Bourton-on-the-Water
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Bourton-on-the-Water Culture & History

From London: Full-Day Cotswolds Tour with Lunch

1. From London: Full-Day Cotswolds Tour with Lunch

Enjoy the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, and visit 4 of its loveliest villages – Burford, Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Stow-on-the-Wold. Travel through the Cotswolds, an area seemingly unchanged with the passing of time. See rolling landscapes, dry stone walls, quaint churches, and streams that tumble past tiny villages and charming hamlets. On this full-day excursion from London, you’ll begin your tour in Burford, where the magnificent High Street slopes down to the River Windrush. See the town’s small tea houses before heading south to picturesque Bibury for lunch. Dine in one of the prettiest villages in England. A 2-course meal awaits you in the heart of the Cotswolds at the Swan Hotel. The restaurant, overlooking the River Coln, is housed in a 17th-century former coach inn, and serves a popular range of traditional dishes, along with ales and fine wines. Explore Bourton-on-the-Water, one of the loveliest villages in the Cotswolds. Afterwards, you’ll travel to Stow-on-the-Wold, a small market town known for its annual fairs. Enjoy a guided walk through the town center before returning to London.

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From Oxford: Half-Day Cotswold Taster Tour

2. From Oxford: Half-Day Cotswold Taster Tour

Leave the medieval city of Oxford and head first to the pretty village of Minster Lovell. Walk through the village and see the pretty thatched cottages and River Windrush. Relax on a scenic drive that takes you through the idyllic hamlets of Asthall and Swinbrook to the old market town of Burford, the 'gateway to the Cotswolds'.  Enjoy time to browse in the sloping High Street of Burford, with its quirky shops and cafes. Continue through the old quarrying villages of Taynton and the Barringtons, where a panoramic drive takes you to Bourton-on-the-Water, often called the 'Venice of the Cotswolds'.  Wander along the banks of the quaint River Windrush with its old stone bridges or stop for a refreshment in one of the many cafes. Leaving Bourton-on-the-Water, you climb up to Stow Hill to Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds and a market town since the 12th century. Stow is known for its many antique shops and art galleries, as well as many other shops and cafes.  Don't forget to visit St Edward's Church with its old door which inspired the writer Tolkien. On your way back to Oxford pass by the market town of Chipping Norton and Woodstock, the site of Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Stop for a brief photo stop of the palace before your return to Oxford.

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From Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

3. From Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

Start your unforgettable Cotswold journey by boarding the minibus in Oxford. Then, set off on a scenic drive to the charming village of Minster Lovell. Enjoy seeing the pretty thatched houses and exploring the ruined 15th century Hall. Continue the route through the idyllic villages of Asthall and Swinbrook to Burford, the 'Gateway to the Cotswolds'. Make a stop here to give you time to stroll around the sloping High Street and browse in the quirky shops and cafes. Next, travel further on your panoramic drive through the old quarrying villages of Taynton and the Barringtons towards Bourton-on-the-Water, the 'Venice of the Cotswolds'. Take a walk along the quaint River Windrush crossed with delightful stone bridges. From Bourton-on-the-Water, follow the route through some enchanting Cotswold villages to Broadway with its golden stone houses. Find a pub or cafe for lunch in this village which inspired artists and writers, such as Frank Millet, J M Barrie, and William Morris. After lunch, visit the beautiful market town of Chipping Campden, with its old market hall and wool church. Then, explore Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds. Here you can browse among the narrow footpaths and the antique shops and art galleries. Finally, return to Oxford via the bustling market town of Chipping Norton with a final brief photo stop in Woodstock, the site of Blenheim Palace (the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill).

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The Cotswolds: Private Customized Tour

4. The Cotswolds: Private Customized Tour

If you only have one day in the Cotswolds then this is the tour for you. Starting at your location of choice, your tour will focus on the North Cotswolds, as this is where many of the most famous and beautiful villages can be found. Driving through stunning countryside and using quiet country lanes, you will visit or pass through a dozen or so quaint Cotswold villages, with options to visit a Manor House, an English Garden or maybe take a short hike in the countryside. All the major spots are easily covered in one day with plenty of time for getting out of the car and enjoying the scenery and atmosphere. You will be looked after by a knowledgeable local driver-guide, and will travel in a luxury vehicle that can hold up to 8 guests. Your guide will give you a background of the area's history and at each of the stops you are free to either explore the village with your guide or to have some free time to yourself to have a look around. All tours are bespoke and the itinerary is totally flexible so let us know if you have specific places you wish to visit or have any custom requests.

