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Things to do in the Cotswolds this summer

Posted: Wed, 20th Apr 2022
2000 Trees, Bolthole Retreats

If you’re spending your summer holiday in the beautiful Cotswolds countryside, then you might be looking for something to do – in between taking long walks, enjoying country pub lunches, and imbibing the endless breath-taking views.

Lucky for you, despite its quietly relaxed exterior, the Cotswolds plays host to some fantastic events throughout the summer, from music to sport and local traditions to food-centric extravaganzas.

Here’s a grand tour – in date order – of the best things to do in the Cotswolds this summer:

Barn on the Farm

Barn on the Farm is a groovy, farm-based music festival celebrating its 13th anniversary in 2022. Confirmed headliners are James Bay, Easy Life, Griff and Holly Humberstone.

Where: Over Farm, Gloucester

When: 30 June – 3 July

Where to stay: cottages near Gloucester

Nibley Music Festival

This fab music festival has grown from a very small, village-run affair to a festival that now attracts thousands of people. Situated in the quiet village of North Nibley on the edge of the Cotswolds, overlooked by the Tyndale Monument, it promises a weekend of fantastic family fun. Headliners include Feeder, Dub Pistols and Spector.

Where: North Nibley, South Gloucestershire

When: 1 – 3 July

Where to stay: cottages near North Nibley

The Cotswold Show and Food Festival

An authentic country show with a difference, The Cotswold Show and Food Festival is a fantastic day out for the whole family with displays, stalls and entertainment to suit everyone! Featuring food and drinks stands, animals, shopping, the World of Dogs, polo matches and the fantastic Horsemen of the Knight!

Where: Cirencester Park, Cirencester

When: 2 – 3 July

Where to stay: cottages near Cirencester

Cornbury Music Festival

The ultimate Cotswold Music Festival, Cornbury has a lineup to rival Glastonbury, food sure to impress any keen gourmet hunters and arts, crafts and comedy to keep you entertained throughout the weekend. Featuring Bryan Adams, James Blunt, Ronan Keating and many more.

Where: Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire

When: 8 – 10 July

Where to stay: cottages near Great Tew Park

Cheltenham Music Festival

Dating back to 1945, the Cheltenham Music Festival curates a breath-taking programme of musical events in cathedrals and churches across the region as well as sensational concerts in the town hall and Pittville Pump Room. Popular classics sit alongside new and contemporary music.

Where: Cheltenham

When: 8 – 16 July

Where to stay: cottages near Cheltenham

Tewkesbury Medieval Festival

Considered to be the biggest, free medieval festival gathering in Europe, with over 2000 ‘re-enactors’ coming from all over the world to take part, dress in medieval costume, cook on open fires, repair and prepare armour, play medieval games and much more, while visitors look on and enjoy the great food, crafts and shows.

Where: Tewkesbury

When: 9 – 10 July

Where to stay: cottages near Tewkesbury

Royal International Air Tattoo

Every July, the skies above Fairford come alive with the world-renowned Air Tattoo that takes place at RAF Fairford. Arguably one of the greatest air shows in the world, Fairford International Air Tattoo welcomes over 300 aircraft from 30 nations around the world, with a thrilling programme of flying air displays taking place over the course of the event. An absolute must-visit for flying fans and adrenaline junkies, with plenty on offer to keep others entertained too. 

Where: Fairford

When: 15 – 17 July

Where to stay: cottages near Fairford

WOMAD – The World’s Festival

WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) is an international arts festival. The central aim of WOMAD is to celebrate the world’s many forms of music, arts and dance. This year catch Angelique Kidjo, Fatoumata Diawara, Kae Tempest, The Flaming Lips, Sugarhill Gang & The Furious Five and many more.

Where: Malmesbury

When: 28 – 31 July

Where to stay: cottages near Malmesbury

Riverside

This is the 25th anniversary of this free family-friendly music festival in an idyllic riverside setting with more than 30 acts playing across three stages, with all kinds of music from rock, indie and folk on the main two stages and all styles on the Riverside Fringe and Buskers stages.

Where: Charlbury

When: 30 – 31 July

Where to stay: cottages near Charlbury

Wilderness Festival

Each year the four-day Wilderness Festival is packed full of music, theatre, arts, food, talks and workshops. The ethos of this unique festival is that of family, togetherness and wellbeing. You’ll be made to feel as important as the artists who create it. Headliners include Underworld, Jungle and Years & Years.

Where: Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire

When: 4 – 7 August

Where to stay: cottages near Cornbury Park

The Big Feastival

This super-duper family affair combines fantastic local food, a star-studded musical lineup, and good old-fashion fun. This festival is perfect for families with children of all ages, including tiny ones. There’s plenty for the grown-ups to enjoy too, with fantastic local food and drink in the food village and supper club. Headliners include The Human League, Anne-Marie and Stereophonics.

Where: Alex James’ Farm, Kingham

When: 26 – 28 August

Where to stay: cottages near Kingham

Winchcombe Country Show

Held every August Bank Holiday, the Winchcombe Country Show successfully brings the community and visitors together to enjoy a day of celebrations. From arts and crafts to horticultural opportunities, there’s something to entertain the whole family.

Where: Winchcombe Senior School Field, South Gloucestershire

When: 29 August – Bank Holiday Monday

Where to stay: cottages near Winchcombe

Bourton-on-the-Water Football in the River

The Bourton-on-the-Water river football match is a 100-year-old tradition, where Bourton Rovers 1st team play Bourton Rovers Reserves in a mid-stream battle. The annual match attracts thousands of spectators who converge on the river’s grassy banks in the picturesque Cotswold village. Be prepared to get wet!

Where: Centre of Bourton-on-the-Water

When: 29 August – Bank Holiday Monday

re to stay: cottages near Bourton-on-the-Water

A Cultural Evening at The Theatre

The summer months in the Cotswolds are also crammed full of open-air theatre productions, from As You Like It at Sudeley Castle and Dyrham Park to The Tale of Peter Rabbit at the National Trust’s Newark Park. Find out about all these open-air performances at our blog post here.

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