Are you visiting the Lower and Upper Slaughter Cotswolds as part of your family trip to England? Then you’ll want to read this guide on all the things to do in lower Slaughter and all the things to do in Upper Slaughter with kids!
Though some of the smallest villages in the Cotswolds, Upper and Lower Slaughter are among the most beautiful and should definitely not be missed during your trip to the area. These picture postcard villages are perfectly placed along the River Eye and will have the kids thinking they’ve stepped into a real life fairytale land.
While the name of these villages may have you cringing, the name actually comes from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘Slohtre’, meaning ‘Marshy place’ or ‘Muddy place’ (a cognate with ‘slough’).
These villages have been virtually unchanged for more than a century, but rest assured, they are not a muddy mess. Instead, they are scenic and beautiful villages to visit on your trek around the Cotswolds.
To help you make the most of your time exploring, this Lower and Upper Slaughter things to do guide will provide all the information regarding the things to do and see in the villages. The guide also covers the best places to visit nearby.
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Things to do in Lower and Upper Slaughter, Cotswolds Map
To help you plan your time in the villages, check out the map below, which shows the location of everything to do and see.
You can zoom in and out for a better view.
Things to do in Lower Slaughter with kids
Below we list the very best things to do and places to visit in Lower Slaughter for families.
Visit the Old Mill Museum, Gift Shop and Ice Cream Parlour
The Old Mill Museum is located in the village and is one of the most popular attractions. This old mill has been in this location as far back as the Doomsday book!
This museum features exhibits on the village’s history and showcases the mill’s importance in the area. There are displays about the history of bread making and you can see the inner workings of the mill machinery.
As well as the museum, there is a gift shop on site and most importantly for the kids – an ice cream parlour!
Location: Mill Lane, Lower Slaughter
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 10 am to 5 pm | Closed Monday – Tuesday
Visit The Slaughter Manor House
Part of a luxurious 5 star hotel estate, Lower Slaughter Manor Gardens is a beautiful garden in the heart of the village.
The five-acre garden features a variety of plants and flowers, nature trails, and a picturesque river. Family picnics and games are encouraged and games such as croquet, tennis and boules are freely available.
The onsite restaurant has a children’s menu, plus family picnic hampers are available.
Location: Copsehill Road, Lower Slaughter
Hours: Every day from dawn till dusk
Stroll Down Copsehill Road
Lower Slaughter is a quintessential Cotswold village with many flower adorned stone cottages and picturesque bridges. Take a leisurely walk through the village and admire the architecture and quaintness of the area, which has not experienced any new buildings for over 100 years!
A stroll along Copsehill Road Lower Slaughter is one of the best roads to experience this gorgeous village as it winds through and around the entire village. Look out for the 19th century village hall, which regularly hosts exhibitions.
Visit the Church of St. Mary
Dating back to the 13th century, the Church of St. Mary stands impressively in the Cotwold Lower Slaughter village. It is built with attractive creamy yellow Cotswold stone and features stunning stained glass windows.
Location: Copsehill Road, Lower Slaughter
Hours: Every day from dawn till dusk.
Walk along the River Eye
The River Eye flows through Lower Slaughter and offers a picturesque village view. Take a stroll along the riverbank and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.
This is the perfect spot to get the kids to pose for some photographs!
Take the Lower Slaughter to Upper Slaughter Walk
Many walking trails around Lower Slaughter offer breathtaking views of the Cotswold countryside. One popular route is the short walk from Lower Slaughter to Upper Slaughter.
The walk runs for one mile alongside the River Eye and takes around 25 minutes to walk between Upper and Lower Slaughter. The path is well marked, easy to follow, and starts near The Old Mill.
It follows the river, crosses a field and then crosses a stone footbridge, after which you will arrive at Upper Slaughter.
Walk from Bourton on the Water to Lower Slaughter
You can extend your walk by continuing to neighbouring Bourton on the Water. The Bourton on the Water to Lower Slaughter walk is 1.5 miles long and will only take 35 minutes to complete each way.
Things to do in Upper Slaughter with kids
Below we list the very best things to do and places to visit in Upper Slaughter for families.
Explore the village
Upper Slaughter is a picturesque village with several traditional Cotswold stone houses and buildings. Enjoy walks around Upper Slaughter and admire the architecture and beauty of the village.
