With the summer holidays well under way you might have exhausted a lot of your ideas for entertaining your kids or grandchildren. There are so many lovely things to get up to we are spoilt for choice in the Cotswolds, but we don’t always need to spend a fortune to get into places, children are often in their element just being free in the great outdoors, which is why we are looking at the perfect walks for children in and around the Cotswolds.
Robin Woods Hill, Gloucester
Robin Woods Hill is a county park to the south of the center of Gloucester and is a great place to bring the kids.
Take a walk up the hill and get those hearts pumping, the views are incredible from the top and are incentive enough to keep the children going. Along the way, there are some little sculptures and various benches to take a rest. You don’t need to walk all the way to the top to enjoy the views so just do what you can and don’t push the little ones too hard – if they aren’t used to walking they might not make it for the first time, and that’s OK.
At the bottom of the hill, you’ll find a nice park for the children to play in post-walk and a cafe complete with toilet facilities, always handy on a day out with children.
Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, Sharpness.
The Gloucester & Sharpness Canal was once the broadest and deepest in the world and it continues to stand out to this day because of its sheer scale and impressive engineering.
The canal is a great place for family walks, Prams can easily be pushed along the waterside and why not pack bikes or scooters for the bigger kids for this flat ground?
There is also a cafe along the way for a pit stop and refueling for those little legs.
The length in total is 16 miles and you’ll also have a lock on the route, but of course, you don’t need to undertake the whole 16 miles, just pick and choose your route length depending on who you are walking with.
Crickley Hill, Cheltenham
If you’d like to take in some epic views but don’t think your little ones will make it up a hill then Crickley Hill is ideal. You arrive at the top of the hill by car and can walk on flat ground and soak up the incredible panoramic views of the surrounding area. There are open walks that are ideal for flying kites because it is often quite windy at the top of the hill, or woodland walks in the opposite direction, take your pick. You’ll find a lovely cafe for a post-walk treat too.
Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean
Beecehnhurst is a firm favourite for families in the Cotswolds. Head into the beautiful Forest of Dean and you’ll find the centre. There is so much going on here and a lot is completely free. Pack up a picnic or head for the lovely cafe on site, entertain the kids in the big park, and take a walk through the sculpture trail or children-themed trail that is often on here.
Pack a ball and have a kick about on the large field area near the park; a great day out for everyone. If you have slightly older children with you and fancy trying your hand at Go Ape – a high-level ropes course, then you can also pay to use this fun-filled facility.
Cleeve Hill, Cheltenham
Another great spot to let the kids run wild in is Cleeve Hill. You can take a walk as easy or strenuous as you wish as you can once again park up at the top of the hill near the Golf Club and take your pick of a walk in any direction from the top.
The views from here are incredible and you can see right over to the Malvern Hills. If you start at the Golf Club you can even walk around to The Rising Sun pub for a lunch break or quick refreshment stop. There is a fantastic beer garden here that the children can explore whilst you have a well-earned break.
The walk takes around 20 minutes to complete one-way so is a nice short walk for little legs with all the benefits of some of the most incredible views in the area. Cleeve Hill is also another great spot for kite flying so do pack your kite if you have one!
Frith Wood Nature Reserve
The woods are always a great place to take children, the vast landscape of Frith Woods offers a number of footpaths for ramblers to choose from and children can roam free and explore the woodland, play hide and seek amongst the trees, and spot wildlife as you walk.
Located three miles from Stroud, adults will love the nature reserve too which comprises an ancient beech wood boasting an array of rare plants. During the spring months, the woodland floor comes alive with beautiful bluebells.
There isn’t a specific parking area but you can park up at a rough lay-by at Bull’s Cross and at an area just at the entrance of the B4070.