The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is idyllic at any time of year, with gentle flowing rivers, alfresco dining in pretty pub gardens, picture-postcard villages and scenic walking trails. However, in the summer months, this region really springs to life with abundant activities, fairs, live music and themed days out suitable for all ages. If you’re planning a day trip or a longer visit, check out our things to do in summer in the Cotswolds below!
Walk Along the Cotswold Way
The Cotswold Way walking trail runs between Chipping Campden and Bath, traversing fields, abbeys and historic villages in the area. Although the 102 mile route is a little far for younger children to walk, you could pop a picnic in your backpack and enjoy one of the many shorter circular routes as a family.
One popular walk takes under 3 hours and starts and ends on Broadway High Street with a picnic stop at historic Broadway Tower, affording you some of the most majestic views of the countryside. You can also stop off at the café and the Nuclear Bunker in the park to break up the hike!
Enjoy an Outdoor Movie Screening
If you’re a fan of the silver screen, enjoy watching your favourites snuggled under a blanket in the great outdoors. Cirencester Park is celebrating the 15th anniversary of Hot Fuzz this year, along with fun singalong screenings of Mamma Mia for Abba fans. On-site, there are drinks and popcorn, gourmet burgers and hot dogs to feast on.
There are further outdoor movie screenings held at Cotswold Country Park, Berrybank Park near Stow-on-the-Wold and on the green of Royal Crescent Bath throughout the summer months.
Marvel as Jets Take to the Skies at RAF Fairford
RAF Fairford hosts the International Air Tattoo from the 15th to 17th of July this year. It’s the largest military air show in the world with jet and historic aircraft displays.
You can try your hand at a flying a plane yourself on a flight simulator, meet pilots and crew and go shopping for themed memorabilia.
Automobile Fever at Broadway Car Show
If cars are more your thing, the Broadway Car Show on 13th and 14th August will get your motor racing. Venture here on Saturday to see Ferraris and Lamborghinis, or on Sunday to see vintage and classic cars from the turn of last century until the 1960s.
That’s not all. The event incorporates food by the village green, live music and a car procession through the village.
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Head for the Big Feastival
At the end of August, those in the know head to former Blur bassist Alex James’ farm near Kingham in the Cotswolds. The annual Big Feastival is a mammoth celebration of food and music and you can go for the day or camp on-site for the entire weekend.
This year, 80s favourite band The Human League headlines on Friday, Anne Marie takes to the stage on Saturday and The Stereophonics on Sunday. One highlight is ‘Feast on the Farm’ a rustic dining experience with a multi-course menu guaranteed to tantalise your taste buds.
Visit One of the UK’s Biggest Agricultural Shows
The annual Moreton-in-Marsh agricultural show is a day that incorporates the best of British countryside with food, farming and lots of fun. There are horse shows, arts and crafts, local produce and livestock displays to enjoy. It’s a great day out for all the family and it happens this year in early September.
See the Sculpture Safari at Sudeley Castle
This wonderful sculpture safari celebrates nature in all its forms with life-size wooden, floral and grass curated elephants, kangaroos and rhinos gracing the grounds of Sudeley Castle. You can spot how many animals you discover along the trail and unlock intriguing castle mysteries with a tour inside as part of the ticket price. The sculpture event is open until the end of October 2022.
We hope these suggestions have inspired you to spend a day or more exploring the Cotswolds this summer. There are many more events to discover too, so if you think we may have missed anything worth seeing let us know!