Visit St. Peter’s Upper Slaughter Church
St. Peter’s Church Upper Slaughter dates back to the 12th century. The mediaeval church is located in the heart of the village and is well worth visiting. Don’t miss the ornate carved Saxon stonework on the church’s tower archway.
Location: The Square, Upper Slaughter
Hours: Every day from dawn till dusk
Take a walk along the River Eye
The River Eye runs through Upper Slaughter and is a beautiful spot for a walk. Stroll along the river (you can follow the marked Upper to Lower Slaughter walk if you wish) and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Afternoon tea at Lords of the Manor
The Lords of the Manor Upper Slaughter is the most luxurious Upper Slaughter hotel and one of the best hotels in the Cotswolds. It is best known for its gorgeous 8 acre gardens and its outstanding cuisine.
Enjoy a fantastic afternoon tea at the hotel for an indulgent family treat. You can dine in the historic lounge or – if the weather is good enough – on the hotel’s manicured lawns. You will get four finger sandwiches, two scones with jam and cream, plus a selection of cakes and tea or coffee.
If you don’t have the time or budget for a full afternoon tea, an alternative is a lighter, cheaper cream tea. Pre booking for both options is essential.
Location: Upper Slaughter
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 12 pm to 4 pm | Sunday, 3 pm to 4 pm
Prices: £29.50 per person (or £39.50 including a glass of champagne).
Take the Upper to Lower Slaughter Walk
As mentioned above, to walk from Upper to Lower Slaughter is an easy, scenic 25 minute walk. In Upper Slaughter, the walk starts near the village square.
Walk from Bourton on the Water to Upper Slaughter
As mentioned, you can extend your walk between the two villages to include nearby Bourton on the Water.
You can enjoy a linear path of 1.5 miles each way which will take around 35 minutes in each direction. Alternatively, there is a longer circular walk, which is 9.2 kilometres and will take approximately 2.5 – 3 hours.
Things to do near Lower Slaughter and Upper Slaughter with kids
As well as the places to visit in the villages, if you have your own vehicle, there are many things to do near Lower Slaughter and Upper Slaughter that you may want to consider visiting.
Cogges Manor Farm
Cogges Manor Farm is a historic farm and museum in Witney, about a 35 minute drive from Upper and Lower Slaughter. The farm is set around a 13th-century manor house and is surrounded by a working farm, gardens, and woodland.
The most popular activity for the kids is meeting the farm animals, including goats, sheep, pigs, chickens and ducks. Kids can also talk to the volunteers that care for the animals to learn more about them.
You can also visit the Manor house, where you can learn about its history and the various families that once lived there – some of which date back 1000 years. The house has rooms furnished in different historical styles, giving you a sense of what life must have been like at different times.
Families are also encouraged to explore the extensive 17 acre gardens and there is a playground for young children. There is also a family friendly cafe on site serving lunch and snacks.
Location: Cogges Manor Farm, Church Lane, Witney
Hours: Daily 9.30 am to 4.30 pm – although opening times are seasonal, so best to check before arriving
Price: Adults £9 | Child £6 (3-16) | Kids under 3 free | Family Pass (2A+3C) £28
Blenheim Palace is one of the best places of interest near Upper and Lower Slaughter. This historic country house is in Woodstock, a 45 minute drive from Upper Slaughter. It is an excellent full day out attraction for families with various activities for the kids to enjoy.
Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is best known as the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill. It was built in the early 18th century as a gift from Queen Anne to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, in recognition of his military victories over the French.
The palace has 2,000 acres of parkland and formal gardens and is surrounded by a lake. It is considered one of the finest examples of English Baroque architecture and is known for its grand interiors and impressive art collection.
A tour of the palace is a must, as kids will learn about the palace’s history as well as how people lived in the past. Families can also take a long walk wandering through the 150 acres of formal gardens, including the Lavender Garden, the Secret Garden, the Water Terrace and most importantly for kids – the Walled Garden.
The Pleasure Garden has a Butterfly House, maze and playground to explore and enjoy. Other activities include hiring a rowing boat and taking a ride on the miniature train.
There is a family friendly cafe, shop and toilets.