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From Oxford: Cotswolds and Shakespeare Full-Day Tour

5. From Oxford: Cotswolds and Shakespeare Full-Day Tour

See the natural beauty of the North Cotswolds and historic Stratford-upon-Avon on a full-day tour from Oxford. Make several stops in quaint Cotswolds villages and learn about the birthplace of Shakespeare. Head west from medieval Oxford and your first stop will be the old market town of Burford. Explore the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’ and stop for a refreshment. From there you’ll be taken on a scenic drive through some of the old quarrying villages of the Cotswolds until you arrive at Bourton-on-the-Water. Wander along the pretty riverside with its historic stone bridges and browse some of the country shops and cafes. Next, after crossing some rolling hills you’ll reach the charming old market town of Chipping Campden. Visit the old market hall and perhaps stop for lunch in a local pub or restaurant. Finally, follow a route that takes you past more breathtaking views until you reach Stratford-upon-Avon. Here you’ll receive a tour of Shakespeare’s hometown, where you’ll see picturesque timber-framed houses, the famous Shakespeare theaters, the River Avon, and Shakespeare’s birthplace.   After Stratford, head back to the Cotswolds via Shottery, where you’ll see the enchanting Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Return to Oxford via the market town of Shipston, the idyllic village of Great Tew, and Blenheim Palace (birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill).

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From Oxford: Cotswolds & Blenheim Palace Small-Group Tour

6. From Oxford: Cotswolds & Blenheim Palace Small-Group Tour

Take in the charming thatched cottages and quaint rustic villages of the Cotswolds, starting with Burford, which is ranked by Forbes as the 6th best place to live in the world. Learn how this part of Britain became so beautiful and yet remains so untouched. You will be free to roam around the village at your own pace. Then venture farther into the Cotswolds to Bourton-on-the-Water, known as a “Little Venice” due to the meandering beauty of the River Windrush. This will be followed by exploring Blenheim Palace, seat of the Dukes of Marlborough. The palace is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and a true masterpiece of English Baroque architecture that boasts over 300 years of history to discover. You will be given a tour of the grounds, along with the aristocratic history of the palace. You can then enter either the Palace itself, along with the expansive gardens, or head to the Churchill Destination Exhibit.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Bourton-on-the-Water

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What people are saying about Bourton-on-the-Water

Easy to find meeting point and smooth drive ( Neil, our driver, ensured that we have a safe and smooth drive through the pitoresque Cotswolds). Everything was well panned and we had enough time to explore all destinations and even do a little bit of shopping. Andrew, our guide for the day, was a living and breathing encyclopedia giving us so much information about the places what we visited and more than that. I would definitely recommend this tour even for the ones that are self sufficient and able to drive around Cotswolds ( yes, there's more flexibility on doing that but with a knowledgeable guide you know what you're looking at and you're assured that you don't miss any points of interest of the area). Thank you, Andrew and Neil, it was a pleasure getting to know a little bit more about England's beautiful countryside

My daughter and I have just returned from a wonderful day experiencing some of the most beautiful villages in the Cotswolds. The day was made even more special by the professional attitude of Frank, the very knowledgeable and approachable guide with a great sense of humour and Neil, our very kind and polite driver whose great driving would have put me to sleep if it wasn't for my lovely conversation with Frank! The 4 villages we visited were lovely and it is impossible to choose one as a favourite as they each had their own charm. The food was excellent and the service at the restaurant was very efficient as we were trying to keep to a schedule. I definitely recommend the day trip and have myself already booked another day trip to Windsor Castle!

All ingredients for a perfect recipe. Start with Frank our guide and Ricky the pilot, comfortable clean bus. The group and the perfect weather. Frank kept us engaged with his insights to the history and interesting facts of the places visited.

We had Cotswolds trip with lunch. The guide is Frank, he is friendly and helpful. The drive is Andre, he is Polish and he is nice and friendly. Hope can see them soon! Thanks

Fabulous trip. Highly recommended. Isabelle and Dave were very knowledgeable guides.