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Cotswold Water Park doesn’t have water-slides, chlorinated water, or endless queues for rides. It’s the UK’s most extensive marl lake system, spread out over an area of 40 square miles. Think plenty of space for peaceful wild swimming, wildlife watching, and high adrenaline water sports. There is room for all that and more.
The Water Park just 30 min from Swindon, off the M4, and you can stay in the gloriously quaint Lower Mill Estate right in the park. Here’s why you need to make this English gem your next UK holiday.
As you might expect from a park that features 150 separate lakes, Cotswold Water Park is an excellent destination for keen swimmers, canoeists and windsurfers. Daredevil visitors might even like to try their hand at cable skiing or tearing around one of the lakes on an inflatable banana!
Cotswold Water Park isn’t a natural formation, but rather the end result of over 60 years of gravel extraction, resulting in man-made lakes that now serve as a sanctuary for a very diverse range of wildlife. Birdwatchers come here in their droves, and can expect to see nightingales, little ringed plovers and common terns, not to mention wintering water birds and gulls.
There are miles and miles of footpaths throughout the park, offering further opportunities to spot some of its furry and feathered inhabitants and visit some of the towns and villages along the way. Plus, as many of these paths are on the flat, it’s a great destination for those with prams, wheelchairs or mobility scooters.
We know what you’re thinking. A beach? In the Cotswolds? When the nearest coastline is miles away? But yes, Cotswold Water Park has its own beach, complete with sand, at Cotswold Country Park and Beach. You won’t have to travel very far for the kids to build sand castles!
There are plenty of opportunities to eat out across the park, from the Wild Duck Inn’s country pub charm and delicious gastropub menu, to the stunning views and more contemporary décor of the Lakeside Brasserie, which offers a surprising but scrumptious selection of British, Tex-Mex and Cajun favourites.
The best places to stay in and around Cotswold Water Park are the villages of Lower Mill Estate, South Cerney and Somerford Keynes.