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Best family-friendly hotels in the Cotswolds, according to parents
Explore the Cotswolds with Mumsnetters’ pick of the best family-friendly hotels and cottages the area has to offer.
By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Jun 23, 2022
Spanning five counties, the Cotswolds is a quintessentially English destination. Home to rolling countryside and scenic villages, it’s been a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty since 1966.
Despite international holidays being possible again this summer, many of us have acquired a taste for staycations, and with the Cotswolds just a drive or train ride away, you don't need to travel far for a scenic break.
The area is very family friendly, with plenty of hotels, cottages and self-catering accommodation to choose from. We’ve turned to the Mumsnet Travel forums to bring you the best bases and boltholes for making the most of the Cotswolds.
What are the best family hotels in the Cotswolds?
- Best for kids of all ages: Woolley Grange
- Best for food: Slaughters Country Inn
- Best with a swimming pool: De Vere Cotswold Water Park
- Best for value: Chester House Hotel
- Best cottage: 2 Glebe Cottage
1. Best overall family hotel in the Cotswolds: Woolley Grange, Bradford on Avon
Woolley Grange | Check availability
"It is utterly fab. We used the creche for the afternoon - and it was really well fitted out, and they serve great kids food. I had a lovely aromatherapy massage too. Yes, we used listening service for our DD1 who was 1.5 then and no probs, felt very reassured. Was funny though as every time the woman from front desk comes in dining room you can see every parent in there offer a silent prayer that it's not their kid that's woken up!" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Wingandprayer
Near Bradford-upon-Avon and Bath, this Jacobean manor house has been converted into a luxury hotel designed with kids in mind. There’s plenty to do for children of all ages, and there's a spa for grown-ups to relax in too. The bedrooms are a good size and really cosy, plus there’s a listening service so you can enjoy a stress-free evening after putting young children to bed. Set in 14 acres of beautifully-kept grounds, there’s lots to do - including a fairy garden, a pool and giant tree swings.
Nearest train station: Bath Spa (5.5 miles)
2. Best budget hotel in the Cotswolds: Chester House Hotel, Bourton on the Water
Chester House Hotel | Check availability
"We like Chester House in Bourton but it's not quite luxury. Is very nice and extremely family friendly though. Rampaging toddler/wailing newborns not a problem" - MrsBadger
While there are cheaper hotel stays in the Cotswolds area, Chester House Hotel combines a beautiful location with great value for money. The generously-sized family rooms come in at under £200, for which you get a double bed and two singles. Based in the ‘little Venice of the Cotswolds’ Bourton-on-the-Water, it’s a nine-mile drive to Sudeley Castle, which comes highly recommended by Mumsnetters.
Nearest train station: Moreton-in-Marsh (8.5 miles)
3. Best family hotel with large rooms in the Cotswolds: Clarence Court Hotel, Cheltenham
Clarence Court Hotel | Check availability
A stone’s throw from Cheltenham Racecourse, Clarence Court Hotel is located at the edge of the Cotswolds. Its executive family rooms can sleep up to six and come with a fridge, a kettle, a sofa, a TV and an extra-large bathroom. A continental or English breakfast is included in the price, as is use of a local gym if you fancy a dip or a workout during your stay.
Nearest train station: Cheltenham (1.7 miles)
4. Best luxury hotel in the Cotswolds for families: The Rectory Hotel, Crudwell
The Rectory Hotel | Check availability
"We stayed at The Rectory Hotel in the Cotswolds recently for a weekend. It's in a village but we drove around though. It was really lovely. The staff were very helpful and friendly and they were brilliant with our dc's (4 and 1) They have travel cots and those zed beds (sp?). They gave us a monitor so we went down to the bar which was lovely and drank lots of wine and played scrabble! I think they have a few rooms big enough to accommodate children. We stayed in the Leckhampton room which looks out on the walled garden and was really lovely plus lots of room for the lo's to play" - Bettybeetroot
The 18-bedroom Rectory Hotel is nestled in the small village of Crudwell, on the southern edge of the Cotswolds. Expect tastefully decorated rooms, a gorgeous walled garden and proper cocktails in the bar. Kids will love the outdoor heated pool and the gardens are perfect for playing hide-and-seek. Ask for extra beds in one of the larger rooms, or opt for the three-bedroom cottage for family living with all the comforts of the hotel included.
Nearest train station: Kemble (3.9 miles)
5. Best Cotswolds hotel with a swimming pool: Evesham Hotel, Evesham
Evesham Hotel | Check availability
"The Evesham Hotel is fab, very very child friendly, and has a nice pool. It is rather eccentric, but it was a pleasure to stay there with DS" - CMOTDibbler
If you’re looking for pampering, head to the Evesham Hotel for its heated indoor swimming pool, sauna and spa treatment rooms. Kids will be well-entertained in the 2.5 acres of gardens and will love the secret play den in the Alice in Wonderland Suite. Family rooms are split into two adjoining bedrooms, with tea and coffee making facilities, a fridge, a TV and WiFi included.
The hotel is a perfect base for exploring the North Cotswolds, with some of the most beautiful scenery England has to offer just a short drive away.
Nearest train station: Evesham (1.5 miles)
6. Best family-friendly spa hotel in the Cotswolds: Minster Mill, Minster Lovell
Minster Mill Hotel & Spa | Check availability
"Minster Mill in the Cotswolds is gorgeous" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Fivemoreminutes1
Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, Minster Mill has a whopping 65 acres of gardens to explore, with fishing, cycling and tennis available for booking. For a little extra, the spa offers ESPA treatments, an indoor heated plunge pool, a poolside rock sauna, an ice fountain and tropical rainforest showers.