Location: Woodstock OX20 1PP
Hours: Seasonal opening hours apply to the different attractions, so check before visiting
Price: Adults £43 | Child £28 (3-16) | Kids under 3 free | Family Pass (2A+2C) £98
Cotswold Farm Park
Cotswold Farm Park is just a short 12 minute drive from Upper and Lower Slaughter. This working farm attraction is home to animals such as cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens. It’s a great place to take the kids so they can learn about farm life and the animals that live there.
The popular family attraction was founded by farmer and BBC television presenter Adam Henson and is known for its commitment to conservation and sustainability. The farm is home to a range of rare and endangered breeds of farm animals, which families can learn about during their visit.
The kids will love meeting the farm animals at the Animal Barn and the Discovery Barn. The Discovery Barn is home to the farm’s smallest animals, such as baby chickens, guinea pigs, piglets and more. Grab some snacks and check out the rare breeds in the paddocks.
The Adventure Barn has a huge indoor sandpit, a soft play area, ride on toys and a cafe so parents can take a break whilst watching the kids play. Other play areas include an outdoor playground, a muddy kitchen and bouncy pillows.
Location: Guiting Power, Cheltenham
Hours: Daily 9.30 am to 3 pm – although opening times are seasonal, so check before travelling
Price: Adults £12.50 | Child £12 (4-15) | Child £7.5 (2-3) | Kids under 2 free
Sudeley Castle is 20 minutes by car from Upper and Lower Slaughter and is another fabulous attraction in the Cotswold to take the kids. The castle dates back to the 10th century and offers a range of activities and attractions for families.
The Castle has served as a royal palace, a fortification, and a private residence and has links to some of the most famous English monarchs, including Edward IV, Richard III, Henry VIII, Lady Jane Grey, Katherine Parr, Elizabeth I and Charles I.
You can tour the castle’s fascinating west wing, home to several fully furnished rooms and special exhibitions.
Families are also encouraged to explore the castle’s 10 award winning gardens which include a playground for the kids. Other interesting places to explore include St Mary’s Church, where Katherine Parr (the last wife of Henry VIII) is buried.
Location: Sudeley Castle & Gardens GL54 5LP
Hours: Daily 11 am to 4 pm from Spring to October
Price: Adults £19.50 | Child £8.75 (3-15) | Kids under 3 are free | Family Pass (2A+2C) £48
Broadway Tower is a castle-like folly built in the 18th century as a summerhouse for the Earl of Coventry. It is set within a large estate surrounded by beautiful gardens and parkland and is just a 25 minute drive from Upper and Lower Slaughter.
Families visiting the tower will explore a range of historic rooms and exhibits with the help of a multimedia guide. You’ll learn about the daily life of the people that once lived and worked at the tower and from the top of the tower, you’ll enjoy stunning views across the countryside.
A Cold War bunker is also on the grounds, buried fifteen feet underground. On certain days you can take a 45 minute guided tour into the bunker, restored to what it would have been during the 1980s. Only children 10+ are allowed into the bunker.
There is a cafe on site for lunch and snacks.
Location: Middle Hill, Broadway WR12 7LB
Hours: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm – though seasonal opening hours apply, so check before visiting
Price: Adults £5 | Child £3 (10-14) | Kids under 10 free | Family Pass (2A+2C) £14
The imposing and impressive Warwick Castle is a mediaeval era castle built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror. The castle has served as a royal palace, a fortification, and a private residence. Warwick Castle is a 45 minute drive from Upper and Lower Slaughter and is one of this areas must visit attractions.
There is a range of activities, tours and shows to see at the castle – so I recommend making a plan as soon as you arrive so you don’t miss out on anything.
Take a guided or independent tour of the castle, including interactive exhibits, so you’ll learn what life was like in mediaeval times. Then, walk along the castle’s defensive walls and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area.
There are frequent shows and demonstrations throughout the day so the kids can learn about different mediaeval activities. For example, you can see birds of prey demonstrations, bowman shows, watch catapults in action and live performances where costumed actors bring mediaeval stories to life.
There is also a maze and a fantastic outdoor adventure playground for the young ones. There is parking, a cafe and toilets on site.
No matter how old your kids are, there really is something for everyone at Warwick Castle – it makes for a fabulous full day out.
Location: Warwick Castle, Warwick, Warwickshire
Hours: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm
Price: £37 per person | Under 3s are free – click here to purchase tickets online
Visit Bourton on the Water
Bourton on the Water is one of the most popular villages in the Cotswolds. It is a beautiful village known for its idyllic setting, historic buildings, and picturesque river which runs through the centre. It is a short drive or walk from Upper and Lower Slaughter, so it is the perfect place for a quick trip with the family.
