Cotswold Water Park

There can be few more appropriately named streets than the two we came across on a weekend away – Happy Land and Bow Wow.
The former, in the Wiltshire village of Ashton Keynes, overlooks a playground where our two children spent a (for want of a better word) happy half hour.
The latter is a pretty, quiet lane between a river and stream in the Gloucestershire village of South Cerney – which we found to be very popular with dog walkers.
Despite being in different counties, two settlements are only a couple of miles apart, and the two streets are typical of the charm that this part of the country exudes.
Both villages lie within Cotswold Water Park, an area of 150 lakes created from former quarries, split into eastern and western sections that are seven miles apart.

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CWP is paradise for water sports enthusiasts and thrill seekers, offering everything from water skiing, canoeing and paddle boarding, to windsurfing, sailing and kayaking.
While on dry land there’s a high ropes course, off-road driving, shooting, golf, horse riding, paintballing, bush craft, a man-made beach and miles of cycle paths.
We enjoyed a short break at Hoburne Cotswold.
Set around four lakes, it lies in the middle of the western section of CWP, between the aforementioned South Cerney and Ashton Keynes, 13 miles south of Cirencester.
There are about 450 caravans and lodges at Hoburne Cotswold, many with lake views, and despite our visit coinciding with the Easter school holidays the park never seemed busy.
It was easy finding a table close to the stage for the evening children’s entertainment featuring Sammy Seahorse, Larry Lobster, Tommy Turtle and the pirate Captain Smuggles.
And there was barely ever a queue for the snaking water flume (suitable for all ages) at the indoor pool complex, which also features a sauna, steam room and gym.
Other ways to keep the kids busy at Hoburne including playgrounds, soft play, crazy golf, tennis, archery, pedalos, kayaks, a nature trail and a daytime entertainment programme.

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For the summer season there’s a nice outdoor pool with views from the sun loungers across the largest lake.
Grown-ups can cast a rod in the well-stocked lakes and watch live acts after the kids’ shows have finished.
There are two on-site restaurants.
Our toasty, top of the range ‘Platinum’, three-bedroom caravan came with the luxury of free wifi.
I’ve stayed in many caravans and this one possibly topped the lot. Everything seemed very solidly built and it had a nice layout with sliding doors opening onto wrap around decking.
The shower was much bigger and better than you’ll find in most homes (certainly mine), the L-shaped sofa comfortably seated six and there was a smaller version around the dining table.
But with so much to see and do within Cotswold Water Park we were never likely to spend much time in the caravan.

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Five things to do

  • Pretty Ashton Keynes reputedly has more bridges across the Thames than London. A walk along the infant river’s banks up to the village’s ancient church is a nice way to spend sunny afternoon.
  • Neigh Bridge Country Park is good for children. The lovely circular walk around a lake features a natural obstacle course and there’s a play area for them to enjoy once you’ve completed the circuit.
  • Another circular walk around a lake starts from the Gateway Centre (the CWP visitor centre). Slightly longer, your reward for completing it is a cream tea overlooking the still waters.
  • Cotswold Sculpture Park features dozens of contemporary and abstract pieces displayed in a tranquil woodland setting. Visitors are greeted by a car balancing atop a tower of engine parts.
  • Jennie’s Kitchen is a homely cafe close to Hoburne Cotswold which specialises in vegan, vegetarian and gluten free delights. Grab an outdoor table to enjoy the beautiful gardens.

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Factfile

  • Hoburne Cotswold is part of the 106-year-old Hoburne group of eight holidays park in the south and south-west of England. As an example of prices, a four-night break starting Monday, June 10, 2019, costs from £239.20 (reduced from £299) for a family of four in a Standard two-bed caravan. To book visit www.hoburne.com or call 01425 689329
  • If you’re interested in becoming an owner, holiday homes are available from £29,995. Hoburne’s letting service includes marketing, bookings, housekeeping and maintenance, key handling, check in and customer care. Caravans / lodges can be let for just a few weeks or for the whole 48 week season. To find out more about holiday home ownership, call 01425 282367 or visit hoburne.com/ownership

Newspaper report here

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