From wide open spaces to run around in, hills to fly a kite on, playgrounds, swimming pools and perhaps the best indoor skate park in the country!
The Stroud Book Festival has lots for children, art courses and playing with clay.
Volunteer-run Fair Trade Cafe serving home made cakes and biscuits including famous handmade Rabbit biscuits, fair traded coffee and tea, cards, gifts and books. Small play area for young children with toys, games and books next to the tables.
45 Long Street Wotton-under-Edge, GL12 7BX
We are a friendly riding centre set in the beautiful Cotswold countryside. We offer a wide selection of activities to suit all standards, from beginner to advanced and from tiny tots to adult riders. If you are looking for an enjoyable riding experience with qualified Instructors (BHSII, AI or PTT qualified) then we are for you! If you ride and just fancy a hack then we can do that too.
Barton End, Nailsworth, GL6 0QF
Norman Keep, Medieval castle and assaulted during the Civil War, it's rich in history. Extensive gardens Beautiful walled garden and cafe. Family activities and special events throughout the year. (including jousting).
Edward II was imprisoned and then executed here and buried in Gloucester Cathedral. Why not make a day of it and go and see both.
Tours of the Castle with Charles Berkeley. Also a popular Wedding venue. Open Sunday to Wednesday each week until 31 October (2021) and closed over the winter.
Berkeley Castle, Berkeley, Gloucestershire, GL13 9BQ
Looking for a mixed walk that you can take all day over and feel like you've "done a walk" but not gone too far, had lovely views and a suitable refreshment stop or two? This might be for you...
For the sake of starting somewhere..... from the Stroud Canal at the Lock Keepers Cafe in Stroud, also on hotc, head east up the valley. The path is easy to follow, apart from one small twist as follows: About 1km in you'll go through a tunnel, then turn right and up and over the canal and turn right to swap sides of the canal. not too tricky.
Walk past the viaduct (cool graffiti in the arches), and follow the canal into the countryside to the Stroud Brewery Tap. Organic beer and Pizza (check on line if they are cooking, tends to be weekends only). After refreshment retrace your steps and cross over the canal at the first bridge and head up hill. Straight up!
At the top you're on Rodborough Common. Home of the Bear Hotel, if you need more refreshment, and Winstones Ice Cream if it's just yummy calories. Bear right along the top, follow the "top" road . There are a cluster small car parks as the road turns right, go straight on towards the Castle / house on the end of the Common, amazing views.
Back to Stroud down off the nose of the hill. Pop into the Prince Albert , Rodborough if you've worked up a thirst. Bear left here and into the church yard on the right for an unusual view of Stroud. It's pavements from here: back round past the Prince Albert is easiest to guide you. Left down the hill and right at the bottom and the Upper Locks is through the under pass on the right next to the roundabout.
Easy start, a tough climb, amazing views, lots of refreshment stops and allow most of a day if you're after a lazy wander.
An adventure park with a number of attractions that will keep you busy all day and encourage you to get involved with your children as much as possible. Activities include two playbarns, a boating lake, a farmyard, minigolf and much more!
Berkeley Heath Farm, Berkeley, GL13 9EW
With breathtaking views of the Severn Vale, Coaley Peak, between Stroud and Uley, is a picture-perfect spot, whether you want to fly a kite or pitch up on one of the picnic tables. It’s on the Cotswold Way too. There is good parking on site and often an ice cream van on a summers weekend.
Walk to the Trig Point, a special spot, and the Nympsfield Long Barrow stands at the other. Constructed in the Neolithic period, it has long been the subject of local legends. It forms part of a chain of 3 sites on this stretch of the Edge, the others make a relatively easy walk, but allow at least 2 hours or so. Head south to Hetty Peler's Tump and Uley Long Barrow. Both also listed here.....
