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Fun for all the family 

It's going to be a scorcher! Make the most of your kids' summer holidays
 
Swindon Summer 2008
Bit of a cliché that one: 'Fun for all the family'.

Yes, it can be hugely entertaining having your face slapped in paint while you try desperately to supervise four out-of-control children hell bent on causing as much mayhem as possible.... but it's still not the sort of thing you want to do every day.

Then again, you won't get another chance to see your kids grow up, so here's a few ideas for making the most those precious family days out in the open air.
 
On the buses

Swindon bus
Getting around on the cheap
 
With petrol prices sky rocketing, it can be pretty expensive just getting to where you want to go even before you've paid to get in.

To help, Thamesdown Transport have introduced a summer dayrider special:
 
Unlimited travel on one day
 
One adult + up to 3 children (under 16) = £4.00
Two adults + up to 3 children (under 16) = £6.00
 

Down on the farm

Get down with the animals
 
With Swindon being surrounded by countryside, it's no surprise that one of the most popular locations for family on a day out is Roves Farm. You don't even need your wellies to enjoy it.
 
Roves Farm
Animals around every corner, plus tractor rides and a café...
Roves Farm - website

 
All creatures great and small
 
Take a walk on the wild side

Just up the road you'll also find some animals slightly more exotic than the usual.
 
Take a day to see the lions, tigers, zebras, elephants.... tortoises, parrots, fruit bats and more!
 
Cotswold Wildlife Park nr Swindon
COTSWOLD WILDLIFE PARK
Catch the animals at feeding time, jump around in the play area or take a train ride!
Cotswold Wildlife Park - website
 
A taste of the tropics
 
Take the family to Studley Grange Leisure Park where you'll find a fascinating range of the world's most beautiful butterflies.

It's the perfect answer to a family day out - take the grandparents with you, and they will be entertained all day at the craft centre.
 
Butterfly World Swindon
 
BUTTERFLY WORLD
You'll be fascinated by the beautiful butterflies, flying freely amongst tropical plants - not to be missed!
Studley Grange - website


Pedal Power

Two-wheel fun
 
Another advantage of living in Swindon (gosh, aren't they're so many!) is the chance to get out and have a nice, sedate bike ride round the towns and villages that surround the town. First you'll need to kit the family out on two wheels, though.
 
Mitchell Cycles
The bike people in Swindon, located just off the Magic Roundabout...
Mitchell Cycles - website
 
 
 
Wat'er life!

On the beach
 
Believe it or not, life really can be a beach in Swindon.
 
Swindon beach
Who needs Bournemouth:
sun seekers enjoying Swindon's beach
Located just a few miles down the road is the Cotswold Water Park, where there's so many activities on offer we can't possibly list them all here.

Plus, there's an actual man-made sandy shore to enjoy, as well.

Not quite Bondi, we admit, but pretty brilliant all the same when the sun's at its hottest.
 
Whether you're a young person or a parent just wanting a go, this summer you can go and try your hand at tridives, sailing, windsurfing and much more at Waterland.
 
Click on the link below for more details.
 
Waterland
Outdoor pursuits for everyone including holiday Adventure Zone activities...
Waterland - website
 

Pedalo Power
 
Pedolas Swindon
If you can't get the kids on to two wheels, what about suggesting the predalos at Coate Water?
 
Parents, you can sit back and let the little ones do all the hard work (for the first 20 yards anyway).
 
 
 
Wet 'n Wild
 
Go on, give them a thrill they won't forget in a hurry - ringo riding.
 
Doughnut riding in Swindon
Fun on the water:
'Ringos' and a 'Banana Boat' are available at the
Craig Cahoon Waterski School
 
 
 
Push the boat out
 
Picnics and boat rides in Lechlade, near Swindon
Picture perfect:
the river at Lechlade-on-Thames
Always a favourite during June, July and August (and any other day when it's baking) is the river at Lechlade-on-Thames.

There aren't many better places for taking a stroll, or just lying back and soaking up some rays while the swans and boats float by.
 
But why stop there? 
 
Hire yourself a boat for the day (or overnight if you're feeling adventurous) and take in the scenery at your own pace - you'll find loads of places to tie the ropes and take to land for a picnic!
 
COTSWOLD BOAT HIRE (Lechlade)
 
Operating from The Trout pub at Lechlade, Cotswold Boat Hire have every kind of boat imaginable - ready and waiting for a trip down The Thames.
 
Grab some friends, pack a picnic, and get down there!

 01793 727083
Cotswold Boat Hire Lechlade
 
Or take the easy way out and join a river cruise - you can relax while someone else does all the hard work!
 
And if something more relaxing is your cup of tea, why not take the kids on a cruise down the river in Lechlade? Then stop off at the Riverside for a drink.
 
Lechlade Swindon river cruise
Take a boat trip:
the Thames at Lechlade
 
 

Gone Fishin'

Dads. If it's sunny outside, why not take the boy(s) out for a spot of fishing in Swindon?
 
Trout Fishing Swindon
What a size!
there are some big fish
to fry in Swindon
Who cares if you catch anything or not. It'll be great fun to try.
 
Remember though: children under 12 don't require a rod license, but adults do at nearly all locations such as Coate Water and Stanton Park.
 
For those who really want to go for the big stuff, trout fishing at Lechlade is the place to be.
 

Pick your own
 
Put the kids to work
 
What an idea! Putting the kids to work! If you can stop them stuffing their faces with strawberries, this one really can be a good laugh. And at Lotmead Farm you can also watch the cows being milked at 2.45pm and 4.15pm at no charge!
 
Lotmead
Pick-your-own on this organic farm in Wanborough...
 
 
Around the houses
 
Take in a bit of history
 
Swindon has a whole number of stately homes and gardens nearby. All at their best during the summer months.
 
Well worth an afternoon out, we think. Who knows the kids might just learn something.
 
Buscot Park Swindon
Buscot Park
Grand Palladian style house and gardens just outside Lechlade
Buscot Park
 
 
 
 
On the track

Get the kids all revved up
 
The summer means the speedway season in Swindon. So why not take the kids down to the Abbey to watch the Robins?
 
Swindon Speedway
Swindon Speedway
Get the kids revved up at the Abbey Stadium...
 
 
On the buffers
 
Take a train ride

Swindon and Cricklade railway
All aboard!:
the Swindon and Cricklade
Railway
Take a trip back into a bygone era with a ride on the Swindon and Cricklade Railway, now in it's 30th year.
 
Open weekends and bank holidays, trains run between 11:00am and 4:00pm.
 
On 24 & 25 August, there's also a Children's Treasure Hunt, with Tubby the Talking Engine making an appearance on 19 & 20 July.
 
 
 
Mini swing
 
Pitch 'n Putt in Swindon
 
Swindon pitch and putt
Start 'em early:
pitch and putt
You don't need to be Tiger Woods to enjoy a fun game of golf in Swindon.
 
There are 2 great pitch and putt courses to try - one at Coate Water, the other in Highworth.

Both offer a simple course (the Coate Water one over 18 holes) where beginners of all ages can have a go without fear of embarrassing themselves.
 
 
 
Grand Days Out
 
Festivals, comedy and more...

Don't forget our other section on 'Big Events' in and around this summer, nearly all ideal for families. See link below.
 
Still in a panic? - don't worry!
 
If a trip up the river, or a game of golf doesn't inspire you, then don't worry.
 
We've loads more ideas of things to do with the kids in our sections on 'Holiday Activities' and 'Rainy Days' below including museums, cinema and plenty more.
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