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30 Amazing Things to Do in the Cotswolds this May Day Bank Holiday 2024

Things to do Cotswolds
Celebrate the May Day Bank Holiday in style with our handpicked selection of 12 thrilling Things to Do in the Cotswolds this spring!
From captivating family outings to delightful excursions amidst the picturesque hills, we've curated a diverse array of experiences for all to enjoy.
Explore fantastic Days Out in the Cotswolds with family and discover remarkable destinations perfect for sharing memorable moments with friends and loved ones.
Don't miss out on the excitement this season has to offer in the enchanting Cotswold hills!


Sudeley Castle & Gardens

"Kids will love the Virtual Reality experience"

Immerse yourself in the allure of Sudeley Castle & Gardens nestled in the Cotswolds. With centuries of history, this estate offers a glimpse into England's past including the tomb of Queen Katherine Parr.

Explore the majestic castle, stroll through award-winning gardens, and embrace the tranquil countryside ambiance. From royal connections to stunning vistas, it's a must-visit for history buffs and nature enthusiasts.

Embark on an exciting digital safari with Sudeley Castle’s Animal Ark with an AR treasure hunt and encounter life-sized animal sculptures from around the globe.

Don't miss the Children's Adventure Playground  for medieval fun and The Pavilion for delightful refreshments amidst this captivating setting.

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Batsford Arboretum

"Discover a hidden Cotswold gem!"

Located in the serene north Cotswolds near Moreton-in-Marsh, Batsford Arboretum invites families to explore its captivating beauty this spring and during the May Day Bank Holiday.

Meander through the picturesque arboretum, adorned with vibrant spring flowers and meandering woodland paths, perfect for enchanting walks.

Additionally, the well-stocked Garden Centre offers a plethora of gardening delights, while the Garden Terrace Café provides a welcoming retreat for refreshments. Children can frolic in the accommodating playground, ensuring a fun-filled day for the whole family. Even the family dog is welcome (please keep on a short lead).

With its array of attractions, Batsford Arboretum promises an unforgettable outing amidst nature's splendour this holiday season.

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Sandford Parks Lido - Opening Weekend

Opening on Saturday 4 May

This year the lido offers the first opportunity to take a dip in the 50m outdoor pool and children’s pool. 

The lido is a great day out in the heart of Cheltenham, on the edge of the Cotswolds. It is a children's paradise with slides, a children's pool and a paddling pool. The 50 metre pool is also an ideal place to train, two lanes are reserved most days.

The entry fee of 2p will whisk you back to 1935 on the very first opening day and entry fee.

The Lido will be showcasing their events, activities and club sessions for the upcoming season plus much more.

A fun filled day for all the family! 

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Berkeley Castle - The Joust

Sunday 5 & Bank Holiday Monday 6 May

Prepare for an electrifying spectacle as the Knights of Nottingham make a triumphant return to Berkeley Castle this Spring!

Experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement of Medieval Jousting, where knights and horses engage in thrilling displays of swordplay and daring feats.

Be enthralled by the dynamic combination of action-packed jousting, audience participation, and comedic flair, courtesy of the lively Sir Frederick. Whether you're cheering for the gallant White Knight or jeering at the formidable Black Knight, laughter is guaranteed for all ages.

Your Joust tickets not only grant access to the heart-racing battles but also allow exploration of the historic castle and its picturesque gardens. Don't miss this thrilling opportunity to immerse yourself in the magic of Medieval Jousting amidst Berkeley Castle's stunning backdrop this May Day Bank Holiday Weekend!

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Birdland & Jurassic Journey

Home to exotic birds from around the world and awesome, prehistoric beasts!

Nestled within nine acres of verdant gardens and woodlands alongside the picturesque River Windrush, Birdland boasts a diverse collection of over 500 birds hailing from various corners of the globe.

Youngsters are sure to delight in the archaeological adventure awaiting them at the Dino Dig, following their exploration of the Jurassic Journey, where they can encounter dinosaurs such as the mighty T-Rex and thrilling Velociraptors! As you navigate the winding pathways and turn the handles scattered around, you can even hear the dinosaurs roar, enhancing the immersive experience.

During the Bank Holiday weekend, visitors can engage with the knowledgeable keepers during the 'Meet the Keepers' sessions, where insights into the bird inhabitants of Birdland are shared. Daily talks and feeding sessions featuring the resident King and Humboldt penguins, as well as the flamboyant flamingos and majestic pelicans, provide captivating moments. Have you ever witnessed a pelican skillfully catching a fish in its vast beak?

Unwind amidst the tranquil surroundings of Birdland. Guests can either bring along a picnic to enjoy amidst the stunning gardens or opt for The Nest Café, offering a range of hot and cold refreshments throughout the day.

