The Cotswolds is one of the most treasured and vacationed places in the UK. Tourists from both home and abroad flock each year to the region to soak up the atmosphere of timeless uniqueness and touching preservation. Cotswold camping enables you to step back in time and visit ancient towns and villages, many dating back at least 500 years.
Explore the history of the Cotswolds Wherever you camp in the Cotswolds you’ll see the dry stone walls built by master craftsmen who use no cement to hold the walls together; truly a feat of engineering! Here are a few of the historical attractions to visit during your Cotswolds camping break:
- Kelmscott Manor is the former home of William Morris who was a British textile designer, poet and translator. The house, with access to the nearby Thames Pathway, showcases a large collection of works and belongings of Morris’s. The cottage is beautifully secluded with gardens to explore, a tea room and gift shop. Just a 30-minute drive from Chipping Norton Club Site, this makes a great day out.
- In the heart of the Cotswolds Sudeley Castle, just a 10-minute drive from Winchcombe Club Site, offers a chance to explore some of history’s most notable characters and their time in the fascinating castle. Lady Jane Grey, Katherine Parr and Henry VIII are all associated with the castle. There are 10 gardens to explore including The Herb Garden and the Tudor Physic Garden which hosts some of the plants that were used medicinally during the Tudor period. Inside the castle, you can explore the east and west wings along with exhibition rooms. The Castle Kitchen Restaurant and Pantry offer a range of food options and afternoon tea is available when pre-booked. The adventure playground and castle grounds are sure to keep kids entertained throughout your visit.
- Berkley Castle, built in the late 12th Century offers around 6,000 acres to explore. Originally built to defend the family from the Welsh, the picture-perfect castle, with its arrow slits and turrets makes a great day out for the whole family. Learn about those that inhabited the castle throughout history, try out your jester skills and dress up in period costumes as you explore the grounds. The Walled Gardens offer plenty of room to expend excess energy and the beautiful pond is surrounded by tropical plants and free-roaming birds. Those interested in nature will enjoy the Butterfly House which shows you each stage of a butterfly’s life. When you’ve worked up an appetite make use of the picnic tables in the garden or the Yurt Tea Room, offering light lunches and afternoon tea.
- Blenheim Palace was home to the Churchill family for 300 years. Today you can explore the palace and gardens while camping in the Cotswolds. View the extravagant Palace State Rooms, walk in the Formal Gardens and have fun in the Pleasure Gardens. Kids will love getting lost in the Marlborough Maze, the Butterfly House and the Miniature Train.
- Explore the life of the Bard in Stratford-upon-Avon. Visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, walk to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage or watch a show at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
- The Rollright Stones span nearly 2000 years of Neolithic and Bronze Age development and are located on the edge of the Cotswold Hills. The stone circle and standing stones are well worth a visit. Dogs are permitted on leads.
- England’s oldest inn, The Porch House, in Stow-on-the-Wold is worth a visit for its rustic charm and tasty food. Stow-on-the-Wold itself is one of the best known Cotswold towns and offers farmers markets, antique shopping and lots of traditional eateries.
- The Cotswolds and walking go hand in hand. The Cotswold Way and Batsford Arboretum are just a few of the different options for walkers. The Cotswold Way offers 100 miles of walking, with many circular walks available. Batsford Arboretum offers 56 acres to explore, a large garden centre and a Falconry Centre so you won’t find yourself short of things to do.
- Cycling is equally popular with bridleways and quiet country lanes throughout. The 417 Bike Park offers the ultimate riding experience for all mountain bikers. Kids beginners and pros are all welcome.
- There are plenty of watersports opportunities in the Cotswolds. The Cotswolds Water Park has 150 lakes set over 40 square miles. Kayaking, rowing, paddle boarding, water-skiing and much more is available at the centre. Visit the official website to find out more. There are plenty of lakes in the region with boat trips available.
More attractions in the Cotswolds
- At Longleat you’ll get the chance to see tigers pounce, lions roam and sea lions splash. The Safari Drive Through allows you to get up close and personal to the inhabitants. Once you’ve seen animals from around the globe you’ll have the chance to explore the majestic Longleat House and its Elizabethan Architecture as well as the grounds surrounding it.
- The Cotswold Wildlife Park is another place to get up close to different animals from around the world. Giraffes, camels, lions and African pygmy goats are just a few of the mammals you’ll see. Meanwhile, in the reptile area, you’ll get to meet a giant tortoise, iguanas and even crocodiles.
- Discover nearly 1,000 years of history at Gloucester Cathedral. Choose between a guided tour, a walk around guide or printed guide to tell you everything you need to know about the cathedral and its tower.
- Birdland Park and Gardens in Bourton-on-the-Water is home to over 500 birds as well as a Jurassic Journey attraction for dinosaur enthusiasts.
- The Jane Austen Centre explores the influence Bath had on her books and personal life. Dress up in Regency costumes and explore the exhibition. Just a short walk from the Roman Baths, The Regency Tea Room upstairs from the centre and is ideal for an afternoon tea.
- The Cotswold Falconry Centre, just a 20-minute drive from Chipping Norton Club Site is home to over 130 birds, with flying displays taking place daily. Take a look at the breeding birds in the aviaries and find out about the conservation efforts of the team.
- Cotswold Farm Park - Meeting the animals, enjoy a wildlife walk or play on the outdoor equipment at Cotswold Farm Park. Owned by English Farmer and TV present Andy Henson, this farm is a guaranteed fun day out.
- Hailes Abbey - Once an important monastery, Hailes Abbey in modern-day is tranquil ruins visitors from all over come to see. Pick up a free audio guide and let the narrator re-erect the ruins and take you on a journey through history.