10 of the best family hotels and holiday properties in the Cotswolds
From luxury hotels to rural lake-side lodges, we round up the very best places to stay with babies and children on a family break in the Cotswolds, whatever your holiday style or budget.
With green rolling hills as far as the eye can see, quaint picture-perfect villages, grand castles, country houses and idyllic nature reserves bustling with wildlife, the Cotswolds is the ultimate destination for a quintessentially English family break.
Spread over nearly 800 square miles and running through 5 separate counties – that’s Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire – it’s a region bursting with charm and character, with so much to discover for all ages. The Cotswolds was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966, and it’s not hard to see why. Picturesque countryside, wildflower meadows, ancient woodland, rambling streams and the distinctive honey-coloured cottages that make up the area’s pretty villages and market towns are all waiting to be explored. Whether you opt for a short break or longer holiday, there’s plenty to keep the whole family busy.
Outdoorsy families will be in heaven, with hundreds of miles of breathtaking countryside to explore on foot. Put on those wellies, buckle the littlest member of the family into the backpack carrier, and head out to explore a section of the Cotswold Way – an epic 161km walking trail running form the pretty village of Chipping Campden to the historic city of Bath, taking in some of the best sights the region has to offer along the way. It’s easy to dip in and out of the trail for an enjoyable – and achievable – family stroll. It's also clearly signposted, you just need to follow the National Trail acorns.
For animal lovers, there’s Cotswold Farm Park, Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre and even the UK’s only crocodile zoo, Crocodiles of the World, guaranteed to impress even the coolest tween.
If history is more your brood's thing, you’ll be spoilt for choice with everything from the majestic Blenheim Palace and imposing Warwick Castle to Shakespeare’s birthplace (just on the edge of the Cotswolds in Stratford-upon-Avon), all making great rainy-day options and the ancient Rollright stones, which you can get your children to count (apparently it's impossible) for sunnier days or a focus for a walk.
Great transport links make it easy to visit the Cotswolds and it’s only a 90-minute drive from London to the south Cotswolds and around 2 and a half hours from Manchester to the north of the region. If you plan on travelling by rail, the good news is that the whole of the Cotswolds is well served with train stations and regular rail services.
If you're looking for more holiday inspiration in the UK, check out our guides to the best family hotels in the New Forest, hotels and apartments with pools in Devon, and places for families to stay in Cornwall with pools. For sunny holidays abroad, take a look at the best family hotels in Ibiza.
Here’s our guide to some of the best hotels and accommodation for your family holiday to the Cotswolds.
Best family hotels and holiday stays in the Cotswolds at a glance
- Best for large family groups: Coppers Barn, Little Coxwell, Oxfordshire, StayCotswold.com and Vrbo
- Best for hotel with a pool: Calcot & Spa, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, Calcot
- Best hotel with a crèche: Woolley Grange, Bradford-on-Avon, nr Bath, Woolley Grange and Booking.com
- Best for a quirky family stay: The Fish Hotel, Broadway, Worcestershire, The Fish Hotel and Booking.com
- Best accommodation with a private hot tub: Winchcombe Farm, Upper Tysoe, Warwickshire, Winchcombe Farm
- Best for a luxury family break: Lucknam Park, Chippenham, Wiltshire, Lucknam Park and Booking.com
- Best for a child-friendly facilities: The Slaughters Country Inn, Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire, The Slaughters and Booking.com
- Best for getting away from it all: Log House Holiday, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, Log House Holidays
- Best for self-catering cottages: Bruern Cottages, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, Bruern Cottages and Booking.com
- Best best budget break: The Old Stocks Inn, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, The Old Stocks Inn and Booking.com
Here's our pick of the best hotels for your family holiday to the Cotswolds, for a range of budgets....
