The River Windrush, with its many streams and tributaries, winds through the centre of Bourton-on-the-Water, where several low arched stone bridges give it the name "Venice of the Cotswolds". Indeed, the historic village centre is beautifully preserved, with nearly all its 17th century buildings, in golden local stone, showing the distinctive Cotswold architecture.
The village has a Post Office, bank, bakery, convenience store and other local shops, as well as several fine old pubs. You'll also find a library and Youth Centre, and just out of town, a Tesco Superstore. The village has several doctors and dentists surgeries.
PUTTING THE 'UP' IN YOUR DOWNTIME
For the active life, this part of the world is perfect for cycling - with Bourton Cycles in the village stocking bikes for all levels - and horse riding, centred around Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre. There are also several excellent golf courses in the area. And don't forget a day at the races at the Cheltenham Festival!
Bourton Chase is alongside the A429 Fosse Way, which provides fast links to the A40 and M40, connecting London, Oxford and Birmingham. Central London is around 2 hours drive, Birmingham and the Midlands just over an hour. Closer to home, Stow-on-the-Wold (4 miles) Cheltenham (17 miles) and Oxford (28 miles) offer more shopping, sports and leisure facilities, and outstanding cultural attractions. The nearest mainline train station, for services to London Paddington (about 85 mins), is at Kingham, 8 miles away.
Fascinating family days out could start with visits to Birdland Park & Gardens in Bourton, Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford, a visit to Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park - or you may just enjoy exploring the fabulous countryside and the historic attractions of Roman Cirencester and elegant Georgian Cheltenham.
- Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens. 14.5 miles, 25 mins
- Stow-on-the-Wold 3.5 miles, 8 mins
- Kingham Railway Station (Main Line) 8.5 miles, 20 mins
- Cheltenham Racecourse 18 miles, 40 mins
- Cirencester 17 miles, 30 mins
- Oxford 32 miles, 60 mins
- Batsford Arboretum, 9 miles, 18 mins
- Chipping Norton Leisure Centre, 13 miles, 25 mins