Ride, swim, lunch, milk a goat

Kids can ride the Swindon and Cricklade Railway, milk a goat at Butts Farm or make cakes at Studley Grange. Swim in spring water at Cirencester Open Air Pool, or go all Bear Grylls at the Adventure Zone. Adults will enjoy Cirencester’s eclectic nightlife, lunch in Cheltenham, or spa days at the De Vere.

Country kids

Plenty for kids on site, with the gardens, playroom, cinema room, tennis, trampoline and tree swing, but you can shake things up off site in style if you wish. Start with a ride on the Swindon and Cricklade Railway, then find Butts Farm to milk a goat, feed the pigs and give goat kids their bottles.

Paint pots, make cakes or build your own dream dolls’ house at Studley Grange Craft Village. Climb the walls at Rockstar Climbing Centre. Take a dip in local spring water at Cirencester Open Air Swimming Pool, heated to 27 degrees. Or go all Bear Grylls at the Adventure Zone, with sailing, canoeing or even bushcraft.

Head to Head 4 Heights for a lakeside outdoor aerial adventure park specialising in a range of pole climbs plus simulated parachute jumps and trapeze jumps. Or try Rein and Shine for pony riding, yard sessions, games, pony cuddles, as well as outdoor and indoor riding.

Take a walk on the wild side at the Cotswold Wildlife Park, hike between three counties at the Cotswold Water Park, and spot bats, water voles and glow worms along the way. At Birdland, you can see the UK’s only group of king penguins. Wrap things up in Swindon, for tenpin bowling, ice skating and laserquest.

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For the grown ups

No need to take the car to enjoy great walks – in the middle of the Cotswold Water Park, you can go straight from the house. Or head to Cotswold Country Park and Beach for walks, water sports, an on-water obstacle course, and a bona-fide beach in the heart of the countryside.

For hen-style pampering, the De Vere Hotel has an amazing spa in a lovely location. For something decidedly different, take in the action at the Cirencester Park Polo Club, or even learn to play on a Nina Clarkin Training Day. In the mood for more action? Try paintball at Combat Splat or archery at The Cotswold Range Archery.

You can put pedal to metal on a rally driving course at the Gloucestershire Rally School or slow the pace with some serious shopping at Swindon Designer Outlet Village, with top labels such as such as Boss, Ralph Lauren, Ted Baker and Superdry. Or potter Cirencester’s antiques, boutiques and tea shops.

Cheltenham has some top shopping, too, and is packed with ladies who lunch – usually in great spots such as KIBOUsushi, Purslane or the Montpellier Lodge. Want to chase history? Go back in time at Snowshill Manor, Sudeley Castle and Berkeley Castle. The Cotswolds aren’t quite as sleepy as they’re painted.

Southlake House - kate & tom's Large Holiday Homes