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Reader Treats Just For You!

The bumper Summer Holiday guide

Looking for ideas to keep the kids entertained this summer? You're in luck - here are loads of cool things to do with kids over the holidays.

girl lying on the grass hair with yellow flowersWorried how the hell you’re going to do to keep those little balls of energy we call our children entertained for the looong summer break? No problem! We’ve searched high and low for the best days out, fab museums and castles, high-energy indoor and outdoor fun and camps and classes to keep your calendar packed throughout the holidays. You’re welcome!

 

DAYS OUT 

Longleat, Warminster

From 20th July to 2nd September, Longleat are celebrating their newest Australian residents, who’ve made Koala Creek their home, with a vibrant Australian Summer event. Then, from 1st August The Longhouse will transform into an indoor beach, fully loaded with real sand, perfect for building masterpiece castles, deckchairs, crafty activities and surf-style wobble boards. The Main Square will also transform into the outback, staging diverse and delightful daily performances. From high tempo dancing, to live didgeridoo music, all the way to acrobatic break dancing. As well as the fabulous End of Day Hooroo; a vibrant spectacle of music and dancing – sure to get everyone’s toes tapping, feet stomping and hands clapping  longleat.co.uk

 

Bowood House, Calne

Discovery waits around every corner at the gorgeous Bowood estate, with 100 acres of beautifully landscaped ‘Capability’ Brown Parkland and, especially for Mudlets, an adrenaline-fuelled Adventure Playground featuring a life size pirate ship plus a soft play area for the younger children. A hop, skip and a jump away is Tractor Ted Little Farm with a barn full of friendly farm animals. www.bowood.org

 

Wildlife Safari, Tudor Farmhouse, Clearwell

Wildlife expert and broadcaster Ed Drewitt has teamed up with Tudor Farmhouse to create the ultimate West Country safari this summer. Explore the ancient wonderland to discover its many residents including bats, deer, badgers, foxes, voles, mice, hedgehogs and wild boar. Book now! tudorfarmhousehotel.co.uk

 

Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, near Cheltenham

Warning, extreme cuteness incoming. Keep your phone on camera mode as you watch your little ones hand feed lambs, kid goats, chicks and rabbits (I know, aww). There’s also a chance for them to become fully-fledged farmers at tractor school, run wild around nature trails, zoom down zip wires and race around the giant maze. cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk

 

Monkey World, Wareham

Get up close and personal with our furry cousins at monkey world. There’s always guaranteed entertainment from jokester orangutans, as well as four different types of gibbons to meet. Run wild around the giant parks, but no monkey business! Don’t miss International Orang Utan day on 19 Aug. monkeyworld.org

 

Cotswold Discovery Trail, around the Cotswolds
We’ve just discovered the amazing Cotswold Discovery Trail, a really cool new way to explore the Cotswolds. Whether you want to walk with friends, family or kids, you’ll get a gorgeous map, plus 2 day-long trails (one in the north Cotswolds and one in the south) for you to follow by car and explore on foot. The maps are designed as treasure trails, with loads of information to uncover and clues to answer on your journey, so they’re loads of fun. cotswold-discovery-trail
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Go Ape, Mallards Pike Lake & Beechenhurst Lodge, Forest of Dean

Deep in the beautiful royal forest, hours of aerial fun await with tree climbing, rope bridges and zip lining. And if you’re no Tarzan, you can keep your feet on the ground and zoom around on the forest Segway trail instead. (Note: if you have very little people, check the height restrictions before you head off.) goape.co.uk

 

Roves Farm, Sevenhampton

Meet and feed the farmyard residents, collect eggs from the chickens and take part in loads of family activities scheduled throughout the summer. July and August sees lots of Big Bear Hunts, Jurassic Farms and Enchanted Forests. rovesfarm.co.uk

 

Jungleparc, Lydiard Park, Swindon

Swing in the treetops at Jungleparc this summer, with loads of activities are suitable for children as young as three. And if you’re a big kid or adult – and are feeling extra brave – there is the Xplorer course which, be warned, is VERY high. jungleparc.co.uk

 

Cholderton Charlies Farm, Cholderton, Salisbury

This lovely family farm makes for the perfect relaxing day out meeting animals, playing in the indoor soft play area if it’s wet, enjoying lunch at the Ewe café. All the pens are designed to be interactive, so you can get up close and personal with all the wildlife. choldertoncharliesfarm.com

 

Kids Combat Adventures, near Chippenham

Enter the battlefield and get ready for a fight at Kids Combat Adventure. Outdoor laser tag will tick most kids’ boxes (and is a lot less painful than paintball apparently). jcompany.co.uk