1. Coppers Barn, Little Coxwell, Oxfordshire
— Best for large family groups
Self-catering property | Price from £1,935 for 4 nights for 12 people | Number of bedrooms 6 | Swimming pool No, but private hot tub | Dogs welcome Yes, at an additional charge | Parking Free off-street parking | Swindon station 12 miles| Sunken trampoline in garden
Nearby attractions: Just a 6-minute drive away you’ll find Farmer Gow’s, a farm park where you can meet the animals in 'hands-on' workshops, set your kids off to enjoy the adventure playground, bale climb and pedal tractors. The National Trust's ancient woodland of Badbury is 8 minutes in the car and has some great dog-friendly walking trails.
In the picture-perfect Cotswold village of Little Coxwell you’ll find Coppers Barn, a super-stylish holiday home perfect for a large family get together. With 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, this property has plenty of room for up to 12 – up to 2 well-behaved dogs are also very welcome too.
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Forget about chintzy old holiday cottages, this is another level, with the coolest interiors that look like something straight off the pages of a home interiors magazine. But Copper Barns still has a homely feel, with plenty of practical spaces for you and the kids to relax, eat and play.
The large garden is fully enclosed, so you can let the children explore and burn off some of that energy safe in the knowledge they’re not going to stray too far out of sight. And why would they with the sunken trampoline to make the most of? There’s plenty of outdoor seating – and a gas BBQ too – so you’re well set up for alfresco dining. Make sure you take a trip to Gorse Farm Goodies, the local farm shop that stocks all the essentials, such as eggs and bread, alongside its own pork produce from their rare breed pigs. They also have a milkshake vending machine which the kids might insist on paying a daily visit to!
It really is geared up to make family holidays as stress-free as possible, something backed up by the glowing reviews online, with one parent commenting on the StayCotswold website: “There are lots of activities provided to keep the kids (and adults) entertained, a well-equipped kitchen and comfortable seating areas. The gardens are perfect for kids, with a separate garden for dogs.”
Perched on the edge of the Cotswolds, you’re perfectly placed to explore everything Oxfordshire and Wiltshire has to offer – that’s if you can drag yourself away from the laid-back luxury of the barn. Or drag your kids away from the shared covered games area, complete with outdoor pool table, table tennis, table football, giant Jenga and Connect 4.
Pros: Lots of entertainment for children, luxurious, good for big groups, enclosed garden
Cons: Car needed to explore the area, no swimming pool, expensive
Book at: StayCotswold.com and Vrbo
2. Calcot & Spa, Tetbury, Gloucestershire
— Best hotel with a pool
4-star hotel and spa | Price from £364 per night | Number of bedrooms 34 | Swimming pool 2; indoor open all year and heated outdoor pool open in summer | Dogs welcome In some rooms | Parking Free on-site parking | Kemble station 11 miles | Ofsted-registered crèche on-site, games room for older children, complimentary baby listening service
Nearby attractions: Westonbirt Arboretum, with its treetop walk, Gruffalo trail and kid-friendly café is just over 10 minutes away and is a wonderful way to spend a morning or afternoon. The market town of Tetbury – just up the road from Calcot – is the quintessential Cotswold town, complete with honey-coloured stone buildings, independent shops and incredible bakeries and delis.
From the moment you drive through the gates of this hotel and spa, you honestly feel your worries melting away. Calcot feels like a real Cotswold bolthole, perfect for escaping the stresses of everyday life; a tough ask when travelling with young kids, but they really do go out of their way to make the whole family feel welcome.
“The family facilities that the hotel provides need to be shouted from the rooftops!” said one parent on TripAdvisor who travelled with their 4-month-old baby. “We were given the choice of a travel cot/wooden cot or bedside crib, and a baby bath, bath toys, baby toiletries, steriliser, bottle warmer, changing mat and nappy bin were automatically place in our room.”
When it comes to child-friendly activities you really are spoilt for choice, from taking a dip in the heated outdoor pool in summer or getting messy in the outdoor play kitchen to exploring the 220 acres of meadowland on bike (adult bikes, kids’ bikes, child seats, trailer and helmets are all complimentary) there’s a lot to keep the whole family busy.
