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.
- Avon Boating – Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 7LS: 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: 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: 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: Explore this watery landscape, with loads of lakes, offering watersports, fishing, birdwatching and much, much more.
- Gatcombe Park – Minchinhampton GL6 9AT: 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.
- Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway – Toddington GL54 5DT: The ‘Friendly Line in the Cotswolds’ offers a scenic 20 miles 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. There are special events all year.
- Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons – Minchinhampton: Minchinhampton Common is a large swathe of open grassland on the hill top and slopes of the Cotswold escarpment. It is a very 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. Try your hand at manoeuvring a punt on the river or enjoy people watching. There are many museums and a couple of theatres. Blenheim Palace is close by.
- 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.
- Gifford Circus – Discover a magical village green circus, one that entertains the adults just as much as the children. Giffords Circus is fast becoming a national treasure and entertains across the countryside every summer, travelling to different sites across the Cotswolds and South West. This unique show has a new theme each year and amazes audiences with their drama and style, renowned for its bohemian artistry of comedy, acrobatics, live music and animals. Discover opera singers, illusionists, stunt riders – if you can dream it, Giffords Circus delivers it. Book the Circus Sauce Restaurant – each evening after the final show of the day, three delicious courses are served on candle-lit tables for you to enjoy.
- The Everyman Theatre – Cheltenham
Known as Gloucestershire’s theatre, the Everyman has been producing performances since 1891. Famous award-winning artists and incredible new talent are showcased on the stages, with genres including ballet, opera, drama, dance, comedy, music, and the traditional family pantomime. It plays as a host for the Cheltenham Festivals while also operating independently, and there is a delightful café bar where you can enjoy a pre-show meal or simply afternoon tea.
- Royal Shakespeare Company – Stratford-upon-Avon.
They perform plays by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and by today’s writers in Stratford-upon-Avon, London and on tour.
- Local cinemas are found in Stratford-upon Avon (https://www.everymancinema.com/stratford-upon-avon),
an art deco cinema in Evesham (https://theregal.ac/web) and Cheltenham (https://www.tivolicinemas.com/venue/cheltenham and (https://www.cineworld.co.uk/cinemas/cheltenham)
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