The Gloucestershire Family Bucket List encompasses stunning places to visit, action-packed experiences and unmissable events across the county - all handpicked by the team of journalists at SoGlos.
An inspirational collection of 100 ways to make wonderful memories with your loved ones, the Gloucestershire Family Bucket List has been curated with both lifelong residents and visitors to our glorious county in mind.
This special list includes ideas to keep all ages busy throughout the year – broken down into the six main county districts to help you make the most of Cheltenham, the Cotswolds, the Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Stroud and Tewkesbury.
Get the whole family involved to see how many of the 100 things you can tick off the list, and when you’re out and about, don’t forget to share your photos on social media using the hashtag #GlosFamilyBucketList – we’ll share all of our favourites.
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Cattle Country Farm Park in Berkeley is one of Gloucestershire’s most popular family attractions; featuring friendly farm animals, outdoor play areas, indoor play barns and GRAZE Café, which serves delicious locally sourced food. Throughout the year visitors can also look forward to seasonal events like the PYO pumpkin patch, a spectacular fireworks event and meet Father Christmas too!
Cattle Country Farm Park cattlecountry.co.uk
The King’s School, Gloucester is an award-winning independent day school for girls and boys aged three to 18. With a rich, vibrant history and close links to the Cathedral, King’s has an outstanding reputation for achieving academic excellence, outstanding pastoral care and offers a wealth of co-curricular opportunities outside the classroom to inspire each pupil and encourage them to develop their individual talents.
The King’s School, Gloucester thekingsschool.co.uk
Visit the National Waterways Museum Gloucester to discover the rich 200-year history of Gloucester Docks, the River Severn and Sharpness Canal. Explore interactive exhibits, browse the museum shop and enjoy a bite to eat in the tea rooms. There’s also a chance to take 45-minute boat trips along the canal on a Dunkirk Little Ship, Queen Boadicea II.
National Waterways Museum Gloucester canalrivertrust.org.uk/gloucester
Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, near Tetbury, is one of the most spectacular tree gardens in the world – home to five national tree collections and 2,500 different species from the far corners of the globe. One of Gloucestershire’s most popular attractions, it spans a whopping 600 acres, encompassing natural play areas and restaurants.
Westonbirt Arboretum forestryengland.uk/westonbirt/gloucester
Make magical memories in the Cotswolds
Go ‘leaf peeping’ at Westonbirt Arboretum
One of the best places in the world to see autumn colour, Westonbirt Arboretum is also an ideal Cotswold destination for admiring the blossom and breathing in fresh spring air or exploring a family summer trail too.
Walk a bit of the Cotswold Way or tackle the full 164km
Running from Chipping Campden in the north of the Cotswolds to the city of Bath in the south, the Cotswold Way is the perfect way to explore some of the most stunning countryside in the UK.
Experience the ‘world’s greatest air show’ – the Royal International Air Tattoo
Bringing up to 200,000 visitors to Fairford every year, the Royal International Air Tattoo is a thrilling day out for aviation fans and families alike.
Create a masterpiece at New Brewery Arts in Cirencester
A dynamic arts centre in the middle of Cirencester, New Brewery Arts has a year-round calendar of art and craft courses for different age groups - and an eclectic number of exhibitions too.
Stroll amongst Colesbourne Park’s world-class collection of snowdrops
Famed for its blankets of fragrant white flowers, Colesbourne Park is one of the best places to see snowdrops in Gloucestershire - and the world!
See Roman artefacts (and an Iron Age dog!) at Corinium Museum
Located in the Cotswolds' historic 'capital' Cirencester, the Corinium Museum is home to significant finds from the Roman town of Corinium, with prehistoric tools, Anglo Saxon treasures and Medieval sculpture too!
Lead the way walking the Cotswold Alpacas
Meet and even walk the fluffy herd of Huacaya alpacas on Cotswold Alpacas' 12-acre farm in Cowley.
Take aim and try clay shooting at Ian Coley Sporting
Described as one of the best shooting grounds in the UK, head to Ian Coley Sporting to have a go at this quintessential Cotswolds country sport.
Wade in at Cotswold Country Park and Beach
Cotswold Country Park and Beach is the biggest inland sandy beach in the country and the only place to enjoy a seaside experience in landlocked Gloucestershire!
Burn off energy exploring Batsford Arboretum’s beautiful 56 acres
While it is a prime Cotswold day out destination in every season, head to Batsford Arboretum for cherry blossom viewing, from mid-March to early May.
Listen to a magical Forest Live outdoor concert amongst the trees
Forest Live is a sensational series of summer music concerts set amongst Westonbirt Arboretum's trees, with three of four big names headlining the concerts every year.
