The 16 Best Things To Do In The Cotswolds When It Rains
The Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful places in the UK. It is renowned for its natural landscapes, rolling hills, and quaint traditional villages. As a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it covers an area of 787 square miles and includes notable cities and towns such as Gloucester, Cheltenham, and Tewkesbury.
Although this is a great place to explore in fine weather, The Cotswolds also has a host of hidden gems that you can visit during a rainy day. If you are visiting this gorgeous part of the UK, we have listed 16 indoor things to do in The Cotswolds – enjoy!
1. Blenheim Palace
Topping our list of Cotswolds rainy day activities is Blenheim Palace, a simply magnificent and is a must-see location on your Cotswolds adventure. It spans 2100 acres of parkland and includes the period house, and vast gardens. For children, there are guided buggy tours to add a little excitement.
Alternatively, you can take walking guided tours of the beautiful palace and its hundreds of rooms. Whilst taking the tour you can of course learn about the interesting history of this iconic location.
Address: Blenheim Park, Woodstock, OX20 1PP
2. Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park
Adam Henson is better known for being a presenter on Countryfile but you can also visit his farm park deep in the heart of The Cotswolds! Although there are outdoor areas, there is a host of indoor or sheltered parts too if the weather is bad.
You can sample delicious locally sourced food, and take the wildlife walk to see a host of rare animals and insects. You can also see the conservation area which is dedicated to rare breeds and conserving endangered animals.
Address: Guiting Power, Cheltenham, GL54 5FL
3. Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral is a magnificent building located in the heart of the old town. It was initially built in the 10th century and has stood in some form ever since. This gorgeous cathedral has both Romanesque and Gothic architecture in a traditional crucifix design.
Aside from being stunning outside, the interior is also gorgeous. It has some fascinating stained-glass windows, and the high-vaulted ceilings are laced with decoration. Inside you can also find various tombs and memorials to important historical figures.
Address: 12 College Green, Gloucester, GL1 2LX
4. Sudeley Castle
Did you know that Sudely Castle was once the home of Henry VIII’s wife Katherine Parr? You can now explore the castle and learn about over 1000 years of history here. Inside, there is some fantastic exhibits spanning various ages including ancient Roman.
During better weather, the gardens are also worth exploring and show a fine example of traditional English manicured gardens. You can also see some of the old ruins of previous castles that have stood here.
Address: Sudeley Castle & Gardens, Winchcombe, GL54 5JD
5. Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection
The Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection takes you back in time to a different era when cars were just being developed. For both children and adults, this museum will provide endless wonder. For car enthusiasts, there is over 40 vehicles on display including models from Jaguar, Austin, MG, BMW, and Morris.
You can also find a host of antique caravans, generic memorabilia, and a dizzying collection of toys. The toy collection spans multiple decades and has some truly amazing items – and of course a host of model toy cars.
6. Oxford Castle & Prison
The tall main tower of Oxford Castle looms over the castle and prison and provides a great setting for this historic place. You can take guided tours of the castle and there is also a gift shop and café in the grounds.
The prison was used until 1996, and you can walk through the various rooms and galleries at your leisure. Also, you can delve down into the 900-year-old crypts underneath the prison, or even climb to the top of the aforementioned tower.
Address: 44-46 Oxford Castle, Oxford, OX1 1AY
7. Jet Age Museum
For those interested in military history and aviation, the Jet Age Museum is a great location in Gloucester. It concentrates on modern aviation, particularly jet aircrafts. Inside this spacious museum there is currently 22 full-scale aircraft preserved in fantastic detail.
Also, you can see recreations of different jet aircraft cockpits, and engines at various stages of their restoration. Notable aircraft you can see here include the iconic Hawker Hurricane, Gloster Meteor T7, and the Armstrong-Whitworth Meteor NF14.
8. Rugrats and Halfpints
If you have children who are becoming restless or who want a fun and active day out, the Rugrats and Halfpints indoor play area is a great location. The Cirencester play are covers 12,000 square feet and has a range of different play areas.