Kids will love roasting marshmallows over a campfire, pre-packed picnics by the river and a children’s menu with something for all tastes. There’s a choice of interconnecting rooms, large family rooms or cottages to stay in, and there are highchairs, sterilising equipment and nappy changing mats available on request.
Nearest train station: Charlbury (7 miles)
7. Best fun hotel in the Cotswolds: De Vere Cotswold Water Park Hotel
De Vere Cotswold Water Park | Check availability
"I have stayed at the four pillars Cotswolds hotel. It is a good, modern hotel. The pool is nice, you could probably get an hour in there before everyone has had enough. You would definitely need to go out as apart from meals and swimming I can't remember doing anything at the hotel. We had a two-bedroom suite and that worked well. We took the DC to Cotswolds country park and a few villages" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, Fluffy1234
For an action-packed holiday, the Cotswolds Water Park offers a huge range of activities and watersports, and you can stay in the park at the De Vere Four Pillars Hotel. Set in the middle of the 152 lakes that make up the water park, rooms are light and well-equipped, and if you’re lucky you’ll get a view of the lakes.
There’s a spa, a nature reserve, an on-site restaurant, BBQ facilities and you can even bring your dog. Go for one of the family apartments to ensure plenty of space and you'll have use of a cooker, a microwave and a dishwasher.
Nearest train station: Kemble (6.2 miles)
8. Best family-friendly cottage in the Cotswolds: 2 Glebe Cottages
2 Glebe Cottages | Check availability
"We have stayed here a few times and it's lovely. Really great space for a family and in the beautiful village of Snowshill where Bridget Jones went for her Turkey Curry. Would highly recommend" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, TG23099
Surrounded by Cotswold Hills, 2 Glebe Cottages is a two-bedroom, two bathroom Cotswold Stone cottage, and comes highly rated by Mumsnetters. With beautiful views and immaculate interiors, it’s located on a quiet lane in Snowshill and has space to park two cars.
The cottage provides a real homey feel and makes a brilliant base for roaming around the Cotswolds. Cotswolds Lavender Fields and Snowshill Manor and Garden are within walking distance, or hop in the car and head to the picturesque villages of Stow on the Wold, The Slaughters and Bourton on the Water.
Nearest train station: Broadway (3 miles)
9. Best family hotel in the Cotswolds with interconnecting rooms: Slaughters Country Inn, Lower Slaughter
The Slaughters Country Inn | Check availability
"We stayed here in the Cotswolds for my 40th, with 3 dc. It was wonderful!" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, Zhx3
Serving locally-sourced, seasonal food in its restaurant, a stay at Slaughters Country Inn is sure to be delicious. With roll-top baths and four acres of grounds, there’s a real sense of luxury and you can expect fluffy white towels and high-end toiletries in the bathrooms.
There are a number of room choices to fit all the family, including suites with adjoining rooms, large family rooms and cottages. Animal-mad kids will have plenty to do nearby as the hotel is a short drive from Cotswolds Farm Park, Wildlife Gardens and Crocodiles of the World.
Nearest train station: Moreton-in-Marsh (7.6 miles)
10. Best dog-friendly hotel in the Cotswolds: Egypt Mill Hotel and Restaurant
Egypt Mill Hotel and Restaurant | Check availability
"I recommend the Egypt Mill hotel in Nailsworth. It's a beautiful little town with a long flat cycling path and great walks all over. The Egypt Mill is lovely, child friendly (they have family rooms) and the food there is great!" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, Amaxapax
This 16th-century riverside hotel in Nailsworth sits in the centre of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Offering generously sized family rooms with dogs welcome for an extra £20, kids will especially love being able to watch the working mill wheel in the bar. Rooms have a cosy, luxurious feel with exposed beams and super comfy beds.
Nearby you’ll find more stunning countryside than you can shake a stick at, plus attractions including the Cotswolds Water Park, Kingscote Barn and the city of Gloucester.
Nearest train station: Stroud (3.3 miles)
Is the Cotswolds good for families?
A holiday in the Cotswolds makes a perfect family getaway. Wherever you’re staying in the 800-square-mile area, you’ll find beautiful countryside to explore as well as family days out at castles, stately homes and animal parks.
Which area is best for families to stay in the Cotswolds?
Staying near the Roman city of Cirencester is a great choice for lots to see and do with children. The city itself has plenty of history with a museum, an amphitheatre and a Roman villa open to visitors. A little outside of the city you’ll find Cotswolds Water Park and Cotswolds Country Park and Beach.
For a more free-range holiday, Bourton-on-the-Water is a Mumsnetters’ favourite spot for the most beautiful country walks and views in the Cotswolds.
How can you get a good deal on a family-friendly hotel in the Cotswolds?
As it’s such a big area, it’s worth being flexible with your location and casting your net wide. Staying on the edge of the Cotswolds or even just outside is often cheaper than more central locations, and a car is recommended for getting around the rural villages.
What’s the best family-friendly hotel in the Cotswolds?
Woolley Grange is aimed squarely at families, and that’s what makes it the best family-friendly hotel in the Cotswolds. They’ve thought of everything, which really takes the stress out of family getaways and lets the whole family relax and enjoy their stay.
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know that there's nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out what family hotels in the Cotswolds were being recommended.
We then did some online research, looking at what family hotels and cottages in the Cotswolds had won accolades or had been featured in 'best choice' lists, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best family hotels in the Cotswolds at the moment.
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