Bourton-on-the-Water

(Last Updated On: July 31, 2018)

Little Venice of the Cotswolds

Perhaps one of the most famous locations in the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water is renowned for its pretty waterside views and quaint limestone buildings. We’ve assembled a guide to help you make the most of your time in this picture-perfect village. Bourton-on-the-Water is only 4 miles from Stow-on-the-Wold and straddles the river Windrush with its series of elegant low bridges beside neat tree-shaded greens and tidy stone banks. Standing back from the river are traditional Cotswolds buildings, many of which are now tourist shops for the day-trippers and visitors. Bourton-on-the-Water has been described as the ‘Little Venice’ of the Cotswolds and is one of the most popular tourist spots in the region being serviced by the many shops, cafe’s, and attractions.

Food Scene

The Rose Tree

The Restaurant is a grade II listed cottage, where the menu is traditional British and Continental.  We have a large outside sitting area facing the river, so you can sit outside in the sunshine when the water is warm too.  The Rose Tree is run by husband and wife team David & Monika, who are the proud owners of the Rose Tree since June 2017.  Our philosophy is to provide full-flavoured food from the freshest seasonal produce.

Tisanes Tea Rooms

Tisanes Tea Rooms occupy a 17th century stone building full of olde worlde charm in the large Cotswold village of Broadway. They offer over thirty different teas, most of which are loose leaf, compiled in a dedicated tea menu. The usual blends such as Assam, English Breakfast, Camomile, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Jasmine and Camomile are available, as well as some more unusual choices, such as; Rwanda Burundi, Ginger and Lemon, Apple and Cinnamon, Rooibos, Gunpowder, Mango Indica, Keemun and Japanese Sencha, among others. Scones, teacakes, victoria sponge, banana cake, flapjacks, shortbread and other cakes and snacks are available as a sweet accompaniment. Tisanes Tea Rooms is a member of the UK

The Mousetrap Inn

Our menus vary from dawn to dusk. We can offer everything from a Full English breakfast to avocado on toast, smoothies, toasted sandwiches and salads to a full three course dinner. We specialise in British style tapas, small dishes that you can mix and match and share; and fantastic special main course dishes using premium fresh produce from the best of the local area and closest seaports.

The Plough Inn, Cold Aston

The Plough Inn

Nestled in the small Cotswold village of Cold Aston between Cheltenham and Bourton-on-the-Water is The Plough Inn, a true country pub. A firm favourite with the locals and run by locals, The Plough Inn offers a warm welcome, real ales, cracking wines and delicious home cooked freshly prepared food. With its old Cotswold flagstones, original beams and a roaring fire you can lose yourself in the history of this grade 2 listed 17th Century Inn whilst relaxing and creating a base to explore the North Cotswolds and beyond. Food is important at The Plough Inn being one of Nick and Laura’s biggest passions. Top quality locally produced ingredients are used to create delicious freshly prepared home.

L’Anatra

L’Anatra Italian Kitchen at Chester House Hotel is our new Italian dining room in Bourton on the Water. Here, you will find classic Italian cooking at its best.

Lords of the Manor

Lords of the Manor

As one of the most widely acclaimed restaurants in the area, Lords of the Manor’s reputation is something that we are proud to work hard to maintain. A true culinary destination, our reviews speak for themselves. Here you can view our sample menus created by our Head Chef, Charles Smith.

Drinks & Nightlife

The Duke of Wellington

Duke Of Wellington, family pub located in the village of Bourton On The Water, regularly voted as one of the prettiest villages in England. Dining is informal, in a relaxed environment which reflects the best in British design with a warm friendly welcome.

Old Manse Hotel

The restaurant and hotel overlook the river Windrush, presenting charming views of what is known as the Venice of the Cotswolds, where you can enjoy a traditional English menu and a great range of real ales, premium lagers and fine wines.

The Kingsbridge Inn

Riverside, stone-built pub with a decked beer garden, pub grub plus weekly poker and quiz nights.

Sightseeing

Birdland

Birdland is a natural setting of woodland, river and gardens, which is inhabited byover 500 birds ( swans, pelicans, flamingos, hornbills, cranes, storks, cassowary, pigeons, owls and many more) with the only group of King Penguins in England, Wales and Ireland. More than 50 aviaries, open enclosures and a Desert House and you will also see a display of fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects in the Discovery Zone There is the Penguin Café, indoor and outdoor Picnic areas, an indoor and outdoor play areas, Gift Shop and much more.

Cotswold Motor Museum

Cotswold Motoring Museum’s collections are full of vehicles, toys and memorabilia from a bygone age. Maybe you’ll find a classic car just like the one you learned to drive in, or a vintage motorbike that reminds you of the one you used to ride. You’ll find children’s TV star Brum here too. He lives in the museum and it’s from here that he headed out on every one of his exciting adventures.

Model Village

The Model Village, Bourton-on-the-Water, is a one-ninth scale replica of the heart of the beautiful Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-Water, containing all the buildings from the Old Water Mill down to the Old New Inn and the ford.