This includes a small go kart track, a sensory area, a dedicated section for toddlers, and various trampolines and slides. For adults, there is also a seating area and a café that sells hot drinks, snacks, and light meals. This is a great family day out on a rainy day!
Address: Unit A, Meadow Road, Cirencester, GL7 1YA
9. Corinium Museum
Located in the centre of Cirencester, the Corinium Museum is dedicated to the archaeology of The Cotswolds. It is a fantastic way to spend a rainy day whilst learning about the history of the local area.
It has some fantastic exhibits spanning a large timeframe, but there is also some modern exhibits too. Moreover, you can learn how to create mosaics in the museum’s mosaic-making workshops! This is a great interactive place that all the family can enjoy.
Address: Park Street, Cirencester, GL7 2BX
10. The Cookery School at Daylesford
If you fancy yourself a baker or chef-to-be, why not book a class at The Cookery School at Daylesford? This prestigious cookery school has a range of classes ranging from bread making and making canapes, to creating seasonal dinner parties.
There is classes for adults and children, and they often host seasonal classes so you can learn recipes for Christmas etc. The classes are taught by experience tutors and you get a fantastic hands-on experience.
Address: Daylesford, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 0YG
11. Wychwood Brewery
Wychwood Brewery in Witney is home to the famous UK Hobgoblin beer brand. If you want to see how traditional ale is made, you can take a guided tour of the brewery. The guides are knowledgeable and the tour is fun but also educational.
There is also the brewery shop the is located next to the brewery itself where you can get your fill of Hobgoblin products to take home with you!
Address: Eagle Industrial Estate, The Crofts, Witney, OX28 4DP
12. Rush Skatepark
If you have children (or yourself!) who are keen skateboarders, why not let them explore the amazing Rush Skatepark? Located in Brimscombe, this is a highly rated indoor skatepark and perfect for rainy days.
The large indoor area has a host of ramps, half-pipes, grinding rails and more for you to test your skating skills out on. There are also different themed areas such as The Street, The Bowl, and The Park. If you are still a beginner, you can also book coaching lessons too.
Address: Unit 3, Brimscombe, GL5 2QQ
13. Chastleton House and Garden
Chastleton House and Garden has a fascinating history that spans back over 400 years. It is a National Trust property therefore if you have a National Trust membership you can gain free entry and parking. As a result, this house is also beautifully maintained.
Tours of the house are available and you can view original furniture and décor whilst learning about the interesting history of the people that lived here. Also, if the weather does improve, the gardens at Chastleton are simply magnificent, especially during spring and summer.
Address: Chastleton, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 0SU
14. Bourton Model Railway Exhibition
Children and adults alike will love the model railway exhibition at Bourton. The exhibition is housed in a period farmhouse and has been running for over 25-years. It is also in a beautiful location next to the river in Bourton-on-the-Water.
Inside, you can find a large toyshop that sells a host of different items including model railway equipment and modelling crafts. The main attraction is the gorgeous model railway display, however. Over 40 trains run automatically on the various tracks and the railway covers 500 square feet. It looks amazing and the attention to detail is fantastic.
Address: Box Bush, High Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham, GL54 2AN
15. Museum in the Park
The Museum in the Park combines a museum together with a beautiful walled garden. In the museum collections you can see 57,000+ objects, most of which have been collected from, or have history in the local area of Stroud. This includes dinosaur bones, drawings, coins, fine art, and some amazing natural history items.
Address: Stratford Park, Stroud, GL5 4AF
16. The Cotswolds Distillery
Last but not least we have the famous Cotswolds Distillery. The tours of this distillery have won awards and you can gain a fascinating insight into the whiskey and gin making process. Once you have complete your guided tour, you can then enjoy a masterclass and even create your own gin!
Address: Phillip’s Field, Whichford Road, Stourton, CV36 5EX
Regardless of what you enjoy doing, you can find something in the above list to fill a host of rainy days! We hope you do get fantastic weather during your stay in The Cotswolds, but just remember that there is plenty of indoor attractions to enjoy too!
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