Every time the heavens open, SoGlos’s 26 places to take the kids when it rains makes a big splash with families from near or far. And now it’s high time county adults were catered for – with 30 handpicked things for grown-ups to do in Gloucestershire when it rains.
From soaking-up an art exhibition to splashing out with some retail therapy, we’re flooded with options to fend off those rainy day blues – with plenty of ideas for indoor entertainment, come rain or shine.
1. Sample cider and cheese galore
Rain won’t spoil a tour of Dunkertons Organic Cider in Charlton Kings, where cider flows faster than rain, the factory is open and the process and history of cider is revealed, along with some samplings of beautiful produce. Why not also pick up some more bottles in the shop to savour later on?
2. Indulge in comfort food
Avoid the rain to feast at some of Gloucestershire’s best eateries, including hearty Italian cuisine at Toni’s Kitchen in Stroud and the chilled-out Sri Lankan favourite, The Coconut Tree in Cheltenham. Find the perfect place to grab some grub with the Gloucestershire foodie bucket list.
3. Swap puddles for putters
Too wet for 18 holes? Drop the golf clubs and swap them in for putters at Mr Mulligan’s Lost World Golf, where you can take on two indoor adventure courses, while sipping on a drink from the bar.
4. Indulge in some pampering
The gloomy weather needn’t dampen your spirits, whether you splash out on a day at a sensational spa or opt for a quick boost at a beauty salon. See the Gloucestershire spa guide for some of the most heavenly havens.
5. Don’t get trapped
There’s only an hour to escape, but why not pay a visit to Trapped Escape Rooms in Gloucester and try to escape one of the puzzling rooms. The rooms vary from the aftermath of an alien abduction, a hangover, prison breakouts and haunted hotels. Watch the clock, though, or you’ll be trapped!
6. Cook up a storm
Avoid the showers and test out your culinary skills – and if you’re looking for some cooking inspiration, head to a county cookery school.
7. See a show or some stand-up
When the weather is dire, brighten up with some live entertainment. From Shakespeare or contemporary dance to musicals or stand-up comedy, see what’s on stage at the Everyman Theatre, Roses Theatre or Bacon Theatre, or see Gloucestershire theatre venues for the full list of options.
8. Bounce away your troubles
Jump on the bandwagon and take a trip to one of Gloucestershire’s trampoline parks, where adults can take part in exclusive bouncing sessions away from the kids, learn the skills at the Cotswold Clubhouse in Bourton-on-the-Water, or visit Funky Warehouse or Airborne in Cheltenham to keep jumping for joy despite the rain.
9. Find your unique boozy tour
If cider isn’t your regular tipple, why not check out one of the Cotswolds’ many distilleries or breweries, where tours regularly take place, and try some intriguing and bold flavourings like you’ve never tasted before.
10. Crowd surf at a gig
Drown out the sound of pouring rain by hiding away at a rousing gig, taking your pick from a number of vibrant live music venues across the county. Whether it be soothing jazz, smooth blues, or lively rock which appeals, Café Rene and The Frog and Fiddle are just two destinations which offer an eclectic mix of genres, sure to provide hours of rainy evening entertainment.
11. Make a real splash
Get drenched in the swimming pool rather than in the downpours, by visiting one of the Gloucestershire’s swimming pools. Take a dive off one of four boards and splash around in Leisure at Cheltenham’s 33-metre main pool; or swim some laps at Tewkesbury Leisure Centre.
12. Let your sweet tooth loose
Escape the miserable weather and brighten the day with a scrumptious sundae from one of Gloucestershire’s sweetest haunts, whether it’s a Bubble Pop Waffle from Creams Cafe or a homemade ice cream from Wholly Gelato.
13. Strike out
Hit the lanes at Hollywood Bowl, Stroud Bowl, or Tenpin in Gloucester for an enjoyable few hours of competitive fun – whether it’s hitting the pins with a bowling game, thrashing it out with some air hockey, or chomping on a burger and chips.
14. Enjoy peaceful afternoon tea
The Cotswolds play host to endless beautiful venues for afternoon tea, with plenty of opportunity to feast on teas, prosecco, cakes and sandwiches at a range of venues, the best of which can be found in SoGlos’s afternoon tea hot list.
15. Take a foodie tour
Travel through the rain and across the Cotswolds on a foodie tour to experience all the local produce that the county has to offer, or why not spend a rainy day planning your own foodie tour and save it for the next time the rains cancels plans?