Sudeley Castle & Gardens

Rated amongst the top attractions in the Cotswolds, the castle rooms and exhibits contain many fascinating treasures, from ancient Roman times to the present day. The castle is surrounded by a breathtaking 1,200 acre estate and ten award-winning gardens. The centrepiece is the Queens Garden, so named because four of England’s queens – Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I – once walk ed upon the original Tudor Parterre. The Pheasantry at Sudeley houses a collection of 16 rare and endangered species of birds from around the world as part of Sudeley’s programme of breeding and conservation.

Entertainment & Activities

Cotswold Tours

3 classic Cotswold Tours – North , Central & South and also an option to design your own tour according to your personal interests. All my Cotswolds tours allow you to stop wherever you want and you will be able to linger a while longer if something is of particular interest.

The Cotswold Distillery

The Cotswolds Distillery is the first-ever full-scale craft distillery within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). We produce a range of “Outstanding Natural Spirits”, including the first-ever Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky, featuring Cotswolds-grown barley. We also produce the award-winning Cotswolds Dry Gin, featuring local lavender from Snowshill, along with a range of small-batch brandies and liqueurs. We’re located in the unspoilt North Cotswold village of Stourton, close to both Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon. Our beautiful rural distillery and shop were designed with visitors in mind, and we run tours and tastings every day of the week (advance booking required).

Bourton-on-the-Water Football Match

August bank holiday will see the usually tranquil River Windrush taken over by two teams of lively football players, battling it out for victory in the annual Bourton-on-the-Water Football in the River match. Transforming the tranquil grassy banks of the river, hundreds of spectators are expected to congregate once again on bank holiday Monday.Braving the chilly waters will be two six-a-side teams who promise the crowds plenty of entertainment and an opportunity to shout loud, and with splashing all part of the fun, frontline spectators are expected to get wet!

Perfect for some harmless entertainment and sporting action, this Gloucestershire event is one not to be missed.

The Cheltenham Festivals

One organisation, four extraordinary Cheltenham Festivals: Jazz, Science, Music and Literature. We also run extensive education and outreach programmes.

Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham racecourse, the jewel in Jump racing’s crown, plays host to the best jumping action in the world from 350 spectacular acres in the lee of the beautiful Cotswold hills. Whether you’re here on a crisp bright October day or a balmy evening in May, you’ll feel that unmistakeable Cheltenham magic. The racing, the setting, the tradition and history, the shared sense of enjoyment all combine to give everyone, from those sampling our finest hospitality to the racegoers on the course, an experience they’ll never forget.

The Greenway Spa

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful getaway for two or just some ‘me time’, head to The Greenway Spa for some preening, pampering, and polishing. The spa has a selection of treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room, sanarium and alfresco hot tub – providing a little slice of quiescent heaven within the Cotswolds. After a hard day’s rejuvenation, enjoy a glass of fizz and a tasty supper at the Orchard Brassiere overlooking the spa gardens.

Cowley Manor

Cowley Manor

If you’re in need of a little maintenance, Cowley Manor is a secluded and tranquil venue to escape and relieve yourself from the stresses of everyday life.  The award-winning spa has two swimming pools, a steam room, sauna and relaxation area. In the summertime, recline on the sun loungers by the outdoor heated pool and enjoy the bar and full waiter service on offer. There’s also a full range of treatments available using Cowley Manor’s very own nurturing Green & Spring products.

Parks & Nature

Batsford Arboretum

Japanese Ornamental Cherries at Batsford Arboretum

The 56 acre arboretum at Batsford is situated just a mile west of the historic market town of Moreton-in-Marsh in the heart of the Cotswolds. A former home to the famous Mitford family, interest in the arboretum begins in late winter when the snowdrops, aconites and early flowering daffodils spring into life, followed by magnolias, hellebores, fritillaries and the beautiful Japanese ornamental cherries – stars of the show from late March until mid April. The handkerchief tree is another show-stopper in May, as are the beautiful wildflower meadows which bloom in high summer.

Cotswold Farm Park

Sitting in the heart of the Cotswolds, Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park has a long-standing reputation for a fun-filled day out. Visitors of all ages can interact closely with the animals and learn about farming, past and present. As the home of rare breed conservation, visitors can meet over 50 flocks and herds of farm animals, including Gloucestershire Old Spot Pigs and Highland cattle. The touch Barn and Demonstration Barn can be enjoyed all year round, as they are undercover and protected from the elements. With an adventure playground, Farm Safari, Maze, Tractor School, Sand pits and Jumping pillows, there’s lots of entertainment for children of all ages. The on-site restaurant, serving seasonal food and Adam’s own beer, is a hit with the adults.

Cotswold Wildlife Park

Stroll around the Park and get eye-to-eye with Giraffe, watch Rhinos graze on the Manor House lawns, walk with Lemurs, ride on the train or explore the adventure playground.

Pittville Park & Imperial Gardens

Opened in 1825, the city’s largest ornamental park includes playgrounds, a boating lake and an aviary. Imperial Gardens, which can be found at the rear of the Town Hall, were originally planted out for the exclusive use of the subscribers to the Sherborne Spa. The spa was constructed in 1818 on the site now occupied by the Queens Hotel. Over the intervening years, the gardens have undergone many changes, with the formal style you now see being laid out just after the second world war. Each year, approximately 25,000 bedding plants are used to produce the magnificent floral displays enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year.

During the summer months, Imperial Gardens becomes host to many outdoor events and festivals including the Literature, Jazz, Science and Music Festivals.

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