Get up close to a Gloucester Old Spot (and lots of other rare breeds) at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park
Home to the Countryfile TV presenter, Adam Henson, Cotswold Farm Park is an award-winning family attraction in Guiting Power - with animals, play areas and its own campsite.
Tuck into family entertainment and delicious food at the Big Feastival
Now running for 12 years, The Big Feastival takes place at Blur bassist Alex James’ expansive farm in Kingham over the August bank holiday - with music, food and family entertainment galore.
Get splashed at Bourton-on-the-Water Football in the River
Join the crowds on the riverbank for the annual Bourton-on-the-Water Football in the River tournament - where two local teams go head-to-head for a wet victory.
Watch a movie under the stars – Alfresco Film Company’s locations include Cotswold Airport
A memorable experience for film fans, settle in for a movie outdoors - one of Alfresco Film Company's most unique locations in the county is in the shadow of Cotswold Airport's B747 Negus plane.
Water ski (or stay dry watching the action!) at Cotswold Water Park
Spanning 177 lakes, covering 2,000 hectares, Cotswold Water Park has SSSI status and includes a staggering range of watersport activities.
Wince spectating the world shin-kicking competition. Ouch!
Dating back to the early 1600s, the unmissable Cotswold Olimpick Games takes place every June event within the natural amphitheatre of Chipping Campden’s Dover’s Hill.
Meet the ‘real’ Brum at Cotswold Motoring Museum
Cotswold Motoring Museum offers a fascinating journey through 20th century transport history, in Bourton-on-the-Water.
Be wowed by Bourton-on-the-Water's famous Christmas tree in the river
One of the best Christmas trees to see in Gloucestershire, Bourton-on-the-Water's famous tree sits in the River Windrush.
Make magical memories in Cheltenham
See the sun rise (or set) from Cleeve Hill’s summit
Dubbed the UK’s ‘fastest mountain to climb’, Gloucestershire's highest point, Cleeve Hill is an impressive vantage point.
Dive in at Sandford Parks Lido
Set within four acres of landscaped gardens, Sandford Parks Lido is a heated outdoor swimming resort with a dedicated pool for little ones.
Cheer on the galloping horses at Cheltenham Racecourse
The jewel in jump racing’s crown, Cheltenham Racecourse plays host to the most extraordinary horseracing action in the world, including the famous Cheltenham Festival and Gold Cup.
Snap a selfie with the Hare and the Minotaur on The Promenade
A much-snapped backdrop to family photos, strike a pose for a selfie with the Hare and the Minotaur sculpture.
Row, row, row a boat on Pittville Park’s lake
Pittville Park is packed with plenty to do for an active family day out, with play areas, skatepark, three cafes and a boating lake to row on in warmer months. Watch out for the swans!
Take a bike ride on the Honeybourne Line
Cheltenham's answer to New York City's High Line, the Honeybourne Line is a terrific tree-lined and traffic-free place to walk, scoot or ride your bike in the centre of Cheltenham.
Giggle at Tweedy as Mother Goose in the Everyman Theatre’s pantomime
Oh yes it is... an absolute highlight of Gloucestershire's family calendar, catch the Everyman Theatre's annual panto from November to January - with Tweedy starring as Mother Goose in 2023.
Head to the Brewery Quarter – for fun leisure activities and fab restaurants galore
Family-friendly restaurants, bowling, golf, cinemas, shopping, soft play... there really is something for all ages at The Brewery Quarter.
Soak up live music at Cheltenham Jazz Festival
One of Cheltenham Festivals' four annual festivals, Cheltenham Jazz Festival offers gigs galore in April each year.
Take part in an experiment at Cheltenham Science Festival
Another Cheltenham Festivals signature event, Cheltenham Science Festival explodes into town with guest speakers and experiments every June.
Scale the adventure playground at Sudeley Castle
As well as the castle-themed adventure playground; there's a pheasantry full of birds; exhibits telling the history of Sudeley Castle and its famous residents; and the chance to see Queen Katherine Parr’s final resting place at Sudeley Castle.
Be bowled over at Cheltenham Cricket Festival – it’s free after tea!
One of the most successful cricket festivals in the world, Cheltenham Cricket Festival takes to the green pitches of Cheltenham College for a fortnight of Gloucestershire County Cricket sporting fun every summer.
Pick strawberries – Primrose Vale and Hayles Fruit Farm are two options
For PYO strawberries head to Primrose Vale in Shurdington or Hayles Fruit Farm near Winchcome, as two tasty options.
