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’.
The first signs of spring are just beginning to emerge in the Cotswolds. Now is a great time to plan to visit some of the wonderful snowdrop collections that can be found in the Cotswolds. Here is our roundup of four of the best places to see wonderful snowdrops in the Cotswolds.
Painswick Rococo Garden
These gardens, a masterpiece of 18th Century landscape design are set in a hidden Cotswold Valley and, as well as being home to a fantastic display of snowdrops boast magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. The gardens are home to around 5 million snowdrops as well as cyclamen and hellebores. The gardens and are reporting that their snowdrops are looking gorgeous so now is the perfect time to head over and see them carpeting steep banks and wonderful woodland glades. Pre-booking is essential during January and February so pop across to the Rococo garden website for snowdrop updates and to book your visit. www.rococogarden.org.uk
Photo Credit: Alicearmy via Tripadvisor
Award winning Batsford Arboretum is not only home to the country’s largest private collection of trees and shrubs, it also has a fantastic display of snowdrops. Batsford are already reporting that a sea of snowdrops are appearing by their stream and their snowdrops, aconites, crocuses and hellibores will be at their best during February. Keep an eye out at www.batsarb.co.uk for up to date information.
Cerney House Gardens
Cerney House gardens is something of a ‘best kept secret’ in the Cotswolds where in the middle of winter, visitors are wowed by a carpet of snowdrops. The gardens are set around a Victorian walled garden and belong to Lady Angus and her family. In the words of Country Living, they have achieved ‘what most people aspire to in their gardens – and few achieve’. Take some time out to be wowed by these delightful gardens! Visit www.cerneygardens.com for more information and to check opening times. There is no need to book ahead and payment can be made by cash on arrival. Photo credit: Kay Ransom
The snowdrop collection at Colesbourne Park in the beautiful Churn Valley in the heart of the Cotswolds was started nearly 150 years ago. The garden now boasts over 300 different snowdrop cultivars and has been called ‘England’s Greatest Snowdrop Garden’ by Country Life. Visitors can enjoy the snowdrops throughout the ten acres of private gardens with its woodland and lakeside paths. Visitors will also be wowed by drifts of cyclamen, hellebores and other winter plants. The Gardens will be open for 5 weeks from the 28th of January to the 26th February at weekends for open days and during the weekdays for private guided tours. Visit www.colesbournegardens.org.uk for more information.
Hold Autumn in Your Hands this year at Westonbirt Arboretum
Staff at Westonbirt Arboretum, the Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum have put together a list of the 10 best ways to enjoy autumn at Westonbirt. This is a spectacular time of year at the arboretum, with the famous displays of autumn colours beginning. The 10 best ways include: Wrap up warm Take part in a digital quest Join a photography workshop Become a leaf collector Get closer to nature Practice your survival skills Pack a picnic Hold autumn in your hands Challenge with conkers Get cosy after a long walk
To find out more and check the opening times for Winkworth visit http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/BEEH-A27FXS
The hugely popular Tall Ships Festival returns to Gloucester Docks this weekend, running from Saturday 23rd – Monday 25th May. This biennial festival will see Gloucester’s Docks transformed, enabling visitors to have a taste of the sights and sounds of the historic docks as it was 100 years ago.
Visitors will be able to board the tall shops, enjoy live entertainment including swashbuckling Captain Jack and his Pirate Crew, listen to live music, and explore a food and craft market. There will also be a Stone Carving Festival taking place.
Here is an insight into the 2013 Gloucester Tall Ships Festival.
Admission to the Tall Ships is £2 for adults with Under 16’s free. Admission is charged on entrance to the Docks.
Perhaps one of the strangest sports to take place in England is the Woolsack Race, with it’s origins dating back to the 17th Century. Competitors are tasked with running up a ridiculously steep hill (1 in 4) carrying a large sack of wool on their back. This spectacle takes place next Monday, 30th May.
In the middle ages Tetbury thrived as a wool town and by the 16th Century it was home to one of the country’s best known wool and yarn markets. The races are thought to have originated in the 17th Century when young drovers chose to show off their strength by running up the hill with a woolsack.
