Places to visit

If you are looking for ideas on places to visit where children can run around and explore here are some of our favourite places to visit near Gloucestershire…

More ideas coming soon.

Please note I am not sponsored by any of these places nor looking for sponsorship, these are places we like to visit and all my own opinions. 

Some places are open seasonally so best to check if they are open before visiting. 

Spetchley Park Gardens

Spetchley Park Gardens are very close to Worcester Woods so could be teamed up as two things to do in one day.  It is a vast garden with lots to explore, including their new natural play area which is ideal for toddlers with things to climb on.  It is pushchair friendly, although can be hard work in places as some of the paths are stones.  There are toilets and a cafe.

See their website for admission prices, however we entered for free with our Historic Houses membership.  Parking is free.

Caldicot Castle and Country Park

Caldicot Castle is part ruin and part accessible inside. We didn’t attempt to go in as we didn’t think a winding staircase and a James would go well.  When we visited children were able to take part in archery for £1.50.  There is plenty of space for children to run around inside the grounds and outside of the castle in the country park.  There is also a play area.  It’s also not that far from the JoJo Maman Bebe outlet, so we took a trip there as well.

It is free to visit Caldicot Castle and free to park.

Cannop Ponds

Cannop Ponds is a great place to explore, but I didn’t feel comfortable doing it on my own with James, as I couldn’t find a marked out trail so worried about getting lost.  It would probably be more suitable for older children than toddlers as the paths didn’t seem to be clearly distinguished. However, James loved running over the bridge and looking at the ducks, which kept him entertained for a while.  There are no toilets or cafe but there are picnic benches.

It is free to visit Cannop Ponds and car parking is also free.

Woodchester Park

Woodchester Park is a gorgeous place for a walk with children but be aware it is quite steep in places and to get back to the car park, which was great when I was carrying James.  Woodchester Park is huge so you can make your walk as long as you want it to be.  There is a map on a board in the car park and also leaflets with a map detailing some of the trails available.  The most ideal one for children is probably the play trail  with lots to keep children entertained along the way.  There is no mobile phone signal in the area and the paths probably aren’t the most pushchair friendly, but would probably be ok if you had one of the more robust ones and you are feeling fit enough to push it back to the car park.  There are toilets and a cafe in Woodchester Mansion, but I am not sure if it is always open.

Woodchester Park is National Trust but free for everyone to visit, although if you aren’t a National Trust member you have to pay £3 for car parking which allows you to stay there all day.

Mallards Pike Lake

This is a great place to walk with a toddler because it is not a very long walk.  It probably took us about 45 minutes to an hour to walk around the lake with James frequently stopping to look at things, including the Gruffalo Trail posts.  You can buy the Gruffalo Trail map from the cafe for £1.50. It is pushchair friendly and there are toilets and a cafe.

Mallards Pike Lake is free but there are car parking charges and the parking machine only accepts coins. I was able to buy a parking ticket in the cafe though as I didn’t have any coins on me.

Painswick Rococo Garden

Painswick Rococo Garden is open most of the year (closed some of December and January) and we absolutely love it.  There is so much for James to explore – children’s play area, maze, wood, large pond with ducks and a lovely cafe.  It’s not the most pushchair friendly of places (but I have seen many people with pushchairs so it is doable if you’re feeling fit), as there are some steep parts to get in and out of the garden.  They often have seasonal trails for children to take part in with a small prize at the end.

See their website for admission prices, however we enter for free with Historic Houses membership.

Worcester Woods

Worcester Woods is open all year around so is great when a lot of places shut for winter.  There are several walks available through the woods, and the walk through Nunney Wood is suitable for pushchairs.  It can get very muddy when it has been raining a lot.  There is also a cafe, toilets, a large playing field and a play area to keep children entertained.

Admission and car parking are both free.

Sudeley Castle

We haven’t even been in the castle itself but spend so much time exploring the wonderful gardens.  James has a fascination with the bridge leading into the large play area, and would happily walk up and down it for a very long time.  The play area is big but probably more suitable for slightly older children, there’s various walks, a pond with fish and also some birds. We also like looking at the lovely views and the sheep in an adjoining field. Most of it is pushchair friendly but there are a few steps. Open from March to December.

See their website for admission prices, however we get in free with Historic Houses membership. Car parking is free.

Crickley Hill

Despite being a hill parts are pushchair friendly.  We spend a lot of time up Crickley Hill because there is so much that interests James and it allows him to just wander about exploring.  He has even got very close to the cows that are usually knocking around somewhere.  James’ favourite thing is going to different posts and telling me what number is written on them.  There is a cafe and toilets.

Crickley Hill is free to visit but you do need to pay for parking.

Croome

If you like walking around beautiful countryside then Croome is a great place to visit.  We haven’t actually been in the property-  Croome Court, but spend time wandering the park land with James. There is also an RAF museum, a children’s play area and tea rooms.  It is fairly pushchair friendly.

See their website for admission prices, parking is free.  National Trust members get in for free.

 

Bourton on the Water

This is our favourite Cotswold village to visit, partly because James likes bridges and there are several that he likes to play on, over the River Windrush. We have also visited Birdland and the model village there which James enjoyed.

Hanbury Hall and Gardens

Another extensive National Trust property which I love to visit with James.  The gardens are huge with different sections to explore, there is a field with sheep that James likes to chase, and a children’s play area.

See their website for admission prices, parking is free.  National Trust members get in for free.

Westonbirt Arboretum 

This place is vast and you can spend so long there on various walks amongst the beautiful trees.  They currently have a Zog trail on for children.  There is a play area, a bridge which James is a bit obsessed with and a cafe. If we lived a bit closer I would probably become a member.

See their website for admission prices, parking is free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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