Cottages in Longborough, a typical village in The Cotswolds

7 Unusual Things To Do In The Cotswolds

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The Cotswolds has so much to offer that you are never going to run short of things to do. However, whether you are new to the area or want to explore more of your local region, today we thought we would bring you some activities that are less written about. Here is our roundup of seven unusual things to do in the Cotswolds.

7 Unusual Things to Do in The Cotswolds

Exploring Ship Graveyards

The first of our seven unusual things to do in the Cotswolds is to take a trip to Purton Hulks. Purton Hulks is a historic site located along the banks of the River Severn. The area is known for a unique and striking collection of old vessels that have been deliberately beached along the riverbank to prevent erosion.

The Purton Hulks are a fascinating display of maritime history, with the remains of over 80 barges, trows, and schooners forming a makeshift barrier against the powerful currents of the river. These vessels were intentionally grounded in the early to mid-20th century as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly method of protecting the riverbank from erosion.

Over the years, the Purton Hulks have become an iconic and atmospheric landmark, attracting visitors who are intrigued by the haunting beauty of the decaying ships and the stories they represent. The site serves as a poignant reminder of the region’s industrial past and the important role that river transport played in the area’s development.

Today, the Purton Hulks stand as a unique testament to human ingenuity and the enduring connection between mankind and the sea. The site is a popular destination for history enthusiasts, photographers, and anyone with an interest in exploring the remnants of a bygone era.

Design Your Own Fragrance

women enjoying the scent from perfume bottles

The Cotswold Perfumery is a delightful haven for fragrance enthusiasts. Nestled in the picturesque Cotswold countryside, this family-owned perfumery has been crafting exquisite scents since 1966, combining traditional methods with modern innovation. As you step inside, you are greeted by the captivating aromas of their signature blends, creating an immersive experience for all the senses.

Their website offers a virtual tour of the perfumery, allowing visitors to explore the enchanting world of fragrance creation from the comfort of their own homes. From the history of perfumery to the art of blending essential oils, the website provides a wealth of information for both budding perfumers and curious enthusiasts.

The online store showcases a diverse range of perfumes, colognes, and fragrances, each meticulously crafted to perfection. Whether you prefer floral, woody, or spicy scents, there is something to suit every preference. Additionally, they also offer a selection of luxurious bath and body products, as well as home fragrances, allowing you to indulge in the Cotswold Perfumery experience throughout your daily routine.

Furthermore, the website offers insights into the bespoke perfume-making process, inviting customers to create their own custom fragrance under the expert guidance of the perfumery’s master craftsmen. This personalized service ensures that every customer leaves with a unique and truly special scent.

The Pudding Club Extravaganza

Embark on a culinary adventure steeped in tradition with a visit to The Pudding Club, a celebration of the Great British Pudding. Nestled in the quaint village of Mickleton at the Three Ways House Hotel, this distinctive gathering reveres the classic British dessert in a weekly ceremonial feast. Since its inception in 1985, The Pudding Club has been a testament to British gastronomy, showcasing a spread of sweet treasures that have been enjoyed for generations.

Experts curate a selection of seven distinctive puddings each week, giving you a taste of Britain’s heritage through delightful dishes like Spotted Dick, Eton Mess, and Sticky Toffee Pudding. The indulgent experience not only tickles the taste buds but also pays homage to the long-standing culinary customs of the region.

You’re invited to immerse yourself in this charming event, a feast that unites food aficionados and travelers in the shared joy of dessert decadence. Participating in The Pudding Club’s jovial gatherings offers a unique lens through which to appreciate the cultural significance and enduring popularity of these iconic treats.

Mechanical Music Museum

close up of a piano interior

This museum offers a peculiar yet enthralling adventure where you encounter an assortment of self-playing musical instruments—a theatre of sound without performers. From orchestrions that replicate an entire orchestra, to the dulcet tones of player pianos, and the intricate craftsmanship of music boxes, each piece in the collection has a unique story to accompany its melody.

