11 of the coolest sports to try in Gloucestershire this summer

Whether you want to pick up a new hobby, or make memories with friends and family, our pick of the coolest sports to have a go at in Gloucestershire promises to give you plenty to talk about.

By Eleanor Fullalove  |  Published
With everything from water-skiing in South Cerney to axe throwing in Gloucester, even the sport-averse could be tempted to get involved in activities like these this summer 2022.
With everything from water-skiing in South Cerney to axe throwing in Gloucester, even the sport-averse could be tempted to get involved in activities like these this summer 2022.

Inspired by the range of activities offered by Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre even at the height of summer, SoGlos has handpicked 11 of the coolest sports in the local area. What’s more, most of them really come into their own when the sun’s out.

From Onewheeling around Tetbury and gliding over the Cotswolds, to deep level caving at Clearwell and laser clay shooting in the Forest of Dean, there is certainly no shortage of cool activities to try your hand at – and who knows where it might lead…

Skiing and snowboarding in Gloucestershire

Believe it or not, the summer months are one of the best times to take up skiing or snowboarding – or simply improve your technique – on the artificial ski slopes in Gloucester, so you’re ready prepared for the next time you encounter real snow.

Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre is home to the longest ski slope in England and Wales, where adults and children three and up can learn to ski, with snowboarding lessons from one hour to one day also available for those aged 10 or over.

Tubing in Gloucestershire

Another great way to enjoy snow sports even in the summer months, tubing sees thrill-seekers flying down a slope on inflatable rings - known as 'tubes' - for an adrenaline rush.

Much like the water-based version, tubing does not need any special skill... other than the ability to hold on tight! Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre runs 30-minute sessions for both adults and children at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and 7pm daily, with advance booking essential.

Outdoor laser tag in Gloucestershire

Worried that paintballing might be too messy – or even hurt? Laser tagging at Battle Hill in Gloucester could be the next best thing, providing four outdoor laser tag gaming zones in the woods, with all the latest guns and equipment, but no need to wear protective equipment.

Thanks to games ranging from death matches between teams, to free-for-alls and human versus zombie scenarios, sessions promise to keep both adults and children entertained. Battle Hill is open seven days a week, from 10am to 6pm.

Axe throwing in Gloucestershire

Yet to try your hand at axe throwing? Find out what all the fuss is about at Gloucestershire’s premier indoor axe throwing centre, Axe Play, where even children as young as 12 can join in the fun – aiming real axes at targets, like in archery.

An ideal group activity for those who want to add some healthy competition into the mix, Axe Play offers sessions from 30 minutes up to an hour, in an indoor forest themed axe throwing room… so you can feel like you’re outdoors, even if the weather disappoints.

Onewheeling in Gloucestershire

Mastering this single wheel electric board-sport is all about balance – and with the right stance, the Onewheel can be used to ride through the streets, as well as off-road and into the sunset like Marty McFly.

Fortunately, even falling off these futuristic motorised skateboards probably looks cool! Find out for yourself by hiring one from Wild Carrot at Cotswold Water Park or the Chavenage Estate in Tetbury, which offers taster sessions, alongside expert tuition.

Gliding in Gloucestershire

Whether you just want to check out the scenery a mile above sea level, or become a fully fledged glider pilot qualified to fly cross country, a trial flight with the Bristol and Gloucestershire Gliding Club at Nymphsfield is the place to start.

While you sit in the front to get the best view, your glider pilot will man the controls from behind, demonstrating what gliders can do, as well as pointing out various landmarks in the surrounding countryside while you’re airborne.

Padel in Gloucestershire

Said to be quick and easy to pick up, padel is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. And with beginner’s courses for all ages being run by Cheltenham’s East Glos Club, there’s never been a better time to give it a bash!

Played on a smaller court than tennis, padel also uses shorter, stringless racquets. Mixed ages and abilities can all play together, and as padel is always played as doubles, the game is super sociable too.

Waterskiing and wakeboarding in Gloucestershire

There is something so cool about being able to stand up while being towed around a lake by a boat and luckily, Lakeside Ski & Wave at Cotswold Water Park in South Cerney promises to make waterskiing and wakeboarding so easy, that even little kids can join in!

Invite friends and family to watch you find your feet and capture the moment for posterity, while they relax on the boat, top up their tans on the sun terrace, or enjoy some cold drinks at the Lakeside Brasserie.

Caving in Gloucestershire

Catering for beginners to experienced cavers, Clearwell Caves offers both deep-level and semi-deep caving for exploring passageways and hidden caverns off the public tour, supplying helmets, lamps, overalls and belts – not to mention experienced guides.

Caving adventures take two to three hours, with the ability to support yourself on your arms and crawl short distances on your tummy among the basic requirements. Suitable for ages seven plus, children have to be accompanied by their legal guardian.

Laser clay pigeon shooting in Gloucestershire

Combining tech with the great outdoors, the chance to play laser clays in the Forest of Dean could lure even teenagers out for the day! Compete against family, friends or colleagues to see who can get the most shots on target.

Relying on infra-red technology, there are no projectiles fired from the gun in laser clay pigeon shooting. Dean Laser Clay offers walk-on sessions for ages 10 and up in the summer holidays, running every hour on the hour (otherwise booking is required).

Archery in Gloucestershire

The Cotswold Range offers instructed archery at Cotswold Water Park, where individuals, families and groups of friends or colleagues can test their skill – with an impressive selection of fun games to play.

Having established your eye dominance and selected the right size bow, ages eight and over can try their hand at everything from Play your Cards Right to Noughts & Crosses and Battleships – not forgetting range favourite, the Apple Challenge.

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