A visitor's guide to Bourton on the Water
Updated: Aug 24
Bourton on the Water is arguably the most popular village in the Cotswolds, and it's easy to see why.
Known as "the Venice of the Cotswolds" with the River Windrush running through its heart under charming footbridges, the village is the perfect base from where to explore the Cotswolds.
What to do
There are many attractions in the village including; Birdland Park & Gardens, famous for boasting England’s only breeding group of King Penguins; The Cotswold Motoring Museum, home to Brum and a wonderful collection of rare vehicles and classic memorabilia; the world-famous Model Village (pictured below), created from local Cotswold stone by highly skilled craftsmen and a replica of the buildings that existed in Bourton-on-the-Water in the 1930s and shows how they are being used today; and the wonderful Dragonfly Maze.
With that said, the biggest attraction is the village itself. You can lose a day exploring the charming bridges, paddling in the river during summer months, enjoying peaceful sunrise and sunset walks and picnics along the water's edge. The smell of the brilliant Bakery on the Water first thing in the morning is something to behold!
The village is also perfectly position for any keen walkers and cyclists with beautiful Lower and Upper Slaughter, Stow on the Wold, and Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park are all within 5 miles.
A little further afield you have The Cotswold Wildlife Park, Batsford Aboretum, Chedworth Roman Villa and Broadway Tower all within a 20 minute drive.
Where to eat
There are many options for foodies. Smiths Restaurant is a perfect spot for an afternoon tea, lunch or delicious dinner. The Croft offers a riverside location and relaxed family-friendly dining experience for a lovely lunch and dinner. You can also enjoy a pizza at L’anatra Italian Kitchen, a beautiful riverside meal at The Rose Tree, and excellent food at The Mousetrap Inn - our favourite pub in the village. Pick up some delicious treats from Bakery on the Water for your picnics, and on a nice sunny evening, you could always eat fish and chips next to the river!
Where to sleep
Our award-winning boutique guesthouse, The Lansdowne is just perfect. Boasting 14 individually decorated bedrooms, it's a wonderful place to base yourselves in the heart of the village. Wake up to a hearty breakfast before taking a stroll along the river. What could be better?
Our newest property, Ivy Cottage is brilliantly located opposite the aforementioned Mousetrap Inn. This fully refurbished cottage sleeps 6 people and is a real gem. We also include a fully complimentary breakfast served at The Lansdowne which is also just across the road. What more could you want?!
Woodbine Cottage is a stunning self-catering holiday home, nestled on a quiet through road just a short stroll to the centre of the village. It also sleeps 6 and is dog friendly too which means your furry friends don't have to miss out on a trip to the Cotswolds! The front porch (ideal for leaving muddy boots) leads into a pretty sitting room with exposed beams and decorative open fire place.
For groups of families or friends, our charming 2 bedroom Lansdowne Cottage is perfect. The cottage is also pet friendly and just a five minute walk to the heart of the village. We can recommend some wonderful walks through the Cotswold villages.
Visit our website www.cotswoldcottagegems.co.uk and please don't hesitate to contact us for any further information.