Seek out Cheltenham Paint Festival’s impressive street art
Cheltenham Paint Festival has been saved from cancellation in 2023, thanks to community spirit and donations. Get ready to seek out some spectacular street art.
Play a game, set and match of tennis (or padel) at East Glos Club
Try four racket sports - tennis, padel, squash and racketball - at East Glos Club, one of the leading sports clubs in the county.
Be inspired by a famous author at Cheltenham Literature Festival
The world’s oldest literature festival, Cheltenham Literature Festival takes place every October - welcoming incredible authors and well-known personalities to town.
Take on a family challenge walking Sue Ryder’s 10km Starlight Hike
Dig out your walking boots for a family challenge in October, hiking 10k into the night to raise vital funds for healthcare charity Sue Ryder, which runs Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice in Cheltenham.
‘Oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ at Cheltenham Round Table’s fireworks display
One of the best places to see dazzling fireworks displays and bonfires in Gloucestershire, Cheltenham Round Table hosts an evening jam-packed with entertainment at Cheltenham Racecourse every November.
Discover the Devil’s Chimney on Leckhampton Hill
A place to take a leisurely walk, look out for the local feature on Leckhampton Hill.
Hunt for the Miniature Railway hidden away in Hatherley
Cheltenham Society of Model Engineers run the Hatherley Miniature Railway, with just a few opportunities for members of the public to take a ride on the little railway each year.
Get to grips with bouldering at Boulders Cheltenham
Boulders is the first dedicated climbing centre in Cheltenham, featuring an indoor bouldering wall suitable for children and adults of any ability.
Make magical memories in Gloucester
Explore National Waterways Museum Gloucester – it’s a dockside day out all generations will enjoy, with heaps of fascinating family activities
Based in Gloucester Docks and housed within a Grade II listed grain warehouse, there is free entry to the National Waterways Museum Gloucester for 12 months with every ticket purchased.
Tiptoe in the footsteps of Harry, Ron and Hermione exploring Gloucester Cathedral – The King’s School Gloucester is just next door
With plenty of family-friendly activities all year, explore the historic Gloucester Cathedral, with The King's School Gloucester just next door!
Set sail along the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal on the Queen Boadicea II
Once the broadest and deepest canal in the world, spend a day on the waters and discover some of Gloucestershire’s most impressive engineering and immense swing-bridges aboard the National Waterways Museum Gloucester's boat on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.
Cheer on Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm Stadium. Go on Glawwwster!
The sporting pride and joy of the county, join more than 16,000 other Gloucester Rugby fans at Kingsholm Stadium and spectate some of the best rugby the country has to offer.
Shop for a bargain or tuck into a leisurely lunch at Gloucester Quays
With a mix of high street and luxury stores, with up to 70 per cent off every day, you’re sure to enjoy a day out at Gloucester Quays.
Find the mice at Beatrix Potter’s House of the Tailor of Gloucester
A literary gem! Many rare collector’s items are on display within the shop and museum at Beatrix Potter’s House of the Tailor of Gloucester.
Sit in the cockpit of a fighter plane at the Jet Age Museum
Dedicated to celebrating and preserving Gloucestershire’s aviation heritage, a day at the Jet Age Museum in Gloucester is sure to make your soul take flight!
Gawp at the Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling competitors tumbling down Cooper’s Hill
Now a world-famous event, Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling takes place annually each summer at Gloucester’s Cooper’s Hill and sees participants chase a nine-pound wheel of Double Gloucester.
Catch a matinee on the big screen at Sherborne Cinema
The independent Sherborne Cinema is an art deco picture house offering a fully immersive experience and well-priced tickets, as well as plenty of family flicks.
Taste ice cream fresh from the cows at Wholly Gelato
Using the freshest milk straight from cows reared on the family farm, Wholly Gelato in Elmore offers delicious scoops of sweet treats - with the chance to say hello to the cows too!
Find the skeleton (and lots more!) at the Museum of Gloucester
With two floors of exhibitions and interactive experiences, the Museum of Gloucester is the prime place to explore the city's history – with family events taking place throughout the year.
Go tubing at 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.
Test your head for heights at the new 270 Climbing Park in Bentham
Opening in spring 2023, head to the new 270 Climbing Park in Bentham for energetic activities indoors and out.
Beat the wall at Ninja Warrior UK Gloucester
Inspired by the popular ITV show Ninja Warrior UK, Ninja Warrior UK Gloucester gives families a chance to take on the climbing, balancing, swinging and jumping challenges.
Scale Robinswood Hill for stunning views all the way to Wales
If it’s a brisk picturesque walk you’re after then Robinswood Hill could be the perfect tonic, follow the trail and spot the native wildlife along the way.
