From llama trekking and paddling to exploring cool castles and leafy forest adventures, discover 26 of the best places to take the kids when it’s sunny in Gloucestershire.
Situated in the village of Soudley, Dean Heritage Centre is a hub of local interest with a museum spanning five galleries and fun interactive exhibits spread across five acres of charming woodland.
Kids will love taking a step back through time as they explore the Victorian school room and traditional forester’s cottage, soaking up the rich history of the Forest of Dean.
While its outdoor exhibits make it the perfect attraction for sunny days out, the centre’s rainy-day guarantee means families can return for free within the month if there’s a wash out!
For more information, visit deanheritagecentre.com.
With five acres to explore, discover the wonders of the Forest of Dean at Dean Heritage Centre, ideal for family days out in the sunshine with plenty of woodland trails, picnic spots and outdoor exhibits to enjoy.
Wander through the trees hunting for the famous Gruffalo or follow an interactive activity trail, learning more about the centre and its surroundings along the way. After a day of adventure, make a beeline for the Mill Pond where little ones can enjoy a tasty picnic box from the onsite café.
Let the kids loose at Cotswold Farm Park, with two brilliant bouncy pillows, differs to ride on and plenty of swings, sandpits, slides and opportunities for outdoor play, as well as a woodland trail and farmyard walk where families can meet resident animals. Cotswold Farm Park runs an outdoor food service, but visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic to enjoy in the sunshine.
With spectacular grounds and a fascinating history to discover, Berkeley Castle is a great destination for a sunny day trip. Explore the historic gardens, with plenty to see within the castle walls and regular children’s events too.
Escape to Painswick Rococo Garden for a day of adventure in the great outdoors. Families will love exploring the unique gardens and completing the fun children’s trails – with little ones also able to let off some steam at the rustic play area.
Spend a sunny day discovering all Westonbirt Arboretum has to offer, from rare trees to Gruffalo sculptures hidden in the woodland. Little ones will never be short of entertainment, with the arboretum playing host to different seasonal events and interactive trails throughout the year.
With trees to climb and rope swings aplenty, little monkeys will be in their element at Eastnor Castle. There’s a fun booklet packed with puzzles and challenges to complete around the castle grounds, ideal for families looking to spend a sunny day in the great outdoors.
Home to Cotswold Country Park and Beach, the country’s biggest inland shore and paddling hot spot, kids will love building sandcastles and splashing about in the lagoon, while grown-ups can kick back and catch some rays.
A botanical wonderland in the heart of the Cotswolds, there’s something for the whole family at Batsford Arboretum. Make the most of the good weather, following the children’s trail through the trees in pursuit of a prize or treat yourself to a delicious lunch on the café’s sun-soaked terrace.
Complete with a boating lake and summer splash pool, Cattle Country Adventure Park is the perfect place to cool the kids down on a sunny day – with ride-on tractors, bouncing pillows and an epic adventure playground to keep them entertained for hours on end.
Discover the meaning of outdoor adventure at Beechenhurst Lodge, home to the Forest of Dean’s famous sculpture trail and Go Ape’s exciting treetop adventure, which is suitable for climbers as young as four. With an onsite café, picnic benches and even barbecues to hire, families can make the most of a sunny day at this fun-filled woodland destination.
For a magical family day out, head to Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean where kids will have hours of fun exploring the ancient woodland in the sun. A must for young movie fans, Puzzlewood has been featured in a whole host of film and television productions including Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Doctor Who.
Paradise on a hot day, Sandford Parks Lido promises fun for the whole family with swim sessions available to book online. Boasting an outdoor pool spanning 50 metres, as well as sunbathing spots and an onsite café, it’s the perfect place to splash about in the sun or enjoy a leisurely swim.
All aboard Dean Forest Railway, a fantastic family attraction for outdoor adventurers. Running four and a half miles through the beautiful Forest of Dean, the track has five stations on the route, giving families the chance to hop off and explore in the sunshine all while enjoying an exciting steam train ride.
Explore Slimbridge’s extraordinary wetlands, brimming with wildlife just waiting to be discovered. Little ones will love roaming the walkways, spotting otters and flamingos, and splashing about in Welly Boot Land – a great way to cool down after a sunny day of exploring.
Take a trip to Cannop Ponds where aspiring anglers can try their hand at fishing in one of two lakes, home to an abundance of fish as well as dazzling dragonflies and birdlife. Relax by the waterside, go paddling or hop on your bikes and tackle the family cycle trail, a circular route through the forest that starts at Cannop Ponds.
With an outdoor obstacle course, zooming zip wires and an adventure playground housing a giant fort, kids can have endless fun in the sun at Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe. There’s lots to discover at the historic site, including a pheasantry full of rare birds, making it a great spot for families to explore on hotter days.
Take a walk on the wild side at Cotswold Wildlife Park, a wonderful outdoor attraction that promises hours of family fun in the sun. With low-walled enclosures, little ones will have no problem watching the playful penguins and mischievous meerkats – before climbing treehouses and running across jungle bridges at the exciting adventure playground.
The perfect place for a paddle, Bourton-on-the-Water is also packed with family friendly attractions to enjoy in the sunshine, from exploring the quaint model village to tackling the Dragonfly Maze, or meeting feathered friends at Birdland.
One of Gloucestershire’s most spectacular viewpoints, Symonds Yat is stunning on a sunny day, with plenty of green space for little ones to play in the great outdoors. Or, set off down the River Wye with Wyedean Canoe and Adventure Centre offering canoe and kayak hire, as well as a range of other water-based activities, ideal for adrenaline junkies and adventurous kids alike.
Home to the winding Blackpool Brook, kids can go crazy at Wenchford in the Forest of Dean with plenty of places to paddle on a hot summer’s day. And with a canopy of oak trees overhead, it makes a great shaded spot to stop for a waterside picnic.
Spanning three counties, the Malvern Hills is an iconic beauty spot easy to reach from Gloucestershire. Kids will love roaming the hills, with plenty of places to stop for a picnic, soak up the sunshine and admire the breath-taking views along the way.
From waterside walks to stand-up paddle boarding sessions courtesy of SUP Gloucester, Gloucester Docks is a fantastic destination for a sunny day trip. Rich in local history, there are also plenty of places to grab refreshments at Gloucester Quays.
Ideal for a sunny day out with the kids, Cirencester Open Air Pool spans almost 28 metres and is complete with a sunbathing patio and additional paddling zone – perfect for little swimmers. Demand for swim slots is high, so make sure you book well in advance.
When the sun is out, kids can have hours of fun at Pittville Park in Cheltenham. Climb over obstacles and splash around in the children’s play area, scoot at the skate park or meet birds and bunnies at the aviaries – with areas of shaded woodland to explore too.
Wander with llamas through the Forest of Dean, a unique experience that is sure to be a hit with young animal lovers – and perfect for a sunny day out. With the fluffy llamas helping to carry equipment and supplies too.
Spend a day in the sun at Dyrham Park, a National Trust site near Bath, and home to a herd of grazing deer. There are plenty of spots to eat alfresco, enjoying a picnic from home or a treat from the tea garden kiosk. And with a whopping 270-acres of parkland to explore, little ones can well and truly run wild!
For more information, visit deanheritagecentre.com.
Thursday 13 August 2020
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