Sunday 31 May 2020

16 amazing attractions within an hour's drive of Gloucestershire

Take your family on a day out to remember, without travelling too far from home as SoGlos rounds up 16 of the best days out within an hour of the county.

While Gloucestershire has an enormous range of activities and days out, right on the doorstep, sometimes it’s exciting to try something new.

So, with family fun in mind, SoGlos has rounded up 16 amazing attractions just beyond the border, promising fantastic days out all within an hour’s drive of Gloucestershire.

About the sponsor – The Roman Baths, Bath

Home to a Sacred Spring, the iconic Great Bath and a stunning circular plunge pool, The Roman Baths in Bath is a beautiful example of Roman architecture, in the centre of the historic city.

Following extensive improvements in recent years, the venue offers a range of interactive exhibits, ancient artefacts and CGI projections to really bring history to life.

For more information, visit directly.

1. Roman Baths, Bath

Take a trip through time with a visit to Bath’s Roman Baths – one of the finest examples of Roman architecture to still exist, providing an immersive experience full of stunning spots that’ll look great on your Insta!

Visitors can enjoy an audio tour of the historic venue, read by famous names including Bill Bryson and Michael Rosen; and explore a series of interactive exhibits, ancient artefacts and CGI projections. You can even taste the famous spa water at the end of the tour.

There’s also a Museum Saver Ticket available for those wanting to visit The Roman Baths, Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery in one day. Buying tickets online also gives an extra discount of 10 per cent!

2. Fashion Museum, Bath

Home to a world-class collection of historical and contemporary outfits, Bath’s Fashion Museum offers a number of family-friendly activities including dressing up in period costumes, with a range of hats, bonnets and dresses – some are even big enough for adults too!

There’s also a fashion quiz and children’s crafts, alongside audio guides available in 12 languages to explain all the fascinating facts about the Georgian, Regency and Victorian exhibits, fashionable in times past, as well as the more modern and contemporary styles on display.

If you’re feeling peckish after your trip, you can enjoy 10 per cent off your food bill at the Assembly Rooms Café, when you present your Fashion Museum entrance ticket.

3. Victoria Art Gallery, Bath

Located in central Bath, near to Pulteney Bridge, Victoria Art Gallery is home to two floors of displays.

The permanent collection on the upper floor is free to enter, and explores 500 years of European art. On the ground floor, visitsors can discover two exhibition spaces, where a small admission fee applies.

There’s also a Museum Saver Ticket available for those wanting to visit The Roman Baths, Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery in one day. Buying tickets online also gives an extra discount of 10 per cent!

4. Longleat

Arguably one of the best safari parks in the UK, Longleat offers an amazing safari drive-through experience, alongside the historic Longleat House and Grounds; and the Main Square, where families can enjoy getting up close to koalas, otters, crocodiles, monkeys, and reptiles.

There are also plenty of experiences to enjoy such as hand-feeding the lorikeets, riding the Longleat railway, and exploring the family farmyard.

With so much to do, Longleat is most definitely a jam-packed day out that families will love.

5. We The Curious, Bristol

Formerly known as @Bristol, We The Curious is a fun and interactive science museum in the centre of Bristol.

Encouraging curiosity through its exciting exhibitions, themes include the Build It zone, the Space Gallery, Animate It exhibition, Food,
Our World – No More Waste, All About Us, Flight Zone, Curiosity Zone, Move It, The Tinkering Space, The Test Lab, and The Box.

The venue also has its own planetarium shows about space exploration and the solar system, available throughout the day in both 2D and 3D.

6. STEAM, Swindon

STEAM is Swindon’s museum of the Great Western Railway, and is situated right opposite the Swindon designer outlet in a stunningly restored Grade II listed railway building.

Exhibiting the vision of engineering great, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, STEAM explains how the Great Western Railway came to be one of the most advanced in the world.

There’s also plenty of places to eat and drink at the nearby Swindon designer outlet centre, or enjoy a spot of retail therapy after your trip.

7. Warwick Castle

Enjoy a day of Medieval madness at Warwick Castle where entrance includes access to the castle itself, the lovely grounds, all shows and activities, restaurants, and shops.

