Expand your horizons and make marvelous memories by experiencing all the unique things to do in the Cotswolds. Get close to nature by learning bushcraft before indulging in some wine tasting and a scenic supper on top of a hill. Or try your hand at throwing a pot, or even be a DJ for a day! Piqued your interest? Here are some of the quirkiest experiences in the Cotswolds.
With restrictions easing across England, please continue to follow government guidance and remember to plan ahead and check attraction websites before travelling. Take a look at our top tips on how to escape the everyday responsibly to see how you can make the most out of your day trips and breaks.
Respond to the call of the wild
Channel your inner Bear Grills and learn how to build a shelter in the woods, chop wood and light a fire from scratch, courtesy of Fat Squirrel. There are activities to suit the whole family such as soft archery (for little ones aged 4 and above) and, for the more adventurous, axe throwing and rifle shooting. Campfire evenings are a natural extension of the day but can be booked separately. What could be more pleasant than toasting marshmallows and eating hot dogs around a blazing fire.
Book a workshop with The Cotswold National Landscape and discover how woods have been places of sanctuary and a source of raw materials down the ages. Learn a rural skill such as hedge-laying or coppicing and see how the management of the landscape has helped wildlife too. Cotswold stone is one of the natural resources of the region and has been quarried here for centuries. Learn how to choose and shape a stone that will be used to build or repair a dry-stone wall on a Fossils and Fun course - you might even find a fossil or two.
Dine on fine food on top of a hillside whilst gazing at a panoramic view of the Cotswold landscape. We have all longed to eat out safely in our social bubbles and now, thanks to the creative endeavours of three school friends, guests can enjoy a scenic supper in one of seven glasshouses. This unique experience can be sampled at Todenham Manor Farm near Moreton-in-Marsh, accompanied by craft cocktails and a choice of wines. The menu is adapted to the seasonal produce, so expect sublime dishes that include the likes of local asparagus and Cotswold lamb.
Visit a local vineyard and sample award-winning sparkling wine, white wine or Cotswold Gold brandy, all made from Siegerrebe and Seyval grapes. Little Oak Vineyard is located on the outskirts of the attractive Cotswold town of Chipping Campden. If you want to stay longer, an al-fresco lunch can be added to the wine tour. For an extra-special gift (or as a treat to yourself), you can even lease a row of vines for a year, meaning you’ll receive several bottles of your own-label wine throughout the year to savour back at home.
Sign up for a workshop at Larkswold, in the delightful village of Adlestrop (famed for the poem by Edward Thomas and its connections with Jane Austen). All workshops take place safely in a marquee that overlooks a wildflower meadow – a perfect environment for inspiring creatives. Try a bit of arm-knitting, lino printing or calligraphy, or opt for a seasonally themed workshop like an Easter Tree or Christmas Wreath atelier. Coffee and cake will be on hand too – they’re essential to the creative process, after all.
More creativity is on offer at Honeybourne Pottery. Weekend workshops (90-minute sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) cater for beginners and cover the whole process from centering your pot on the wheel to using specialist tools. Visitors can have as many goes as they want as first attempts often produce hilarious results! Pots are left to dry thoroughly before being stacked in the kiln and then glazed – your masterpiece can be collected a few weeks after your enjoyable day out.
Ever dreamt of hosting your very own radio show? Well, now you can, here at Cotswolds Radio. Create your own playlist and pre-record personal messages to friends and family, with help from experienced producers. You will be able to choose from an extensive music library and have coaching in preparing a script. Sessions last about an hour and you can take your recording home. Today, a DJ in the Cotswolds, tomorrow broadcasting to the world?
Join an exhilarating mountain bike tour of some of the best wild trails in the area. Cotswold Mountain Biking is based near Dursley and offers guided half-day or bespoke tours off the beaten track. The owner, Tim Porter, has a passion for off-road cycling that he loves to share with visitors. Groups are limited to a maximum of five cyclists – bring your own bike or hire one of Tim’s. Electric bikes are available too.
For a gentler view of the landscape, try a tour with Wild Carrot. Choose from a leisurely ride on an electric bike, stopping for a champagne picnic en route, or a faster-paced stint on a mountain bike or a scooter. For the very adventurous, opt for One Wheel – the chance to practice snowboarding without the snow! All tours start from the historic estate of Chavenage House, set in 2,000 acres of wonderful countryside. The Elizabethan manor house has been the setting for many period dramas including Lark Rise to Candleford and Poldark.
No visit to the Cotswolds would be complete without a walk around its designated capital, Cirencester. A new guided walk has been added to the repertoire of the Civic Society entitled Rebellion and Mystery which includes the story behind the replacing of two statues on the church tower (the Black Jack project). Cirencester has layer upon layer of history, from Roman (learn all about it at the Corinium Museum) through medieval to the modern-day. Visit the New Brewery Arts Centre, a thriving cultural hub, created out of a former brewery.