Famed for its picturesque High Street. Lying on the meandering River Windrush with several low arched stone bridges resulted in the village becoming known as "Venice of the Cotswolds". With a population of around 3,300, it is a large village whereas nearby Stow-on-the-Wold and Burford with smaller populations are both "Market Towns".
The River Windrush source, 10 miles from the village, is fed by springs and thus continues to flow even in severe drought.
There is evidence of habitation dating back to neolithic times (4,000 BC), habitation continuing through to Roman times (Roman pottery and coins found in the village show extended Roman occupation). Christian occupation dates back to 709 AD when a wooden church was built. In 1110 a stone Normal church was built; today only the chancel (from 1328) remains.
Today almost all buildings are of 17th-century origin, mostly built using Cotswold limestone characteristic of the area.
Driving from Cirencester, just follow the A429 North, you'll pass signs saying you've entered the village. From the North, just follow the A429 South. Follow signs to the large car park at the edge of the village. There is a footpath from the car park to the main street.
Nearest train station Moreton-in-Marsh station
- 1 Moreton-in-Marsh Railway Station, Station Rd, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0AA (8½ miles N of Boughton on the Water). Station managed and services operated by Great Western Railway. On the Cotswold Line running between Oxford-Hereford.
- Pulhams Coaches 801 service: Moreton-in-Marsh – Stow-on-the-Wold – Bourton-on-the-Water – Northleach – Cheltenham Timetable
- Pulhams Coaches 802 service: Bourton-on-the-Water – Great Rissington/Little Rissington – Upper Rissington – Stow-on-the-Wold – Kingham Railway Station Timetable
- Pulhams Coaches 803 service: Bourton-on-the-Water – Upper Oddington – Longborough – Moreton-in-Marsh Timetable
- Pulhams Coaches 855 service: Moreton-in-Marsh – Stow-on-the-Wold – Bourton-on-the-Water – Northleach – Aldsworth – Bibury – Barnsley – Cirencester Timetable
- National Cycle Route 48. Lincoln to Exeter will run through the town; the route is under construction, Cirencester-Northleach and Moreton-in-Marsh-Southam completed (10-mile section through Bourton on the Water under construction as of 2017).
- 2 National Cycle Route 57. Passes through Northleach 5½ miles S of Bourton-on-the-Water. When complete will run Northleach to Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.
On foot is fine.
Bourton is quite attractive as a family destination. The river Windrush flows through the village, next to the main street. In the charming centre you'll find a lot of attractions, including:
- 1 Model Village, The Old New Inn, GL54 2AF. A miniature version of Bourton at 1:9th of the scale (with also a miniature of the miniature of the....)
- 2 Birdland Park and Gardens, Rissington Rd, GL54 2BN, ☏ .
- Dragonfly Maze (between the car park and the Birdland).
- 3 Cotswold Motor Museum & Toy Collection, The Old Mill, GL54 2BY.
- 4 The Old Mill (Mill Museum & Shop), Mill Lane, Lower Slaughter GL54 2HX (2 miles N of Bourton-on-the-Water), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Mar-Oct: daily 10AM-6PM (tea room & café until 5PM); Nov-Feb: daily 10AM-dark.
- Oxfordshire Way. Walk the start of this long distance walking route, maybe going for ten miles to Shipton-under-Wychwood, or continue and walk the full 68 miles to Henley-on-Thames.
- Bloody Bourton Walking Tour, ☏ (mobile), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Nov to Apr, book in advance. Tickets are available from the Visitors Information Centre.
- 1 Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre (Riding School), College Farm, Stow Rd, Bourton on the Water GL54 2HN, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 2 Cotswold Brewing Company (Brewery Tours (on some days)), College Farm, Stow Rd, Bourton on the Water GL54 2HN, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Shop: M-F 10AM-4PM. One of the oldest lager microbreweries in the UK
Shop in the small shops.
- 1 Bakery on the Water (Artisan Bakery), 1 Sherborne St, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2BY, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 8AM-5PM.
- 2 Cotswold Perfumery, Victoria St, Bourton on the Water GL54 2BU, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 9:30AM-5PM, Su 10:30AM-5PM.
