Cirencester Rocks

Family Friendly Walks in and around Cirencester

There’s nothing quite like a bit of fresh air to blow away the cobwebs and lift the spirits. We are very fortunate to have so many beautiful walks on our doorstep and further afield.

From picturesque Cotswold valleys and enchanting woods and lakes to parks and historic canal paths - and even a Roman amphitheatre – there are lots of great walks all the family will enjoy. You could even set off with a flask of hot chocolate or picnic and make it a family day out!

Close to home there are some easy walks through Cirencester’s parks which will also provide some great outdoor adventures and fun entertainment for little ones.

Here are our top picks:

Walks in Cirencester

Cirencester Park is open to the public daily from 8 am-5 pm. Originally laid out as a deer park in the 18th century by the first Earl Bathurst, this beautiful park can be accessed through the gates at Cecily Hill. You can download a walking guide to the park here.

The Abbey Grounds, situated behind Cirencester Parish Church, has a beautiful lake, trees and green spaces as well as a family-friendly play area – a tranquil escape for all ages right in the town centre!

St Michael’s Park has a number of different play areas and youngsters will love exploring this picturesque park which is within easy walking distance of the town centre. Dogs are not permitted.

Popular with families and dog walkers alike, Harebushes Wood (not far from the Abbey Grounds) is a hidden gem. This working wood looks stunning at all times of the year, particularly when the bluebells appear in the spring, and has a number of walks including a 1-mile circular walk which is great for families.

Just to the west of the town is the Roman Amphitheatre which is said to be one of the best-preserved in Britain. Stroll through the ancient amphitheatre and let little ones’ imaginations run wild as they experience some Roman history! You can also walk in nearby Querns Wood.

Walks in the surrounding areas

Spanning an area of over 40 square miles with 180 lakes, the Cotswold Water Park has an abundance of wildlife and wildflower meadows and some great circular walks in varying distances from 2km, many of which are well signposted.

The Cotswold Country Park & Beach is a great place for families to visit for walks around the lake. And if anyone gets tired, you can pop into the café for a well-earned hot drink and snack! Open throughout the winter months Wednesday to Sunday from 9 am-3 pm (the beach area is now closed but the children’s play parks, mini-golf and toilets are open). Parking costs £2. All water-based activities will reopen on 1st April.

Neigh Bridge Country Park has a peaceful man-made lake with the River Thames running alongside. Suitable for all the family, with plenty of parking, there is a pleasant walk around the lake which takes up to 40 minutes.

Nestled in the golden valley not far from Sapperton, Siccaridge Wood has a pretty circular walk from the Daneway Road and back again. This walk may not be suitable for buggies as there is a steep pathway but older children will enjoy ambling along part of the derelict Thames and Severn Canal and the River Frome.

There are some stunning walks along sections of the Thames & Severn Canal that are accessible to the public, and a number of shorter routes are accessible for families. Click here for more information about the walks.

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, situated 3 miles from Tetbury, is home to around 15,000 specimens and has 17 miles of accessible paths, including a treetop walkway, making it a great destination for family walks and adventures! The arboretum is open daily from 9 am-5 pm. Entrance is by advance booking only. Click here for parking information and prices.

Experience the beautiful countryside and woodland around Chedworth on the Chedworth Roman Villa walk, a moderate circular walk starting from the Roman Villa through Yanworth and Chedworth.

Head over to Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons for breathtaking walks with far-reaching views across the Stroud valleys and Severn estuary. The commons are maintained by the National Trust and are home to an abundance of wildflowers and wildlife including rare butterflies.

The 6-mile circular walk from Bibury to Coln St Aldwyns ambles through farmland and woodland and follows the winding River Coln. Take a break for refreshments in either village or stroll amongst the lanes and pretty honey-coloured Cotswold stone cottages.

There are several designated walks of varying lengths through the beautiful countryside around Miserden taking in woodland paths and a stunning lake.

For an easy stroll with little ones, the circular walk from Lower Slaughter to Upper Slaughter is a great option. Park in Lower Slaughter and follow the footpath alongside the mill, crossing fields and the river to make your way to Upper Slaughter. Then, retrace your steps back to Lower Slaughter.

Crickley Hill Country Park near Birdlip is jointly owned by the National Trust and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and was once thought to have been an Iron Age fort. The visitor car park is open daily from 9am-6pm and costs £2. The café is currently operating a takeaway service.

For more fantastic local parks and walks head over to our Parks and Walks section on Cirencester Rocks.