There’s also the option of booking your kids into The Playbarn – an Ofsted-registered crèche for children up to age 7 – and the Mez (essentially heaven for big kids) where 8s and over can enjoy a massive choice of computer consoles or chill out in the 12-seater cinema.
It's not just the kids who get to have all the fun, the on-site spa is incredible (we can highly recommend the pregnancy massage for mums-to-be) and the dining is out of this world. While Calcot serve up a kids’ tea between 5:30-6pm, grown-ups have the option of heading down to the Brasserie once the children are in bed, making use of the hotel’s complimentary listening service. This was a big hit with reviewers on TripAdvisor, with one commenting: “The listening service is excellent. Lots of parents were using this at dinner – you’re given a buzzer so if your child cries you are made aware immediately. Like most other parents we saw, we also used our monitor so we could see into the room for added reassurance with our one year old.”
There’s a wide choice of family rooms on offer, but if your budget can stretch to it, the family suites set over 2 floors are the ultimate in luxury, giving you plenty of space to chill out once your children are in bed.
Pros: Crèche available, great indoor and outdoor facilities for children, baby listening service, kids’ menu, luxurious, spa facilities
Cons: Outdoor pool only open in summer, expensive
Book at: Calcot
3. Woolley Grange, Bradford-on-Avon, nr Bath
— Best hotel with a crèche
3-star hotel | Price from £190 per night| Number of bedrooms 25 | Swimming pool 1 outdoor pool open in summer | Dogs welcome Yes, at an additional charge | Parking Free on-site parking | Bradford-on-Avon station 1 mile | Offer family-friendly Matilda-themed afternoon tea, complimentary baby listening service and complimentary childcare
Nearby attractions: Hop on the train from Bradford-on-Avon direct to Bath – in only takes a few minutes – to explore this amazing city. Longleat Safari Park is just half an hour’s drive away and well worth a visit for animal-mad kids.
Everything at this friendly hotel is geared towards families. Think of Woolley Grange as your own family country pile (we wish!) to make yourself at home and make the most of what the Cotswolds has to offer. For your children, it’s all about getting back to nature, getting muddy and just enjoying being a kid. The 14-acre garden is a little (or big) kid’s paradise, with plenty of safe space to climb trees, build dens, say hi to the ducks, chickens and rabbits, go pond dipping or simply bounce away the day on the trampoline.
With every overnight booking you get 90 minutes of free childcare at The Den for babies from 12 weeks old up to children aged 8, so you can enjoy some time in the spa or simply get a break from the endless snack requests. The Den also puts on activities during the weekend for all the family to get involved in, like kite making and toasting marshmallows in the fairy garden. For older kids, The Hen House is a must visit, with its pool table, air hockey and table football.
If you’re travelling with a baby, the classic room can fit a cot, but for older children it’s worth opting for a superior room or one of the 2-bedroom suites, to give you all a bit more space. While some TripAdvisor reviews felt the rooms could do with a little updating, most felt the hotel provided excellent value for money and couldn’t do more to help. “I would recommend it to other families looking for a relaxing getaway with young children,” commented one reviewer. “When we went for breakfast/dinner, our child’s name was written on a little plaque at the table, their place setting was age-appropriate, with colouring crayons, cutlery and cup all in place before we sat down. With the combination of the hotel grounds, play den, swimming and toys/books all included in the stay, we didn’t feel the need to seek out activities away from the hotel – it all made for a perfect stay.”
Pros: Good value, crèche available, lots of activities for all ages, swimming pool, great outdoor space, baby listening service, spa open to children
Cons: Outdoor pool only open during summer, some rooms could do with an update
Book at: Woolley Grange and Booking.com
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4. The Fish Hotel, Broadway, Worcestershire
— Best for a quirky family stay
4-star hotel | Price from £295 per night for family of 4 | Number of bedrooms 63 | Swimming pool No | Dogs welcome Yes, at an additional charge | Parking Free on-site parking | Moreton-on-Marsh station 8 miles | Standard rooms as well as suites, huts for adults only and Treehouses for families
Nearby attractions: A 20-minute drive away you’ll find the Cotswold Farm Park. Set up by Adam Henson of Countryfile fame, this is a jam-packed day out all the family will love. From meeting the 50+ rare breed animals and holding baby chicks to whizzing down the zipline and splashing in the streams, there’s a lot to keep you busy. Just over 20 minutes away is the Model Village in Bourton-on-the-Water, where you can explore the Cotswolds shrunk down to miniature.