As you wander through the exhibit, the air comes alive with the tunes of bygone eras, each instrument awakening with automation to perform its repertoire. Visitors of all ages can experience the wonder of a piano keyboard’s dance without human touch or the mechanical ballet of a nickelodeon’s inner workings. It’s a symphony of mechanical innovation, reflecting the marvels of past technology tailored to charm and surprise you.

Captivated by their complexity, you find yourself contemplating the meticulous engineering that predates our digital age. Listen closely as you are transported back in time, where each note played is a thread in the rich tapestry of musical history. The Mechanical Music Museum is not just an exhibition, but a performance that resonates with the curious spirit of its guests.

Ghostly Encounters and Tours

The Cotswolds, steeped in history and mystery, tempt those with a penchant for the paranormal through ghost tours that weave through shadowy streets and age-old structures. History buffs and adrenaline junkies alike flock to these tours for an evening of eerie exploration. Local lore is brought to life by guides whose narratives are rich with details of spectral sightings and legends of lost souls.

Each footstep on the cobblestone paths may echo with the whispers of the past, as participants are regaled with spine-tingling stories of ghostly encounters. Well-researched and narrated, these tours shine a lantern’s light on the dark corners of the Cotswolds’ heritage. Renowned haunted locations form the backdrop for tales that have withstood the test of time and continue to unsettle even the boldest of visitors.

This blend of historical fact and chilling folklore offers a unique perspective of the Cotswolds. It’s an activity that daringly steps away from the usual tourist trails, inviting guests to consider what might lurk in the mists of this quintessentially English landscape when night falls. It’s an enticement to experience the Cotswolds under a different, perhaps more supernatural, guise.

Bourton-on-the-Water’s Mini World

Step through a tiny time portal to 1936 at Bourton-on-the-Water’s model village, a charming slice of Cotswolds history crafted at one-ninth its actual size. This meticulous recreation captures the essence of a bygone era and was a filming location for the Father Brown episode The Winds of Change.

As the first of its kind to grace Google Streetview, visitors can explore its quaint lanes and stone-clad cottages both in person and virtually. You’ll wander among the miniature trees and babbling brook that mimics the River Windrush, feeling like a gentle giant in a world preserved in miniature perfection. It’s an enchanting experience that unites the joy of exploration with the wonder of history, all within the peaceful confines of this exquisite model village.

Solve the Dragonfly Maze

The last of our seven unusual things to do in the Cotswolds is to embark on a captivating journey through the Dragonfly Maze. This maze is a distinctive blend of hedge labyrinth and interactive game nestled in the heart of the Cotswolds. Visitors are handed a clue card upon entering, marking the beginning of a beguiling pursuit. As you navigate the twisting turns and dead ends, you’ll uncover riddles along the way. Each puzzle piece you collect builds towards the grand revelation, leading you to the maze’s final enigma: the location of the elusive dragonfly.

Not only does this adventure challenge your problem-solving skills, it invites a sense of play and discovery amid the natural beauty of trimmed hedges. Whether you’re a puzzle enthusiast or merely seeking a novel outdoor activity, the Dragonfly Maze promises an enchanting experience. So, ready your mind and sharpen your intuition, for this delightful hedge maze game awaits to test your deductive prowess.

Quaint Meets Quirky

The Cotswolds are known for their classic charm and beautiful scenery, offering a mix of traditional countryside views and quirky attractions. Visitors are encouraged to explore beyond the typical tourist spots and discover unique experiences like perfume making, British dessert tastings, and ghost tours. Embracing both the quaint and the unusual can make your trip truly memorable, blending classic nostalgia with intriguing novelty.

Your Thoughts and Revelations

We hope you have enjoyed these seven unusual things to do in the Cotswolds. Now we invite you to contribute your unique experiences and discoveries. Did you stumble upon an off-the-beaten-path gem? Perhaps a strange festival or an unsung museum? Share your tales and insights on those special spots that might not be widely known but certainly deserve a moment in the spotlight.

Head to our free Facebook group and tell us about them. Let’s delve deeper into the quirks and charms of the Cotswolds together, constructing a tapestry of peculiar treasures that await the adventurous traveler.

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