There are numerous tourist activities in and around the Cotswolds and the Heart of England region. The list below is a small sample to give you a flavour for the wide range of activities that are available.
Further information is available from Tourist Information centres, which are located in the major towns in the region.
Most people who visit the Cotswolds and the Heart of England do some walking, even if it is just a stroll to the village pub! The area contains some of England’s most beautiful countryside and there are over 3,000 miles of public footpaths, to enable visitors to fully discover this rich landscape. Long distance trails in, or passing through, the Cotswolds include:
- The Cotswold Way;
- The Heart of England Way;
- The Oxfordshire Way;
- The Gloucestershire Way;
- The Wardens' Way and Windrush Way;
- The Macmillan Way;
- The Monarchs Way;
- The D'arcy Dalton Way;
- The Wysis Way.
Further information and maps can be obtained from the local Tourist Information centres.
The Cotswolds is criss-crossed with quiet country roads and lanes, as well as more challenging mountain biking terrain, making it perfect for all types of cycling. There are a number of places to hire bikes from, including:
- Bourton Cycles, Bourton-on-the-Water (www.bourtoncycles.co.uk);
- Go-By-Cycle, Somerford Keynes (www.go-by-cycle.co.uk);
- Hartwell's Cycle Hire, Bourton-on-the-Water (www.hartwells.supanet.com);
- Stratford Bike Hire, Stratford upon Avon (www.stratfordbikehire.com);
There are many golf clubs in and around the region, including:
- Bidford Grange Country Club & Golf Course, Bidford On Avon (www.bidfordgrange.com);
- Broadway Golf Club, Broadway (www.broadwaygolfclub.co.uk);
- Burford Golf Club, Burford (www.burfordgolfclub.co.uk);
- Chipping Norton Golf Club, Chipping Norton (www.chippingnortongolfclub.com);
- Cirencester Golf Club, Cirencester (www.cirencestergolfclub.co.uk);
- Cotswold Edge Golf Club (www.cotswoldedgegolfclub.org.uk);
- Minchinhampton Golf Club (www.minchinhamptongolfclub.co.uk);
- Minchinhampton Old Course, Minchinhampton (www.mincholdcourse.co.uk);
- Naunton Downs Golf Club, Naunton (www.nauntondowns.co.uk);
- South Cerney Golf Club (www.southcerneygolfcourse.co.uk);
- Stratford on Avon Golf Club, Stratford-upon-Avon (www.stratfordgolfclub.co.uk);
- The Wychwood Golf Club, Lyneham (www.thewychwood.com).
The Cotswolds has always been associated with horse riding and there are a number of equestrian centres, catering for all ages and levels of experience:
- Barton End Stables, Nailsworth (www.bartonendstables.co.uk);
- Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre, Bourton-on-the-Water (www.bourtonvaleequestrian.co.uk);
- Bretforton Equestrian, Bretforton (www.bretfortonequestrian.info);
- Camp Riding Centre, Near Stroud (www.ridingschoolgloucestershire.co.uk);
- Greenhill Equitation Centre, Cirencester (www.greenhillequitation.com);
- Hall Place Stables, Prestbury (www.passivehorsemanship.com) – specialising in the Western Riding style;
- Mill Farm Stables, Winchcombe (www.millfarmstables.co.uk);
- Oaklands Stables, Upper Tysoe (www.oaklandsstables.co.uk) - a professional livery on 35 picturesque acres;
- Overdale Equestrian Centre, Nether Westcote (www.overdale-equestrian.co.uk);
- Pittern Hill Stables, Kineton (www.pitternhillstables.co.uk);
- The Talland School of Equitation, Ampney Knowle (www.talland.net);
- Washpool Equestrian Centre, Stanton (www.cotswoldsriding.co.uk).
- Barnsley House, Barnsley (www.barnsleyhouse.com): Designed by Stephen Woodhams to bring the tranquillity of the garden inside, you'll find floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the grounds, dry stone walls, plants at every turn, and aromatic herbs hanging from wooden beams. The spa is fully equipped with five treatment rooms, a steam room, sauna, relaxation room and heated outside hydrotherapy pool. The Garden Spa's treatments will soothe and refresh your body and soul. Leading essential oils specialist, Aromatherapy Associates, has also created a selection of rituals that capture the rejuvenative power of plants and flowers;
- Calcot Manor Hotel & Spa, near Tetbury (www.calcotspa.co.uk): Calcot Spa is a haven for those looking to improve their fitness or treat themselves with some relaxation and beauty treatments. Tasteful decor, artwork and lighting, with comfortable and contemporary furniture in the lounge. Treatment rooms, each with their own styles and colour palettes. In short, everything you need to feel good, inside and out;
- Cotswold House Hotel & Spa, Chipping Campden (www.cotswoldhouse.com): Set in a converted coach house in the gardens, the Cotswold House Spa features treatment rooms, a superb hydrotherapy pool and Turkish hammam room;
- Hay Barn Spa at Daylesford Organic, Daylesford (www.daylesfordorganic.com): A nourishing space for self-reflection, understanding and rejuvenation. Yoga, pilates and meditation classes, workshops hosted by visiting therapists, facials, massage treatments and consultations provide exceptional holistic care for the mind, body and spirit;
- M Spa at Lapstone, Chipping Campden: Spoil yourself with the most progressive, comprehensive range of spa facial, bath and body experiences that deliver the most amazing results every time. Indulge in signature treatments to reconnect body, mind and soul, from head to toe and from outside in;
- Wildmoor Spa & Health Club, Stratford-upon-Avon (www.wildmoorspa.com): A luxurious and beautifully designed facility, proud to have been awarded "Best Day Spa of the Year 2007", you are invited to discover this unique spa with its exceptional choice in spa days and spa treatments;
- Wyck Hill House Hotel & Spa, Stow-on-the-Wold (www.wyckhillhousehotel.co.uk): Six therapy rooms, including one dual room. There is also a 12-seater steam room and sauna and relaxation area.
Public swimming pools are available at the following leisure centres:
- Chipping Norton Leisure Centre;
- Cirencester Open Air Swimming Pool, Cirencester (www.cirenopenair.co.uk);
- Cotswold Leisure – Bourton;
- Cotswold Leisure – Chipping Campden;
- Cotswold Leisure - Cirencester;
- Dursley Pool and Sports Centre, Dursley (http://community.stroud.gov.uk/general.asp?pid=31&pgid=2416);
- Evesham Leisure Centre, Evesham (www.wychavonleisure.co.uk);
- Shipston Leisure Centre (www.everyoneactive.com/Home/OurCentres/Shipston/tabid/630/Default.aspx);
- Stratford Leisure and Visitor Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon;
- Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stroud (www.everyoneactive.com/tabid/1693/Default.aspx).
- Clay Pigeon Shooting: Chessgrove Shoot (www.chessgroveshooting.co.uk);
- Climbing: Wild Rock Climbing Centre (www.wildrockclimbing.co.uk);
- Fishing: The Lenches Lakes, Church Lake (www.lencheslakes.co.uk);
- Gliding: Cotswold Gliding Club (www.cotswoldgliding.co.uk).