Home to TV presenter and farmer, Adam Henson, Cotswold Farm Park is an award-winning attraction in Guiting Power near Cheltenham. Activities include feeding lambs and meeting baby bunnies, scrambling around outdoor play areas and jumping on bouncy pillows. You can also stay over in the campsite, glamping tents and holiday lodges.
As well as chocolate-box villages and exquisite countryside surrounds, the Cotswolds is packed with playgrounds that will keep even the most energetic of children occupied – much to the delight of their parents!
Spanning aerial assault courses to replica train stations, discover 11 of the best playgrounds for little ones to blow off some steam, all within this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park is a hit with people of all ages, but children are particularly well catered for at the family-friendly attraction near Guiting Power.
In addition to offering the chance to meet an array of animals, the park provides plenty of opportunities to bounce, swing and play – and even introduced two whole new adventure playgrounds in 2021 and 2022. Little ones can hone their driving skills on the pedal tractors, practise acrobatics on the bouncy floor pillows and put their balance to the test on the new aerial play equipment.
Home to tree species from all over the world, Westonbirt, the National Arboretum helps children to understand them through its woodland adventure play area, Exploratree, where little ones can tunnel through tree trunks and climb into a bird’s nest.
Elsewhere, follow the natural play trail to crawl through tyre tunnels, hop over logs and even cross a magical troll bridge; or go hunting for Gruffalo sculptures in the deep dark wood.
With hidey-holes, towering turrets and slippy slides, the adventure playground at Sudeley Castle will keep little ones entertained for hours during a visit to the popular attraction near Winchcombe.
The playground has a host of spots where you can tuck into a picnic before taking on the testing trail, complete with cradle swings and balancing beams. Eager explorers can also whizz down the zip wire and test their agility on the 10-part assault course.
Train-loving toddlers will love climbing aboard the Tetbury Play Station, a railway-themed play area that’s built on the site of the town’s former station.
Featuring a climbing frame version of Tetbury Footbridge, a wooden steam train and a signal box playhouse, the engine-ious design is sure to capture little imaginations, with the equipment best-suited to nursery age children.
Transforming the village’s recreation ground into a super play park for children of all ages, Broadway Activity Park boasts a large climbing wall, giant Spacenet and speedy zip line, accessible from the main high street.
With four play areas separated by open grassland, there’s plenty of space for energetic kids to run around, as well as a picnic area, all-weather sports surface and a pitch for football and rounders.
Arguably one of the Cotswold’s prettiest playgrounds, there’s a whole host of play equipment for older and younger children at the recreation ground, just off Chipping Campden high street.
Wobble along bridges, scale the cargo net climbing frame and try to get all the way across the monkey bars; with a spiral walkway made from Cotswold stone and a willow tree arch to discover, too.
In addition to stocking seriously stylish accessories for the home and garden, Burford Garden Company has an adventure playground that makes for a child-friendly visit to the Cotswold shopping emporium.
After you’ve worn out little ones on the swings, don’t miss the chance to take a mooch around Little Burford’s magical selection of toys. And if you need to feed hungry children, the on-site café has plenty of tasty treats and lunch options.
Step into a world of make-believe at Fairytale Farm, with six enchanting zones of sensory experiences and adventure play to discover – from visiting Jack’s beanstalk and milking his cow to climbing inside a multi-storey combine harvester and even meeting a giant mermaid.
Best of all, Fairytale Farm prioritises inclusivity above all and offers lots of accessible play equipment, including a wheelchair swing, to ensure children of all abilities have a magical time.
Sure to be a hit with little ones eager to climb and explore, St Michael’s Park in Cirencester is a haven of intriguing spaces with an adventure playground and family-favourite activity, crazy golf.
Also boasting tennis courts, croquet and boules, there’s something to keep the whole family entertained at the gorgeous green space, located within walking distance of the town centre.
As well as giraffes, penguins and rhinos, Cotswold Wildlife Park has an incredible adventure playground for children to discover on a visit to the popular family attraction.
Climbing 20 feet high into the trees, Skymaze is a labyrinth of interconnecting treehouses, linked by jungle bridges and slides to whoosh down; while the Mini Manor offers a smaller scale adventure for smaller children, complete with a mini zip wire and sandpit.
Ever so slightly outside of the Cotswolds, but well worth a mention is Abbey Park, Evesham’s crowning glory, which boasts an impressive play zone for children to run wild in.
Featuring an underground bank slide, basket swing and a trampoline, kids can climb, jump and swing to their hearts’ content. As a bonus for those visiting on a sunny day, there are water play fountains to splash in and plenty of green space for a picnic, too.
By Annabel Lammas
Thursday 26 May 2022
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