Popular things to do for families include visiting the Cotswold Motor Museum, exploring the Model Village, visiting the Bird Wildlife Park, getting lost at the Dragonfly Maze and simply exploring the picturesque village.
Visit Stow on the Wold
Stow on the Wold is a market town in Gloucestershire on the top of a 800 foot hill – the highest town in the Cotswolds. Once home to a booming wool industry, Stow on the Wold was famous for its huge annual fairs where up to 20,000 sheep were sold at any one time.
These days, people visit Stow on the Wold for its charming streetscape, old pubs, boutiques and its rumoured links to Lord of the Rings.
Stow on the Wold is just a 10 minute drive from the Upper and Lower Slaughter villages, so it’s well worth checking out.
Visit Stratford Upon Avon
Stratford Upon Avon is worth spending a few days, but if you’ve only got one day, the short 40 minute drive from Upper and Lower Slaughter is very doable. This historic market town (and the birthplace of William Shakespeare) has plenty of things to do for families.
Most people visiting Stratford Upon Avon will want to see the Shakespeare sites. There’s Shakespeare’s Birthplace (where you can explore his childhood home), Shakespeare’s School (a must for families with school aged children), Shakespeare New Place (Shakespeare’s home until he died), Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (the home of Shakespeare’s wife) and Mary Arden’s Farm (the childhood home of Shakespeare’s mother).
A must for families is a visit to Tudor World, where the kids can dress up and experience what life was like during the Tudor period. Other great family attractions in Stratford Upon Avon include a boat cruise down the River Avon, a visit to the Butterfly Farm, the MAD museum and the Magical Alley.
A 30 minute drive from Upper and Lower Slaughter is Cirencester, one of the Cotswold’s largest market towns. It is a beautiful town with gorgeous stone buildings and links to mediaeval times and the Romans.
One of the best things to do in Cirencester is to visit the Corinium Museum, where the kids can learn more about the Roman ties. The museum has a collection of artefacts and exhibits related to the history of the Cotswold region, including Roman and Iron Age objects.
Other worthwhile places to visit in Cirencester include visiting Chedworth Roman Villa – one of the most complete and well preserved Roman villas in Britain, Cirencester Park, which is home to a playground, lake and wildlife, as well as simply strolling through the Market Place seeing the historic buildings and exploring the various stores.
Bibury is a small village just outside Cirencester in the County of Gloucestershire. The village is considered one of the most beautiful in the Cotswold due to its row of 14th century postcard perfect cottages, famously known as Arlington Row.
Wandering around the picturesque village along the banks of the River Coln is one of the Bibury attractions in itself. Other things to do in Bibury include visiting the trout farm, enjoying a tasty lunch in an old pub, walking along the river, and crossing the old footbridge.
Tewkesbury is a mediaeval market town in the North of Gloucestershire. Famous for its mediaeval black and white streetscape with half timbered buildings, narrow alleyways and beautifully carved doorways, most of the town lies in a conversation area. It has over 350 buildings listed as having historical interest.
Thanks to its fascinating mediaeval history, there are some interesting things to do in Tewkesbury for families. Getting lost exploring the maze of alleyways is one of the best Tewkesbury attractions in itself, but other Tewkesbury things to do include visiting one of the several museums and visiting Tewkesbury Abbey.
Also, take a self-guided tour to explore the town and historic buildings and shop in the various boutiques.
How to get from London to Upper and Lower Slaughter
Driving from London to Upper and Lower Slaughter takes around 2.75 – 3 hours, depending on traffic. The most direct route is to take the A40 from central London to the M40 motorway. This becomes the A40 which will bring you to Gloucestershire. At Burford, take the A361, then the A424. Join the A429, which will bring you to Lower and Upper Slaughter.
The next best option is to take the train from London Paddington Station to Moreton in Marsh, a journey of around 1.5 hours. Then catch the local 801 bus to Slaughter Pike and then it’s a 30 minute walk to Upper Slaughter.
This is not ideal if you have luggage or kids with you, so it may be better to take a taxi from Slaughter Pike or Moreton in Marsh to Upper or Lower Slaughter.
