Sixteen Covid-safe activities for a summer staycation

Published: Thursday, 13 August, 2020

Whether your holiday abroad has been cancelled and you’re looking for ideas to fill your time, or you want to try something new at the weekend, try our selection of budget and family friendly day trips. You’re never far from something amazing in Glorious Gloucestershire.


Enjoy exclusive access to the Museum in the Park’s Walled Garden

You can have the Museum in the Park’s Walled Garden all to yourself and up to 5 friends or relatives until Sunday 23 August. Wander around the accessible grounds, follow the i-spy trail or just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet in a garden in the height of its summer splendour. You’ll have access to the Museum shop too. To book your visit: :

Be Covid safe: Please adhere to current government guidelines when you choose who to visit with.


Walk, cycle or run along the canal towpath

There are miles of beautiful canal towpaths to explore. Most of the route between Eastington and Brimscombe is flat and accessible, making it ideal for pushchairs, wheelchairs and bikes, as well as runners or those wanting a gentler stroll. The `Discovering Britain’ website has an excellent guided walk and audio trail from Wallbridge in Stroud to the Ocean in Stonehouse; when you follow it you’ll pass St Cyr’s Church, possibly the most photographed spot along the Cotswold Canals Connected route.

Refreshments are available in a number of places along the canal route including Kitsch at Ebley and the Falafal Pod near Blunder lock, Stonehouse.

Be Covid safe: Please keep your distance when passing others – there are plenty of wider places to pass along the whole route. Make sure you keep 2 metres apart from others when queuing for food.


Enjoy stunning views from Selsley Common

Take a picnic, fly a kite, walk part of the Cotswold Way, watch the paragliders or spot the stone dinosaurs in the quarry. If you enter via a gate please ensure it closes properly behind you, beware of cows, ensure dogs are under control and please remember to take all rubbish home with you. There’s more information at There’s usually an ice cream van on Selsley Common, or walk to the Winstones ice cream shop on Rodborough Common.

Be Covid-safe: Make sure you keep 2 metres apart from others in the ice cream queue.



Find hidden treasure

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt that uses a free app on your phone to help you find a hidden box of treasure. Each box is different, but expect to find a log book for you to leave a message in and small items – take one and leave one for others to find after you. There are hundreds of treasure boxes hidden in the Stroud district and it’s a great excuse to get outdoors and discover somewhere new. Find more information at

Be Covid-safe: take hand sanitiser with you and encourage children to wash their hands before and after trips out, especially if handling found `treasure’.



Get fit and take positive steps to improve your mental health

A government campaign is underway to encourage adults to get fit and reduce their risk of serious illness, including Covid-19. To help kick start your route to fitness the gyms, exercise classes and indoor pools are open at both Stratford Park leisure centre in Stroud and The Pulse in Dursley. You’ll need to book in advance, find more information at and

Be Covid-safe: book your session online, and while you’re there be sure to follow the safety guidance. Don’t attend if you have Covid-19 symptoms.


Support local businesses & shop local

Shops and high street businesses are now open for business and many local cafes and restaurants have signed up to the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme which makes a summer treat more affordable. Why not help boost the local economy by joining our Shop Local campaign? Simply tag your purchases and where you bought them on social media.

Be Covid-safe: Wear a face covering, use hand sanitizer provided and follow the social distancing guidance in shops which will be clearly marked.


Enjoy all 56 acres of Stratford Park

There’s plenty to see and do at Stratford Park in Stroud which boasts a large children’s play area, sensory garden, woodland area, stream, lake, and plenty of places to sit and enjoy the views. Children love feeding the ducks in the lake, but no bread please as it’s not good for them and pollutes the lake. Take bird feed, lettuce or oats instead.

Be Covid-safe: encourage children to keep their distance from others in the play park, and to wash their hands before and after their visit.


