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The quintessential town of Burford sits close to the winding River Windrush, surrounded by rolling hills and wonderful Cotswold countryside. There are many river walks around Burford for you to enjoy, passing through protected wild meadows, medieval bridges, ancient churches and quaint English pubs.

Whether you’re an avid rambler or simply want to explore the breath-taking scenery, there are plenty of walks around Burford to discover.

Rissington Round

The Rissington Round takes you through the historic villages of Great and Little Rissington, passing through Bourton-on-the-Water and the River Windrush.

Ducks floating on the river in Bourton-on-the-Water

Around 3.5 miles long, this circular route should take around two hours to complete. During the walk you’ll pass the Cotswolds Carp Farm, complete with stunning lakes, a 12th Century church in Little Rissington and the fishing lakes located in South Bourton. Check out the boathouse before you cross over the River Windrush and head off to the coppices on the outskirts of Bourton.

Great Barrington – Burford

This walk through the beautiful Windrush Valley takes about two to three hours to complete the entire 5 miles

Starting at the bridle way down into the Valley, you will pass St Peters Church at Little Barrington and an old village pub called the Fox Inn (perfect for a hearty lunch). Pass the church and by crossing the river you’ll end up at Barrington Farm Grain Store next to the village hall. The converted Barrington Mill should be your next stop and it is here that you can cross many footbridges across the Windrush. The church will lead you through quiet meadows and back down to Burford.

Eye the Windrush and Slaughter

Considered some of the prettiest Cotswold villages in the area, the walk through tranquil Upper and Lower Slaughter is 3 miles and takes around 2 hours to complete.

Beginning at the River Eye, you’ll see a stunning example of 17th century architecture in the form of a grand manor house. Then onto the 19th century red brick mill, which now houses a shop and museum, past the 13th century church. Walking across the ancient Saxon track will take you through a small wooded area and over a disused railway, over an old Roman bridge and back to Bourton-on-the-Water.

Villages of the Windrush Valley

A popular walk that takes you into the history of the Cotswolds, including old Norman churches, burial grounds and manor houses home to great literary figures. This walk is 4 miles long and takes about two hours.

Begin the walk at St Nicholas Church and you’ll immediately spy the Elizabethan Manor House, where the famous writing Mitford sisters lived. Head over the River Windrush and take a moment to gaze at the beautiful water meadows. Crossing these meadows will lead you to the deserted medieval village of Widford, where the 13th Century St Oswald’s church is all that remains, surrounded by crop marks which outline the former buildings. Pass the church of St Oswald’s and head up to Handley Plain, look for a wooded area known as Widley Copse and from here you are just a mile away from Fulbrook. Passing the pubs will bring you out onto the medieval bridge that then takes you back into town.

Visiting Burford in the Cotswolds? Search nearby cottages for somewhere cosy to reside during your walking holiday.

Image Credit: Elliot Brown (CC BY 2.0)