The Best Family-Friendly Hotels to Book in the Cotswolds, UK
Many hotels in the Cotswolds come with plenty of room for fun and activities for all the family | Courtesy of Cowley Manor / Expedia
Picnics, tennis courts and croquet lawns – plus cribs, cots and crèches – conspire to create restful family stays in these Cotswolds hotels.
Treat the whole clan to a Cotswolds adventure at these fabulously family-friendly hotels in the Cotswolds. The Cotswolds, and its oh-so-cosy country hideaways, charm travellers of all ages – plus pets can often tag along, too. The whole region – an area of outstanding natural beauty since 1966 – is a soul-stirringly beautiful wonderland of golden-stone villages, ancient churches, thatched cottages and bucolic walking, cycling and horse-riding paths galore. Kids’ clubs, family rooms, children’s menus and other touches ensure you can kick back in style.
Woolley Grange Hotel, for a stay designed with kids in mind
Courtesy of Woolley Grange Hotel / Expedia
If Mary Poppins designed a family hotel in the Cotswolds, this would be it. The fancy Jacobean manor near Bradford-on-Avon and Bath could easily be mistaken for an adults-only affair. But on closer inspection you’ll find everything’s designed with kids in mind – from the fairy garden, pool and giant tree swing in the grounds, to the crates of toys and books in every room. Parents can enjoy me-time at the Elemis spa or at dinner, thanks to the crèche and babysitting services. Afterwards, head back to your stove-warmed tented glamping suite or bed down in the main house.
Minster Mill, for walks along the River Windrush
Courtesy of HMinster Mill Hotel and Spa / Booking.com
Just a 30-minute drive from Oxford, this riverside spa hotel appeals to grown-up guests and their VILP (very important little people). The compact spa and fine-dining restaurant keep parents happy, while the 20ha (50 acre) grounds – complete with tennis court, boules, crocket and a giant chess board – are the perfect place for a family picnic. To really wear the kids out, hire Pashley bikes from the hotel and hit the local trails, or walk along the River Windrush.
The Slaughters Manor House, for proximity to the Cotswolds Wildlife Park
Courtesy of the Slaughters Country Inn / Expedia
This splendid 17th-century manor sits among landscaped gardens and redwood trees in the tranquil, medieval-era village of Lower Slaughter. Kids will love scampering around the grounds, while handy kit includes baby monitors and picnic hampers. The family-friendly Garden Suites have private outdoor space and there are interconnecting rooms to choose from, too. Luxury touches like L’Occitane toiletries, a swish bar and the prize-winning, Cotswolds-championing restaurant (with kids’ menus available) cater to grown-up sensibilities. Terrific walks, Stow-on-the-Wold and the Cotswolds Wildlife Park are nearby.
Ellenborough Park, for an outdoor pool and Elemis spa
Courtesy of Ellenborough Park / Expedia
Kids will have a magical, mysterious manor to roam around at this beam-filled 15th-century beauty beside Cheltenham Racecourse. Interconnecting rooms, extra beds and cots, and split-level spaces with lounges ensure the whole family relaxes, with carriers and babysitting easily arranged. There are treasure hunts, garden swings, colouring sets, a heated outdoor pool and more to entertain younger guests, and the stylish Elemis spa offers specialised pregnancy treatments if your family is not quite complete yet. While you enjoy season-inspired gastropub meals at the cosy Horse Box, kids can muse over their own menus.
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, for horse riding and cycling expeditions
Courtesy of Lucknam Park / Expedia
A mile-long driveway leads to the magnificent Lucknam Park hotel near Bath, ramping up the excitement with every perfectly placed beech tree you pass. Horse rides, garden picnics, cycling expeditions and the cheery Hideaway play area, with arts and crafts and a sensory space, are just some of the family-focused treats laid on here. Rooms include interconnecting pads in the 18th-century mansion and three country-chic, stone-built self-catering cottages. There are also kids’ menus – plus elegant modern British dining and a superb spa for adults. It’s dog-friendly, too.
The Ragged Cot, for visits to nearby Cirencester
Courtesy of Buckland Manor / Expedia
Just outside pretty Minchinhampton, the Ragged Cot makes a great choice if you’re holidaying with older kids and teenagers in need of a little independence. If you do have younger ones, they can tuck into fish and chips from the kids’ menu, while grown-ups feast on oven-roasted salmon or harissa-baked cauliflower. Lavender bushes fill the garden and terrace. Indoors, it’s all about roaring fires and soothing-toned, contemporary design rooms – which families can book next to each other. You’re a quick drive from Cirencester with its Roman riches, royal Highgrove House and the 200-year-old Westonbirt Arboretum, too.
De Vere Cotswold Water Park Hotel, for an activity-packed family break
Courtesy of De Vere Cotswold Water Park Hotel / Expedia
Surrounded by the 152 glittering lakes of the Cotswold Water Park reserve, outside Cirencester, smartly contemporary De Vere enjoys the perfect waterside setting for an activity-packed family break. You can go kayaking, climbing, boating, paintballing, hiking and more, while the Corinium Museum, Cotswold Wildlife Park and Painswick Rococo Garden are just a taster of sights younger travellers will love. The sleekly contemporary self-catering apartments (some dog friendly) sleep four. There’s also a champagne bar and peaceful spa for parents, and all-day dining options to delight visitors of all ages.
Emma Sparks contributed additional reporting to this article.
These recommendations were updated on February 22, 2022 to keep your travel plans fresh.