"Classic Cotswolds" Top 5 Page for this destination Bourton on the Water by iandsmith

Bourton on the Water Travel Guide: 69 reviews and 216 photos

The most popular village

Actually, it's not, it's just that the most popular one has a connection with some bard or playwright or something.
Having said that, Bourton would be the most popular if you're just counting those who come to see the villages of the Cotswolds. I'm eternally grateful to the guidebook that advises you to stay overnight here. We took the advice and spent a Sunday night there, having arrived just as the crowds were dispersing mid-afternoon and then having the next day in virtually uncrowded circumstances.
It's a place that's hard not to like. From the little stream (optimistically called the River Windrush) crossed by six bridges to the miniature town, to the motor museum, to the perfume shop, to the hordes of other touristy shops, this village has it all; though whoever called it the "Venice of the Cotswolds" obviously had a vivid imagination or had never been to Venice. Yes, there's water (barely enough to float a paper boat , let alone a gondola), and bridges (basic stone compared to eyecatching historical) and nice buildings (how they can see anything like St. Marks Square here is beyond me) and that's about where any resemblance may end. What it is is a classic oolite Cotswold village, forget the comparisons.
There's one little thing you should know. The perfume shop is open seven days a week. It may look like it's closed but just try the door, chances are it will swing open. Poor Morgan, MOB1US's partner, got caught and missed the inside of a woman's shop-to-die-for.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very pretty, lots of shops, attractions for the children
  • Cons:I'll let you know when I think of one
  • In a nutshell:If you only have a day in the Cotswolds, put this on your itinerary
  • Last visit to Bourton on the Water: Nov 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (12)

Comments (10)

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2008 at 9:09 PM

    Next time it is the whole Cotswold Walk for you. Another gem uncovered my friend.

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2008 at 2:44 PM

    You're not wrong about English B&Bs and suitcases! My first visit to BotW was back in the 60s when you could still find a parking space and a bed for the night with ease. Lovely little town still. The T-shirt's a beauty! leyle

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    Feb 10, 2008 at 3:00 AM

    This page really brings back memories! I loved Bourton. Like you, I also spent the night there and noted the difference, once all the tourists were gone. I remember the B&B you stayed in.

  • lou31's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2008 at 3:12 AM

    Great tips...very helpful! Just looking around trying to plan my trip. The Cotswolds are a must see on the list. Thanks for sharing...

  • Fergie01's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2007 at 6:52 PM

    Lovely little spot....hope to see it one day, when I get back...thanks for the glimpse...and those thatched cottages...Love to own one! cheers from Ontario Canada- Deana

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2006 at 6:43 AM

    Bourton on the Water sounds to be a lovely place! Great tips and photos Ian!

  • Sep 16, 2006 at 4:12 AM

    Brum's home? That alone would be enough reason for me to visit thios place!

  • Fudge's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2006 at 7:30 PM

    Excellent tips! I esp loved the pics of Dawn and on the places to visit :)

  • unravelau's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2006 at 11:12 AM

    What a magical place Ian. You have done your usual fine job of tweaking interest. The Queen's perfumery? I really love perfume but some gives me allergies- still I would like to visit here. Great page, thank you. Carole.

  • ATXtraveler's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2006 at 5:11 AM

    How COULD anyone miss this page on VT?


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