Get on down at a Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival gig
The annual Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival grooves into the city every summer, celebrating local talent and attracting some big names.
Saunter around Gloucester Docks, the most inland port in the country and spot stunning tall ships when the festival sails in
See some of the most impressive ships on the waters of Gloucester Docks, with the Tall Ships festival sailing in every other year.
Peer into a World War I trench at the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum
Located at Gloucester Docks, the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum gives an important and fascinating insight into the lives of local servicemen from the last 300 years.
Scale the walls at The Warehouse Climbing Centre
Transformed from a Victorian warehouse, scale the heights of the Warehouse Climbing Centre featuring everything from climbing walls to a 100 metre-long artificial caving system.
Pet the ponies at St James City Farm
Bringing a slice of the countryside to Gloucester City, St James City Farm is largely run by volunteers and is completely free to visit – with sheep, goats and ponies all waiting to be loved.
Hurtle down the hill at 417 Bike Park
417 Bike Park, between Cheltenham and Gloucester, is the perfect place for adrenaline-seekers to hurtle down a hill!
Make magical memories in Stroud
Whizz down a slide, hold a chick, bottle feed a lamb and ride a tractor at Cattle Country – with a HUGE new indoor play barn open in the summer
Home to all kinds of adorable creatures, Cattle Country Farm Park in Berkeley offers a fantastic day out for families, with farmyard fun, outdoor activities and sell-out seasonal events to entertain all ages.
Hear the horrible history of Berkeley Castle
Peer inside the cell where King Edward II was murdered at Gloucestershire's striking medieval fortress, Berkeley Castle.
Grab a tasty treat at Stroud Farmers’ Market
Shop for fresh produce and yummy snacks at Stroud's award-winning Farmers' Market every Saturday.
Dance in the ring at Giffords Circus – starting and finishing at Fennells Farm
Party with the Giffords Circus performers in the ring after this year's gravity-defying show, Les Enfants du Paradis.
Smell the flowers on a stroll around Painswick Rococo Garden
Once a pleasure garden for gentlefolk, Painswick Rococo Garden is full of fanciful follies and fragrant flowers for families to discover.
Put on your wellies and hunt for the boats at Purton Ships’ Graveyard
Spot abandoned boats on the banks of the River Severn at Purton Ships' Graveyard – dubbed one of the UK's most unusual museums.
See stunning blankets of bluebells in bloom at Frith Wood
Take a stroll through the ancient Frith Wood beech woodland to snap a family picture against a backdrop of bluebells this spring.
Marvel at the Bewick’s swans or make a splash at Welly Boot Land at Slimbridge Wetland Centre
Slimbridge Wetland Centre is home to a world of wetland wildlife, family attractions and prime birdwatching spots.
Make friends with the cows roaming on Minchinhampton Common
Meet Minchinhampton Common's famous bovine residents.
Peek inside the secret garden at Museum in the Park
Museum in the Park is set in the grounds of Stratford Park in Stroud and features a range of exhibitions, along with a calendar of events.
Spot bats – or the rumoured ghosts! – at Woodchester Mansion
A 19th century Victorian Gothic masterpiece, visit Woodchester Mansion on a unique bat tour and look out for those ghosts!
Pop into Winstones ice cream parlour on Rodborough Common
Winstones Ice Cream has been producing ice-cream and sorbets for more than 100 years, with its parlour serving delicious scoops.
Stomp along Stroudwater Canal’s restored towpaths
Get in some steps and breath in the fresh air on an amble along the Stroudwater Canal.
Make magical memories in the Forest of Dean
Catch a glimpse of the world’s fastest animal – the Peregrine falcon – swooping in Symonds Yat
Admire the full scope of the forest’s natural beauty with a hike around Symonds Yat, with stunning views over the Wye Valley from the top – as well as the chance to spot the incredible Peregrine falcon!
See the phenomenal Severn Bore – with five-star bores the rarest of all
One of Gloucestershire’s most famous spectacles – as well as being a natural phenomenon – watch the Severn Bore from the safety of the banks, or if you’re brave enough, you can even surf it!
Find the hidden artwork on the famous Sculpture Trail
Enjoy a three-and-a-half-mile long Sculpture Trail that starts and ends at Beechenhurst Lodge, offering the chance to admire a growing and changing collection of art in beautiful surroundings.
Swing from the trees, literally, at Beechenhurst’s Go Ape
Making for a brilliant adrenaline-packed day out for the whole family, Go Ape features a selection of wobbly bridges, crossings and even a zipline to tackle – plus, the treetop adventure is specifically adapted for young climbers, from as young as four.
