17 fun family days out in Gloucestershire

From motorboat cruises to dog sledding, SoGlos reveals 17 great family friendly days out in Gloucestershire.

By Emma Luther  |  Published
Family feeding an alpaca at a farm
With options for all ages, find your next fun family day out in Gloucestershire.
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With the weather warming up, it's time to start planning great days out to soak up the sunshine and there’s a wealth of wonderful ways to spend precious family time in Gloucestershire.

From swinging through trees in the Forest of Dean to meeting alpacas in the Cotswolds, SoGlos has handpicked 17 great days out in the county for some fun family memories to treasure.

270 Climbing Park in Bentham

Sky-high adventures await at 270 Climbing Park, home to one of Europe's tallest and most exciting high ropes courses. Try its nail-bitingly tall high ropes course, located on Bentham Lane between Gloucester and Cheltenham.

There are 66 unique and challenging obstacles to tackle, from wobbly barrel bridges to coal car crossings, set across nine routes and six levels with the tallest reaching a dizzying 18-metre height!

Cotswold Farm Park near Bourton-on-the-Water

Animal-mad children will have the time of their lives at Cotswold Farm Park in Guiting Power, meeting little lambs, horses, cattle and winning over greedy goats with animal snacks.

There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor play, too, including giant bouncing pillows, sand pits and pedal tractors — keeping adventurous kids entertained all day long. Indoor attractions and barns are great places to explore if the weather turns.

Go Ape in the Forest of Dean

With two sites in the beautiful Forest of Dean, thrill-seeking families can unleash their inner-Tarzan at Go Ape, swinging through the treetops towards an exhilarating zip line finish.

The Treetop Adventure Plus course at Beechenhurst has higher platforms and extra wobbly crossings to challenge the most adventurous kids. While families can set off together on a Segway safari at the Mallards Pike site.

Cattle Country Farm Park in Berkeley

Home to one of the best adventure playgrounds in the county, complete with a giant castle to explore, Cattle Country Farm Park in Berkeley promises a great day out for all the family.

From feeding the friendly residents to spotting fluffy new arrivals, it’s sure to be a hit with animal lovers of all ages. Try its fantastic new indoor play barn with drop slides, a head-to-head race track and pedal go-karts with their own car wash.

Sudeley Castle and Gardens in Winchcombe

Kids can pretend to be king or queen of the castle at Sudeley — once a royal residence that can be linked to a number of English monarchs including Richard III, Henry VIII, Lady Jane Grey and Charles I.

Explore exhibitions inside the 15th century castle which reopens on Tuesday 19 March 2024, take a walk across its 10 manicured gardens and let the kids loose on the estate’s immense adventure playground, complete with fort, adventure trail and zip wire.

Cotswold Alpacas in Cowley

From the steep slopes of the Andes to the rolling Gloucestershire countryside, families have a unique chance to meet and walk some of the herd at Cotswold Alpacas.

Situated on a 12-acre family-run farm in Cowley, between Cheltenham and Cirencester, the memorable day out is perfect for animal lovers of all ages — giving families the chance to learn more about these gentle creatures.

Gloucester Boat Hire

Get the whole family together and enjoy a leisurely cruise down the Gloucester-Sharpness canal, with self drive electric motorboat hire from Gloucester Boat Hire.

Starting from The Barge Arm at Gloucester Docks, you can take a boat out to soak up scenic parts of the Gloucester canal for up to three hours. Pack a picnic and spot wildlife along the way. 

Dean Heritage Centre in the Forest of Dean

Step back in time and learn all about the history and heritage of the Forest of Dean with a fab family adventure at Dean Heritage Centre in Soudley.

With a range of interactive exhibitions, including a Victorian school and a replica of a traditional coal mine, plus playground, Gruffalo trail and five acres of woodland to explore, the centre promises an exciting day out. 

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway

Providing a unique experience with great views of the Cotswold countryside, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway is a 14-mile-long heritage railway operated entirely by volunteers.

Railfan families can hop on at Toddington and enjoy a round-robin trip in style, as the vintage train chugs through picturesque locations including Broadway, Hailes Abbey and Winchcombe.

Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean

Take a scenic stroll through ancient woodland and explore secret caves, twisty paths and cool rock formations at Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean.

Said to be the inspiration for Tolkien’s Middle Earth, the magical, mythical-looking woodland has been used as a filming location for fantasy series including Merlin, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Doctor Who.

Arctic Quest in Tewkesbury

Bringing the excitement of sled dog trekking to Tewkesbury, Arctic Quest gives dog lovers the chance to have an animal experience like no other — but be warned, it’s not for the fainthearted!

Suitable for families with older children and catering for all abilities, enjoy spending time with the beautiful huskies as you run with the pack and experience the thrill of mushing here in Gloucestershire.

SUP Gloucester

See the historic Gloucester Docks from a whole new angle while having a go at stand up paddleboarding, the world’s fastest-growing water sport.

Starting at the Lower Lode Inn, SUP Gloucester offers private family lessons which can be tailored to suit everyone’s needs, as well as day trips down the Sharpness Canal and onto the River Severn, if you’re feeling adventurous.

Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre in Bourton-on-the-Water

Perfect for pony lovers, Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre in Bourton-on-the-Water is home to a herd of good-natured horses, offering scenic rides in the Cotswolds for families of all abilities.

Those who have ridden before can enjoy a circular hack through the picturesque villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter, with gentle, guided rides for beginners. Ideal for little ones or more cautious adults, there’s also the chance to go on a river ride.

Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre

Described as one of the best dry slopes in the country, Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre offers a 255-metre main slope, a trainer slope and two nursery slopes — with skiing, snowboarding and tubing for every skill level. 

Based at the same venue in Matson Wood, outdoor laser tag facility Battle Hill offers four gaming zones, with none of the mess (or bruises) associated with paintballing.

Ninja Warrior UK Gloucester

Inspired by the popular ITV show Ninja Warrior UKNinja Warrior UK Gloucester gives families a chance to take on the climbing, balancing, swinging and jumping challenges — there's even a warped wall. 

After a tough session of adrenaline pumping fun, tired out ninjas can refuel at the venue's on-site cafe, which serves hot and cold food and drinks.

Forest of Dean family cycle trail

A brilliant way to explore the Forest of Dean, the Family Cycle Trail spans nine miles along the area’s historic railway lines, with access points at the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre, Beechenhurst and Mallards Pike — it’s very child-friendly.

The route has been especially surfaced and is suitable for all ages and abilities. Soak up the serenity of the green space as you whizz around and look out for wonderful wildlife at every turn.

Croft Farm Water Park in Tewkesbury

Try paddle-boarding, windsurfing, canoeing and sailing at Tewkesbury's Croft Farm water sports lake, with caravan and camping pitches too.   

There are options for bespoke group activities with longer-length courses as well as shorter experiences.

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