16. Enjoy a drink, or three
When the heavens open, it’s a brilliant excuse to escape to the local pub and relax with a pint or a glass of wine. With real ale houses and elegant wine bars to cosy, traditional taverns, there are countless Gloucestershire drink venues just perfect for the job.
17. Make it snappy or go on a safari
Crocodiles of the World offers plenty of indoor fun in the company of some snappy friends, including crocodiles, alligators, caimans and lizards. Or, while it may be too wet to trudge around, there’s the chance to meet white rhinos, giraffes, lions, elephants and countless other wild animals just across the border at West Midland Safari Park, with a four-mile drive-through safari from the warm shelter of your car.
18. Get behind the (pottery) wheel
With no experience required, take up a new skill and don’t let a rainy day go to waste. Pottery classes are open for all ages at Bird’s Pottery in Littledean, including special classes for adults, where you can even bring your own bottle!
19. Splash out at the shops
Indulge in a little retail therapy while it pours down outside and visit one of Gloucestershire’s shopping centres. Head to Regent Arcade in Cheltenham, or King’s Walk, Gloucester Quays Designer Outlet and Eastgate Shopping in Gloucester, and you’ll find an array of High Street and independent shops.
At any indoor shopping destination, you’re never far from some fantastic eateries, from Woodkraft or The Find just around the corner from Regent Arcade, or Greek on the Docks, just a stone’s throw from King’s Walk. See Gloucestershire shopping centres for more information.
20. Reach for new heights
Get active and master the sport of climbing at one of Gloucestershire’s indoor venues. Whether it’s climbing or bouldering that appeals, Far Peak Climbing in Northleach offers good facilities or there’s The Warehouse in Gloucester too.
21. Chow down on a challenge
Competitive foodies can take on some of Gloucestershire’s toughest challenges, in true man vs food style. Why not try and attack The Farmer’s Boy Inn’s Big Ugly Burger Challenge, or the Breakfast challenge at Mrs G’s café in Chipping Sodbury?
22. Take aim
Hide from laser beams and get those trigger fingers working at Laser Tag in Gloucester, perfect for some indoor thrills away from the rain.
23. Create your own personal fragrance
Put rain off the scent of boredom, and take a trip to the Cotswold Perfumery for a shopping trip, a factory tour, or even a course in making your own fragrance in one of its one or two-day perfumery courses, ready to boast about when the sun finally comes out.
24. Catch a match
The players are sure to get wet, but there’s no need for you to do the same! Watch the stars of Premiership team Gloucester Rugby on their home ground at Kingsholm Stadium, whilst you munch some snacks and guzzle some drinks from the comfort of the stands, and shout along to the match with friends.
25. Find your inner zen
Use the soothing sounds of the rain to help you relax with a yoga or Pilates class at one of Gloucestershire’s yoga venues, ranging from classes helping with mindfulness to high-action classes such as Piloxing (pilates/boxing fusion) at Leisure at Cheltenham.
26. Stop caring about rain
Don’t let the rain put off your plans, and embrace the weather. If the plan was to take a walk, then whack on some wellies and splash in all the puddles while enjoying some of the beautiful views the Cotswolds has to offer. After all, a towel and a load of washing will fix all everything at the end of the day.
27. Hunt for homeware
Take the time to rethink your interior décor and hunt for vintage treasures to jazz up your home, with a brilliant choice of hot spots for discovering stylish furniture and homeware across the county – see SoGlos’s pick of the best 25 vintage shops in Gloucestershire to explore on a rainy day.
28. Take cover in a club
Instead of waiting until the sun goes down, take the downpour as an excuse to don the party gear and hit the town, partying up a storm in one of Gloucestershire’s most lively nightclubs. See Gloucestershire cheap nights out to find the best value venue near you.
29. Get cosy and watch a film
Wet weather can get you down. Why not take the opportunity to catch up on some TV or enjoy a movie day with friends? Put together an indoor picnic and rummage through the DVD box to find some classic flicks to pass the time on a rainy day.
30. Make a discovery at a museum
Brush up on local history at Gloucester City Museum, get locked up at Littledean Jail, go to court at Tetbury Police Museum, steam your way to Cotswold Motoring Museum, or head to Nature in Art. See Gloucestershire museums for more information.
By Joe Kennett
If you’re looking for family fun, or simply want to be a big kid for the day, see 26 places to take the kids when it rains for more bright ideas.