5 free things to do in... The Cotswolds

Date Posted: 18/04/2013

Take The Cotswolds Vintage and Modern Trail - Group Travel

Pictured: Take The Cotswolds Vintage and Modern Trail.

One of the most famous regions of Britain and boasting some of the most quintessentially English landscapes, it’s always good to remember that The Cotswolds has a number of great free attractions and activities for groups to enjoy.

1. Simply stroll down a Cotswolds high street

Chipping Campden is one of the most charming and unspoilt of all Cotswold towns, and is a Mecca for visitors, who flock to see the High Street.

Filled with beautiful honey-coloured stone buildings from the 14th to 17th centuries, it has previously been described as the most perfect high street in England.

In the space of 100-metres or so, you'll find excellent examples of Elizabethan, Georgian, Jacobean, Regency and Victorian architecture.

The famous Market Hall stands in the High Street too; its picture sent around the world via postcards and calendars.

2. Keep calm and tour The Cotswolds

If you’re taking a group trip to The Cotswolds, you can now take a retro-route in search of the finest unspoilt countryside, timeless market towns and vintage shops in Britain.

The brand new Cotswolds Vintage & Modern Trail illustrates this perfectly by highlighting why the Cotswolds landscape is ideally suited to a trail of this nature.  Consisting of four separate circuits available in both leaflet (vintage) form, and online (modern) style, it is aimed squarely at capitalising on the growing trend for all things ‘retro’.

Turning a tour around some of the lesser-known areas of The Cotswolds into a ‘pleasurable pursuit with a purpose’, the routes take all of the hard work away for anyone keen to uncover all of the retro gems in one of the best-loved regions of Britain.

3. Gloucester Folk Museum

Gloucester Folk Museum is reportedly one of the oldest-established museums dedicated to social history.

Cotswold Water Park - Things to do in the Cotswolds

Pictured: Cotswolds Water Park.

From the reconstructed Victorian classroom to the original pin factory, all of Gloucestershire and The Cotswolds’ local history can be found here.

Set in Tudor timber-framed buildings, the Folk Museum is a complex of rooms on different levels. Behind its chocolate-box facade is a museum which is both larger than seems possible, and constantly surprising.

A wide range of exhibitions, hands-on activities, events, demonstrations and role play sessions are held throughout the year. There is also an attractive cottage garden and a courtyard area for events, often with live animals, and outside games.

4. Cotswolds Water Park

The Cotswolds Water Park is promoted as Britain's largest water park.

A wonderful wetland of 150 lakes created through gravel extraction, it boasts excellent birdwatching sites with winter waterbirds, waders, nightingales, grebe, hobbies and more.

It offers activities from angling to archery, cycling to climbing, sailing to snorkelling, walking to wakeboarding; as well as the chance to see resident wildlife from otters and watervoles to bats and beavers.

5. Tetbury Police Museum

Dedicated to the Gloucestershire Constabulary, and fast becoming one of the main attractions in the lovely Cotswolds town of Tetbury, the Tetbury Police Museum is housed in the original Police office and (extremely secure) cells.

Visit the first floor courtroom for a 1940s court case, or enjoy the records, helmets, uniforms, handcuffs, early lamps, bicycles and an early identi-kit - just don’t fiddle with the two and a half turn locks!

A new addition is the Alex Nichols collection of Restraint Equipment, a large collection of handcuffs and restraints from the UK, America and all around the world.

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