Nympsfield, Stroud, GL11 5AU
Providing quality electric bike rental and tours of the Cotswolds. Cycling the lanes and trails (inc 2 Sustrans routes) around the Heart of the Cotswolds is made a whole lot easier with ebike hire and delivery to your accommodation. The best way to explore this beautiful part of the world. Slow enough to take in the sights and sounds yet fast enough to cover some serious ground.
Abbey Home Farm, Cirencester, GL7 5HF
And now for something completely different..... go trekking with these friendly and fascinating animals in one of the most picturesque spots in the Cotswold hills. Their gorgeous soft and fluffy fleece is incredibly tactile and Alpacas have a kind and curious nature and are deeply intrigued by humans, making them convivial companions for a country walk. Book an hour of fun in the Painswick Valley.
Wick Street, Stroud, GL6 7QN
Fri 5 August 2022
It is an amazing event in the equestrian calendar, a genuine showcase of one of the most challenging and competitive sports – Eventing. The best of the best competes at The Festival. Gatcombe Park is transformed into the perfect destination for a great day out.
An action-packed entertainment programme to satisfying the shopaholic and foodie with a Shopping & Food Village.
5th -7th August 2022
Aston Farm, Cherington, Tetbury, GL8 8SW
FGR.... Established in 1889, this League 2 club’s home is Nailsworth making it the smallest town to have a league club. But it’s also a vegan club and the “World’s greenest club” according to FIFA. The Chair is Dale Vince, owner of ecotricity, Stroud’s very own eco energy company.
The New Lawn, Nailsworth, GL6 0FG
Sun 11 September 2022
Held in 30 acres of beautiful parkland of Frampton Court Estate, this is one of the last truly traditional country fairs. Join us in celebrating all that is great about the countryside and the people who work and live in it.
With over 400 trade stands, three display rings and a traditional fun-fair there is so much to see and do.
Manor Farm, Frampton on Severn, GL2 7EP
Explore the life of Georgian scientist Edward Jenner, the country doctor who changed the world, at his former home in the historic market town of Berkeley.
In 1798 he published the results of his investigations into the use of a mild disease, cowpox, to protect against the feared virus smallpox. Jenner devoted the rest of his life to helping others to carry out the practice that he called ‘vaccination’. This couldn't be more relevant today.
Discover the beautiful garden and Temple of Vaccinia, where you can reflect on the achievements of this remarkable man.
Church Ln, Berkeley, GL13 9BN
This iconic group of trees, planted in 1888 overlooks Wotton-under-Edge and is on the Cotswold Way. There are far-reaching views across the Severn Bridges and Wales, and even the distant Brecon Beacons on a clear day.
Leave the car in Wotton and follow the Cotswold Way signs for a rewarding walk up the edge (or drive up Old London Road and park at the top (where the road widens) then it's an almost flat walk. Take the flat path into the woods, turn left either just inside the field (it's very easy to spot), or go a little further and go left along the woodland path. They both meet a kissing gate. Pass through and drink in the view.....
Click on the QR code for more Wotton Walks....
Extend the walk to Brackenbury Ditches and all the way to Tyndale Monument on Nibley Knoll. It's 126 steps up the tower for a rare 360 degrees bird's eye view.
See the Video on youtube for a" reverse" of this route with music by the Hypthetics, a local band. It's the intro to their first single, "What do you see?".
Old London Road, Wotton Under Edge, GL12 7PS
Far more than a farm shop: tucked in below the Cotswold Edge is a dog friendly Cafe, kitchen takeaway and deli, Roundhouse coffee stop, Walled kitchen garden and garden centre, 20 acres of walks and views.... so don't rush your visit, it's a place to linger. We love the vegan breakfast option, yum (we love bacon too, but this is particularly good).
Popular with cyclists as a stop off.
Dursley Road, Dursley, GL11 6PP
A Grade I listed country house of Tudor hunting lodge origins with an estate of 700 acres on the Cotswold escarpment. National Trust since 1946. Built between 1544 and 1556 for Sir Nicholas Poyntz (d.1557). The house, gardens and walks, as well as a cuppa, good parking too. You might like to go and visit the Saxon Church in the neighbouring Ozelworth Estate too.