Just a short stroll from the pretty village of Broadway, The Fish Hotel is the kind of place that makes you and your family feel at home from the minute you arrive. Numerous 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor praised the friendly and attentive staff. The hotel itself feels like a mini village, with separate buildings spread throughout the beautiful countryside setting.
Families can book interconnecting rooms or, if you prefer, opt for one of the bigger suites, which offer plenty of space for 2 adults and 2 children – Maudsley and Six-One-Seven have patio areas, so perfect for a chilled-out drink in the evening knowing the kids are safely tucked up within earshot. But, if you’re looking for some serious wow-factor, you cannot beat the 3 quirky treehouses. Tucked away in the woods, each with side-by-side heated outdoor bathtubs (and an intercom button to order room service from the bath, genius!), they are a dream come true for little kids. Who are we kidding, they are just as awesome for the grown-ups. Each treehouse sleeps 2 adults and 2 children (under the age of 12).
Reviewers on TripAdvisor loved the thoughtful kid-friendly touches in the treehouse, with one a writing: “The hotel had set out bath robes and bedroom slippers for our children in perfect sizes, there were storybooks for them to read before they climbed into their bunk beds at night and the mini bar was stocked with hot chocolate and biscuits, which was perfect as we always had something to eat whenever we felt peckish.”
The Fish Hotel’s restaurant, Hook, is described as excellent by many visitors with families. As you’d guess from the name, seafood is their speciality, but there’s also a fantastic vegetarian menu as well as a crowd-pleasing kids’ menu including things like tomato pasta and cheeseburgers – or the option of a mini sea bream fillet for the more adventurous.
Pick up some wellies from the Boot Room (which you can borrow free of charge) to explore the gorgeous estate, head to the children’s playground or book onto one of the additional activities like the falconry experience, available at an additional charge.
Pros: Wide choice of accommodation, luxurious, kids’ menu, lots of outdoor space to explore, walking distance to town
Cons: No swimming pool, have to pay extra for activities, expensive
Book at: The Fish Hotel and Booking.com
5. Winchcombe Farm, Upper Tysoe, Warwickshire
— Best accommodation with a private hot tub
Self-catering cottages | Price from £305 per night, minimum 2-night stay | Number of bedrooms 6 properties | Swimming pool No, but private hot tubs | Dogs welcome No | Parking Free on-site parking | Stratford-upon-Avon station 14.5 miles | Luxury welcome hamper on arrival
Nearby attractions: Head to Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, 20 minutes away by car. Here you can hop on open-top bus tours of the town, enjoy a boat ride on the river or – if it’s raining – head to the MAD (mechanical art and design) museum for some interactive fun.
Tucked away in a private estate on the Warwickshire/Cotswolds border, is Winchcombe Farm, a luxurious family-run boutique holiday destination that is heaven on earth for kids.
Six wonderfully unique holiday properties are spread out across the grounds – you really feel like you have the place to yourself – each one with its own distinct character. We love the fun touches each lodge offers. All come with their own outdoor pizza oven and plenty of space to sit and enjoy the countryside views. Binoculars are provided for wildlife spotting and many of the properties have outdoor geodesic domes, complete with telescopes, to stargaze once the sun sets. Ben’s Burrows – which can sleep 9 in total – overlooks a large pond and has its own private ‘beach’ area, complete with deckchairs, palm trees and a hammock to while the day away. There’s also your own private fire pit, surrounded by log stump seats, perfect for toasting marshmallows before bed.
