Character Cottages

Other attractions

As well as the many museums, stately homes, wildlife parks and outdoor activities that are available in and around the Cotswolds and the Heart of England region, there are various other tourist attractions in the area. The list below is a small sample to give you a flavour for the wide range of attractions that are available.

Further information is available from Tourist Information centres, which are located in the major towns in the region.

Tewkesbury Abbey

  • Avon Boating, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 7LS (www.avon-boating.co.uk/river-cruises): Half-hour cruises on the River Avon. Regular departures from the Bancroft Gardens adjacent to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Rowing boats, punts, canoes and motor boats are available for hire from the Boathouse on the other side of the river;
  • Bath: Relax in one of the world's most beautiful cities. Nourished by natural hot springs, Bath offers a unique experience with stunning architecture, great shopping and iconic attractions;
  • Badminton Horse Trials, Badminton GL9 1DF (www.badminton-horse.co.uk): The Badminton Horse Trials is a three-day event, one of only six annual Concours Complet International (CCI) Four Star events as classified by the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI), which takes place in April or May each year in the park of Badminton House, the seat of the Duke of Beaufort in Gloucestershire, England;
  • Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham GL50 4SH (www.cheltenham.co.uk): One of Europe’s top racecourses, hosting the three day Open Meeting and the four day Festival in March. The Centaur is the region’s largest facility for exhibitions, conferences and concerts;
  • Clearwell Caves, near Coleford GL16 8JR (www.clearwellcaves.com): An incredible natural cave system tunnelled into by miners for more than 4,000 years in their search for iron ore and ochre pigments. Nine impressive caverns with mining equipment and displays throughout. ‘A great underground experience’ for all the family;
  • Cotswold Water Park, South Cerney GL7 5TL (www.waterpark.org): Explore this watery landscape, with loads of lakes, offering watersports, fishing, birdwatching and much, much more. Call in to the Gateway Information Centre to discover where to go and what to do;
  • Daylesford Organic Farm, near Kingham GL56 0YG (www.daylesfordorganic.com): The Harrods of farm shops! One of the most sustainable farms in the UK, located in 2,000 acres of beautiful countryside of the English Cotswolds, owned by Sir Anthony and Lady Bamford. Award-winning food in the farm shop and café and a host of things to see and do: farm tours and farm walks, cookery school and organic farm school, and relaxing treatments at the Hay Barn Spa;
  • Gatcombe Park, Minchinhampton GL6 9AT (www.gatcombe-horse.co.uk): Gatcombe Park is the private country home of Anne, Princess Royal. The grounds are well known for hosting the Festival of British Eventing over the first weekend of August. The estate also holds two smaller Horse Trials, in the Spring and Autumn;
  • Gloucester Antiques Centre, Gloucester GL1 5SF (www.gacl.co.uk): Gloucester Antiques Centre is one of the largest and longest established antiques centres in the UK. Over 100 specialist antiques dealers offering the widest range of antiques and collectables in the West of England. Enjoy light lunches, homemade cakes and refreshments in the café;
  • Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, Toddington GL54 5DT (www.gwsr.com): The ‘Friendly Line in the Cotswolds’ offers a scenic 20 mile round trip between Toddington and Cheltenham Racecourse, including the exciting Greet Tunnel, one of the longest on a preserved railway. Pop along and see the driver in his cab. Break your journey at picturesque Winchcombe station. Special events all year;
  • Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons, Minchinhampton (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/minchinhampton-and-rodborough-commons): Minchinhampton Common is a large swathe of open grassland on the hill top and slopes of the Cotswold escarpment. It is a really important archaeological landscape, with prehistoric field systems, burial mounds and the remains of a defensive earthwork, known as The Bulwarks. In the summer the common is grazed by local commoners' cattle. Rodborough Common lies just to the north of Minchinhampton Common and offers a dramatic panorama overlooking Stroud and the Severn Vale. It is renowned for its colourful array of wild flowers and butterflies, starting with the pasque flower in spring and a superb display of early purple orchids in May;
  • Oxford: Renowned for its history and heritage, exquisite architecture and ancient University, Oxford sits in the heart of England, just outside the Cotswolds;
  • The Model Village, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2AF: A model of the actual village built of Cotswold stone to 1/9 scale in 1937. The River Windrush flows under Bourton’s famous bridges. The beeches, cherries and chestnuts are all in miniature. Music in the churches and of course, the model of the model;
  • Stratford-upon-Avon: The birthplace of William Shakespeare and home to the Royal Shakespeare Company. Set in the beautiful rural Warwickshire countryside, on the banks of the river Avon, Stratford is one of the most important tourist destinations in the UK.