Ozleworth, Wotton-under-Edge, GL12 7PZ
This is a top 5 favourite of ours and it's free. You can drive to within a short slight uphill walk and be rewarded by fabulous 360 degree views across the Severn Vale to the Forest of Dean and north beyond Gloucester. It's about 283m or 920ft above sea level.
The Painswick Golf Course uses the hill fort and people walk, cycle, horse ride and picnic here. near the King Charles 1st, who on seeing the beautiful valley to the east, said "This must be Paradise". We won't argue with that.
The Wysis Way, linking Offa's Dyke Path National Trail at Monmouth to the beginning of the Thames Path National Trail in Gloucestershire, meets the Cotswold Way at Painswick Beacon.
It is also called Painswick Hill, Castle Godwin and Kimsbury Hill Fort. It has a long history, being first inhabited in the Iron Age as a hill fort between 500 and 100 BC. It is an impressive sight.
This is the country's sole surviving complete rococo garden. Designed in the 1740s as a fanciful pleasure garden for Benjamin Hyett and his guests, this hidden valley offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and intriguing garden buildings. Snowdrops and bluebells, lots of interest all year. A cafe too and just off the Cotswold Way.
Stockley Way, Painswick, GL6 6TH
A family friendly Arts Centre in Uley, promoting performance, live music and art exhibitions as well as accessible workshops, classes and creative experiences for kids and adults.
Workshops from making your own natural skincare products to life drawing and a mini spring retreat. There is the Vestry Cafe too, relaxed atmosphere and yummy food with lots of vegetarian options.
South Street, Uley, GL11 5SS
Also known as the Ship Graveyard. Ships, barges and other craft were sunk on the tin river bank between the Severn and the Ship canal between 1909 and 1965 to protect the shipping route to Gloucester. Now an important historical site and an easy flat walk, though beware going in poor weather and the trail can get muddy.
It can be a there and back walk or perhaps a loop too. Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL14
Purton, BERKELEY, GL13 9HU
AUGUST 2021:: THIS VENUE HAS NOW CLOSED DUE TO REDEVELOPMENT OF THEIR SITE.
THEY ARE PLANNING A NEW BUILDING, BUT THIS MAY TAKE SOME TIME.
THANK YOU RUSH FOR BEING AMAZING!
It’s jaw dropping! For riders of scooters, in line and boards this is a dream come true. When Jerry and Michelle couldn’t find a perfect park (their son dragged them round the country in search) they just went and built it instead! It’s award winning, it’s amazing. Discover.
Unit 3 Brimscombe Port, Brimscombe, GL5 2QQ
Ruth Hickson is a local illustrator and printmaker who creates colourful and fun illustrated maps - including lovely local walking routes, family friendly and always with at least one stop for refreshments!
See attached, we love them.
You can commission your very own unique, personalised map too, pretty cool we think.
Rustic stripped flooring with a contemporary but relaxed space, ideal for meeting friends and enjoying the ambience. Serving cask ales, local ciders and “restaurant food with a pub atmosphere.” large beer garden and play area, ideal for families. Near Berkeley Castle, Slimbridge and Purton Hulks.
Wanswell, Berkeley, GL13 9SE
Sat 11 June 2022
An annual visually inspiring festival of artist-led exhibitions, films and performances combined with a diverse series of talks from artists and writers. Over 80 Open Studios, across the Stroud Valleys.
4 John Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 2HA
Discover a safe haven of wide open spaces bursting with wetland nature. Fill your lungs with fresh air, stretch your legs and get ready to explore this extraordinary wetland paradise, whatever the weather! From birdwatchers to families enjoy amazing wildlife up-close. Paddle a canoe around the lakes and waterways, feed birds from your hand or watch the flamingos, it's an award-winning day out.