The latest addition to Winchcombe Farm is Jess’s Tree Bach, an idyllic lodge that sleeps 2 adults and 2 children, which comes with its own 4-metre slide down into the woodland play area. Honestly, what more could kids want?
The rural setting is perfect for getting back to nature, with just the resident alpacas, sheep, ponies, chickens, moorhens and ducks to keep you company. Winchcombe Farm receives consistent 5-star reviews on Google, with visitors praising the location and how family-friendly it is, with one saying: “The kids were entertained for hours playing in the old forest school, paddling in the little stream and playing pirates while we watched them running around beneath us from the balcony hot tub. They loved feeding the ponies and alpacas. The star gazing dome was amazing at night to snuggle up with a glass of fizz and watch the moon breaking through the clouds. This is a really special place to stay.”
Pros: Quirky accommodation, private hot tubs, pizza ovens, every property has its own deck and outdoor space, stargazing domes, rural setting, good for all ages
Cons: Car needed to explore the area, no swimming pool, expensive, WiFi can be intermittent, not all lodges have access to the woodland area/fire pit
Book at: Winchcombe Farm
6. Lucknam Park, Chippenham, Wiltshire
— Best for a luxury family break
5-star hotel with cottages on the grounds | Price from £295 per night for a room with cot or bed added | Number of bedrooms 42 (cottages sleep 2-8) | Swimming pool 1 | Dogs welcome Yes, at an additional charge; dog bed, bowl and basket of toys and treats on arrival | Parking Free on-site parking | Chippenham station 7 miles | Outdoor adventure play area, bicycles and trailers to hire, all-day family-friendly dining
Nearby attractions: National Trust-managed Lacock, which comprises of a quirky country house, vast gardens and woodland, a museum and a historical village, which has loads to explore. Harry Potter fans will love spotting where some of The Half-Blood Prince was filmed.
A luxurious hotel stay may feel like Mission: Impossible when you’re travelling with children, but at Lucknam Park it really is possible to enjoy the finer things in life with the kids along for the ride. The house itself gives off the most elegant Lord and Lady of the manor vibes. But this is far from stuffy and unwelcoming. Lucknam Park is firmly a family-friendly hotel, with families on Booking.com rating it an impressive 9.4 for a stay with kids.
A 25-minute drive from Bath, Lucknam Park is set within a private 500-acre estate, that is just waiting to be explored. There’s an awesome Tractor Ted outdoor play area, 5-a-side football pitch, tennis courts and bicycles that are free to hire – mini wellies are available too. Give the hotel a bit of notice and they can arrange everything from pony riding to duck herding for the family at an extra cost.
If the British weather doesn’t play ball, you can find shelter in The Hideaway. Pretty much an Aladdin’s cave of fun for kids, here you’ll get free use of the facilities that include a role-play room featuring dressing-up costumes and a mini shop and playhouse, and a quiet room for board games, stories and puzzles. Older kids will be well catered for in the Techno space, which is fully stocked with games and table football, while the Baby Room is a chilled-out haven with sensory light tubes and soft toys.
You’ll need to stay with your children when they play in The Hideaway, but if you do fancy some child-free time, Lucknam can arrange a babysitter for you so you can head to the spa or enjoy a Michelin-starred meal alone at the Hywel Jones restaurant on site.
It’s worth booking the Chester package (£44 per child) when travelling as a family. This includes a full breakfast for your child, an extra bed in your room and Chester the horse teddy and gift when you arrive, as well as the usual access to The Hideaway and outdoor play areas. Room-wise, you can have interconnecting bedrooms, request an extra bed/cot in your room at an additional charge (included in the Chester package) or book one of the cottages on site, which can sleep 2-8.
Families on TripAdvisor praised the hotel for their friendly staff, with one parent writing “this is a great hotel for families – my children didn’t want to go home and neither did I! It’s the perfect hotel for a family break.”
The spa is obviously a big pull for parents looking to unwind, but children are also allowed to make the most of the indoor pool too, between 9-11am and 3-6pm.