Browse the stalls at a farmers’ market

Browse stalls where everything on sale has been grown or produced locally – a great way to teach children about seasonal food. There are farmers’ markets in Stroud (every Saturday), Nailsworth (every fourth Saturday) and Dursley (every second Saturday), as well as the Shambles Market in Stroud (every Friday and Saturday). The recent closure of London Road in Stroud means there’s more room for stalls to be spaced out and there are social distancing guidelines in place at all.

If you can’t make it to a farmers’ market, then you’ll get a similar experience at one of the many farm shops in the district, or wander round the new Borough market-style stalls in Stroud’s Five Valleys Shopping Centre.

Be Covid-safe: Wear a face covering in shops, use hand sanitizer provided and follow the social distancing guidance.


Go camping

If your holiday has been cancelled, why not book a camping trip? You don’t need to venture far from home and even camping in your own garden would be an adventure, (especially if you need to self-isolate). You’ll have the benefit of being able to go indoors if it rains, too.

Be covid-safe: do your research as not all campsites will be open, and follow safety procedures when you’re there. Don’t book if you have Covid-19 symptoms.



Gaze at a ships graveyard

The Purton Hulks is the largest collection of boat wrecks in maritime Britain. The boats were intentionally beached in an attempt to protect the banks of the River Severn from erosion. Each barge has a plaque indicating its name, build date and the date it was abandoned. There’s parking just off the mini roundabout in Purton. For more information, see

Be Covid-safe: Keep a safe distance from other people.


Be wowed by the Gothic splendour of Woodchester Mansion

You can now book a self-guided tour in the Grade I listed `unfinished’ Woodchester Mansion. Tickets are limited to ensure you’ll have plenty of room from others. Enjoy a take away drink and snack from the café on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (check the website for details). You’ll need to pay to park in the National Trust-owned car park and pay for the Mansion separately. More information from

Be Covid-safe: book in advance, and follow the safety guidance in place.


Follow a woodland play trail

The National Trust-owned Woodchester Park has lakes that are home to giant carp and an outdoor woodland play trail. It’s free to walk around, but there’s a charge for parking (free for NT members). Please don’t swim in the lake – there are hidden dangers and no phone signal if anyone gets into difficulties.

Be Covid-safe: encourage children to keep their distance from others, and to wash their hands before and after their visit.


Cycle along a path made from recycled tyres

A section of the Stroud to Nailsworth pathway was re-laid last Autumn using more than 8,000 recycled tyres, creating a traffic-free smooth surface that’s ideal for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. If your destination is Nailsworth, you’ll find plenty of places open for refreshment and shopping.

Be Covid-safe: keep your distance when passing others along the route and wear a face covering in shops.


Follow a sculpture trail

The artwork at Dursley Sculpture and Play Trail in Twinberrow Woods has been created by local community groups. It’s free, and open access to visit any time.

Be Covid-safe: encourage children to keep their distance from others, and to wash their hands before and after their visit.


Wander around Wotton

The Cotswold Way runs right through the centre of Wotton-under-Edge, a bustling town in the south of the district. Walk to Wotton Hill which has spectacular views across the River Severn, or to the striking 111 foot Tyndale Monument in nearby North Nibley which was built to commemorate local hero William Tyndale, the martyred 16th century Bible translator (note the Tyndale monument is currently closed). Find seven circular walks that start in Wotton here

Be Covid-safe: Wear a face covering in shops, use hand sanitizer provided and follow the social distancing guidance.


Explore Glorious Gloucestershire further afield

There are so many day trips within striking distance of the Stroud district that you’ll never run out of things to do. Why not explore something new in Glorious Gloucestershire?

Try Gloucester for the cathedral & Harry Potter trail, museums, the docks, shopping

Cheltenham for art galleries, outdoor lido, parks, shopping

Forest of Dean for walks, bike trails, picnics, sculpture trail, steam train, camp sites

Cirencester for Roman museum, parks, an outdoor lido, water parks, shopping

The Cotswolds for unspoilt villages full of quintessential English charm, country parks & gardens

Be Covid-safe on public transport: There are limited seats on public transport to allow for social distancing so plan your journey in advance, follow the safety guidance and wear face coverings on public transport and inside stations.


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