  

Slimbridge Wetland Centre, near Dursley

Take canoe tours around the water trail to spot the varied wildlife that settles in Slimbridge’s gorgeous surroundings, follow the giant Lego trail, get stuck into nest building and survival camp – basically, you can move in here for summer. All bases covered. wwt.org.uk

 

Castle Combe Circuit, Castle Combe, near Chippenham

This home of motorsport has been welcoming petrol-heads for 65 years with a whole load of driving experiences on offer, from rally driving to super-car fun. And kids don’t just have to be passengers – there’s an under 12 driving school where they can get behind the wheel themselves – eek! castlecombecircuit.co.uk

 

National Dive Centre, Tidenham, Chepstow

Surrounded by a jaw-dropping quarry and slightly terrifying cliff edge, the National Dive Centre has a whole host of wet and dry fun to keep any adrenaline-junkie family happy. Soar through the water with fly boards or go deep below in diving classes. And if you fancy keeping dry, the giant 3G swing or zip wire will get your heart pumping. And if you want to stay over, there are fab glamping pods to hole up in. ndac.co.uk

 

Woolley Grange Hotel, Bradford on Avon

Pack up the car and book in for a few nights (or more) at fabulous Woolley Grange, with loads of fun for young and old this summer. Have fun at the farm with the piglets, Indian runner ducks, Simon the Rabbit and the chickens, play on the vintage tractor, explore the ancient orchard and go on a Nature Trail Hunt with Megan, Head Gardener and Ecologist. Fancy something more active? There are two pools, 14 acres of grounds, croquet, footie, badminton and table tennis, plus loads of activities in the yurt from children’s dance parties to circus skills. Just want to chill? Book the kids into the Den and….relax. www.woolleygrangehotel.co.uk

 

INDOOR FUN

Crafty Activities, Pound Arts, Corsham

 

Join The Pound to make, stick, craft and create at loads of glorious classes and courses this summer. Plus, sign up now for their ActNow summer school – a fun and intensive week of activities focusing on developing skills in improvisation, physical theatre, characterisation, performing and script writing. Participants will work with The Pound’s resident theatre company: The Last Baguette, 12-16 Aug. www.poundarts.org.uk

 

New Brewery Arts, Cirencester

Fancy an embroidery class? Fabric collage making? An inspired jewellery workshop? Or what about craft days and workshops perfect for keeping little ones entertained over the holidays? It’s all at New Brewery Arts, a wonderful, exciting arts venue that offers not only classes and courses but galleries, craft shop, makers studios and cafes. Inspiring, no? Book here for the best of craft and creativity coming up, from print making to Mexican puppet making, pottery to pastels. For Mudlets, they run regular Saturday clubs and after school sessions for kids from 5-16, as well as a myriad of workshops and courses in the school hols. www.newbreweryarts.org.uk

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Check out the wealth of classes, cinema and music at the Shed this summer. For little ones, we love Summer Circus School with School of Larks on 29 July and 1 Aug. A fun and challenging way to spend the summer, they’ll learn new and amazing circus skills they never thought they could do, including tightrope, juggling, walking globe, hula hooping, balancing, spinning plates, group floor acrobatics and more. Book now! shed-arts.co.uk

 

Splash of Colour, Salisbury

Holiday painting for all age groups at this gorgeous pottery painting stop. splashofcolourcafe.net
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Wessex Raceway, Salisbury

This massive 700m indoor track is exactly what the doctor ordered for any rainy day during this summer break. Completely weatherproof, it’ll burn off even the most hyper child’s pent-up energy. wessexraceway.co.uk

 

JDR Karting, Gloucester

Boy racers will absolutely love this one, and it’s a great option for a birthday party. Suit up ‘The Stig’-style, put the pedal to the metal and race around the amazing indoor track. You may even end up on the podium and bringing home a trophy at the end of the day. jdrkarting.co.uk

 

Jolly Roger Adventure, Swindon

Bouncy castles, arcade games, slides, and climbing nets – does a kid need anything more? One of the largest indoor play centres in the South West, this is a great day out for small and big kids alike, and, if you’re lucky you might meet the famous resident mascot, Charlie the parrot. jollyrogerplay.com

 

