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August Bank Holiday events in the Cotswolds

Posted: Thu, 3rd Aug 2023
August Bank Holiday in the Cotswolds

Under hopefully glorious sunshine, the August Bank Holiday is made for adventures, days out and cramming as much fun into every hour as you can. Pack your bags with a picnic, sun cream, flip flops and rain jacket (this is still Britain after all), and lets get out there to enjoy some great August Bank Holiday events in the Cotswolds!

Throughout the region we’ve got holiday cottages perfect for a three-night break so you can really make the most of your time here. Just a couple of hours from London you can head up after work on Friday and arrive at a gorgeous country home from home ready to rest up and relax before the frivolities of the weekend begin.

No matter where you stay, there will be something unmissable, and sometimes a bit unusual, going on. We’ve split our list of August Bank Holiday events in the Cotswolds into areas and added in our top places to stay too.

Whether you’ll be dancing at a festival, meeting some animals or waving from the window of a passing steam train, there is plenty to see and do.

North Cotswolds

Winchcombe Goes Wild

Combine a trip on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway with some wild crafting when you arrive at Winchcombe. Board the train at Cheltenham and enjoy the leisurely 20-minute journey. Perfect for three to nine year olds, they will explore conservation and nature through some crafting. Running between the 19 and 28 August, book tickets online for a discount.

Sudeley Castle Animal Ark

You wouldn’t expect on a trip to visit a Tudor castle estate to meet a lynx, giant hedgehog and a panda, but at Sudeley Castle this summer that’s exactly what you’ll find! Their animal ark is a part digital safari where you begin with an AR treasure hunt and go on to find life-sized, and larger, creatures and beasts from around the world in their gardens. Animal Ark is included in your entrance ticket. All Bolthole Retreats guests receive a 25% discount to Sudeley Castle & Gardens in Winchcombe and those staying at a Sudeley Castle Cottage receive free entry.

Where to Stay

South Cotswolds

Roman Baths Late Night

Make the long summer evenings even more magical with a torchlit visit to the Roman Baths. Open until 10pm every day you can take your time strolling between the pillars sipping a glass of prosecco from their pop-up bar. Stay until the sun sets when the flickering torches set a romantic and peaceful mood.

Castle Combe Circuit Open Air Cinema

Castle Combe Circuit is usually filled with the roar of engines when this home of motorsport comes alive on race days. In the build up to their fifth meeting of the year, the Combe Countdown, they are hosting a pulse-racing outdoor cinema experience. Shown across Friday to Sunday of the Bank Holiday weekend before the race on Monday 28 August you can choose from Rush, Gone in 60 Seconds or Days of Thunder to get you in the racing spirit.

Where to Stay

East Cotswolds

The Big Feastival

This year’s Big Feastival at Alex James’ farm near Kingham (main picture) is the place to be over the August Bank Holiday Weekend for mouth-watering food and inspiring cookery demonstrations. You can burn off all the street food you eat when the big stars take to the stage with Sigrid, Tom Grennan and Blossoms as headliners.

Football in the River

One of many unusual Cotswold traditions (see also shin kicking, cheese rolling and woolsack racing), on August Bank Holiday Monday two teams from the Bourton Rovers football club take to the river in Bourton-on-the-Water for a friendly kick about. Each half lasts 15 minutes and there are no rules. Spectators are guaranteed to get wet and there will be a few stalls to browse where money is raised for the local club.

Paddington at Blenheim Palace

Pack your marmalade sandwiches, put on your hat and button up your duffle coat, Paddington is heading to Blenheim Palace. Meet everyone’s favourite bear and his friends for this fantastic adventure before boarding the Blenheim train and joining in the free activities. Pop into the Paddington shop and take home a photo with Paddington so you never forget this day! If you’d like to visit Blenheim Palace and the Adventure Play on the same day, tickets need to be booked separately.

Where to Stay

West Cotswolds

Berkeley Castle – Joust

Choose your favourite knight and cheer them on to victory at this medieval jousting tournament. It will be a riot of clashing swords with the rumbling of hooves when you step back in time at Berkeley Castle. Two daily performances run on the Sunday and Monday. Guests of Bolthole Retreats receive a 10% discount on entry to Berkeley Castle.

Rococo Gardens – Hercules

A fantastic family event, IK Productions bring you a thoroughly enjoyable show on Monday 28 August that everybody will find themselves in stitches at. This year’s show is Hercules where you are transported to a time of myths and legends. Will Hercules be able to scale Olympus and become the hero? Find out at the Painswick Rococo Garden showing at 11am or 2.30pm.

Where to Stay

Read more: Top things to do in Bath

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