My husband and I love getting outdoors and walking, and after having our son, we would strap him into the carrier and continue to enjoy long routes. But now we are at the stage where he is too heavy to carry but still too small to conquer a 4-5 miler on his own.
What’s the alternative? At the age of nearly 3-and-a-half, our son is now pretty good at walking around 1-2 miles (some piggy-back carrying is often required near the end!) So, I’ve put together a list of 10 walks in the Cotswolds that people with little ones can enjoy.
1) Crickley Hill, Birdlip.
Set within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Crickley Hill boasts beautiful views. A mix of both grass and woodland habitats there’s evidence of human activity on the hill going back to 4,000 BC. It’s an ideal spot to visit and play or do a circular walk.
2) Belas Knap, Winchcombe.
The 5000-year-old Belas Knap is a Neolithic Long Barrow which children can explore. If you drive up the hill following the signs, you can park in a lane. From there the walk is up a hill but not too far.
3) Uley Bury, Uley.
Thought to be England’s largest Iron Age hill Uley Bury dates from about 300 BC. You an follow the 1.1-mile perimeter track around its ramparts, which afford fabulous views over Uley and the Severn Vale. Grid reference ST787992. While in the area the 5,000-year-old Uley Long Barrow is also well worth an explore.
4) Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, Sharpness.
Once the broadest and deepest canal in the world, The Gloucester and Sharpness canal is a fabulous place for a family walk. Pram friendly and great for bikes with a café along the route.
Great to walk through the village itself, but if busy, there are a chain of lakes that lie just outside. Visitors on August Bank Holiday can watch the village’s 100-year-old tradition of playing a football match in the river.
6) Chosen Hill Nature Reserve.
The beautiful woodlands at Chosen Hill Nature Reserve with their carpet of lovely bluebells in the spring are a brilliant place for a family walk.
7) Cleeve Hill, Cheltenham
Famed for its Breath-taking views, Cleeve Hill is situated just outside Cheltenham and is the highest point in The Cotswolds. There are many places to park and climb the big hills.
8) Leckhampton Hill/Devil’s Chimney.
Legend holds that the Devil’s Chimney is the chimney of the Devil’s dwelling deep beneath the ground. True, or not, this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is another great place to visit with children. Lot’s of walks and places to park with more great views.
9) Alney Island Nature Reserve.
Located near to Gloucester on the banks of the River Severn. Lots of wildlife to see in the wet grassland and water meadows. Some of the best views of the Severn Bore are from this site.
10) Cotswold Water Park.
With more than 150 lakes set across the countryside of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and West Oxfordshire there is plenty of places to explore in the Cotswold Water Park. With nature reserves, water sports, cafes and even a beach you’ll find something to entertain all the family.