The Warehouse Climbing and Caving Centre, Gloucester

I recently went to a talk by an Everest adventurer who started his ‘career’ aged 13 on a climbing wall. So if you’re harbouring a young Ranulph Fiennes, who knows what you might trigger as she or he scales the impressive 13m wall here or ditches the ropes and goes bouldering in the lower levels. There’s also a dedicated kids’ room for anyone who’s a bit too small for the big wall. And a cave, built with tunnels and chambers, which feels like you’re really caving somewhere deep down below. the-warehouse.co.uk

 

 SUMMER SCHOOLS

Summer School, Marlborough College, Marlborough, 14 July – 10 August

Recognised as one of the South West’s top Artistic, Cultural and Learning Experiences, the Summer School caters for kids from 3 years to 90 – choose from day courses, week-long camps or residential jaunts for the whole family. Kids are split into Junior Troopers, Young Adventurers and Teenagers, with a bonkers amount of action-packed courses to choose from including Cricket, Clay Shooting, Martial Arts, Dance Fusion, Drama, Fencing, Water Polo, Adventures in Clay, Beginners Harp and Stay Alive Survival. While there’s plenty of the obvious, the majority of courses are designed to offer your little ones experiences they’ve never tried before. summerschool.co.uk

 

Outdoor courses include Horse RidingTennisRoad CyclingMetal Detecting: Discover History Beneath Your Feet, A Week of ForagingOutdoor Adventures and LOADS more!

 

School of Wizardry, Cheltenham, 5-9 and 12-16 August

 

This spellbinding magic school is only for the most dedicated young witches and wizards, enough to rival the famous students of Hogwarts. Inspired by the magical world created by J.K Rowling this summer school gets your little magicians acting out magical scenes, singing enchanting songs and even learning a magic trick or two. Dotty Professor Magnolia McGonagall leads both mystic weeks in charming venues, alongside a hand-chosen team of drama specialists. Expect mystic treats galore, including live owls…There’s magic in the air! Quote Code ‘Muddy Stilettos Camda Magic’ and readers can have a special 20% discount when booking at info@camda.orgwww.camda.org

 

Summer Sports Academy, Canford School, Canford, 12-15 Aug

4-day Rugby, Hockey, Netball, Rowing, Tennis, Golf, Athletics or Multisports courses over the Summer holidays.  The course is aimed at boys and girls in current Years 5-11 (Multi-Sports Years 5-7). www.canford.com

 

 

Youth Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, 29 July – 2 Aug and 12-23 Aug

This professional-level stage school dispenses two weeks of high kicks, music hits and brilliant one liners and a chance for your kids to bond, gain confidence and learn independence. Plus, you’ll get to see your shining star in action on the theatre main stage. Age 7-11 and 11-18, to book Summer Schools call the box office on 01242 572573. For more information email admin@everymantheatre.org.ukeverymantheatre.org.uk 

 

Theatre Studio Summer School, Cheltenham Playhouse, dates in July and Aug

 

Join Theatre Studio for their highly successful Summer School, where once again they will be running courses in Acting, Musical Theatre and Technical Backstage. Each student works towards a presentation of their own group piece, culminating in three public performances on the main stage at the Playhouse Theatre. As well as rehearsing for this piece, each student will take place in workshops teaching singing, dance, acting, character work, voice and stage combat. Places book up fast!  theatrestudio.co.uk

 

Junior Golf Camps, Bowood Golf Course, Calne, 5-23 Aug

 

Got the next Tiger Woods on your hands? Send him or her off to this brilliant golf camp, where they will learn to swing a club, putt and get a hole in one. The camp is aimed at juniors aged 15 years and under who would enjoy a fun day learning all the basics of golf. The summer syllabus covers a basic understanding of the long game as well as a focus of putting, pitching and chipping as well as practice on our 3-hole PGA Academy Golf Course. bowood.org

 

Activate Camps, Pinewood School, 29 July – 16 Aug

 

A fab multi-activity camp for kids this summer break. activatecamps.co.uk

 

Summer Sports Camp, St Mary’s Calne, 12-16 Aug

 

Fun packed multi sport holiday camps for children aged 8-16, with lots of exciting competitions, games and sports, including football, tennis, water polo, badminton, basketball, rounders, junior athletics and inflatable sessions on The Obliterator. www.smcsports.co.uk

 

Ultimate Activity Camps, various locations and dates 

Based at schools, Ultimate Activity Camps provide great childcare options Monday to Fridays during the school holidays with plenty of fun and stimulation for the kids aged 4 to 14 with activities like basketball, fencing, art, zorbing, yoga, football and, new for 2019, combat archery with is a mix between dodgeball, Laser Quest, and archery (eh?). They start at 9:30am and finish at 4:30pm but extended collection is available and children can sign up for any amount of time throughout the camps (a day, a week, weeks). Prices are £46 for one day, £189 for a week. Loads of locations to pick from across Bristol, Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds.

