Top 10 Rainy Day Activities in the Cotswolds

Even in the Cotswolds it can't be sunny all the time but rainy days will give you a chance to discover all the great indoor family attractions on offer. With so many fun indoor activities, you’ll be happy to head under cover.

A little girl admiring the tiaras in the Corinium Museum in Cirencester

Here are our top 10 suggestions for things to do on rainy days in the Cotswolds:

1. Have fun for free!
Don’t feel you have to splash the cash to enjoy the Cotswolds on a rainy day. Visit one of our free museums. The Corinium Museum in Cirencester, Museum in the Park in Stroud, Tewkesbury Heritage Centre and the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock all host fun activities for families over the summer.

2. Take an indoor safari
At Gloucester Cathedral, pick up a trail sheet and take a summer safari. You’ll go in search of  the animals hidden amongst the historic detail of this amazing building.

3. Ride around
Rush Skatepark, one of the largest indoor skate parks in the world, is located near Stroud. Here you can enjoy a unique rider experience for BMX, Scooter, Skateboards and Aggressive Skates. All ages are welcome and there’s a parents’ lounge, cafe and viewing platform to watch the kids whizzing around.

4. Splash about in your wellies
Follow the new Dusty Duck trail at Slimbridge WWT, featuring 14 giant celebrity-designed ducks in conjunction with Aardman Studios. Look out for Steve Backshall’s Explorer Dusty and Joanna Lumley’s Patsy Dusty. Younger children will love wearing their wellies to splash about in the Wellyboot Land play area.

5. Cars, cars and cars
Cotswold Motoring Museum in Bourton on the Water is overflowing with vintage car collections, classic cars and intriguing motor curiosities. Big kids and little ones will enjoy seeing super car hero Brum in his home.

6. Head back in time
Explore the historic rooms of Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, where King Richard III, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Katherine Parr and Lady Jane Grey once walked. Children’s Wednesdays take place throughout the summer holidays with activities and shows for the whole family.

7. Burn off energy
Far Peak Climbing Centre has an indoor climbing centre, as well as outdoor climbing, at Far Peak near Northleach. It features a dedicated bouldering area for kids as young as 3, new climbing pillars with loads of dedicated kids’ climbs, and a tower with auto-belay. A new café provides well-needed refreshment.

8. Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum
There’s plenty to interest the whole family in the galleries of the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock, where you’ll find interactive exhibits, trails, quizzes, dressing-up and craft activities. In the school holidays, there are weekly family drop-in activities.

9. Let off steam
Bring your favourite teddy bear on the GWR Steam Railway, you can catch the train at Cheltenham Racecourse, Winchcombe or Toddington to ride the Teddy Bear railcar special every Tuesday in August. Bring a picnic and join the Teddy Bears at Winchcombe Station.

10. Get hands-on
Explore the new galleries at the Gloucester Waterways Museum, with interactive displays and a wildlife trail, while finding out fun facts along the way. Children can get stuck into the interactive dock system and experience life working in the docks with toy wagons and narrow boats.

Saltridge Woods (Credit: Ken Long)