Our top things to do in the Cotswold Water Park this Christmas

Whether you are staying with us in one of our Cotswold holiday cottages, are visiting friends and family nearby, or live in the local area, there is plenty to do during the festive season in and around the Cotswold Water Park.

With its idyllic location and abundance of activities on offer, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do.  From exploring the local area on a winter walk, to hitting the shops for some festive bargains, or simply taking it easy by a cosy fire in one of the great local pubs there is something for everyone.

So, sit back, put the kettle on and take a look at some of our favourite picks for things to do this festive season.

Get things started at one of the many Christmas Markets

Starting early to help get you into the Christmas spirit, check out one of the many Christmas Markets that will be popping up in a town nearby.  With plenty of stalls offering unique stocking fillers and presents, a glass of mulled wine or steaming hot chocolate to keep you warm, plus the chance to watch the big switch on of the festive lights there is plenty to do for the entire family over the next few weeks.

Here are just a few of the local Christmas Markets taking place:

Cirencester Christmas Market

Stroud Goodwill Christmas market

Moreton in the Marsh Xmas Market

Cheltenham Christmas Markets

Oxford Christmas Market

Keep the little ones happy with Christmas activities

Nothing gets the Christmas spirit going more than getting the children involved with festive activities.  Whether it’s taking a turn on the ice, enjoying the annual pantomime, or seeing the Christmas lights there’s a range of options.

Just remember to pace yourselves to keep their excitement from reaching a peak too soon!

Mum and daughter enjoying sparklers

Enjoy the lights!

There’s magic around every corner on Westonbirt’s brand new illuminated trail!  Join the elves in preparing the tree decorations before Father Christmas arrives.

Every Friday and Saturday from 25th November to 17th December and then daily from 18th to 21st December, 4pm to 9:30pm.

Advanced booking is essential: Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum

Get your Skates on!

For those feeling more adventurous, why not put on your Christmas hat and gloves and take to the ice.  The Gateway Ice Rink is right on our doorstep offering ice skating from Nov 18th until January 3rd.  Book an hour skating slot, a private party of join in the fun at one of their events, plus there’s lots of great food and drink available for when you’ve finished.

Find out more here – Gateway Ice Rink.

 A Corinium Christmas!

The Corinium roman museum in Cirencester is running a series of Christmas events for the entire family this year, including a classic festive performance from The Royal Ballet of The Nutcracker on 8th December.

Or why not get the children crafting at a Mosaic Bird Tree Decoration workshop on Monday 19th December.

Check out what’s on – Corinium Events

Take in a Show!

What about the annual Christmas Panto?  A favourite with young and old alike!

Join in the fun at one of these great performances in the local area:

The True Adventures of Marian & Robbin Hood – Barn theatre Cirencester

Aladdin – Theatre Royal Bath

Beauty and the Beast – Wyvern Theatre in Swindon

Eat, Drink and be Merry at one of the Great local Pubs

celebrating in the Cotswolds


Whether it’s a Christmas party, a catch up with friends before the big day, or somewhere to go for Christmas lunch, there are some great local pubs offering tempting Christmas menus.  Here are just a few in the local area to tempt you:

– The Royal Oak in South Cerney – Christmas Menu

– The Bakers Arms in Somerford Keynes – Christmas Menu

– The White Hart in Ashton Keynes – Menu

– The White Hart in Cricklade – Dining Menu

– The Masons Arms in Meysey Hampton – Christmas 2022 Menu

– The Old Spotted Cow in Marston Meysey – Christmas Menu

Take a Break, Relax and Spend time with family and friends

Whatever your plans this festive season, it’s the perfect time to relax and enjoy time with family and friends.

Those spending time with us in one of our Cotswold holiday homes will, we know, be treated to peace and quiet, plenty of space, and stunning views to make the most of their Christmas break.

So cosy up in front of the log burner, have a dip in the hot tub or simply sit back and watch your favourite Christmas movie.

Christmas with Orion Holidays


And, if you feel like you need to burn off a few calories from all of the Christmas treats then there are some stunning walks around the Cotswold Water Park to enjoy.

Below are 3 of our top walks to enjoy and explore the area, all are flat and easy to get round so they are suitable for the whole family to enjoy:

The Thames Path Walk – This easy 4.5 mile circular walk takes you along the beautiful Thames riverbank before looping back through charming meadows and traditional Cotswold Villages.

The Cotswold Water Park Discovery Walk – This 4.5 mile walk takes you through the heart of the water park, taking in all its different lakes and features before finishing at the South Cerney Outdoor centre for a well-earned hot drink and snack in the cafe.

The Somerford Keynes Walk – Explore the stunning countryside surrounding this beautiful Cotswold village and take in some of the very best countryside close to the Water Park.

Need more Help with your Christmas activities?

You can find more information about places to walk in and around the water park in our Cotswold Water Park Walking Guide

Our interactive Guest Guide is also a great place to start.  It’s free to download and includes lots of information about things to do and places to visit in the area.  It’s also packed with discounts and offers for Orion guests.

And finally, if you are still unsure, all of our team live in the area and love to share information about their favourite places to visit, so just get in touch – they’d be happy to help.

Christmas in the cotswold water park

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