The Cotswolds is a jewel in the heart of the UK and one of best areas in the country for days out for babies and toddlers.
Stretching over 787 square miles across multiple counties in South West and South Central England, the Cotswolds is known worldwide for its beautiful rolling landscapes and postcard perfect villages made from Cotswold stone.
Perhaps more so than any other area in the UK, the Cotswolds is home to a huge number of farm parks and wildlife experiences that your kids — scratch that, the whole family — will love.
Let’s see what they’ve got on offer…
- Fun Things To Do In The Cotswolds with Toddlers
- Cotswold Farm Park
- Westonbirt Arboretum
- Mary Arden’s Farm
- Corinium Museum
- Cotswold Wildlife Park
- Slimbridge Wetland Centre
- Model Village
- Cotswold Country Park and Beach
- Blenheim Palace
- Fairytale Farm
- Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway
- Chipping Norton Lido
- Bibury Trout Farm
- Broadway Activity Park
- Cattle Country
- Cotswold Water Park
- Batsford Arboretum
- Crocodiles of the World
- Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail
- Cotswold Motoring Museum
Fun Things To Do In The Cotswolds with Toddlers
Cotswold Farm Park
Cotswold Farm Park in Guiting Power has long been a mainstay of fun things to do in the Cotswolds with babies and children with beginnings dating back to the 70s. Run by Countryfile presenter Adam Henson, Cotswold Farm Park is home to a huge number of animals including goats, pigs, donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, guinea pigs and more.
There’s much more to do than just see the wildlife, however, with an outdoor playground, bouncy pillows, construction corner, muddy kitchen, café and shop.
Westonbirt is the national arboretum and can be found in Tetbury, the heart of the Cotswolds. It’s home to 15,000 specimens and 2,500 tree species from all over the world.
It’s a great outdoor day out for all the family and plenty for younger children to enjoy. Toddlers will love the Gruffalo sculptures, ‘I Spy’ adventure and woodland playground while older kids will be able to immerse themselves in Plant Hunters Academy and other seasonal activities.
Mary Arden’s Farm
Up in Stratford-upon-Avon is the wonderful Mary Arden’s Farm. Arden was the mother of William Shakespeare and her farm is one of the most toddler-friendly cultural activities to do in Stratford.
You’ll be guided around the farm by Tudors (!) who will show you how they tend the land, feed the animals, cook and eat. There are lots of farm animals to meet, including some rare breeds and birds of prey. Slightly older kids will enjoy the falconry displays and have-a-go archery while younger ones can get involved on the adventure playground and nature trails.
The Corinium Museum is a kid-friendly museum in Cirencester, celebrating the ancient roots of the town and wider area. ‘Corinium’ was actually the Roman name for Cirencester!
There are plenty of objects and galleries to see here, dating all the way back to prehistoric times, through the Roman age and even up to Medieval times. Toddlers will love the Roman soldier trail around the museum and budding archaeologists will love the active learning sessions and children’s events.
Cotswold Wildlife Park
Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens in Burford is one of the most popular attractions in the Cotswolds for babies and toddlers. With over 260 different species of animals calling it their home, there is a huge number of things to see and do.
As well as all the animals, you can entertain your kids with the narrow gauge railway, the children’s farmyard, adventure playground, as well as penguin and big cat feeding that takes place a couple of times a day.
Slimbridge Wetland Centre
The wide open space of Slimbridge can be found near Dursley and visiting here is a great way to teach your kids about the wonders of the wetlands. A huge amount of wildlife has made Slimbridge it’s home, but the nature of the environment means that you’ll see different species from season to season. Make sure you check out their 13 hides to see who’s in residence during your visit.
Toddlers will love the hand feeding experiences available of the ducks, geese and swans, while Welly Boot Land is a great spot for anyone who loves jumping in muddy puddles!
Slimbridge is highly accessible for buggies and wheelchairs, and there’s a café and shop on site too.
The Model Village in Bourton-on-the-Water is one of the most famous model villages in the whole of the UK and, in fact, the only Grade II listed one. It opened all the way back in 1937 and is made out of true Cotswold stone.
Kids absolutely love walking around and exploring this little replica town and thankfully it’s set out so as to be accessible for buggies and wheelchairs. A visit here will likely be less than an hour in total so make sure you explore the real village of Bourton once you’re finished!
Cotswold Country Park and Beach
Head over to Cirencester to get a taste of the beach when the weather’s good at Cotswold Country Park and Beach. Soft white sand surrounds a beautiful lagoon that’s perfect for swimming, watersports and aquaventure play – all of which are bookable online.
It’s not only about the beach at the Country Park – they’ve also got mini golf, pedal karts, high ropes and more. There’s also a separate kid’s beach with paddling area that’s fully separate from the watersports lake so you can ensure the safety of your little ones.
Beautiful Bourton-on-the-Water is home to Birdland Park and Gardens, a 9-acre garden and woodland area on the River Windrush. It’s home to over 500 birds including flamingos, owls, pelicans, crane, King Penguins and Humboldts.
It’s not only about living birds at Birdland, however, as they also have an amazing dinosaur exhibit, showing the Jurassic ancestors of the birds we know today. The Jurassic Journey weaves you through the woodland and your kids will love meeting the life size dino replicas!
Blenheim Palace is a world heritage site and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. It’s situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, and it’s major draw for toddlers and babies are the incredible grounds and gardens that surround it.