For child-friendly dining head to the brasserie, where the kids can enjoy smaller portions off the main menu or pick straight from the children’s menu between 12-9pm. If fine dining is more your style, the Michelin-starred restaurant welcomes children 5 and over – although be aware there is a limited kids’ menu, which might not suit fussy easters.
Pros: Luxurious rooms, choice of dining options, lots of facilities for children, plenty of outdoor space, swimming pool, babysitters available
Cons: Swimming pool only open to children at set times, need to pay extra for cot/child’s bed in room, expensive, not all dining options are very child-friendly
Book at: Lucknam Park and Booking.com
7. The Slaughters Country Inn, Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire
— Best for child-friendly facilities
5-star hotel | Price from £357 per night for family of 4 | Number of bedrooms 31 | Swimming pool No | Dogs welcome In some rooms | Parking Free on-site parking | Moreton-on-Marsh station 4.5 miles | Can use the outdoor tennis, boules and croquet facilities at sister hotel The Slaughters Manor House
Nearby attractions: Bourton-on-the-Water is only 6 minutes away in the car, where you’ll find The Model Village and Birdland, where you can feed the penguins and spot everything from flamingos to hornbills. Crocodiles of the World, the UK’s only crocodile zoo, is a 20-minute drive away
It doesn’t really get any more ‘Cotswolds’ than Upper and Lower Slaughter. These 2 villages, linked by the tiny River Eye, are as chocolate-box perfect as they come. From the warm stone cottages and the historic churches to the meandering river and lush greenery, the Slaughters make the perfect base for exploring the region.
The Slaughters Country Inn, sat on the edge of the river in Lower Slaughter, is the epitome of traditional Cotswold charm. The family suites are beautifully decorated and can sleep up to 5, but for bags of space choose one of the 6 cottages dotted around the courtyard which have a great lounge area for relaxing once the kids are in bed. And you don’t have to cram the car full of all the usual ‘baby stuff’ as the hotel can provide everything from a highchair and baby monitor to a step-up stool and children’s cutlery.
The on-site restaurant is very kid-friendly, with a dedicated children’s menu available all day, including everything from light bites like a tasty croque monsieur, to delicious mains and even a range of mocktails. Many online reviews praised the gardens for offering plenty of space for the kids to play while waiting for food, too.
The location is a dream for outdoorsy families, with plenty of Cotswolds walks to enjoy from the doorstep of the hotel. You can even order a children’s picnic hamper (and a luxury or afternoon tea hamper for the grown-ups) from the hotel to take on your adventures. And, while the hotel doesn’t offer day-to-day activities for kids, it does have a great calendar of special events running throughout the year, including Easter Egg hunts and a summer Family Fun Day with bouncy castle, face painting and BBQ – so keep an eye on the online diary if you want to time your stay with one of these. You can also hop across to their sister hotel, The Slaughters Manor House, to use the tennis, boules and croquet facilities free of charge.
Pros: Great location, good children’s menu, beautiful outdoor space, choice of accommodation options, hosts kid-friendly events, provides all the baby/child essentials for free
Cons: Have to go to sister hotel for outdoor games, WiFi can be intermittent, no swimming pool, no daily activities for children
Book at: The Slaughters and Booking.com
8. Log House Holiday, Cirencester, Gloucestershire
— Best for getting away from it all
Self-catering log cabins | Price from £710 for a 3-night weekend stay for 4 | Number of bedrooms 8 properties (sleeping 4-11) | Swimming pool No, but private hot tubs | Dogs welcome Yes, at an additional charge | Parking Free on-site parking | Kemble station 2.5 miles | Includes your own rowing boat and access to a private beach
Nearby attractions: Cotswold Country Park and Beach is only 6-minute drive away. Here kids can play on the UK’s largest inland sandy beach, swim in the lagoon, go wild on the inflatable obstacle course, play mini golf and take part in a range of water sports. The Swindon and Cricklade Steam Railway, where you can ride on an old-fashioned steam locomotive, is a 20-minute drive but make sure you check the timetable as it doesn't run all-year round.