For returning visitors, notable improvements include state-of-the-art restroom facilities equipped with baby-changing stations and top-of-the-line accessibility features.

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Cotswold Country Park & Beach

"The ULTIMATE day out in the Cotswolds for kids and adults!"

Cotswold Country Park & Beach offers the ultimate water sports experience in the Cotswolds, perfect for a day out with friends and family. Relax on the sandy beach by the scenic swimming lagoon, and enjoy a variety of activities including stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and boat rentals amidst stunning parkland.

Children can splash in the dedicated beach lagoon and explore the adventure playground nearby, while toddlers can safely enjoy the enclosed outdoor play area and paddling pool. For thrilling adventures, tackle the AQUAVENTURE inflatable waterpark, featuring the largest course in the area with exciting obstacles like the Mammoth Tower and Tornado slide.

Indulge in delicious food options onsite, or opt for a BBQ pitch for a memorable picnic beside one of the UK's most renowned inland beaches.

Cotswold Country Park & Beach promises a day of fun-filled aquatic adventures for all ages.

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Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection

"Home of BBC's Brum - the mischievous little yellow car!" 

Prepare to be transported back in time at the Cotswold Motoring Museum in Bourton-on-the-Water!

Step into a world of nostalgia as you journey through the 20th Century, where motoring marvels take centre stage alongside everyday artifacts that defined the era. From vintage picnic sets and quaint caravans to quirky inventions like car alarms that fill the car with smoke, every corner holds a delightful surprise!

Explore showcases brimming with memorabilia, enveloped in the ambiance of yesteryears with period advertising signs and music. But the real star of the show? It's none other than "Brum" the beloved supercar! Featured regularly on BBC, Brum's adventures for children start and end at the museum. Don't miss the chance to visit Brum's home, take a ride on the special Brum, and even have your photo taken with this iconic character.

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Cotswold Falconry Centre

"Discover the delights of birds of prey in the Cotswolds"

Explore the wonders of Cotswold Falconry Centre, home to over 60 remarkable species of birds of prey, from majestic eagles to iconic falcons and endearing owls. Since its establishment in 1988, the centre has emerged as a leading destination for bird enthusiasts, offering insights into the ancient art of falconry and the natural behaviours of these magnificent creatures.

Against the backdrop of the picturesque Cotswold countryside, visitors of all ages can engage with these amazing birds and gain a deeper understanding of their conservation needs. Additionally, Cotswold Falconry offers unique experiences like 'Flying Starts' and 'Owl Experiences,' allowing participants to interact closely with these beautiful birds and even try their hand at flying them.

For more information on these sessions and availability, visit their website and embark on an unforgettable avian adventure.

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Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens

"A must-do great day out for the family in the Cotswolds!"

Discover a delightful family adventure at Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens, a sprawling 160-acre oasis nestled in the heart of the Cotswolds. Open since 1970, this picturesque park surrounds a Victorian Manor House and offers an immersive wildlife experience unlike any other.

Stroll through the parkland and gardens, marvelling at animals from around the globe in their spacious enclosures. Watch rhinos graze against the backdrop of the Gothic Manor House or walk along the Giraffe walkway for a close encounter with these majestic creatures. Explore the Tropical House in the Walled Garden, home to free-roaming sloths, birds, and bats, or witness penguins being fed and interact with lemurs in their Madagascar Exhibit.

Enjoy daily activities such as penguin feeding and lemur talks, along with seasonal events and attractions like the Children's Farmyard and the Adventure Playground 'Skymaze.'

Refreshments are available at the on-site restaurant and kiosks, or feel free to bring a picnic to enjoy amidst the park's natural beauty. Don't miss the chance to ride 'Bella the Train' - hop aboard the narrow gauge railway (open April to October) for a memorable exploration of the park!

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Bibury Trout Farm

"Where serenity meets the stream"

Nestled in the quaint village of Bibury, Bibury Trout Farm offers a charming escape into nature.

Established in 1902, it is one of England's oldest working trout farms. Visitors can enjoy serene walks alongside the idyllic River Coln, observing the thriving trout in their crystal-clear waters. Explore the hatchery, where trout are bred, or try your hand at fishing in the well-stocked ponds. Families can delight in feeding the fish and picnicking by the water's edge.

With its scenic beauty and tranquil atmosphere, Bibury Trout Farm provides a memorable day out for nature enthusiasts and families alike in the heart of the Cotswolds.

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Painswick Rococo Garden

"Step into history - your tranquil escape awaits"

Discover the enchanting allure of Painswick Rococo Garden, nestled within the picturesque Cotswold landscape it is an idyllic sanctuary dating back to the 1740s. Originally envisioned as a serene retreat for hosting intimate garden gatherings, this historic gem stands as the nation's sole surviving complete rococo garden, offering visitors a rare glimpse into a bygone era of aristocratic leisure.
Perfect for families and well behaved dogs Painswick Rococo Garden beckons as a picturesque retreat, promising a memorable escape from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. Wander through lush pathways adorned with charming follies, where every turn reveals a new delight. Children will love the rustic play area which even has its own wooden folly.

