Sport is something which is very prominent in the Cotswolds. Vast countryside and rolling hills means sports such as walking, hiking, shooting and horse-riding are all very popular. With such a deep-rooted sporting pride, come many world-renowned sporting attractions.
Visitors from all over the world come to witness these amazing events, revelling in the picturesque beauty of the Cotswolds, the fine food, traditional pubs and luxury country hotels as well as being part of some remarkable and notable sporting events.
Here are the top six sporting attractions and events in the Cotswolds:
1. Cheltenham Racecourse – Cheltenham Racecourse is one of the biggest spectacles in the Cotswolds. The racecourse located in Prestbury Park has a scenic amphitheatre which is situated near Cleeve Hill. Cheltenham plays host to many racing events and days throughout the year, most notably the pinnacle of the horse racing calendar: The Festival in March where visitors from all over the world come to Cheltenham to watch 4 days of world-class racing.
2. Badminton Horse Trials – Another big day out for any horse-lover, Badminton Horse trials is one of the international 4 star CCI events. Taking place each year in early May, the 3 day event showcases the best worldwide talent in show jumping, dressage and cross country.
3. Cotswolds Water Park – The Cotswolds Water Park has more than 150 lakes spread over a picturesque landscape of 40 miles. With such a picturesque backdrop there is so much to explore and gives another side to the natural beauty of the Cotswolds. Whether its water sports, nature reserves or just a picnic, the Water Park has something to accommodate everyone’s needs.
4. Cheese Rolling – Probably one of the most unusual and established sporting events of the Cotswolds, Gloucester each year plays host to its national Cheese Rolling event. Rumoured to have been first coined in the 1800’s the event has been going on for many years. Spectators and participants come from far and wide to appreciate the best in Gloucester Cheese and Downhill Racing. Although the event is rolling a large block of Cheese down a hill, it proves to be the perfect day out for all the family – a true taste of what life is like living in the country!
5. Five Valleys Walk – In aid of the Meningitis Trust, this popular 21 mile circular route takes in some of Gloucestershire’s most spectacular and breath-taking scenery. On the 29th September, thousands of people take to the hills and walk for a good cause, enjoying the friendly atmosphere, fresh air and wonderful views. The walk is split into nine sections, and local coach company Stagecoach offer a free shuttle bus meaning you can walk as much or as little as you want.
6. Gatcombe Horse Trials – Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, the Gatcombe estate holds the prestigious Gatcombe Horse Trials every August. Welcoming international riders from all over the world, this event pulls huge crowds who enjoy the equestrian event, fabulous hospitality and diverse shopping. There’s something for everyone with this event and is a fun weekend for all the family.
John Hanna is the General Manager at Ellenborough Park. John has many years’ experience in the hotel industry, in the Cotswold and across the UK.