Set on the banks of a private lake in the middle of a 140-acre nature reserve, you’d be hard pushed to find a more idyllic setting for your family holiday in the Cotswolds. Log House Holiday has 8 pretty log cabins, sleeping between 4-11, dotted around the lake. Each lodge has the kind of touches that will impress even the toughest crowd (hello, teenagers) with hot tubs, a fire pit and your own private beach to kick back on. As well as this you have your own row boat to head out onto the picturesque lake for an adventure in search of the resident otters or for a spot of fishing.
Families on TripAdvisor love Log House Holidays for providing the perfect solution to a multi-generational holiday, with many making a repeat booking as soon as they got home. One reviewer who travelled in February with a group ranging from 8 to 70+ said “the lake is beautiful and an ever-changing wildlife spectacle. We used the boat, hired paddle boards and caught pike. We toasted marshmallows, watched otters and skimmed stones. A very special place.”
There are acres of unspoilt woodland for the kids to build dens and climb trees, or you can hire bikes, kayaks and paddleboards to really burn off some energy. The lake is safe for wild swimming, but one reviewer said the weeds can get a little annoying. Explore the estate on foot and keep your eye out for all kinds of wildlife – TripAdvisor reviewers have spotted everything from squirrels and rabbits to deer and kingfishers.
Each kitchen is really well equipped, so you can cook big family meals at the lodge no problem. But, if you fancy a night off, there are a number of takeaways who deliver here and The Potting Shed pub in Crudwell is just a 10-minute drive away and comes highly recommended.
Pros: Amazing setting, lots of wildlife, private beach, your own rowing boat, private hot tub, plenty to do outdoors, comfy lodges
Cons: Car needed to explore the area, expensive, need to watch young children around the lake, books up well in advance
Book at: Log House Holidays
9. Bruern Cottages, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire
— Best for self-catering cottages
Self-catering properties | Price from approx. £300 per night | Number of bedrooms 12 properties (sleeping 2-14) | Swimming pool 1 | Dogs welcome in 7 of the 12 properties | Parking Free on-site parking | Kingham station 3 miles | Multiple children’s play areas, games room, bikes available
Nearby attractions: Blenheim Palace and Gardens is a 20-minute drive away and has plenty to keep the whole family busy for a full day. The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, where you can stroll at eye-level with the giraffes, is 17 minutes in the opposite direction, while fans of the TV show Clarkson’s Farm may like to pay a visit to the Diddly Squat Farm Shop, just 7 minutes away.
Bruern Cottages is a hidden gem for families looking for a self-catering holiday that doesn’t sacrifice on style. Tucked away in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, this collection of 12 beautiful properties offers a real home-from-home feel – if your home happens to look like a stunning Cotswold cottage that is. There’s something for every sized family group, with cottages sleeping 2-14 and, as numerous Google reviews point out, everything has been thought of. One reviewer, who travelled with another family, with 3 toddlers between them, said “The cleanliness was excellent and the set-up was fantastic. We were met with highchairs, bed protectors, a toy chest and an incredible welcome pack of champagne and other goodies.”
The cottages are surrounded by the most incredible child-friendly gardens – we’re talking proper English country gardens, complete with a wisteria tunnel, apple trees, gorgeous flower beds bursting with colour and buzzing with bees and butterflies in summer, as well as a pretty stream leading to the games room.
Jaws will drop when the children spot the outdoor play area. Inside the walled gardens you’ll find a fabulous 2-storey Wendy house, complete with canopied bed, table and chairs and window boxes, as well as a climbing frame and adventure there are footballs, mini cricket sets and more for the kids to enjoy.
If rain stops play, just head into the play cabin, which is well stocked with fancy dress outfits, train sets, farm toys and art supplies – plus a comfy sofa for you to sit and read while the kids have fun. Older children will go mad for the games room which has table football, table tennis, a pool table and a large TV with computer consoles where you can play split-screen games.