Travel deep underground at Clearwell Caves
Offering a extremely unique family day out, explore the impressive underground caverns at Clearwell Caves, near Coleford, displaying some of Britain’s oldest underground mine workings.
Follow Forestry England's Zog family activity trail
Explore the Forest of Dean alongside Julia Donaldson’s much-loved character, with the Zog family activity trail at Beechenhurst - enjoy completing bonus activities, including a roar-ometer, a dance challenge and the chance to become Zog himself.
Channel your inner Jedi at magical film location, Puzzlewood
A setting for scores of films including a major Star Wars production, explore the enchanted woodland and twisting tree trunks at Puzzlewood in Coleford.
Wade in the shallow water at Wenchford
A great spot for families to escape to during the summer months, kids can splash around in the water in Wenchford and enjoy a waterside picnic sheltered by a canopy oak trees overhead, too.
Explore a Forester’s Cottage at Dean Heritage Centre
As well as exploring the Foresters' Cottage, brand-new for 2023, little ones can test their footing on the balancing trail, wobble along the ropeways and swing about on the basket swing at the Dean Heritage Centre in Soudley.
Pedal around the 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.
Ride a steam train on Dean Forest Railway
Dean Forest Railway's steam trains take in nine miles of woodland and countryside. You can even stop off at adventure playgrounds and woodland walks along the way.
Whip up a feast at a Harts Barn family cookery experience
Whether you’re looking to try your hand at gluten-free baking, making artisan sourdough bread or developing your own chocolate creations, Harts Barn Cookery School has fun courses suitable for the whole family.
Get lost in Elton Farm’s Maize Maze
Elton Farm Maize Mazes in Newnham grows new mazes every year along different themes, in addition to running special events – it’s dog-friendly, too!
Paddle your own canoe on the River Wye
Discover the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley from a whole new angle by canoeing or kayaking down the slow running waters of the River Wye.
Make magical memories in Tewkesbury
Experience the 1471 battle at Tewkesbury Medieval Festival
One of the town's most famous highlights, see talented re-enactors relive the Battle of Tewkesbury at the Tewkesbury Medieval Festival every summer, with medieval market stalls to browse and historical arts and crafts to try, too.
Marvel at Tewkesbury Abbey’s famous stained glass window
Consecrated in 1121, Tewkesbury Abbey is one of the oldest buildings in Gloucestershire — and its seven quire windows are some of the best examples of medieval stained glass in the country.
Sip lemonade in Gloucestershire’s oldest pub, The Black Bear
Whether you're hunting for the secret staircase inside or hoping to nab the sunniest spot on the outdoor terrace which overlooks the River Avon, everyone in the family can enjoy having a drink at the historic pub, The Black Bear.
Heckle at an Easter pantomime (yes, really!) at the Roses Theatre
A panto at Easter? Oh yes there is! Tewkesbury's leading arts venue the Roses Theatre hosts an Easter pantomime every year, promising big stars and even bigger laughs - with heckling heartily encouraged!
Tuck into a picnic on Tewkesbury Nature Reserve
Spot birds, butterflies, bees and dragonflies while you tuck into your sarnies, with Tewkesbury Nature Reserve providing a peaceful and picturesque picnic spot.
Paddleboard from the Lower Lode launch
Paddle your way around a leisurely loop that starts and finishes at the Lower Lode Inn, taking in the River Avon and the River Severn, before heading back for a well-deserved pub lunch.
Enjoy a glamorous stay at Tewkesbury Park Hotel – even the family dog is welcome!
Famous for its indulgent afternoon teas and glorious views, families can enjoy a sophisticated staycation at Tewkesbury Park Hotel Hotel, with its new dog-friendly rooms meaning you can bring your pooch along for some pampering, too!
Take a Tudor living history tour at John Moore Museum
Find out about life in the countryside, wander through a cottage garden and speak to some 'real' Tudors at John Moore Museum.
Windsurf at Croft Farm Waterpark
Try to keep your balance on a (more than likely) very wet visit to Tewkesbury's Croft Farm water sports lake, with caravan and camping pitches too.
See the detailed diorama at Tewkesbury Museum
Get an insight into the area’s rich history, with collections dating back 5,000 years, at Tewkesbury Museum.
Whirl around on a fairground ride at Tewkesbury’s Mop Fair
Described as the largest street fair in Gloucestershire and one of the oldest fairs in the UK, Tewkesbury Mop Fair takes place in town every October.
Follow in the footsteps of 15th-century soldiers, walking the Battle Trail
Fought on Saturday 4 May 1471 over the fields on the south of the town, follow the Tewkesbury Battle Trail to tread in the footsteps of the soldiers.