Brave explorers can enter the Castle Dungeon on a frightening walk-through experience featuring special effects and live actors; or for those looking to step back in time, enjoy finding out about the venue’s history.

There’s also a birds of prey display and live action-packed jousting and dragon shows, which change themes seasonally.

8. Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon

Visit all five of Shakespeare’s homes in Stratford-upon-Avon with a special tour which begins at Shakespeare’s Birthplace, in the centre of the town.

The walking tour allows fans of the Bard to take in Mary Arden’s Farm, which was Shakespeare’s Mother’s Tudor farm; Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, where Shakespeare’s wife grew up and their relationship began; Shakespeare’s New Place, the site of the family home Shakespeare lived in for 19 years; and Hall’s Croft where Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna lived.

The tour includes live actors, exhibitions, animals, cafes, gardens and gift shops.

9. Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Housed inside a neo-Gothic building in Oxford, the city’s University Museum of Natural History is home to a collection of fossils, zoology exhibitions, dinosaurs and stunning art and architecture.

The 19th century museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm, and entrance is free – although donations are welcome.

10. Locked in a Room, Bristol

Locked in a Room is a fantastic challenge for families with older children or perhaps groups of friends.

The venue, which is located close to Bristol’s Harbourside, has nine heavily themed escape rooms, so even large groups can compete against each other to solve the clues and escape the locked room in the quickest time.

This immersive experience is sure to leave a lasting impact, with teams comparing notes in one of the nearby bars and restaurants following their escape!

11. Eastnor Castle

Offering plenty to keep the whole family entertained all day, Eastnor Castle is home to an adventure playground, a knight’s maze, a junior assault course and a woodland play area, allowing children to clamber through the treetops as they take in the spectacular countryside views.

Visitors can even bring their dogs to explore the grounds, and Eastnor’s breath-taking lake and arboretum.

Dating back to the 19th century, the castle is open on selected dates from Easter until the end of September, when guests can explore the impressive state rooms and fine art.

12. Weston’s Cider Visitor Centre

Westons Cider Visitor Centre in Much Marcle, near Ledbury, is not only home to one of the country’s most thirst-quenching cider producing mills, but also a hugely popular attraction for cider fans to discover the secrets of traditional cider making.

Offering a traditional tour, The Scrumpy House Restaurant, an on-site tea room, shire horses and farm animals, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained.

Speaking of families, Westons offers discounts on entry prices for families, and there’s even a small play area for the little ones to enjoy while you crack open a delicious bottle or two from Westons’ on-site shop.

13. Bristol Aquarium

Discover the wonders of the deep, at Bristol Aquarium. Located in the centre of the city, and close to the busy atmosphere of the harbourside, visitors can enjoy seeing tropical sharks, seahorses and colourful corals up close, thanks to an undersea tunnel.

A great wet weather attraction, there are events and talks every day, along with opportunities to feed some of the fish, too.

14. The Link Centre, Swindon

Home to an international sized ice rink, a trampoline park, gym and swimming pool, Swindon’s Link Centre is a haven for active families.

Offering ice skating, public skating, figure skating, ice dance and learn to skate courses, the venue is one of the only dedicated ice skating rinks in the south west.

But if you prefer to watch the skating action, The Swindon Wildcats hockey team regularly plays their home matches at the rink.

15. Wild Place Project and Bristol Zoo

Wild Place Project is a family attraction, operated by the team behind Bristol Zoo and Gardens. Based just off junction 17 of the M5, the project aims to protect threatened habitats around the globe.

Visitors can see giraffe, cheetah, zebra; discover Madagascar’s lemurs; tackle the barefoot trail; enjoy a number of play areas; or explore the secret Congo area.

Closer to central Bristol, animal lovers can explore Bristol Zoo and Gardens in Clifton, where you can get up close to lions and crocodiles.

16. Blaise Castle House Museum and Estate

Blaise Castle Estate in Bristol, is a 650-acre site containing a children’s play area, museum and castle.

Open every day and completely free to access, the venue offers lots to do for a budget-friendly day out, just across the border. The museum has a collection of everyday objects dating back to the Victorian era.

The huge play area is split into two sections for younger and older children, and also benefits from a trampoline, tube slides and climbing towers.

By Melissa Hamblett

© SoGlos
Thursday 08 August 2019

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