Newgrounds Lane, Slimbridge, GL2 7BT
The Domesday Survey of AD 1086 records a priest in Painswick, so we assume that a church stood on this site in Saxon times. The first church building was probably built about 1040, added to in the Thirteenth century by the De Laci Family after the Norman Conquest. The Chapel was built in about 1377 and 1401. The tower was added in 1430, the Nave in 1480 and the sanctuary from 1546.
Around 1644 Royalist troops used cannon and firebombs to drive out the Parliamentarians quartered inside the church. There is graffiti on one of the columns left by one of the soldiers during the siege. Work continued through the 1700s and beyond.
The ninety nine yew trees and the unique ledger tombs date from the early eighteenth century.
New Street, Painswick, GL6 6UN
Wed 4 November 2020
Stroud Book Festival, which celebrates its 5th birthday this year, is delighted to announce that the 2020 Festival will take place from Wednesday 4th to Sunday 8th November at venues across Stroud.
The full Stroud Book Festival line-up will be revealed this summer.
On the top of Five Valleys Shopping Centre is the ever popular Stroud Bowl. Great for kids and beginners, and renowned amongst those in the sport as one of the best with knowledgeable staff and a warm welcome. Often hosting groups and tours do book in advance.
Five Valleys Shopping Centre, Stroud, GL5 1QA
It’s a charity bringing the best of music, poetry, drama, art and dance to Stroud and the Five Valleys with a local focus encouraging home-grown talent. Est in 1946, it’s the ‘grandfather’ of the festivals in the area. They recently established a Children’s Festival too.
Enriching lives, transforming places...... We offer as many volunteer places as we can and our volunteers come from all walks of life. Professional people who are between jobs, retirees or vulnerable, everyone works together on our eco projects.
We've been out there for over 30 yrs. Our vision is that no piece of land that needs some ecological care will be overlooked in our District, that all our local wildlife will be looked after and cherished, and we want to teach people of all ages about the natural world on their doorstep. Guided walks, learning and getting outside.
Take part, visit our shop or become a Friend of SVP. Follow us on instagram @svpcharity
8 Threadneedle Street, Stroud, GL5 1AF
Lying at the top of the longest village green in England, The Bell is the heart of Frampton on Severn. A Gastro menu with traditional favourites, fresh fish and seasonal game using the best of fresh local produce. Local Ales to 4 star En-suite Accommodation. Children’s Play Area, Animal Barns, Skittle Alley and Function Room. Beer garden
The Green, Frampton on Severn, GL2 7EP
Sat 16 July 2022
Steeped in local tradition a country show celebrating the best of local produce, skills and talents, and offering entertainment for people of all ages. Music, dog show, food and drink, horticulture, art and craft, and lots of stalls of local enterprises. A great family day out.
Stratford Park, 31 Stratford Rd, Stroud GL5 4AJ, GL5 4AJ
Let's go surfing..... from Stroud!!? Just under 40 minutes from the middle of Stroud you can go surfing. Inland surf just off the M5, very cool.
Get a lesson, improve your skills or go for a pro session and it's open all year round.
Strictly not quite in the hotcotswolds, but surfing in Gloucestershire (just about). Of course there has been surfing in Gloucester since 1955, the Severn Bore, but this is fab for all the family.
Washingpool Farm, Easter Compton BS35 5RE, BS35 5RE
Also known as Hetty Pegler's Tump, one of our favourite local names, is a burial mound, or long barrow, built around 3,800 BC, towards the end of the Stone Age. There are 5 chambers and you can crawl inside to take a look (go carefully).
It's just off the Cotswold Way, between Coaley Peak and Uley Bury, and forms part of an ancient and fascinating landscape.
Driving through Uley towards Stroud, the road rises onto the escarpment (past the postcode / sat nav spot so ignore it from now). You'll pass the parking area for Uley Bury. Keep going and after the road levels out there is a big field on your left. You can see the mound in the far left corner. There is an unmarked entrance on the left off the road and space for a car or two.
