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Bourton-on-the-WaterUnited Kingdom

The Little Venice of the Cotswolds is a storybook village famous for its stone houses, riverside cafés, museums and welcoming pubs.

Bourton-on-the-Water is a pretty village of striking honey-colored stone architecture set within a glorious countryside. With a tranquil river, craft shops and waterfront cafés, it’s the epitome of a Cotswold village. Developed by the Saxons and once a Roman outpost, Bourton-on-the-Water became an important wool trading center during the Industrial Revolution.

The village straddles the River Windrush, a slowly rippling waterway crossed by several elegant footbridges. Admire the grand 15th- and 16th-century stone houses that frame the river and double as bakeries, banks, boutiques, restaurants and museums. Stroll along the water’s edge and relax beneath the shade of majestic trees while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Visit notable historical landmarks, including Victoria Hall from the late 19th century. St. Lawrence’s Church replaced a Norman structure and has a chancel built in 1328. Experience 350 years of ecclesiastical history at the Bourton-on-the-Water Baptist Church.

Be sure to explore the Model Village, a miniature replica of the village center made from locally sourced stone and real trees. See an impressive collection of over 40 working model trains at Bourton Model Railway Exhibition and Toy Shop. Admire the exhibits of vintage cars and antique toys at the Cotswold Motor Museum and Toy Collection.

See wildlife at Cotswold Birdland Park and Gardens, which houses about 500 exotic and rare birds in a natural woodland environment. Find the clues to solve a puzzle and reach the center of a hedge labyrinth at the Dragonfly Maze.

After a day of activities, enjoy the welcoming charm of 18th-century pubs such as the Mousetrap Inn and the Old New Inn. Take a guided tour of the Cotswold Brewing Company, located a short drive from the village center.

Bourton-on-the-Water is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) east of Cheltenham and 33 miles (53 kilometers) west of Oxford. Great for daytrips, Cheltenham is also an ideal base for exploring other scenic towns and villages in the Cotswolds. Broadway, Moreton-in-Marsh and Winchcombe are all less than a 30-minute drive away.

Top hotels in Bourton-on-the-Water

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
The Lansdowne
The Lansdowne
4 out of 5
The price is £100 per night

Situated in Cheltenham, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Bourton Model Railway Exhibition, Cotswold Motoring Museum and The Model Village. Birdland ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (398 reviews)
1 night stay.

"Lovely hotel, very clean and smart rooms in a lovely area."…"

Reviewed on 16 Mar 2020

The Lansdowne
The Mousetrap Inn
The Mousetrap Inn
3 out of 5
Lansdowne, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham, England
The price is £85 per night

Situated in Cheltenham, this inn is within a 5-minute walk of Bourton Model Railway Exhibition and Cotswold Motoring Museum. The Model Village and Birdland Park ...

4.2/5Very Good! (534 reviews)
weekend break

"Quirky, inviting Inn . Great food and hospitable owners. Definitely recommended for weekend away."…"

Reviewed on 26 Mar 2020

The Mousetrap Inn
The Old New Inn
The Old New Inn
3 out of 5
The price is £110 per night

Situated in Cheltenham, this bed & breakfast is steps away from The Model Village and Birdland Park and Gardens. Bourton Model Railway Exhibition and Cotswold ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (28 reviews)

"Charming place, clean and lovely bed. Breakfast was great and friendly owners"…"

Reviewed on 17 Mar 2020

The Old New Inn

Popular places to visit in Bourton-on-the-Water

The Model Village
Image for The Model Village

The Model Village

4/5(1 review)

Walk amid a scale model replica of the shops, houses and historic landmarks that were present in Bourton-on-the-Water during the 1930s.

Cotswold Motoring Museum
Image for Cotswold Motoring Museum

Cotswold Motoring Museum

5/5(1 review)

You can spend an afternoon browsing the exhibits at Cotswold Motoring Museum in Bourton-on-the-Water. Stroll along the riverfront in this family-friendly area or visit its lively bars.

Blenheim Palace
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Blenheim Palace

4.5/5(207 reviews)

Amble through a picturesque riverside park to reach this stately Baroque palace and landscaped garden.

Cotswold Wildlife Park
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Cotswold Wildlife Park

4.5/5(64 reviews)

Have fun in the treetop adventure playground, stroll around the landscaped grounds and meet giraffes, penguins, big cats and more at this animal-themed attraction.

Cheltenham Town Hall
Image for Cheltenham Town Hall

Cheltenham Town Hall

4/5(25 reviews)

You can learn more about the history of Cheltenham when you make a stop at a well-known site such as Cheltenham Town Hall. Wander the area's picturesque gardens or simply enjoy one of its top-notch restaurants.

Sudeley Castle
Image for Sudeley Castle

Sudeley Castle

4.5/5(18 reviews)

Uncover centuries of royal history amid the halls, gardens and art exhibitions of this 15th-century castle set in the shadow of the Cotswold Hills.

Top things to do in Bourton-on-the-Water

Blenheim Palace Downton Abbey & Cotswolds Flexible Day Trip
Image for Blenheim Palace Downton Abbey & Cotswolds Flexible Day Trip

Blenheim Palace Downton Abbey & Cotswolds Flexible Day Trip

£58
Per adult
84% of travellers recommend
Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds Tour
Image for Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds Tour

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds Tour

£82
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
Cotswold Rover Tour
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Cotswold Rover Tour

£65
Per adult
Cotswolds and Shakespeare Tour
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Cotswolds and Shakespeare Tour

£85
Per adult
Cotswold Taster Tour
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Cotswold Taster Tour

£65
Per adult
Downton Abbey Tour
Image for Downton Abbey Tour

Downton Abbey Tour

£82
Per adult

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Bourton-on-the-Water

Image for The Cotswolds on my mind

The Cotswolds on my mind

Gallivanting in the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds on my mind

Cities near Bourton-on-the-Water

Sudeley Castle which includes heritage architecture, château or palace and a park

Cheltenham

Stephen Keen on trover

Lower Slaughter

Photo "Wyck Rissington" by Michael Dibb (CC BY-SA) / Cropped from original

Wyck Rissington

Ashley Main on trover

Great Rissington

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