Free days out in Gloucestershire are actually quite easy to find. I know that we are very lucky to live in such a beautiful county, which means that there are always plenty of opportunities to go out and explore. We love a free day out and the great thing about Gloucestershire is that there are loads of places you can go to without having to spend a penny (some charge for car parking but I’ve not included this as a cost as it’s probably less than the bus fare would be to these places).
Here are our top ten free days out in Gloucestershire
- Stratford Park – Stratford Park in Stroud is probably our favourite free place to visit which is why it comes in at the top of our list of free days out in Gloucestershire. It ticks almost all the boxes needed for a family day out. It’s big enough to be able to enjoy a good walk around it, but not too big to feel like it’s overwhelming for little legs (especially the dogs!). There is a sizeable lake with swans and ducks on it which you can take seeds to feed. The play area meets with Lottie’s approval and is fairly big. It has some play equipment for the little ones, as well as stuff suitable for the older ones. I think what I like most about Stratford Park though is that it has a museum in it that kills some time and provides an educational slant to the day out. It also means you can get out of the sun if it’s too hot, and that it’s somewhere you can visit on a wet day as well.
- Gloucester Cathedral – I LOVE Gloucester Cathedral. It’s old, full of history and is definitely one of the most beautiful buildings near to us. It stands proudly in the city centre and can be seen for miles around. I know that visiting a smell thousand year old building might not be everybody’s idea of a fun afternoon but hear me out. It is definitely worth a visit if you are local. Did you know it’s even part of Hogwarts? That alone will probably get the kids interest. The cloisters were used in the corridor scenes in the first couple of films. There is also a king buried here, Edward II, who was murdered at Berkeley Castle (apparently for his preference of men! – I’ll let you google what the legends say about the way he was killed – This is a family blog..lol). There is a beautiful room with dark blue stained glass windows in that I find a really tranquil and reflective room. There’s also the treasury, the whispering gallery, a bit of a garden, the chance to climb the tower, and the opportunity to visit the crypt.
- Robinswood Hill – Another park that is completely free to visit as there is no parking charge! I love Robinswood Hill purely because it’s so close to our house. We could probably walk there if we needed to but it would probably kill the dog to walk there, climb the hill and then walk home as well! Robinswood Hill has miles of walking routes, including a couple of different routes to the top of the hill. If you are fit enough then I can recommend you take the walk up to the top. On a clear day the view over Gloucestershire is lovely. There is also plenty of space to run around, have a picnic or even a BBQ at one of the BBQ points. Lottie loves the play area, as it has a quite big slide that is built into the slope of the hill. Thankfully the park is at the bottom of the hill near the car park!
- Tewkesbury Abbey -This is a new discovery for us to add to our free days out in Gloucestershire list. We have only been once but we are keen to return again. It is just a big church but it’s pretty and has a lot of history. We love history, all of us enjoy it so this sort of place is good for us to visit. The abbey has a calm and tranquil feel to it, and you can almost feel the history as you walk around. It really is a beautiful place to visit, as is Tewkesbury in general. We combined the trip with a walk along the River Severn.
- Gloucester Park – This park is easily within walking distance of our house and we have spent a whole day here before. We scoot down as just over the road is a skate park. We get to the skate park early in the day, before the teenagers take over it, spend a good 45 minutes to an hour in there and then cross over the road and head to the park itself. Once in the park we usually spend some time in the play area, which is one of the better ones in the city. Lottie likes that it has a trampoline built into it. We also usually take a change of clothes with us as well just in case the fountains are on. If they are Lottie will spend hours running in and out of them and splashing around. As we tend to go as a group we usually take a ball, or bat with us as well and play a few games. The downside of this park is that in the summer it can get REALLY busy, as half of Gloucester seems to head to it. Oh and the toilets are pretty grim. I always take toilet wipes with me when we go to the park, just in case!
- Pittsville Park – We don’t tend to go here very often because it’s on the other side of Cheltenham to Gloucester so a bit of a trek. It’s worth it though, when you do arrive there. It also houses the Cheltenham Pump rooms, which we’ve never been in but they are quite attractive buildings. As you can probably tell, we judge a park by its play area, and this one gets the seal of approval. It’s quite big, and there are loads of different things to do there. There are also birds and other animals to look at which is usually popular and makes it a little bit different to the other parks. We also like taking a walk around the lake and feeding the ducks as well.
- St James City Farm– This used to be a regular haunt of ours before Lottie started school, now we only go in the school holidays. It’s a very small farm, right where you would least expect it, just outside of Gloucester city centre. Last time we went it had a pony, a lot of rabbits and guinea pigs and a million chickens. There are also pigs, cows and goats. I believe that they’ve now opened a riding school as well (which isn’t free!), although as I have the biggest phobia of horses we won’t be trying this one out! Lottie loves the farm and feeding the animals. It’s free, and mostly run by volunteers . I like that it puts a little bit of the countryside into the city, and Lottie’s first experiences of animals were here.
- Jet Age Museum – This museum doesn’t open every day because it’s run by volunteers. It opens every weekend and on Wednesdays during the school holidays. It’s based near to Staverton Airport and is definitely worth a visit, although it won’t fill the whole day. We went for a couple of hours and some of that time was spent watching the planes take off and land, as it gives a good vantage point for this. When we went Lottie enjoyed climbing into the cockpits and pretending to be a pilot. It also gave us a good opportunity to talk to her a little about World War 2, as a lot of the aircraft are from the war.
- Wenchford – This is in the Forest of Dean. It’s another new discovery for us. I went there on a school trip as part of GCSE geography. I really liked it so started taking us there as a family. It’s got a brook running through it that is lovely for the kids to splash and paddle in. It isn’t more than a few inches deep and the slopes are quite gentle to get to. It’s pretty popular with the dog too, although he wasn’t too impressed that we wouldn’t let him off his lead. It’s great to have a walk around as well, and easily fills a good couple of hours on a nice day. I could imagine it’s quite muddy when it’s been raining though.
- Crickley Hill – Rounding off the list of free days out in Gloucestershire is Crickley Hill. This is another of our favourite places to walk the dog because it’s has lots of woods and a couple of fields to wander around. There isn’t really much here other than places to walk but the woods are worth a visit. Lottie climbed her first tree here, and it’s still an achievement she’s really proud off because she’ll openly admit she is a bit of a wimp about these things normally.
So there you are. Our list of ten free days out in Gloucestershire that prove having fun doesn’t have to cost a fortune.