We've just received this review from guests who stayed last week – thank you for sending the photo too! Thank you for another great week at Daisy Chain, so well equipped for our family of 10 ranging from a baby of 9 months, boy of 5, girls of 7 and 8 as well as six adults. We went swimming every day in the lovely Spa, really enjoyed Miss Mouse’s Trail which kept the kids entertained on a 5K walk (wear wellingtons if it has been raining). The dipping pool is a particular highlight. We were disappointed not to get round to using the canoe. All the kids went home much more confident in biking and swimming, all having had a very happy holiday. We still have some midweek availability over the next few months and one week available in July. Check out our calendar athttp://cotswoldfamilyholidays.com/enquire-and-book/ Drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested!
From the middle of April woodlands around the Cotswolds will burst into life with a fabulous blue haze of bluebells. The bluebell season is starting already with a faint mist of blue appearing under trees in many of our woodlands. I took this photo last weekend.
There are many locations within reach of Daisy Chain, but two of the best are Badbury Clump near Highworth and West Wood near Marlborough.
There was once an Iron Age Hill Fort at the top of Badbury Woods which was probably built and occupied from around 600BC. It would mainly have been used for storage and would have housed round huts and grain storage pounds. Much of the evidence of a fort has been lost through years of ploughing. In Spring and early Summer, Badbury Clump is very popular as its beech woods team up with bluebells for a spectacular display. A 6.5 mile circular walk starting at Badbury Hill, including the Great Barn at Great Coxwell can be found on the Faringdon website. Have a taste of the Bluebells at Badbury hill in this video.
West Woods in near Marlborough is a large plantation of beech trees on a site of an ancient woodland. West Woods has fantastic displays of bluebells in late spring and a good network of trails allow easy access. It is very popular with walkers and photographers alike.
The bluebell season is a short but spectacular one and there are so many beautiful woodlands to explore. Other woodlands to see bluebells in the Cotswolds include:
Aston-under-Hill Woods – which has been described as stunning with bluebells galore.
Lineover Wood, Dowdeswell
Lynches Wood (near Chipping Campden)
Littleworth Wood, Snowshill
Foxholes Nature Reserve, Bruern.
The annual Lake and Land Easter Egg Hunt at South Cerney Outdoor in Cotswold Water Park, just 5 minutes drive from Daisy Chain, takes place on Friday 25th March from 12pm – 4pm. This very popular Easter Egg hunt involves finding golden eggs hidden in tunnels and then powerboating out to Easter Island to discover more hiding in nests. The hunt is suitable for ages 3+ and tickets need to be booked in advance. Everyone loved it last year – it’s definitely one not to miss!
Batsford Arboretum have a slightly different take on the traditional Easter Egg Hunt. Instead of hunting for eggs you hunt for chickens. They have been hidden all around the arboretum. You simply mark their locations on a map to win a prize. The Chicken Hunt costs £2.50 (entrance into the Arboretum is on top of this). The Big Batsford Chicken Hunt will be running from Friday 25th March to Sunday 10th April, 10am – 5pm.
New for this year, Cotswold Farm Park have introduced the Great Chicken Challenge. Entrants will complete an obstacle course including making a nest, transporting giant eggs and bouncing to the finish line. The Great Chicken Challenge will take place from Saturday 19th March – Sunday 10th April. Cotswold Farm Park will also be running an Easter Egg hunt from Friday 25th March – Monday 28th March. Eggs will be hidden around the Farm Park, with 5 prizes to be won each day. All these activities are included in the normal admission price.
From Friday 25th March to Monday 28th April follow a trail around the Roman Villa and win a Cadbury egg prize. Trails cost £2. Throughout the Easter Holidays from 28th March – 12th April there will be a range of family activities to join in including craft activities.
Hidcote Manor is another National Trust property that will be running an Easter Egg Egg-stravaganza. There will be clues for hunt for, puzzles to solve and a chocolate reward. The trail costs £2 and normal admission applies. It runs from Friday 35th MArch – Monday 28th March.
On Easter Day, Sunday 27th March from 10am Sudely Castle will have an exciting Easter themed Tea Party. Complete a fun trail int he gardens to collect a chocolate Easter treat from the Mad Hatter. There is also a ‘Mad Hatter’s Easter Bonnet Competition’.
Cotswold Farm Park has just reopened following their Winter shutdown in time for half term. Lots of lambs are arriving already so now is a good time to visit. The arrival of new lambs is always a great sign that Spring really is on the way! Over the winter the farm park has added a new indoor play barn which is going down very well with visitors. There is plenty to keep you busy all day: demonstration barns, exploring the park and finding out about rate breeds, adventure playgrounds, nature trails and tractor rides
As you drive through the Cotswolds, there are many beautiful villages to explore with houses displaying golden Cotswold Stone. North Cerney lies 4 miles north of Cirencester. Cerney Gardens, which at the moment are looking spectacular with snowdrops, are found in North Cerney. Before returning home you may want to grab a bite to eat at the 18th Century Bathurst Arms.
Over half term Corinium Museum in Cirencester have a lot of activities laid on for families. Activities range from making a centurion mask, a Roman soldier's shield or a colourful cockerel. These sessions are suitable for children aged 3 and above. The cost is £1.50 per child.
Corinium Museum is an award winning museum which celebrates Cirencester's Roman past.
The Hobbs Family have been baking in the Cotswolds since the 1920's and are now bringing up their sixth generation of aspiring bakers. A visit to the fascinating town of Tetbury brings the opportunity to visit one of their shops. As well as selling a wonderful range of bread (including sourdough made from their 60 year old sourdough starter) you will be tempted by the amazing display of cakes, buns and patisserie. Hiker's Bars, pictured here are packed full of juicy fruit and a great way of keeping children (and adults!) going until lunchtime.
Blakehill Nature Reserve features in a guide put together by the Wildlife Trust of great places to see raptors in the UK. Blakehill Nature Reserve is just a 10 minute drive from the Lower Mill Estate. Short-eared owls are often seen hunting over the meadow. Short-eared owls are unlike many other owls in that they can often be seen hunting during the day. Their very good sight and hearing is good enough to locate a small mammal in the undergrowths. This amazing photo was taken by local wildlife photographer Dave Soons.
Cotswold Water Park is an area of 40 square miles which is made up of over 150 lakes. The area is of international importance for overwintering birds. In 2015, 175 different species of birds were sighted within the water park. Careful records of sightings are kept and a website which reports current visitors is a brilliant resource for guests wanting to birdwatch. At the moment Siberian Chiffchaffs are being sighted along with Mediterranean Gulls and Hawfinch.
This stunning kingfisher was sighted and photographed by local wildlife photographer Dave Soons.