Top 3 family attractions in the Cotswolds

Tuesday, 6 March 2012 4:33 PM

With a wealth of attractions suitable for people of all ages and interests, the Cotswolds is a fantastic destination for family days out. Whether you're only visiting for the day or have the entire weekend to explore, it can be hard deciding where to go. Head to any of the following three, however, and you will have a wonderful getaway.

Big and little kids alike will love a trip to the Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection. Situated in Bourton-on-the-Water, this has long been a popular draw for those on days out in the Cotswolds and you can look at dozens of cars, motorbikes, caravans and bicycles, as well as vintage garage equipment.

The guest gallery regularly exhibits iconic 20th-century vehicles. With previous displays seeing cars from films such as Wallace and Gromit and Quadrophenia showcased, there will always be something new to see.

Little ones, meanwhile, will be fascinated by seeing Brum, the star of the children's TV show, while the whole family will enjoy completing the quiz as they go around the museum's exhibits. Visit the play area and you can have fun with a range of toys, many of which were popular in the 1950s and 60s, including skittles, Meccano, jigsaws and model planes.

A trip to Cotswold Water Park will also provide plenty of fun for all the family. With the area featuring 150 lakes set out over 40 sq miles of picturesque countryside, it should be little surprise this is a great place for water sports.

Here, your family can learn how to sail or paddle a canoe through serene waters, although teenagers looking for something a bit more exciting can try wakeboarding and waterskiing. Visit Lake 32 in Shorncote and you can learn the ropes of windsurfing, an exciting activity if there ever was one!

There is plenty to do on dry land at Cotswold Water Park, though, and your kids will love exploring the Scarecrows Sculpture Trail or following the Cotswold Canals Towpath which follows the route of the Thames and Severn Canal. At the Head 4 Heights outdoor centre, you and the family can have fun scrambling over poles and navigating trapeze jumps.

Heading to Birdland Park & Gardens will make for a cheap holiday in the Cotswolds. The ideal destination for those who love birds, more than 500 winged animals live here. With everything from falcons and flamingos to storks and toucans on display, you will soon find a creature that captivates you.

If you're hoping to see penguins on your short break, you should definitely come to Birdland. It is the only place in England and Wales to house the king subspecies, while you can also see these majestic animals get their afternoon feeding. Visit the Desert House and you will come across birds that need arid conditions to stay alive, including the carmine bee-eater and desert finch.

Although you won't be able to walk through this house due to the high temperatures, seeing the creatures from the viewing platform is sure to be a wonderful highlight of your short break.

There is much more than just beautiful feathered friends to see at Birdland. The park also contains toads, beetles, frogs and snakes, as well as hundreds of different plants, making for lots of variety in the things you can take in during your family day out.

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