Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds is also known as the “Venice of the Cotswolds” and is one of the prettiest villages in England rivalling the Spa town of Cheltenham.
Built from the local golden coloured stone, the houses and cottages make a picture perfect village and a very popular tourist attraction. Many of the houses are three hundred years old and some are from the Elizabethan era, four hundred years ago.
The River Windrush gently flows through the village with neat stone banks and tree shaded greens. There are also several elegant 18th century stone bridges that cross the river and connect the many Cotswold homes, but the town dates back to 709AD with the building of a wooden church.
It was rebuilt in stone in 1110 and has a 12th century crypt. A chancel was built in 1328, and the church is still in use today.
Along with its natural beauty, Bourton-on-the-Water offers several interesting and fun entertainments for visitors including Birdland, a Motoring Museum and Toy Collection, Cotswold Perfumery, Walking tours, a Model Village and many other interesting attractions.
Birdland is a zoo full of birds that includes penguins as well as a large variety of exotic birds. Established in 1957, it is a natural setting that is home for over 500 birds.
Storks, cranes, pelicans, flamingos, cassowary and the many varieties of waterfowl that live on the several wetland areas are just a few.
There are also over 50 aviaries of falcons, parrots, hornbills, turacos, toucans, ibis, pheasants and more.
The Motoring Museum
The Motoring Museum and Toy Collection takes visitors on an imaginary road trip through the 20th century. It’s easy to see the progression of technology over the century of the engineers and mechanics who loved the automobile and motorcycle.
There are seven galleries with vintage vehicles, classic cars and memorabilia that come alive with the sounds and smells of the earliest cars to the extravagant vehicles of the present entertainment industry. Everyone loves Brum of TV fame, and they can visit him in the museum, have their photo taken with him and even get a special ride.
For over 30 years the Cotswold Perfumery, which is based in an 18th century traditional stone building, has been blending fragrances. Visitors see a charming room with a crackling fire, oak beams and ancient floors, but the idyllic scene is just the beginning of this hugely successful company that makes some of the most famous perfume brands in the world.
Another attraction that is truly worth seeing is the Model Village that was built by a few local craftsmen in the early 1930s. It is Bourton-on-the-Water in 1/9th the size and has been painstakingly built with the local golden Cotswold stone. It includes a miniature River Windrush, a working water mill and replicas of five of the famous low stone bridges.
It is easy to enjoy cheap villa holidays in Bourton on the Water. Visitors use their Cotswold villas as a base to enjoy several walking tours, from casual strolls through some of the Cotswold’s famous gardens to longer hiking trails.
There are guided walking tours that give visitors a close look at the villages and landscapes in the area including Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Campden and Broadway. Walking tours include transportation to and from the beginning of the walk and visits to Stratford-upon-Avon (the birthplace of Shakespeare), Blenheim Palace (the ancestral home of Winston Churchill) and Oxford University. All meals are provided including vegetarian options with a picnic lunch.
Bourton on the Water is an excellent place for a relaxing holiday or weekend getaway. The natural and man-made beauty remove the stress of everyday life and the hotels, bars, restaurants and cafes join in the inviting atmosphere welcoming visitors and locals alike.