The course is 240 yards with the woolsacks weighing in at 60lbs for men and 35lbs for ladies. A variety of races take place for teams and individuals.
The whole of Tetbury joins in with the event with a street fair, entertainers, local stalls and amusement rides.
Sunday 28th May 2023sees the return of the Lechlade Duck Race. The event was only started last year and was a roaring success. Over 6000 ducks are waiting to be launched into the River Thames. There are a range of family friendly prizes for the top 20 ducks. Once you have watched the ducks bobbing their way down the river your family will be entertained by funfair rides, inflatables, children’s crafts, a go-kart track and a dog show which will include a dog agility course.
The whole event will be raising money for a range of charities.
The duck race starts at soon after 2pm. It is well worth checking the website for details of where to park. You can even pay for your duck online to save queuing on the day. http://lechladeduckrace.co.uk/
March is Daffodil Month at Batsford Arboretum and with lots of varieties of daffodils in flower it is a great place to visit over the next few weeks. There are also lots of primroses, scilla and early flowering cherries are also putting in an appearance. Early magnolias are another treat at this time of year, and always look their best set against a clear blue sky.
A recent reviewer on Trip Advisor wrote: “We wanted to see snowdrops but were impressed by so much more about Batsford. It’s hard to pinpoint which part of the arboretum is the most impressive. It was a wonderfully atmospheric visit – the wintery sun lighting up the snowdrops and aconites and it was lovely to see a herd of deer in the field. A magical place, can’t wait to go again – our visit was rounded off by a delicious bowl of spicy parsnip soup in the very welcoming and well run cafe (very nice staff!). A total success all round.”
For more information visit http://www.batsarb.co.uk/
Looking to up the ante for this year’s Easter Egg Hunt? We’ve got the perfect solution. Join in the annual Lake and Land Easter Egg Hunt at South Cerney Outdoor in Cotswold Water Park, just 5 minutes away from Daisy Chain. The 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.
For details on how to book visit http://www.southcerneyoutdoor.co.uk/SpecialEvents.aspx
From mid April to the end of May the Cotswolds are home to some magnificent displays of wild flowers. The spectacle begins in North Meadow, Cricklade with a spring time display of snakeshead fritillaries of international importance. A staggering 80% of Britain’s snakeshead fritillaries grow on this 110 acre site. The meadow is open to the public and guided walks are also arranged.
The times for these as well as an accompanying walk leaflet can be found at http://www.crickladeinbloom.co.uk/cricklade_north_meadow_guided_walks.html
Just a 20 minute walk from Daisy Chain lies Clattinger Farm, a precious remnant of Britain’s ancient hay meadows. The farm is considered the finest remaining example of a typical lowland hay meadow in the UK. It has never been treated with any agricultural chemicals and is one of the finest wildflower meadows in Europe. As well as being home to snakeshead fritillaries it is also home to a range of orchids including the green-winged, early marsh and burnt orchids. The volume of orchids within the meadow has to be seen to be believed! A visit in May is a must.
More information about Clattinger Farm can be found at http://www.wiltshirewildlife.org/Reserves/clattingerfarm
Do contact us if we can help you out with somewhere to stay during your wild flower safari in the Cotswolds! We have a number of mid week breaks available in April, May and June.
Over the last few month filming has been taking place for the film adaptation of JK Rowling's A Casual Vacancy. In all 6 Cotswolds Villages were used in the filming. These include Northleach and Painswick which were transformed into the fictional village of Pagford, where most of the action in the book takes place. Fans of Harry Potter will be pleased to know that Sir Michael Gambon, who played Professor Dumbledore in 6 of the Harry Potter films stars, playing the role of Howard Mollison, leader of the parish council. In the film, the tranquil Cotswolds scene with is rudely interrupted by an unexpected death. Also starring are Julia McKenzie (of Miss Marple fame) and Keeley Hawes.
The first episode of A Casual Vacancy will be aired on BBC 1 at 9pm on Sunday 15th February.