The heated indoor swimming pool – accessed using a coded panel that only grown-ups can reach and use – is perfect for all the family. There are even floats and swim nappies available, and the well-stocked changing rooms include hairdryers and baby changing tables. Did we mention that Bruern Cottages really have thought of everything?
While the cottages are in a great location to explore the Cotswolds, with so many excellent family-friendly facilities you might not want to – or need to – leave. “We spent one day on-site in the pool, play room and vast gardens, which are full of fun for all ages,” said one reviewer on Google.
Pros: Big enough for large family groups, great location, swimming pool, lots of facilities for children, indoor and outdoor play areas, spa and gym for adults, welcome basket on arrival, beautiful gardens
Cons: Expensive, can book up quickly during school holidays
Book at: Bruern Cottages and Booking.com
10. The Old Stocks Inn, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
— Best budget break
5-star boutique hotel | Price from £150 per night for The Bunker Room | Number of bedrooms 16 | Swimming pool No | Dogs welcome only in the Garden Rooms | Parking Free on-site parking | Moreton-on-Marsh station 4.5 miles | Bunker room comes with curtained-off area with triple bunk bed and games console
Nearby attractions: Bourton-on-the-Water is less than 10 minutes away and has lots of fun places to visit, like the Cotswold Clubhouse soft play (for 0-11 year olds), Birdland Park and Gardens, the Model Village and Model Railway. The Cotswold Falconry Centre is a 14-minute drive in the other direction.
Recently refurbished, this 17th-century Cotswold inn is the perfect mix of old-school character and contemporary style. Located in the pretty market town of Stow-on-the-Wold, you have a great choice of cafes, restaurants and shops to explore, as well as the glorious Cotswold countryside right on your doorstep.
The Old Stocks Inn has a number of bedrooms that can be made up as family rooms, but you really can’t beat the Bunker Room for kid-friendly touches. When designing the room, the owner asked his children what they thought the perfect family room would include and this is the result. While you get your own bedroom and super king-size bed to yourself, the kids can enjoy their own space in the curtained -off, triple bunk bed room, which comes with its own TV and Nintendo Switch games console.
There’s a dedicated kids’ menu for under 12s packed with all the usual favourites, but your location means you're spoilt for choice for dining out. Reviews on TripAdvisor praised the “family-centric” feel and, although The Old Stocks Inn doesn’t offer as many child-friendly facilities as some of the other hotels in our round-up, families on Booking.com rated it 9.6 for a stay with kids. No surprise really, as the Bunker Room has bags of kid-appeal, offering quirky accommodation without blowing the budget.
Pros: Good value, Bunker Room comes with its own TV and games console, kids’ menu, great location
Cons: No swimming pool, no set activities for children, limited number of rooms for families
Book at: The Old Stocks Inn and Booking.com
Header pic: Bruern Cottages
For holiday inspiration for trips abroad, take a look at our round-up of the best family hotels in Crete, or best family hotels in Gran Canaria. Or, if you're staying in the UK this year, we also have a round-up of the best Devon family hotels.
How we tested
When evaluating our list of family-friendly hotels and accommodation in the Cotswolds, we considered facilities, comfort, appeal, price, accessibility, star rating and value for money.
Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including independent reviews and feedback from real families who’ve visited the hotels, to ensure we’re bringing you honest recommendations.
Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10; instead, it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested places, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.
About the author
Sarah Dawson has worked as a journalist for over 17 years, writing about parenting for MadeForMums, Family Traveller, Tesco magazine, The Telegraph and Baby magazine, as well as working as a reviewer for The Independent’s IndyBest and Goodto.com.
She lived in the Cotswolds for 13 years and knows the area inside out – especially the best days out for kids and where to get a decent coffee after a sleepless night with a baby. She now lives in a little village in Leicestershire, with her husband, 6-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter, as well as the best rescue dog and a cat who, quite frankly, just wants a bit of peace and quiet.
Sarah has worked as a writer for over 15 years, writing about parenting for Family Traveller, Baby magazine and 5 Minute Fun, MadeForMums and The Independent’s IndyBest.
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