Crawley Hill, Uley, GL11 5BH
Art studios, courses and exhibition space in the Golden Valley. A collective of artists and a space to rent or to take a class with one of the residents in ceramics, painting, printing, jewellery, glass and more.
London Road, Chalford, GL6 8HN
The arboretum is home to 2,500 different species from the far corners of the globe and 5 national tree collections. Discover the perfect place for you to escape, relax or have an adventure! Take a journey up into the canopy on the STIHL Tree Top Walkway, go on a guided walk around the arboretum and stop by the café for a tasty treat.
Westonbirt, Tetbury, GL8 8QS
Looking for a foodie adventure or a treat, and why not? Perhaps head out into the Severn Vale and discover Italian-style ice cream - THE Wholly Gelato. Made from the herd of many colours and the milk can be purchased through a vending machine too (so take a container).
Followed by a walk along the River Severn footpath or pop in to Gloucester Quays Outlet Centre and a look at the Gloucester Waterways Museum. A cracking day out!
Barhouse Farm, Elmore, GL2 3NT
Est 1925. Still at the same site on Rodborough Common and the same Victorian recipe as the very first day. Producing ice cream in small batches to ensure it’s tasty. Lactose free, celiac and vegan options. Walk, cycle or drive to the parlour, just don’t miss out!
Greenacres, Bowham, Stroud, GL5 5BX
It is an unfinished masterpiece. Building started about 1857, but stopped in the mid-1860s so all the secrets of the construction of the Mansion are visible. Designed by Benjamin Bucknall as a unique Gothic Revival house.
Well known for it's ghosts and breeding colonies of Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bats, so book a tour, it's special.
Allow enough time to explore the valley and lakes too!
Nympsfield, Nailsworth, GL10 3TS
The Park is owned by National Trust. It's a secluded valley and home to the remains of an 18th- and 19th-century landscaped park, a Victorian mansion, a chain of five lakes fringed by woodland and pasture, and an abundance of wildlife. It's a place to revel in "getting lost".
There are 3 way marked walks: Boathouse, Explorers and Landscapes Walks and the house too (though check opening times and booking. See the separate entry on hotcotswolds.uk for a link.
Nympsfield, Nailsworth, GL10 3TS
Wotton's collection of archives, records, photographs and genealogical research material housed in a converted fire station. Exhibitions throughout the year and display items of interest of local and national history, well worth a visit. A quick note: 1086, in the Doomsday Book there were already 10 mills in Wotton, many more would follow.
The Chipping, Wotton Under Edge, GL12 7AD
A group of young adults from Wotton-under-Edge and its surrounding villages working closely with the Wotton Chamber of Trade to help the local economy. The project celebrates the unique ecosystem of Wotton.
"We've installed a set of beautiful waymarker posts in our local woodlands to show you the natural beauty of our home". Using a mobile phone, all ages can learn the creative story about our town and the landscape it sits in.
Chipping Car Park, Wotton-under-Edge, GL12 7BD
Whether you are road riding, cycling with a group for fun, using the Sustran Trails, using a guide or self guiding, there is a lot of cycling and mountain biking around here.
Head out into the Severn Vale on your road bike or tackle the hills and lanes of the Edge. Explore the woodland, meadow and trails on a mountain bike for a trails that are great for beginners and still testing for the experienced.
Try our local trail centre, Flyup417 or book a half day with Tim of Cotswold Mountain Biking.
This 100 acre farm on Crickley Hill on the Cotswold edge is the biggest privately owned mountain bike facility in England offering a variety of riding disciplines within one cycling venue. Pump tracks, to dirt jumping, blue, red and black trails too, a kids club and a coaching programme. Right below the Air Balloon Pub at Birdlip on the A417!!!
Crickley Hill Farm, Witcombe,, GL3 4SS