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Stay at home: The Cotswolds

Just south of Cirencester you’ll find Cotswold Water Park — not a theme park as the name might suggest, but a region of over 150 lakes set across some 40sq m

Stay at home: The Cotswolds
Somerford Lagoon

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Why go?

It’s easy access to the heart of the Cotswolds — Stowe-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water and the Slaughters are all within a 40-minute drive. The area is also a beautiful, peaceful landscape of lakes, birdlife, watersports and considerately-built accommodation. waterpark.org

What to do

Lazy walks around the lakes, gentle cycling along trails, watersports including canoeing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, wakeboarding and waterskiing, plus birdwatching, with vast numbers of breeding warblers along with nightingales, little ringed plovers and common terns.

Where to eat

The on-site restaurant Ballihoo has breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as takeaway but, being the countryside, it’s all about the pubs. Take your pick locally from The Potting Shed, The Royal Oak, The Wild Duck Inn and The Wheatsheaf Inn to name a few.

Where to stay

Lower Mill Estate offers a variety of eco-friendly, lakeside accommodation set over 550 acres of countryside. The Swallows, one of the stunning four-bedroom houses, features calming lakeside views. From £1,200 for a one-week stay.

We like

Britain’s second-largest town during Roman times boasts traditional Cotswold stone buildings, a Roman amphitheatre, a rich history of wool trading and a confident, creative spirit.

Don’t miss

The Miss Mouse Adventure Trail at Lower Mill Estate is a great learning experience for kids, incorporating lakeside walks, puzzles to solve, clues to follow and padlocked chests revealing rewards.

Published in the Jul/Aug 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)