Parks & Picnic Sites
There may be lots of lakes, but there are also plenty of green spaces and places where you can explore, play ball, lie under the sun, take a picnic, hire a barbecue or just relax!
A great place to take the family for a day out during the summer, with paddling beach, playgrounds, lakeside walks, barbecue hire, mini golf, and other seasonal activities such as boat hire, water zorbing, bouncy castles and much more. In cooler months, and out of school holidays, it is a great place to take dogs for a lakeside ramble, go for a walk or bring the kids’ bikes for a ride around the lakes. Open all year round, with seasonal entry charges, this facility is run by Watermark.
For more information about prices, opening times etc go to www.cotswoldcountrypark.com or call 01285 868096
Neigh Bridge Country Park
There is free access all year round to this secluded country park with plenty of parking, picnic benches, lakeside walks and a small playground for youngsters. Neigh Bridge is also a great place to start some beautiful circular walks which will give you an insight into the true landscape of the CWP. Check out the Walking page to download free self guided walks.
(Please note: Height Restriction 2.2m and parking charges apply £1 per hour or £2 per day – free to CWP Trust members)
Fishing at Neigh Bridge
Day tickets are available from Cotswold Country Park for fishing on Lake 56, Neigh Bridge – the angling is managed by Ashton Keynes Angling Club.
Riverside Park, Lechlade
Situated at the head of the navigable Thames, on the edge of the beautiful Cotswold town of Lechlade this wonderful space has been under the management of the CWP Trust for three years. Spread out across three large fields, with substantial river frontage, Riverside Park can offer loads of green grass for running about, ball games, plus it’s a great spot for picnics and just relaxing. It is also on the route of the Thames Path, which offers some delightful circular walks
From Riverside Park it is possible to take a boat trip with the Cotswold Canals Trust in the delightful launch, Inglesham, or hire a boat. The shops, pubs and cafes of Lechlade are a short walk away, just across the 18th century Ha’penny Bridge. There are currently no toilet facilities on site – the nearest ones are within the town.
Seasonal parking charges apply. ( Free to CWP Trust members)
Height Restriction applies 2.1m
Other Car Parks / Picnic sites
The largest of the free car parks around the Cotswold Water Park, this provides an excellent base from which to start your visit to the area. The Gateway Centre has information on all the local activities and attractions, plus leaflets on local accommodation and eating out. In addition, walks along the Thames and Severn Canal can take you to Cerney Wick, and even through to Cricklade. In the other direction, the path takes a pleasant route through to South Cerney village.
Please note these routes are not really suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.
An excellent cafe, run by Relish, can be found inside the Gateway Centre, serving freshly prepared hot drinks, cakes, snacks and light meals – open 7 days a week from 9am – 5pm (times may vary during the winter months).
Cotswold Outdoor shop, next to the Gateway Centre sells everything for the outdoors, from camping equipment to walking gear.
Location: Just off A419 Swindon to Cirencester bypass, on B4696 Spine Road. First turning left on Spine Road
Height restriction: None
A small car park on the Spine Road offers a surprise in the summer months with its delightful wild flower meadow, and picnic area. A network of footpaths can be accessed from Clayhill both north towards South Cerney and south towards Ashton Keynes.
Location: Off B4696, near Fridays Ham Lane turning to Ashton Keynes.
Height restriction 2.2m (although limited access is possible in the first section for horseboxes and trailers)
Bridge Car Park
Known locally as the ‘arches’ this 19th century bridge took the old Spine Road over the railway between Cricklade and Cirencester. The bridge has been extensively restored and from the top it is possible to get one of the few high vantage points over the nearby lakes. This is an excellent location from which to start cycle rides down the old railway track towards Cricklade, or around the lakes to Ashton Keynes. Alternatively you can walk or cycle up towards South Cerney and bearing right follow the old canal path down towards the Gateway Centre. See the Walking page for details of routes and the new CWP Walks Guide.
Location: Off B4696 Spine Road, between Station Road and Broadway Lane.
Height restriction: 2.1m
Lakeside Car Park
There are plenty of parking spaces with lovely views across the lake, plus designated disabled parking , and picnic places. This lake ( lake 12) is one of ten in the area with special designation due to the lime rich clear waters, in which aquatic plants such as stoneworts thrive.
Lakeside car park is also the location of the Willow Biodome, a metal and living willow structure. The fence installed at the lake edge is temporary, designed to keep the ducks and geese away from the banks, and to protect the numerous lake edge plants which are gradually becoming established. We do hope that visitors to the car park will understand that feeding bread to waterbirds is not only bad for the ducks, it can also attract rats to the area, and affect the quality of the water – thank you for your cooperation!
Location: On edge of South Cerney village, on Station Road, opposite the Watermark Club.
Height restriction: 2.5m
Waterhay Car Park
On the road out of Ashton Keynes towards Cricklade, there is a reason why this car park is called Waterhay – the area is very susceptible to severe flooding during the winter months. However, most of the year this makes a very accessible and peaceful car park, with footpaths through to Ashton Keynes, Clayhill car park, and a long circular route around Cleveland lakes, including two bird hides. It is also possible to pick up a section of the Thames Path from the car park, and walk through to North Meadow and the delightful Saxon town of Cricklade.
Location: From Ashton Keynes, take road to Cricklade and Waterhay car park is situated on first bend before bridge.
Height restriction: 2.25m
NB At present the height barrier is inoperable due to vandalism, so we are sorry there is no access for horse boxes. If you would like to make a donation so that we can fix it, please let us know! (firstname.lastname@example.org)