17 of the best annual passes in Gloucestershire

From animal attractions and castles to glorious gardens and museums, SoGlos has found 17 of the best annual passes that Gloucestershire has to offer, perfect for families, couples and individuals.

Allowing entry for 12 months, buying an annual pass offers the perfect opportunity to visit your favourite attractions time and time again, without repeated ticket costs.

Whether you’re obsessed with animals, find historical destinations fascinating or love exploring picture-perfect gardens, Gloucestershire is home to plenty of amazing attractions – and a year of visits is just a ticket away…

About the sponsor – Forestry England Forest of Dean

With popular Gloucestershire locations including Beechenhurst, Mallards Pike and Cannop Ponds, the Forest of Dean is the perfect place for an outdoorsy adventure all year round.

There’s something for everyone in the ancient woodland, whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, avid dog walker or looking for wholesome family fun – and exploring the six Forestry England sites is even easier with an annual Forest of Dean membership.

For more information, visit forestryengland.uk/forest-of-dean-membership.

1. Annual passes for Forestry England Forest of Dean

From warm-weather paddling at Wenchford to admiring seasonal colours along the Sculpture Trail at Beechenhurst, there’s so much to discover in the Forest of Dean – and families can explore time and time again with a Forestry England membership.

Costing £40, a year’s membership includes free parking at the six Forestry England sites and savings on family adventures, with discounts for Go Ape and Forest Holidays, as well as selected outdoor clothing brands. Plus, the money raised helps to support the forest and its facilities.

2. Annual passes for Cotswold Farm Park

With farmyard animals to meet and plenty of opportunities for outdoor play, Cotswold Farm Park is a hugely popular attraction, pulling families in all year round with seasonal highlights like lambing in the spring and autumn pumpkin picking.

For those who want to return again and again, an annual membership costs £75 for adults, £60 for children, and £40 for toddlers – giving members 10 per cent off in the shop and on food and drink throughout the park, too.

3. Annual passes for Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Slimbridge Wetland Centre is a favourite amongst bird watchers and families thanks to its amazing wildlife, exciting programme of events, picturesque scenery, and children’s activities – with Welly Boot Land a sure highlight, complete with waterwheels, fountains and streams.

Offering unlimited free entry to Slimbridge and all other WWT sites, annual memberships start from £72 for a family, costing £83 for a joint membership, and £55 for an individual.

4. Annual passes for Batsford Arboretum

Perfect for romantic day trips, leisurely walks and family outings, Batsford Arboretum is a picture-perfect destination near Moreton-in-Marsh that hosts regular events and seasonal trails to keep little explorers entertained.

With a whole host of benefits, including free entry to Westonbirt Arboretum too, an annual membership costs £35 per person, £30 for concessions and allows Batsford members’ children to visit for free.

5. Annual passes for Eastnor Castle

Home to a historic house, beautiful grounds and outdoor play areas, including a treetop walkway and junior obstacle course, Eastnor Castle near Ledbury promises a fun day out for all ages and their four-legged friends – open on selected dates from Easter to the end of September.

An Eastnor Castle Privilege Card allows free entry on every open day for 12 months, plus discounts on refreshments, costing £29 for adults, £17 for children aged three to 15 and £75 for a family.

6. Annual passes for East Glos Club

Welcoming players of all ages and abilities, Cheltenham’s East Glos Club is a fun and sociable multi-sports club, where members can hit the all-weather courts and enjoy unlimited tennis, squash, racketball and padel throughout the year.

Including a free introductory lesson with an expert coach and discounts on courses, annual membership to East Glos Club costs £493 per adult, with reduced prices for 19 to 25-year-olds, as well as 26 to 30-year-olds; £97 for juniors aged 11 to 18 and £56 for children aged 10 and under; with a family membership option costing £1,042, too.

7. Annual passes for Corinium Museum

As well as introducing visitors to Cirencester’s fascinating Roman past, the Corinium Museum boasts a vast archaeological collection of prehistoric tools, medieval sculpture and even the remains of an Iron Age dog! With a packed programme of events and exhibitions, the museum caters to all ages.

Membership includes unlimited free entry for 12 months, discounts on events and more, costing £16 for adults, £11 for concessions and £43 for a family of two adults and up to four children.

8. Annual passes for Berkeley Castle

Berkeley Castle near Stroud allows visitors to go back in time and walk in the steps of royalty. From the Great Hall that’s housed kings and queens to the spooky medieval dungeon, visitors are in for a treat – with lots to see throughout the grounds, too.

