Located in a small valley amongst the gentle rolling hills of the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water is a ‘must see’ for all visitors to the area.
This popular village is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ because of the attractive little bridges that cross the gently flowing River Windrush, which runs through the centre of the village. Bourton has a charm all of its own at any time of the year.
On August Bank Holiday Monday afternoon, a rather eccentric tradition takes place when the local football team plays a game of football actually in the river! The odd event has been going on for over 100 years and has been filmed and written about all over the world.
At Christmas time, a pretty christmas tree is placed in the river and a wonderful shopping evening is held to switch the lights on – a truly magical sight.
There is much to see in Bourton on the Water and it is suitable for visitors of all ages especially families. Visit the Birdland Park and Gardens – home to a wide variety of exotic birds including penguins, flamingos, macaws, emus and birds of prey. Marvel at the detail of the buildings in The Model Village – a 1/9th scale replica of the centre of the village. The Cotswold Motoring Museum has seven unique galleries housing a collection of vintage cars, a fascinating toy collection, exhibitions and children’s TV favourite little car ‘Brum’. Enter the Model Railway Exhibition and the world of your childhood dreams with some of the finest operating indoor model railway layouts in the country, a treat for the old and young alike. The Dragonfly Maze designed by Kit Williams also has a Rebus puzzle to solve to find the secret hiding place of The Golden Dragonfly.
Bourton-on-the-Water also has an eclectic mix of shops including Cotswold Perfumery, a jewellers and pottery giving a wide choice of unique and exciting gifts all year round.
The area surrounding Bourton is a walker’s paradise with numerous footpaths crisscrossing the countryside. Nearby Salmonsbury Meadows is a wildlife nature reserve where you can enjoy natural meadows and wildflowers and explore some of the history of this farming area.
There has been a settlement in Bourton since Anglo-Saxon times and it is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The word ‘Bourton’ is of Saxon origin, derived from ‘burgh’ meaning fortification or camp and ‘ton’ meaning estate, enclosure or village. Taken together you have ‘the village beside the camp’.
Parking & Transport
- Car Parks
- Coach Parking
- Parking for disabled visitors
Towns & Villages
- Information Centre
- Public toilets
- Toilets for disabled visitors
- Village shop