Finding the perfect balance of culture and fun that will keep both children and parents entertained for an entire weekend can be a challenge, but that is where OTUK come in. We have years of experience of putting together family-friendly itineraries across the UK which aim to do just that. So read on for some ideas on how to spend the perfect long weekend in the Cotswolds, enjoying the quintessential English scenery and all the activities the region has to offer…
Day 1: Bath and Harry Potter
Your weekend of family fun begins in the Georgian city of Bath. This mellow-stoned city is perfect for families as it has a compact centre, meaning it is easy to walk everywhere and therefore an opportunity to expel some energy! First up is the Roman Baths - a brilliantly accessible museum for children as there are great audio guide options, as well as interactive activities throughout the site along with guides who are in character (and dress!) along the route to chat to.
After exploring the baths and tasting the supposedly health-giving water, wander through the city centre towards the Fashion Museum where the little ones can dress up in 17-18th century costumes (which is great for photos) as you explore the exhibitions. If, by now, you're in need of a lunch stop, fear not, we know all the best places to eat in Bath whether you are looking for a fabulous afternoon tea (The Royal Crescent), a casual pub (The Marlborough Tavern) or a quick stop for a fresh salad or sandwich (Café Lucca).
This afternoon, head to the traditional village of Lacock, which is so picturesque that it feels as if you've stepped back in time. The village has starred in a number of movies and period dramas, perhaps most notably (at least for the younger generation) in Harry Potter. Any avid Harry Potter fans will recognise the beautiful cloisters of Lacock Abbey as the corridors of Hogwarts, as well as spotting the room where Harry discovered the Mirror of Erised in the first film.
Day 2: Horses and Oxford
The following day, spend the morning at Lucknam Park enjoying the beautiful country house estate on horseback. The hotel is home to 35 horses of all sizes, catering to riders of all abilities, so the whole family can get involved. Ride around the 500 acre estate or further afield to explore the surrounding countryside, or enjoy some down time with your children at the hotel, either in the games room playing table tennis or table football, or in the playroom with younger children. After a delicious lunch at the hotel and some time to relax, depart for Oxford, driving through the stunning Cotswold countryside on the way.
Day 3: Oxford and Blenheim Palace
Oxford is a city with so much more to offer than just a world-class university, although some of the university buildings are fairly spectacular, and well worth exploring (who knows, you may even inspire your little ones to aim high in their future university choices…). If you're after another dose of Harry Potter, there are locations that were used in the films dotted throughout Oxford, such as Bodleian Library as well as various spots around Christ Church College.
After a morning discovering the delights of Oxford, spend the last part of your weekend visiting nearby Blenheim Palace. You can explore both the inside of the palace as well as the stunning grounds, which include the fantastic Marlborough Maze, covering 1.8 acres, making it the perfect way to get the little ones running around before the journey home.
Image Credit: VisitEngland/Blenheim Palace
Cover Image: ©VisitBritain/Pete Seaward