8 fantastic, family friendly Cotswold National Trust places to visit(Last Updated On: 22nd August 2019)
Though the summer’s coming to an end, there’s still time to book an end-of-holidays break for you and your children, and if you’re lucky we may have an Indian Summer with a last splash of sunshine, lovely evenings to eat outdoors and unhurried al fresco breakfasts! To help you decide where to go, we’ve chosen 8 Cotswold National Trust properties that have lots of outdoor space and activities for children of all ages, along with self-catering Cotswold holiday cottage suggestions that are close to each NT property. Whichever you choose, each one would be the perfect base to explore the wider Cotswolds and all its family friendly attractions.
If you’re visiting Bath for the day but feel the need to get out in the open, head to this 18th-century landscape garden in the city, created by local entrepreneur Ralph Allen, with advice from ‘Capability’ Brown and the poet Alexander Pope. It is a place to take a walk and experience the beautiful nature and landscapes that Bath offers.
Cotswold holiday cottages near Prior Park: The Dovecote, Stable Cottage, Meadow View, Tythe Barn, Shepherds Hut
This small stately home, run by the National Trust, has a wonderful walled garden, extensive parkland, interesting grounds to explore as well as a stunning collection of furniture, ceramics and paintings by Rembrandt, Murillo, the Pre- Raphaelites and many more. It was also the place of exile for many Basque writers who fled Spain during the Spanish Civil War. Well worth a visit. Limited opening times, so be sure to check the website before visiting.
Woodchester Park is a truly magical valley with a ‘lost landscape’ of historic lakes, ruins and parkland, with a children’s activity trail too! Just a short hike from the park is Thistledown café, serving some of the best food in the area! A 10-minute drive along the top of the Cotswold escarpment brings you to Newark Park, a fabulous estate that looks down over the Ozleworth Valley and has a captivating Tudor hunting lodge that was rescued from ruin by Robert Parsons, a Texan architect. A new children’s adventure park makes this an ideal place to visit with children.
Cotswold holiday cottages near Woodchester Park & Newark Park: Walkley Wood, New Church Cottage, The Old Stables and The Leat
Crickley Hill is a prominent spur of the Cotswold escarpment, overlooking the Severn Vale, with magnificent views towards Robinswood Hill and May Hill, and the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountain beyond. There’s evidence of human activity on the hill going back to 4,000 BC. The area called the Scrubbs takes its name from the brushwood that existed before the planting of the present beech woodland in the 18th century. The parkland is jointly managed by the National Trust and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and boasts a wide variety of habitats and plants. The limestone grassland is extremely rich in plants, which in turn support a large variety of insects, especially butterflies.
Cotswold holiday cottage near Crickley Hill: Amber Cottage and Jasmine Cottage
Chedworth is noted as one of the “grandest Roman villas in Britain” and has a truly stunning Roman mosaic. Set in the beautiful Coln Valley, with picnic benches and summer deckchairs set to look across fantastic views of the Cotswold countryside and a café that’s open to all, even just a walk in the area is delightful.
Cotswold holiday cottage near Chedworth: The Old Post Office, Hawthorn Cottage, Meadow View and Meadow View II.
Snowshill Manor is a Tudor manor house and cottage with its 14 acres of land, was owned by Charles Wade who was a well-known collector of extraordinary objects. The garden at Snowshill was transformed by Wade into an Arts and Crafts garden, with the help of M H Baillie Scott. The garden is also renowned for its incredible display of spring flowers.
Cotswold holiday cottage near Snowshill: Pilgrim Cottage, Horseshoe Cottage, Box Cottage, Swallows Rest
The sumptuous National Trust-owned, 17th-century Dyrham Park house is set in a beautiful, ancient deer park. The gardens have many stunning plants and wildlife, while the house interior includes 17th century paintings and furniture. There is a children’s play area at Old Lodge, providing space for little ones to let off some steam.
Cotswold holiday cottage near Dyrham: The Leat at Malmesbury
One of the finest arts and crafts gardens in the country, Hidcote was created by American horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston circa 1905. Divided into a series of garden ‘rooms’, each garden boasts its own character, intertwined with narrow pathways, beautiful views and plants bursting to life at every turn. A must-visit for the green fingered.
Cotswold holiday cottage near Hidcote: Barndown, Milliner’s Cottage, Field House, Sundial House, Singer House, Pilgrim Cottage and Horseshoe Cottage.
What’s on in the Cotswolds at large?
For an up-to-the-minute guide of everything that’s happening in the Cotswolds, check out Explore Gloucestershire.