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8 things to do on a rainy day in The Cotswolds

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Don't let a downpour or forecast drizzle rain on your parade! Whilst known for its gorgeous countryside and storybook villages, a trip to The Cotswolds is just as special on a rainy day when getting outside and exploring isn’t as simple. From spending time in boutique shops set along idyllic high streets to decadent afternoon teas, historic experiences and a spot of culture and luxury, here are our recommendations on what you could get up to on a rainy day in The Cotswolds.

Boutique shopping in Burford

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The Famous high street of Burford runs down to the river Windrush where a three arched medieval bridge crosses the river. Both sides of the high street have an unbroken line of ancient houses and shops and within this perfect setting, Burford lies an assortment of antique shops just waiting to be explored.

If antiques aren’t quite your thing, as you wander towards the river you’ll find restaurants, pubs and tea rooms as well as an amazing selection of artisan shops including sweet treats crafted by Michelin-trained pastry chef Cindy Kosmala from Hugo Lovage Patisserie, delicious cheeses from the Cotswold Cheese Co, craft and book shops and finally, Reavley Chemist; England’s oldest pharmacy established in 1734 with its gorgeous display of Victorian apothecary cabinets.

Corinium Museum

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Located in the heart of Cirencester, the principle collection at the Corinium Museum consists of highly significant finds from the Roman town of Corinium, now known as Cirencester. Travel on a journey through time, as the museum charts the development of The Cotswolds from a pre-historic landscape to the modern day.

The galleries are visual, airy and interactive with mosaics, costumes, photographs and paper ephemera bringing the past to life. If you’re a history buff, the Corinium Museum offers workshops and practical demonstrations of ancient crafts so you can get involved. Plus there is a handbook full of puzzles and quizzes for little ones to complete as you explore the museum.

The Cotswold Brewing Company Tour

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Based in the picturesque Bourton-on-the-Water, The Cotswold Brewing Company was founded by Richard and Emma Keene whose aim was to have a brewery that would produce high quality British lager full of flavour. The introduction of their Premium lager paved the way to develop their range further and provide their customers with a wider choice.

During the tour the expert guides will take you through the brewhouse where you’ll try generous samples along the way while hearing about the origins of The Cotswold Brewing Co and learning how lager is brewed, a process that takes 6 weeks from start to finish to ensure the lager tastes great to the last drop.

Gloucester Warwickshire Steam Railway

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The GWR Honeybourne Line built between 1900 and 1906 was originally intended to improve transportation from the West as part of the GWR’s Cheltenham-Stratford-upon-Avon-Birmingham line. However today it's a volunteer-run heritage railway where steam and diesel trains run along a 13 mile stretch between Cheltenham Race course and Broadway.

The line passes idyllic views of quiet hamlets and villages and enjoys the sight of seasonal changes through The Cotswolds countryside towards Salters Hill, Sudeley Hill and Oxenton Hill in the Malverns to name a few. Plus you'll also spy impressive views of the fertile Vale of Evesham, known as the fruit and vegetable basket of England.

New Tivoli Cinema in Cheltenham

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If you’re yet to visit a cinema since rules have changed, make Tivoli Cinema your destination for an unforgettable cinema outing. A new venue for film enthusiasts, Tivoli cinema provides an unmatched cinematic experience, merging art-house with mouth-watering café and bar menus, all set within fabulously designed interiors.

All of their studios are fully-licensed and boast luxurious extra-wide sofas along with excellent sight and sound. If you’re after dinner and a show, order your food in advance and it will be served at your seat just in time for the film to start!

Bamford Wellness Spa

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Daylesford is a joyous day out in any weather, but we think a little rain calls for an extra special visit to the Bamford Wellness Spa. Housed in a high-ceilinged, expansive agricultural barn, the spa works with the building’s original features to complement its rural surroundings.

The Bamford Wellness Spa takes influence from eastern and western practices, combining the best of modern and ancient therapies. If you’re after a specific treatment, there are a wide range of holistic therapies from curated facial and body treatments to massage, acupressure and healing jade stones, all tailored to your specific needs. They have also recently extended the spa to include a gorgeous herbal steam room, crystal sauna and a wellness pool to deepen that luxurious experience for visitors to sit back and relax.

The Barn Theatre in Cirencester

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Take a trip to the theatre with the fabulous Barn Theatre in Cirencester. The Barn Theatre Project was established as a charity by Ian and Chrissie Carling with the aim of building a bold legacy in the arts for the community of Cirencester. Today, they are one of the leading producing house theatres in the country. With a mission to inspire people and demonstrate the crucial role professional theatre can play in improving the wellbeing of the community, seeing a production at the Barn Theatre is a truly special experience we’d recommend, whatever the weather!

This month sees the cast and crew take on the enigma of David Copperfield, a terrific theatrical roller-coaster. Explore what else is in the pipeline and what’s on over on their website.

Afternoon tea at The Slaughters Inn

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Owned by the Brownswood family and set in the picturesque Cotswold village of Lower Slaughter, the Slaughter Country Inn offers the authentic charm of a traditional village inn with delicious food made from only the best local produce.

The friendly and relaxed bar features rustic touches, with shelves lined with books and board games to enjoy in front of a roaring log fire. Afternoon tea can be served either on the terraces or in the lounge. The menu offers a variety of high tea options, from a simple cream tea to a delightfully decadent champagne afternoon tea to while away a perfect drizzly afternoon.

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