beechenhurst

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Promising plenty of opportunities to run, explore and adventure through ancient woodlands, Beechenhurst in the Forest of Dean is the perfect place to start a day of family fun that won’t break the bank.

With the Sculpture Trail, Highway Rat Trail and hundreds of acres of forest to explore for free, there’s even a café to keep little ones and the grown up fuelled throughout the day.

10. See the miniatures at Bourton's Model Village

Little ones will love feeling like giants as they explore Bourton-on-the-Water Model Village, which is a one-ninth scale replica of the Cotswold village and its iconic buildings and attractions.

Entry is £3.25 for children and while the narrow paths aren’t buggy friendly, kids will love roaming around the buildings and towering over the miniature versions.

For more information about this hot list’s sponsor, Dean Heritage Centre, visit

© SoGlos
Monday 16 March 2020

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