Wednesday 29 January 2020

14 fantastic family activities in Gloucestershire

Whether you're a sporty, creative, animal-loving or adventure-seeking family, SoGlos has rounded up 14 fantastic activities that every generation can enjoy together in Gloucestershire, in this hot list sponsored by Go Ape.

If you’re searching for day trip inspiration, want to take up a new hobby with your loved ones, or enjoy some friendly competition, SoGlos is lending a helping hand, finding 14 family activities across the county.

From unleashing your inner Tarzan or Jane on high ropes adventures and cheering on the footy, to cooking up a storm and feeding animals, there’s something for everyone in this family hot list, sponsored by Go Ape.

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1. Take to the trees

Go on an adventure at Mallards Pike Lake in the Forest of Dean with a visit to leading attraction, Go Ape, where you can take to the trees along a high ropes course in the heart of ancient woodlands.

Families can take on zip wires, swings, rope ladders and obstacles galore with a Tree Top Adventure, which is suitable for ages 10 and upwards. With the highest platform a dizzying 15 metres, and the longest zip wire 180 metres, you can expect plenty of thrills when you take on the challenge.

Younger children can still get involved in the action as Tree Top Junior welcomes mini adventurers, over a metre-tall, who can go canopy exploring, trail blazing and zip wiring, just three miles up the road at Beechenhurst Lodge.

If you want to get your thrills at ground level, Go Ape’s Forest Segway offers the chance to explore the area in a unique fashion. Riders will be able to catch a glimpse of the Tree Top Adventurers in action, along with seeing nature up close and personal.

2. Try out the soft play

Perfect for a rainy day, head to one of the county’s best spots for soft play in Gloucestershire, including Cotswold Clubhouse in Bourton-on-the-Water, which has a three-level soft play frame and plenty of tunnels to clamber through.

Whether the kids are tiny tots or a bit older, take your pick from 15 soft play centres in Gloucestershire.

3. Meet the animals

Animal-loving families can enjoy some hands-on fun at one of the county’s popular attractions. With everything from farm parks to wildlife centres, there’s the chance to feed, pet and observe feathered, fluffy and some scaly friends.

A few options include Cotswold Farm Park, which welcomes visitors to feed and pet its resident animals; Slimbridge Wetland Centre, which offers handling sessions and bird feeding; and Crocodiles of the World where visitors can hold baby crocodiles and alligators.

4. Make a splash

An activity for all ages, swimming is the perfect way to have fun and get some exercise, with plenty of pools around the county for an alfresco dip in the warmer seasons, and an indoor session when it’s cold.

With three pools, Leisure at Cheltenham boasts the brilliant indoor splash pad, perfect for fun all year round. While Cheltenham's ever-popular Sandford Parks Lido is perfect for sunny months, with a 50-metre main pool and children’s pool.

5. Play king of the castle

Offering the chance for adults to soak up some history and for children to have some exploring fun, families can walk in the steps of royalty during a day at one of Gloucestershire’s magnificent castles.

Great for a day out, Sudeley Castle is home to an assault course and adventure playground that’s sure to delight youngsters.

6. Discover some history

Keep the kids and the grown-ups entertained at one of Gloucestershire’s brilliant museums. Take a step back in time to learn about the Forest of Dean’s history at Dean Heritage Centre.

Check out the real Brum at Cotswold Motoring Museum in Bourton-on-the-Water or head to the free exhibitions at The Wilson in Cheltenham.

7. Strike out

Take to the lanes and enjoy some friendly family competition with a game of bowling; an activity that’s accessible for all ages and with plenty of places to play across Gloucestershire, it’s no surprise it remains a classic pastime.

Venues include Hollywood Bowl Cheltenham, Stroud Bowl, and Tenpin Gloucester, all with on-site eateries for some pre- or post-game refreshments.

8. Join the crowds

A football or rugby game provides great entertainment that the whole family can enjoy, cheering on their team, celebrating with the home fans, and watching exciting contests on the pitch.

Whether you’re supporting the Cherry and Whites at Gloucester Rugby, the Robins at Cheltenham Town, or another county team, don your supporters scarf and join in the fun!

9. Get creative

Promising fun for big and little kids alike, and the chance to make something to take home and keep for years to come, a creative pottery painting session is something that every generation of the family can participate in.

There are plenty of pottery painting venues across Gloucestershire, including The Paint It Yourself Pottery Company in Cheltenham and Pick a Pot and Paint in Cirencester.

10. Putt some holes

Krazygolf Lydney

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A game that’s accessible for novices and youngsters, crazy golf offers a light-hearted activity, with outdoor and indoor courses across the county, making it ideal whatever the season.

During the warmer months, Krazy Golf Lydney and Wye Valley Miniature Golf are ideal for putting families who can play outside. Meanwhile, Mr Mulligan's Lost World Golf in Cheltenham is an exciting indoor facility for cold and rainy days.

11. Ride a steam train

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Step back in time and hop onto a steam train, enjoying an old-school journey throughout the county on a heritage vehicle. Sure to excite children, the county’s attractions cater for all ages and provide a great day’s activity.

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway runs two different experiences on a heritage steam train or 1960s diesel rail car; Dean Forest Railway encompasses five stations and a range of heritage, diesel and steam vehicles; and Perrygrove Railway offers the chance to enjoy a short steam journey through beautiful farmlands and woods.

12. Go exploring

Gloucestershire is brimming with beautiful places to explore as a family. From the themed trails in the Forest of Dean, to the beautiful trees at Westonbirt Arboretum, there are lots of glorious green spaces to let the kids run free.

Get some fresh air at one of Gloucestershire’s beautiful outdoor attractions, which are perfect picnics, playing, soaking up the sights, and blowing off the cobwebs with the whole family in tow.

13. Head underground

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A leading attraction near Coleford, Clearwell Caves promises plenty of underground exploring fun, boasting a fascinating history and amazing natural sights that can wow youngsters and adults alike.

A working mining museum complete with atmospheric caverns and stories from miners, visitors can learn something new and have fun, with the play area perfect for children to blow off some steam.

14. Climb to new heights

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Sporty families can get active with a climbing or bouldering session in Gloucestershire, with plenty of centres dotted t0hroughout the county and offering facilities for all ages.

Venues include The Warehouse in Gloucester which has a range of climbing walls, caving system, bouldering floor and dedicated kids' zones; while Far Peak in Northleach is home to indoor and outdoor activities including bouldering, a range of climbing courses, and top rope and lead climbing.

© SoGlos
Thursday 07 February 2019

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