 

COOKERY SCHOOLS 

Young Chefs Academy, Vaughan’s Kitchen, Devizes

 

Join Vaughan’s Kitchen at Marlborough College Summer School for fab week-long courses for 13 to 18 year olds. vaughanskitchen.co.uk

 

The Cooking School, Warminster

Sign up now for a fab range of courses and classes for your teen this summer, from pizza and pasta masterclasses to Student Survival – The Essential Cooking Guide. Having a party? They do amazing kids parties, too. thecookingschool.com

 

Parent and Child Cookery Workshop, Pure Punjabi, Salisbury

If you’re interested in learning how to cook North Indian food and would love your child to learn with you, then this is the workshop for you. Learn in the style in which the fabulous mother and daughter Pure Punjabi team learned and in which they teach…the mother-daughter style. Sat 27 July, age 6-10 in the morning, and 11-16yrs in the afternoon. www.purepunjabi.co.uk

 

Kids Cookery Course, Lucknam Park, Chippenham

 

These half-day courses for adults and children are a great way to introduce your kids to the basics of cooking and teach them the importance of fresh, seasonal produce. Suitable for ages six to 13, you’ll enjoy an excellent bonding experience and go home with lots of yummy treats. lucknampark.co.uk

 

 

MUSEUMS & CASTLES

 

 

Berkeley Castle, Berkeley

This ancient fortress where the Berkeley family has lived since the 12th century (and where Edward II was imprisoned and died, some suspect under dubious circumstances) is one of the country’s most amazing living pieces of history with its arrow slits, murder holes, battlements and fairy-tale warm pink stone. During the summer there are endless activities ­– from storytelling and circus shows to archery, falconry and loads of arts and craft. berkeley-castle.com

 

Museum in the Park, Stratford Park, Stroud

Fossil rubbing, garden printing, magical box making, print making – is there any creative activity that Stroud’s Museum in the Park doesn’t do?! Plus there are bee and butterfly trails to explore, as well as the inspiring permanent exhibition and beautiful art exhibitions. museuminthepark.org.uk

 

Corinium Museum, Cirencester

Study local and ancient history at Cirencester’s brilliant Corinium Museum with exhibitions that take you on a journey through time, marking the development of the Cotswolds from the early prehistoric landscape to modern-day society. coriniummuseum.org

 

Wiltshire Museum, Devizes

This award-winning gallery in Devizes contains the largest collection of early Bronze Age gold ever displayed in England, as well as 500 Stonehenge artefacts and makes a great day out for budding historians and archaeologists. wiltshiremuseum.org.uk

 

The Salisbury Museum, Salisbury

Journey back to medieval times to the earliest evidence of human occupation in Salisbury. Learn how the people lived and what struggle they went through to reach where they are today. salisburymuseum.org.uk

 

Chedworth Roman Villa, Yanworth, near Cheltenham

One of the grandest Roman villas in Britain are sticking to their roots and inviting families to join in on celebrating roman culture. Kids can dive head first into the dress up box and dress themselves in traditional robes, walk around the beautiful nature trails and become part of history by mucking in on the big mosaic excavation. nationaltrust.org.uk

 

Steam Museum, Swindon

All aboard the Steam Museum express! Come along and learn the history of the Great Western Railway which helped make the West Country what it is today. With plenty of interactive displays and historical talks, it’s a great day out for curious children who love a bit of history – and train-obsessed toddlers! steam-museum.org.uk

 

Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe

With its fab adventure playground and Summer Children’s Wednesdays – where there’ll be bouncy castles, an inflatable activity centre for under fives, storytelling and arts and craft – this stunning castle set in equally stunning grounds is a day out no-brainer. sudeleycastle.co.uk

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GET OUTTA HERE!

 

Fancy summer in the Alps? Morzine, France, July and August

 

 

HOT OFF THE PRESS! Chalet Fourmiliere is offering  A FABULOUS 15% OFF all stays in this utterly gorgeous chalet, throughout July and August (subject to availability), exclusively to you gorgeous Muddy readers. Morzine is utterly perfect in the summer – only an hour from Geneva, it offers trekking, white water rafting, paddle boarding on the lake, a fab outdoor pool (or three), a wild and wacky Goat Village and the best mountain biking in the alps. Take my word for it – it’s the best family holiday ever. Book now! www.chaletfourmiliere.com Email them to find out more!

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