- 3 Cotswold Candle Makers, Victoria St, Bourton on the Water GL54 2BX, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 4 Londis (Convenience Store), High St, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2AQ, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 7AM-9PM, Su 8AM-9PM.
- 5 The Cotswold Pottery, Clapton Row, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2DN, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Sa 10:30AM-5PM, Su 11AM-4PM (check 1st).
- 6 The Victorian Christmas Shop, High St, Bourton on the Water GL54 2AP, ☏ . Daily Apr-Dec. Sells Christmas items for around the world, figurines and ornaments.
- 7 Sweet Treats & Gifts (Sweet Shop), High St, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2AE, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Apr-Sep: daily 10AM-5PM; Oct-Mar: daily noon-4PM.
A couple of pubs do food and drink
- 1 The Duke of Wellington (Pub, Restaurant & Hotel), Sherbourne St, Bourton on the Water GL54 2BY (From the centre of town, head up Sherbourne Street, next to river. After 100 yards the pub will appear on your right, over a bridge.), ☏ . Pub: M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-10:30PM; food: daily noon-9PM. Mediocre pub
- 2 The Chestnut Tree (Tea Rooms & Restaurant), 1 Chestnuts, High St, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2AN, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tea rooms: 10AM-5PM; restaurant: call for booking.
- 3 The Croft, Victoria St, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2BS, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 9AM-evening.
- 4 Aroma (Indian Restaurant & Take-away), Station Rd, Bourton on the Water GL54 2AA, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-Su 5-11PM.
- 1 Kingsbridge (Pub & Food), Riverside, Bourton on the Water GL54 2BS, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2 The Old New Inn (pub (and model village)), Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2AF, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Summer: daily 11AM-5:30PM.
- 3 Mary's Rest (tea rooms & café), Moore Rd, Bourton-on-the-water G L54 2AZ, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su from noon.
- 4 Green & Pleasant Tea Rooms, Windrush Cottage Shop, Riverside, Bourton on the Water GL54 2DP, ☏ .
- 5 The Plough (Pub & Food), Cold Aston Nr. Northleach GL54 3BN (2½ miles W of Bourton-on-the-Water), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Mar: M 6-11PM, Tu-Th noon-3PM & 6-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight, Su noon-11PM; food: Tu-Sa 12:30-2:30PM & 6:30-9PM, Su 12:30-3PM.
- 1 The Mousetrap Inn (B&B, Bar & Restaurant), Lansdowne, Bourton on the Water GL54 2AR, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Bar: M-Sa 11:30AM-3PM & 6-11PM, Su noon-3PM & 6-10:30PM; kitchen: Tu-Sa noon-2PM & 6:30-9PM, Su 12:00-14:30 (breakfast daily for residents). Check-in: before 3PM or after 6PM.
- 2 Old Manse Hotel, Victoria St, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2BY, ☏ (premium), ✉ email@example.com. Food: daily 11AM-10PM. Free Wi-Fi. Free breakfast
- 3 Chester House Hotel, Victoria St, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2BS, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 4 Dial House (Hotel & Restaurant), High St, Bourton on the Water GL54 2AN, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 5 Manor Close (B&B), High St, Bourton-on-the-water GL54 2AP, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Double from £75.
- 6 The Landsdown (B&B), Lansdowne, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2AR, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 7 Whiteshoots Cottage (B&B), Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2LE, ☏ . Double £5-90.
- 8 Broadlands Guest House, Clapton Row, Bourton-On-The-Water GL54 2DN, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3-9PM, check-out: by 10AM. No pets
- 1 Post Office, High Street, Bourton-On-The-Water GL54 2AG. M-F 7AM-5:45PM, Sa Su 7AM-5PM.
- Burford "Gateway to the Cotswolds" (10 miles SE)
- Stow-on-the-Wold 4 miles NE
- Chipping Norton 13 miles E
- Moreton-in-Marsh 8 miles N
- Cheltenham 16 miles W
- Cirencester 16 miles SW
- Oxford 30 miles E
|Routes through Bourton-on-the-Water|
|Warwick and Leamington Spa ← Stow-on-the-Wold ←||N SW||→ Cirencester|