There isn’t a direct bus from London Victoria Station to Upper or Lower Slaughter. Instead, you must take a coach to Oxford, catch a train to Chipping Norton, and then take a taxi to the villages.
Getting Around Upper and Lower Slaughter
Upper and Lower Slaughter are small villages, so the best way to get around is by foot. You can quickly and easily walk between the various tourist attractions in each village and walk between the villages in just 25 minutes.
Lower and Upper Slaughter parking is very limited. There are a few parking spaces in the village square in Upper Slaughter and limited roadside parking in Lower Slaughter.
If you are not staying in the village, you are better off parking in Bourton on the Water or Stow on the Wold and walking or taking the bus or taxi to the Slaughter villages.
Even for us visiting late in the day during the off season – it was very hard to find a park.
Hotels in Upper and Lower Slaughter, Cotswolds
Not only are Upper and Lower Slaughter among the most beautiful villages in the Cotswolds, but they are also some of the most expensive villages for accommodation. Hotels in Upper and Lower Slaughter, Cotswolds, are limited and in all honesty, your best bet is to stay in nearby Bourton on the Water or even Stow on the Wold.
Nevertheless, if you’ve got your heart set on one of the Lower or Upper Slaughter hotels, we’ve listed a few options below. Just be aware most of these options don’t offer family rooms.
Lords of the Manor Hotel – Upper Slaughter
Lords of the Manor is a stunning 4 star hotel that dates back to the 17th century and is steeped in history. It offers award winning food and luxurious accommodation just a few minutes walk to Upper Slaughter attractions.
Each bedroom sleeps 2 in double or single beds and has a tasteful, individual country chic decor with luxurious finishes. There are tea and coffee facilities in each room, free WiFi, a safe, and a flat screen tv.
Cots and extra beds for children up to 14 years are available for an additional fee, depending on your chosen room. The Manor and Superior Double allow 1 extra bed, whilst the Deluxe Double allows 2 extra beds.
The hotel has free parking, 8 acres of garden and two restaurants (one with an a la carte menu and one for fine dining). Kids’ meals and a baby sitting service are available for an additional charge.
This fabulous hotel will provide a memorable stay and Lords of the Manor Upper Slaughter Cotswolds is justifiably considered in the top 200 hotels in the UK.
The gorgeous Jasmine Cottage has everything a family needs for a comfortable, easy stay. It is in Upper Slaughter; a few minutes walk from Upper Slaughter pubs and attractions.
The cottage can sleep six people in 3 bedrooms with 2 double and 2 single beds. The rooms have an elegant modern decor.
There is a cosy sitting room with a wood burning stove plus a dining area with a table and chairs for six. The well equipped kitchen features a full oven, a fridge and a washing machine.
There is free parking and an enclosed back garden with a patio area and outdoor seating. If you’ve ever dreamed of staying in a picture perfect Cotswold stone cottage, Jasmine Cottage is the place for you.
The outstanding 5 star Slaughters Manor House hotel is on the centrally located Copsehill Road in Lower Slaughter; a few minutes walk from Lower Slaughter attractions. So if you are looking for a quintessential English stay in a historic manor house, this is the best accommodation Lower Slaughter offers.
Each individually decorated bedroom sleeps 2 in double or single beds with luxurious furnishes and period furniture. Some rooms have four poster beds, exposed oak beams and freestanding bathtubs.
Children are welcome, but there is no extra bed capacity, so you must book additional rooms. Cots are available for free on request.
There is an award winning restaurant on site (which offers kids meals), a bar, tennis courts, a billiards table and gardens to explore. Guests have free parking and WiFi.
The Slaughters Country Inn – Lower Slaughter
The Slaughter Inn Lower Slaughter is an elegant 4 star hotel set on 4 acre grounds, just a 2 minute walk from the heart of Lower Slaughter.
There is a range of room types available for families. The family suite sleeps 4 in 1 double and 1 sofa bed and also has a separate living area with sofas and tv. In addition, there is a two storey cottage which also sleeps 4 in 1 double bed and a sofa bed in the separate living room.
There is free parking, free Wifi, an on-site restaurant serving a British menu (including kids’ meals), and a Full English breakfast each morning.
Hopefully, you found this guide to things to do in Upper and Lower Slaughter helpful. Other guides which you may also find helpful include things to do in the Cotswolds with kids, things to do in London with kids or things to do in York with kids.