After a leisurely exploration, indulge in a culinary journey at the on-site café, where homemade delicacies await to tantalise your taste buds. Stock up on some local produce, beautiful gifts and even a top quality plant for your own garden.

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270 Climbing Centre

"Great fun for little kids and big kids!"

Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime at 270 Climbing Park, set to revolutionise the UK adventure scene!

Nestled on the edge of the Cotswolds between Cheltenham and Gloucester, this upcoming attraction promises an immersive experience like no other. Serving as both a premier climbing gym and an outdoor adventure destination, it offers a diverse range of activities for thrill-seekers of all levels.
More than just a place for adrenaline junkies, 270 Climbing Park welcomes families and friends to create lasting memories together. With its stunning Cotswold backdrop, it provides an unparalleled setting for shared moments and personal triumphs.

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned climber, there's something for everyone at 270 Climbing Park. Come and discover the thrill of scaling new heights and embracing the spirit of adventure in the heart of the picturesque Cotswolds.
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Corinium Museum

"Explore Dudley's Spring Trail" - on until 19 May

Corinium Museum in Cirencester offers an enriching day out in the heart of the Cotswolds, perfect for families.

Children can partake in the special event, Dudley's Spring Trail, where they embark on a thrilling adventure searching for hidden animals throughout the museum. As they uncover each creature, children are rewarded with the chance to claim a prize. This interactive experience adds an extra layer of excitement to exploring the museum's fascinating exhibits, providing entertainment and education in equal measure.
With its diverse array of artifacts and engaging activities, Corinium Museum promises a memorable and enjoyable day for visitors of all ages, making it a must-visit destination in the Cotswolds.
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Other Days Out in the Cotswolds include:

WWT Slimbridge

WWT Slimbridge in Gloucestershire offers birdwatching opportunities in diverse wetland habitats, providing a haven for migratory and native bird species.

The Model Village

The Model Village at Bourton-on-the-Water showcases intricate miniature replicas of the picturesque village, offering a charming and unique visitor experience.

Chedworth Roman Villa

Chedworth Roman Villa reveals the fascinating remains of an ancient Roman settlement, providing insight into daily life and architecture from antiquity.

Woodchester Mansion

Woodchester Mansion stands as an enigmatic unfinished Gothic revival mansion, shrouded in mystery and surrounded by picturesque woodland in Gloucestershire.

Hailes Abbey

Hailes Abbey, a former Cistercian monastery, exudes tranquility and history amidst scenic surroundings, inviting visitors to explore its ancient ruins.

Stanway House & Fountain

The Stanway Fountain, an impressive gravity-powered water feature, mesmerizes visitors with its grandeur and historic significance in the picturesque Stanway village.

Newark Park

Newark Park, a historic Tudor hunting lodge turned into a charming country house, offers breathtaking views and peaceful gardens to explore.

Snowshill Manor

Snowshill Manor, a quintessential Cotswold manor house, houses an eclectic collection of treasures from around the world, curated by eccentric collector Charles Paget Wade.

Newark Park

Newark Park, a historic Tudor hunting lodge turned into a charming country house, offers breathtaking views and peaceful gardens to explore.

Bourton House Garden

Bourton House Garden, a hidden gem in the Cotswolds, enchants visitors with its meticulously designed landscapes, vibrant floral displays, and serene atmosphere.

Kelmscott Manor

Kelmscott Manor, nestled in the idyllic Cotswold village of Kelmscott, served as the country retreat of renowned artist William Morris, offering a glimpse into his creative sanctuary.

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway preserves the charm of steam-era travel, offering scenic journeys through the picturesque Cotswold countryside.

Museum in the Park

Museum in the Park, located in picturesque Stroud, celebrates the rich history and culture of the area through engaging exhibits and interactive displays.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens

Kiftsgate Court Gardens, nestled in the heart of the Cotswolds, captivate visitors with their stunning floral displays and panoramic views.

Hidcote Manor Garden

Hidcote Manor Garden, a horticultural masterpiece nestled in the Cotswolds, dazzles visitors with its intricate designs, vibrant blooms, and tranquil ambiance. 

Cotswold Farm Park

Cotswold Farm Park offers hands-on farm experiences, wildlife encounters, and family fun in the heart of the picturesque Cotswolds countryside.

Westonbirt Arboretum

Westonbirt Arboretum boasts stunning landscapes, diverse tree collections, seasonal events, and tranquil walking trails in the heart of Gloucestershire.


A full list of great Days Out in the Cotswolds can be found here.

Explore Gloucestershire
29 April 2024

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