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FREE things to do this Summer in the Cotswolds

5th August 2016

Categories: Media News

Some great places to picnic, parks and play areas to enjoy, discovery trails to follow, nature sites to explore and some wonderful free events - including a football match in the river!

A picnic with a view - Stroud Common.

Have a picnic
There are so many wonderful places to enjoy a picnic in the Cotswolds. Here are just a few suggestions:
 - Bourton on the Water – enjoy your picnic on the wide, grassy banks of the river. There are plenty of places to buy picnic items and ice cream nearby!
 - Minchinhampton and Rodborough Common offer some superb views and are ideal for a picnic, with their large swathes of open grassland on the hill top and slopes of the Cotswolds escarpment.
 - The ruins of Minster Lovell Hall provide an interesting backdrop to a picnic on the banks of the River Windrush.
 - At 330 metres above sea level, Cleve Common is the highest point in the Cotswolds and makes a great spot for a picnic with a view. There are lots of footpaths so you can walk off your lunch!
 - Lechlade Riverside Park - Spread out across three large fields, with substantial river frontage, Riverside Park can offer loads of green grass for running about, ball games, plus it’s a great spot for picnics and just relaxing.
 - At the top of Fish Hill, there is a fantastic picnic site, with panoramic views across the Vale of Evesham. You’ll also find wild flowers, colourful woods and Giants' Steps there!
 - Coaley Peak is a picnic site with an amazing view across the Severn Vale towards the Forest of Dean.

Hit the park
The historic Pittville Park in Cheltenham has two children’s play area, tennis courts, a pitch and putt golf course, skate park. It also has aviaries which are home to various birds and even some cute bunnies! With its natural layout, lake and area of woodland, it’s also great for family walks.

With 21 hectares of open space, Kilkenny Lane Country Park is perfect for playing, walking and having a picnic. The large play area has a zip wire, swings, slides, trampolines, hammocks, sandpits and the extensive Witch’s Cauldron climbing frame, along with unusual features like a willow maze, willow igloos and a totem pole.

The excellent Broadway Activity Park has state-of-the-art facilities including a climbing wall, multi-use games area, space net, zipwire, grass pitch for football and rounders and picnic area.

Follow the play trail at Woodchester Park and have fun with climbing frames, bridges, musical logs, a zip wire and much more. You can also have a go at building a den and creating some wild art.

Follow a discovery trail
Beatrix Potter fans of all ages can celebrate the author’s 150th anniversary in Gloucester, joining an exciting anniversary Beatrix Potter treasure trail throughout the city. Search shop windows and various locations for characters created by Beatrix Potter, collecting stickers along the way! Pick up a map from the Tourist Information Centre. Once you've collected all the characters, go to The House of the Tailor of Gloucester for a special treat!

Complete the Hare Festival way around Cirencester! The trail will be open through the summer until 11 September. Along with 7 large decorated hares, there are also 28 tiny hares located in shops around the town. Passports for the trail can be obtained from the Visitor Information Centre at the Corinium Museum and from the shops where hares can be found.

The town of Woodstock has its own special children’s trail – explore the town and look for historic things along the way.

Nature-spotters!
Follow the trail around Chimney Meadows Nature Reserve and learn about the many species of birds, butterflies and plants that reside in wetland meadows.

Take your binoculars and go wildlife watching at Cotswold Water Park area – visit the Gateway Centre first to pick up some tips.

Saul Junction, where the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and Stroudwater Canal meet is a great place for wildlife.

Free events this August Bank Holiday weekend
Stroud Fringe is a free music and arts festival that takes over the town of Stroud, in the Cotswolds, every August Bank Holiday (26-28 August). There will be four official stages, parades, street entertainment, creative childrens' workshops and great food and drink. Independent venues all over town celebrate the festival with their own events - the town really comes alive!

The much-loved, free Phoenix Festival is set to entertain festival-goers with a wide variety of performers in five different areas across the beautiful Abbey Grounds, Cirencester on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August.

One of the quirkier events, every August Bank Holiday Monday, a game of football is played in the river in Bourton on the Water. This event has been taking place for over 100 years and is brilliant fun to watch!

The Via Roma Twilight Criterium returns to Cirencester on 29 August, with a series of 4 races taking place throughout the evening culminating in the prestigious Elite Race which will take place under floodlights as dusk settles.