As well as wonderful walks, formal gardens and pleasure gardens, the kids will love the miniature train, rowing boats, maze and butterfly house. History buffs in the making will surely love the Palace State Rooms and exhibition on Churchill’s life.
Described as ‘a sensory and learning wonderland’, Fairytale Farm in Chipping Norton is a place specifically designed for disabled children but open to all. The farm is split into 6 zones including ones for adventure play, fairytale experience and ones where you can meet the animals.
Some of the animals that live here include giant rabbits, ponies, micro pigs, big pigs, billy goats, donkeys, rheas, turkeys and alpacas. Sensory experience include light fountains, musical chimes, giant party poppers and water play. It’s fully accessible for disabled people and those in wheelchairs.
Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway
If you’ve got a toddler that loves trains, you’re definitely going to want to take them on the GWSR. This brilliant heritage railway runs between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway, with plenty of beautiful Cotswolds scenery to enjoy on the way. It’s a roundtrip of 28 miles in total.
To really get the kids involved, you can join in on the ‘Teddy on the Train’ challenge where you take a photo of your teddy enjoying the journey. The best photos are uploaded to GWSR’s website every day. There are also activity sheets available.
Chipping Norton Lido
The Lido at Chipping Norton is a fantastic place to take toddlers in the Cotswolds when you fancy a bit of swimming during the warmer seasons. Also known as ‘Chippy Lido’, there are two pools here – a 25m swimming pool and a toddler’s paddling pool – both of which are fully heated.
The surrounding environment of the Chippy Lido is super charming thanks to the large tree-lined lawn and the café. Regular events are held here too so keep an eye on their website to see if there are any child-friendly things planned.
Bibury Trout Farm
Bibury is very well known for being one of the more picturesque Cotswold villages and, as such, is very popular with tourists and foreign tour buses. But aside from the pretty aesthetics, Bibury also has a trout farm that nature-loving kids will enjoy.
It’s England’s oldest working trout farm and even has ‘catch your own’ capabilities if you fancy having a try. Brick barbecues are available to hire for you to cook your fresh catch on but there’s also a café if you don’t want to work for your lunch!
Broadway Activity Park
Another beautiful village, Broadway is home to a brilliant activity park. This 3-acre recreation ground is full of large-scale play e quipment including climbing walls, a zipwire and a skate-ride simulation.
The park is divided into 4 different zones which are categorised based on age so you can make sure that your little ones are playing in an age-appropriate area. Make sure you bring some food that you can enjoy in the picnic area.
Cattle Country in Berkeley is one of the premier destinations in the Cotswolds for families with babies and toddlers. The perfect blend of adventure play and farm animals, you can easily spend a whole day having fun here.
Your kids can handle small animals at Cattle Country as well as help feed some of the bigger ones, before taking a tractor and trailer ride along the farm trail. When it comes to play, they’ll love the adventure playground, wooden castle, jump pillows, splash pool, climbing net and boating pool.
Cotswold Water Park
Made up of 170 lakes over 42 square miles just outside of Cirencester is Cotswold Water Park. On the same site as Cotswold Country Park (detailed above), there is a huge amount to do here for families with young children. Most people come to the Water Park for watersports, but there are a few activities that the under 5s will love too, including horse riding, exploring the sculpture park and building their wilderness skills.
There are plenty of picnic sites and cafes across the park, and a large portion of the park is accessible for buggies and wheelchairs too.
Batsford is a smaller arboretum than Westonbirt (detailed above) but is still plenty popular and a great day out with babies and toddlers. There are plants and trees here from all over the world with an emphasis on the Far East, including the National Collection of Japanese Flowering Cherries.
There’s a children’s play area for youngsters and toddlers will love the children’s trail around the arboretum – they’ll even get a prize if they complete a trail. There’s a café onsite if you want to eat while you’re visiting.
Crocodiles of the World
Crocodiles of the World in Brize Norton is the UK’s only crocodile zoo and a great place to take budding zoologists for the day! There are a huge number of different crocodiles at home here including caimans, the West African Dwarf Crocodile, Siamese Crocodile, Nile Crocodile and Saltwater Crocodile.
It’s open every day except for Christmas Day, and you’ll be able to see the crocs in lots of different environments, including underwater, in the juvenile care enclosures and in the incubation centre. There are even handling experiences available!
Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail
The Forest of Dean is on the England-Wales border and arguably just on the very edge of the Cotswolds. There are plenty of things to do here for active families, but one of the most toddler-friendly days out is the sculpture trail. It starts and ends at Beechenhurt Lodge where there is a picnic site, parking, toilets and more.
This 4.5km route is accessible for buggies and little legs, and is open all the time. Along the route are a number of different sculptures and exhibits that were created by artists to celebrate the unique environment and its history. Kids will love the thrill of spotting the sculpture and can even do some activity sheets along the way.
Cotswold Motoring Museum
If you’ve got toddlers who love all things transport, then you can’t go wrong with the Cotswold Motoring Museum and Toy Collection. Located in Bourton-on-the-Water, it’s home to 7 galleries with vintage cars aplenty, a unique toy collection, an exhibition dedicated to the history of motoring and even Brum makes an appearance!
The museum is accessible for buggies and wheelchairs, and kids under 8 can enter for free. Audio tours are available and there’s a good gift shop if you want some souvenirs of your day. Make sure to head into beautiful Bourton afterwards for some lunch at one of their beautiful pubs.
Looking for another location? Check out our Days Out section for more ideas.