Where you can indulge your love of water in the Cotswolds

Anyone who has experienced the M5 on a summer Friday evening will know all about the attractions of a weekend trip to the Devon or Cornish coast.

For us in Gloucestershire, although we have the most beautiful countryside around us, the one thing we don’t have – and are quite a distance from – is the seaside.

But is it really necessary to come all this way and endure the miles of traffic jams to satisfy your love of the water’s edge?

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Just a few kilometers from the A417, you can immerse yourself in a whole landscape of water as far as the eye can see, punctuated by kilometers and kilometers of gentle rolling countryside.

The Cotswold Water Park has 180 amazing lakes spread over 40 miles, where you can indulge in every whim and water activity, from paddle boarding and sailing to swimming, kayaking and everything in between.

As summer finally begins to warm up, we take a look at some of the lakes and businesses that provide fun and games for the whole family.

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Kayaking at South Cerney Outdoor

Outdoor Cerney South

Spine Road, South Cerney

If you have kids, chances are you’ve visited the South Cerney Outdoor on Lake 12 for one activity or another. Here, on 47 acres of crystal clear water, a plethora of water-based family activities are offered including sailing, canoeing, paddleboarding, boat hire and lessons. There is also a cafe and many walks in the surrounding woods, as well as plenty of wildlife.



The AquaVenture at the Cotswold Country Park and Beach
The AquaVenture at the Cotswold Country Park and Beach

Cotswolds National Park and Beach

Spratsgate Lane, Shorncote

The water is fine, but what about the beaches? Fear not, this lake has soft sand beaches as well as water for paddling and is a paradise for families on sunny summer weekends and school holidays. There is a safe swimming lagoon, as well as picnic areas, barbecue spot rentals, kayaking and other water sports. There’s a cafe and a beach hut with great food, including wood-fired pizzas and ice cream. And to top it off, there’s a Total Wipeout-inspired inflatable adventure course for all ages.



Wakeboarding at Lakeside Ski and Wake
Wakeboarding at Lakeside Ski and Wake

Ski and Wake by the lake

Spring Lake, Station Road, South of Cerney

A great place for high-octane water sports, where you can water ski, take a breathtaking ride on thrilling inflatable rides, or learn to wakeboard. The Lakeside Restaurant offers an extensive menu of treats once you’ve finished recharging your batteries, where you watch others on the water from the sun deck or beer garden.



Open water swimming at Lake 32 Outdoor Center
Open water swimming at Lake 32 Outdoor Center

Lake 32 Cotswold Outdoor Center

Spratsgate Lane, Shorncote

A magnificent lake surrounded by woods where you can indulge in controlled wild swimming to be sure of your safety. There is also paddle boarding and other water sports as well as team building events and archery.



Paddle at Lake 86
Paddle at Lake 86

Cotswold Waterpark Hire

Lake 86, Spine Road, South Cerney

Located next to the Gateway Café, where you will find lots of information about the water park, it is the perfect place to rent paddle boards, single and tandem kayaks and rafts, to have fun with your friends or the whole family. family.

Lakes Water Ski School

Waterhay, Leigh

An outdoor adventure paradise for families, set in scenic surroundings. Try the inflatable rides, waterskiing, wakeboarding, wake surfing, stand-up paddleboarding and more, or have someone else show you the ropes with one of the coaching sessions.



Angling at the South Cerney Angling Club
Angling at the South Cerney Angling Club

South Cerney Fishing Club

Broadway Lane, South Cerney

Fishing enthusiasts can cast a line or two at this succession of five lakes, all offering fabulous fishing for pleasure or specialist anglers from dawn to dusk, with tickets available on the banks.



Shooting zombies on the Cotswold lakes
Shooting zombies on the Cotswold lakes

Shooting zombies

Cirencester Road, Down Ampney

OK, that’s something a little different and not to everyone’s taste, but if you fancy taking the stress off you can lock and load, using the long-range paintball guns. scope to shoot at zombie targets hidden in the undergrowth. Ouch!

Canoe hire in the Cotswolds

Park End Wharf, Lechlade

Whichever mode of river transport you choose, here you can hire kayaks, canoes and pedal boats on the Thames from half an hour to a whole week. They even host bachelor and hen parties – brave souls.

Hoburne Cotswold

Broadway Lane, South Cerney

If you like camping then this is the place for you, with its range of caravans and lakeside lodges or bring your own tent and make a weekend of it. They offer pools, restaurants, and shows, while being right in the middle of the lakes.

Watermark Holidays Summer Lake

Cerney Wick Lane, South Cerney

For those looking to go a little more upscale, check out the New England-inspired clapboard vacation homes on Summer Lake, available to rent for a self-catering vacation with the water at the bottom of your lanai. It is ideal for a family getaway, a special celebration, a romantic weekend or just a luxurious treat.

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