Lakeside family friendly self catering holiday home in the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds: a month by month guide
The Cotswolds through the year: 2024
A month by month guide to visiting the Cotswolds and staying in Cotswold Water Park at the Lower Mill Estate for your Cotswold Family Holiday.
Start the year with big sky sunrises, crisp countryside walks in beautiful Cotswolds landscapes and lakes teaming with overwintering birdlife.
In January, the Cotswolds beckon with a tranquil charm, perfect for embracing leisurely pursuits amidst picturesque landscapes. Enjoy hearty meals at traditional Cotswolds pubs, and invigorating walks along the Cotswolds Way. With over 20,000 birds over-wintering in Cotswolds Water Park, now is the perfect time to reach for your binoculars and head out to catch some of these winter visitors. You will find thousands of Wigeon and Teal as well as Gadwall, Pintail, Shoveler, Pochard, Goosander and Goldeneye.
Head to Slimbridge for its very popular ‘Evening with the Swans’ to experience the sight and sound of hundreds of wild swans on their floodlit lake.
Delight in the emergence of snowdrops carpeting Cotswold gardens and a chance to explore the Cotswolds without some of the summer crowds.
The Cotswolds boasts some of the best locations to see snowdrops in the country. Painswick Rococo Garden has over 5 million snowdrops (yes, you did read that right…5 million!), while Colesbourne Park boasts over 300 different cultivars.The seas of snowdrops at Batsford Arboretum are accompanied by aconites, crocuses and hellibores. Cerney House Gardens is perhaps the best kept secret of the Cotswolds where you will be wowed by carpets of snowdrops.
On February 9th, the family favourite, Cotswold Farm Park opens its gates once again for its very popular annual lambing events.
The Roman Capital of the Cotswolds, Cirencester is a treat for anyone with an interest in Roman Britain and perfect for children wanting to find out more. On 9th February there is a guided walk around Roman Cirencester. Or why not head to the Corinium Museum for a journey of discovery. The Winter family trail is on at Westonbirt Arboretum until 29th February and is a fun trail designed for children aged 3 to 9.
For something completely different, book the ultimate cabaret dining experience (22nd – 23rd February) at Ingleside House in Cirencester where Jamie Flanagan will be performing a tribute act as Michael Bublé.
Experience the Cotswolds come to life with bursts of spring blooms, perfect for leisurely strolls along scenic footpaths and exploring charming market towns. On the Lower Mill Estate, Great Crested Grebes are a joy to watch as they perform their graceful courtship dance.
What greater sign of spring is there than the sight of newborn lambs. Cotswold Farm Park’s annual lambing event continues throughout March and is a very popular choice for families. Butts Farm, which specialises in rare breeds. opens on 23rd March.
Cotswold Country Park and Beach opens for the season on 23rd March. As well as having the UK’s largest inland sandy beach, there are a wide range of activities available including water sports, an Aquaventure inflatable course, mini golf and pedal go-carts.
Marvel at the sight of carpets of bluebells in ancient woodlands and enjoy milder days ideal for discovering hidden gems in the Cotswolds countryside. On the Lower Mill Estate, House Martins begin to arrive after their long flight from Africa. They will spend the summer here, breeding and feasting over the lakes.
April sees the arrival of the annual spectacle of Snakes Head Fritillaries at North Meadow in Cricklade. It is home to 80% of the UK’s population of this unusual flower.
A free guided walk entitled ‘Fritillaries and gliders’ from Cerney to North Meadow takes place on 16th April.
Over the lakes on the Lower Mill Estate, dragonflies and damselflies will be seen, their unmistakable blue giving Hobbies a target as they hunt over the lakes. At Clattinger Farm, adjacent to the Lower Mill Estate, there will be an unrivalled display of wild orchids in the ancient flower meadows.
From 4th – 6th May an action packed Jousting tournament is taking place at Blenheim Palace.
On 11th May Rory Bremner will be hosting the Cotswold Water Park Ball: a glittering black tie event at the De Vere Cotswold Water Park Hotel.
From 8th – 12th May the world famous Badminton Horse Trials take place within the beautiful grounds of the Badminton Estate.
A triathlon takes place on 19th May just down the road from the Lower Mill Estate at Lake 32. Ater the swim, the bike stage takes in some iconic Cotswold Villages.
Make the most of long summer days exploring Cotswolds Water Park, indulging in water sports, lakeside picnics, and leisurely bike rides. Around the lakes of the Lower Mill Estate, ducklings will be appearing and enjoying dabbling at the lake edges. The resident Beavers are often more active at this time of year, and are most likely to be seen just before sunrise and just after sunset.
Perfect for long days enjoying canoeing, swimming at the spa and barbecuing by the lake. There is a real joy to catching a glimpse of the unmistakable blue as a kingfisher darts past. At this time of year, they are on the hunt for small fish for their young, so are more visible.
14th – 16th July sees the return of the ever popular Royal International Air Tattoo offering something for everyone from the aviation enthusiast to families wanting an inspiring day out. In the days running up to the airshow, iconic planes can often be seen over the Water Park, practising their manoeuvres.
July is the perfect month to spend more time on the water, with sailing available at a number of locations with Cotswold Water Park including South Cerney Outdoor.
Best for summer holiday adventures. On the Lower Mill Estate, a range of different species of butterflies can be seen, enjoying the longer days of summer at the lake edge.
It’s the perfect time of year for enjoying the huge range of activities that are available in Cotswold Water Park: from sailing to water skiing, horse riding to rally driving there really is something for everyone.
Throughout August, Birdland Park and Gardens will be hosting a summer festival of feathers. You can meet rare and exotic birds from around the world. When you have seen them all from parrots to penguins there are dinosaurs to be found lurking along the river’s edge.
On 10th August a Tough Mudder event takes place at Badminton.
From 23rd -25th August, the Cotswolds version of Glastonbury, but with lots more delicious food, The Big Feastival returns.
26th August sees the annual football match in the river at Bourton-on-the-water – an event that has been taking place in this Cotswold Village for over 100 years.
September is a wonderful time to enjoy the last of the summer sun and extend that holiday feeling. It’s almost time to say goodbye to the Swallows and House Martins for another year. Enjoy seeing them tucking into tasty treats over the water as they build up energy for their journey south.
From 5th – 16th September Gifford’s Circus returns to Stratton Meadow in, Cirencester to draw the crowds and give unforgettable memories.
7th September sees the return of the Moreton-in-the-Marsh agricultural show. It is the biggest agricultural show in the UK with livestock, show jumping, machinery, produce and trade stands selling everything to do with the countryside.
The Lower Mill Estate starts to see an influx of over-wintering birds, choosing our relatively warmer climes to spend the winter. Experience the breath-taking autumnal colours painting the Cotswolds landscape by visiting one of the local arboretum.
Pick your own pumpkin! There are several farms where you can go and choose your own huge orange beauty. Cotswold Farm Park is one of them. Make it the climax of a day out there – a magnificent trophy to take home!
Embrace the tranquility of the Cotswolds as nature prepares for winter, offering serene walks and peaceful moments by crackling firesides. As it gets colder, the berry filled hedgerows of the Lower Mill Estate will attract Redwing and Fieldfare.
Get ahead with your Christmas shopping by visiting one of the many Christmas Fairs and support local independent producers. Events will be updated as they are released.
Soak up the festive atmosphere in the Cotswolds with charming Christmas markets, twinkling lights, and cozy winter walks through picturesque villages. Tis the season of murmurations in Cotswold Water Park as huge flocks of starlings perform their mesmerising dances over the lakes before coming in to roost in the reeds for the night.