With a packed events calendar each season, joining the Friends of Berkeley Castle is a great option. Membership includes free entry and other incentives, costing £20 for adults, £7 for children aged three to 16 and £48 for a family.

9. Annual passes for Painswick Rococo Garden

Famed for its Cotswold views and characterful follies, Painswick Rococo Garden is an 18th century pleasure park that’s still as stunning as ever – with highlights including its seasonal displays of snowdrops and bluebells and fun woodland play area. Well-behaved dogs are also welcome on leads.

For a year’s worth of visits, a season ticket costs £27.50 for a single adult, £48.50 for a joint membership, £51.50 for a family with one adult and £69 for a family with two adults.

10. Annual passes from the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

One of the Cotswold’s best-loved attractions, Westonbirt Arboretum, is bursting with gorgeous colour, family activities and live events all year round. And by joining the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum as a member, nature lovers can enjoy free entry throughout the year.

Starting at £40, the annual membership also includes free admission for children, early-bird booking for Forest Live concerts, discounts with local partners such as Go Ape AND early-bird booking for the venue’s popular Enchanted Christmas trail – among other incentives.

11. Annual passes for Sudeley Castle

With an action-packed calendar of family events, there’s lots to see and do during a visit to Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe – from soaking up its incredible Tudor heritage to letting off steam in the adventure playground.

Visitors can enjoy free admission to Sudeley Castle by becoming a member of the Historic Houses scheme, costing £59 per adult, £94 for a joint membership, and £25 for children aged three to 16. The annual membership also gives free access to hundreds of heritage houses, castles and gardens across the UK, including more Gloucestershire sites like Woodchester Mansion, Sezincote and Dr Jenner’s House and Garden.

12. Annual passes for Nature In Art

As the world’s first museum and art gallery dedicated to works inspired by nature, Nature in Art is home to an incredible collection and frequently hosts special exhibitions. With an onsite coffee shop, gift shop and regular children’s activities too, there’s plenty to keep visitors entertained.

Become a Friend of Nature in Art to enjoy free access to the museum, discounts on art courses, regular magazines and more. The membership costs £30 for individuals, £22.50 for concessions and £45 for a family.

13. Annual passes for Dean Heritage Centre

Dean Heritage Centre provides a fascinating look into the history of the Forest of Dean, with indoor and outdoor exhibitions, live demonstrations and family-fun events throughout the year. Kids will especially love following the Gruffalo trail and experiencing the Victorian classroom.

A season ticket for Dean Heritage Centre gives free entry to all attractions and costs £24 per adult, £20 per concession, £12 per child, and £60 per family of two adults and up to three children.

14. Annual passes for Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

Cotswold Wildlife Park is one of the region’s most popular animal attractions, home to lions, rhinos, giraffe, zebra and more. Visitors can meet the residents, wander the glorious open space and enjoy a picnic, with pooches allowed to explore the gardens as well.

Animal lovers can book themselves a season ticket to return time after time, costing £78 for adults, £55 for children and senior citizens, and £250 for families of two adults and two children – with each additional child costing £50.

15. Annual passes for Perrygrove Railway

Families will love taking a trip on Perrygrove Railway, riding a steam engine through the picturesque Forest of Dean and hopping off to follow trails through the trees, build dens in the woodland or blow off some steam on the treetop adventure playground.

Promising free entry to the private site with no need to prebook tickets, annual passes cost £24.45 for adults, £22.90 for concessions and £19.90 for children aged three to 15.

16. Annual passes for Sandford Parks Lido

A season ticket for Sandford Parks Lido allows for unlimited outdoor heated swimming at Cheltenham’s popular summer destination during its opening months. Great value for those who hit the water regularly, the ticket also offers four hours of free parking and access to exclusive member events.

And while season tickets are currently unavailable, keen swimmers can still take a dip in the winter, with monthly passes for cold water swimming available throughout January and February 2022 – starting from £31.50 per adult and £22.50 per concession.

17. Annual passes at Gloucester Rugby

Cheer on the Cherry and Whites all season with a Gloucester Rugby Club Membership. Including entry to the team’s Gallagher Premiership regular season fixtures and both European and Premiership Cup pool matches, it’s the most cost-effective way for local rugby fans to follow the team.

The cost varies depending on your choice of stand, with prices starting at £117 for juniors, £219 for 18 to 25-year-olds, £245 for concessions and £315 for adults over 26.

For more information about Forestry England and the Forest of Dean membership, visit forestryengland.uk/forest-of-dean-membership.

By Annabel Lammas

© SoGlos
Wednesday 05 January 2022

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