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things to do in bourton-on-the-water

Keep the whole family entertained by enjoying some of these things to do in Bourton-on-the-Water. From shopping and restaurants to nature reserves and museums, Bourton-on-the-Water has exciting activities for everyone.

Bouton-on-the-Water is the perfect location for a week in the Cotswolds. That is because there are so many things to do in Bourton-on-the-Water. Treat yourself to a day of retail therapy or visit the local food hotspots. No matter what you are looking for in your rural getaway, Bourton-on-the-Water has something for everyone.

Throughout the years, Bourton-on-the-Water has maintained its rich history and heritage. Embarking on a journey of discovery, you can treat the family to unique experiences that aren’t available anywhere else.

Keep reading to find out more about 17 of our favourite things to do in Bourton-on-the-Water…

Places to Eat in Bourton-on-the-Water

Get a real taste of the Cotswolds in some of Bourton-on-the-Waters best places to eat. Take the family for a sumptuous pub lunch or create lasting memories with your loved ones with a romantic meal away from the busier streets.

Whatever you fancy, there are a number of unique, independent eateries in Bourton-on-the-Water. Here are some of our favourites worth a try on your visit to the Cotswolds.

The Rose Tree

The Rose Tree
Focusing on local seasonal ingredients, The Rose Tree prides itself on serving delicious, affordable meals. Looking directly over the River Windrush, the family-run restaurant is the perfect place to stop and refuel after a long day of adventure.

Tuck into a delicious slow roast belly of pork, or keep things vegan with the full of flavour Moroccan Vegetable Tagine. Whatever your preferences, The Rose Tree is a great restaurant full of character and friendly service.

Opening Times: Mon – Sun: 11:30 – 15:00, 18:00 – 20:30
Location: Victoria Street, Bourton-On-The-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BX
Contact:, 01451 820 635

The Mousetrap Inn

The Mousetrap Inn

As one of the most popular drinking spots in Bourton-on-the-Water, The Mousetrap Inn is ideal for a pub meal with the family. The menu is full of flavour that offers a modern take on pub grub. You can pop in throughout lunch, dinner or on a Sunday to enjoy a relaxing meal surrounded by the town’s friendly atmosphere.

Why not try an interesting oaty sourdough with marmite whipped butter or embrace the mouth-watering flavours of miso-glazed cauliflower.

With several meat, vegetarian and vegan choices, The Mousetrap Inn is a great pub to enjoy with the whole family.

If you want to find out more about the local pubs, take a look at 4 of our favourite pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water.

Opening Times: Mon – Sat: 11:00 – 22:00; Sun: 11:00 – 18:00
Location: Lansdowne, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2AR
Contact:, 01451 820 579

Bakery on the Water

Bakery on the Water

With the smell of fresh baked goods flowing through the streets of Bourton-on-the-Water, the Bakery on the Water is hard to miss. The artisan bakery uses traditional methods that help to develop the flavour and texture of the bread.

Whether you want to sit in the cafe or riverside garden, the Bakery on the Water is perfect for a quick morning stop. But don’t think the Bakery is just fresh bread and pastries. The Bakery on the Water offers a choice of sandwiches, quiches and pasties to satisfy the hungry traveller.

Opening Times: Tue – Sat: 8:00 – 17:00
Location: 1 Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BY
Contact:; 01451 822 748

Things to do in Bourton-on-the-Water for Children

Bourton-on-the-Water is a popular hotspot for families to take their children all year round. That is because there are so many things to do in Bourton-on-the-Water with children.

From adventure trails to discovering exotic animals from around the globe, there are many things to do in Bourton-on-the-Water with children. No matter what your children love, they will be sure to find something to keep them learning and entertained throughout your stay.


Birdland in Bourton on the Water

Go on an ornithological journey throughout the Cotswolds and discover some of the world’s most exotic birds. From parrots and owls to dinosaurs and snakes, Birdland is all about teaching children about the wonders of the natural world.

The park has a number of specialised keepers that can offer an insight into the animals on display. Plus, for the inquisitive little ones, the indoor discovery zone lets them get a bit more hands on.

Opening Times: Mon – Sun: From 10:00
Location: Rissington Road, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BN

The Dragonfly Maze

the Dragonfly Maze

Get lost with the whole family in Bourton-on-the-Waters very own yew hedge maze. The Dragonfly Maze offers a fun day out for the family.

Work together as a family or have a competition to see who can discover the 14 clues dotted around the maze to find the central golden dragonfly first. With bragging rights on the line, you can enjoy a day of problem-solving in Bourton-on-the-Water.

Whether you are with the family, a couple or on your own, the Dragonfly Maze is one of the best things to do in Bourton-on-the-Water.

Opening Times: April – October, Mon – Sun: Open from 10:00, Last entry 16:00
Location: Rissington Road,Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham GL54 2BN

Greystones Farm

Greystones Farm

Located on the outskirts of Bourton-on-the-Water, Greystones Farm is a great day out for the whole family. As one of Gloucestershire’s wildlife trusts, the farm is perfect for walking, picnics and running around with the kids.

For more entertainment, the park also offers two wild play areas and a discovery barn, where children can learn about the area and explore the rich history of the Iron age. Plus, there is a cafe to sit down and enjoy and refuel before a day of exploration.

There is no parking on-site. However, Greystones Farm is just a short walk from Bourton-on-the-Water.

Opening Times: Discovery Barn and Cafe, Mon – Sun: 10:00 – 16:00
Location: Greystones Lane, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham, GL54 2BA
Contact: 01452 383 333

Local Museums & History

With so much heritage, Bourton-on-the-Water is the perfect place to learn more about the history of the Cotswolds. Whether you want to see model villages, motoring experiences or historical sights, museums are some of the most popular attractions in Bourton-on-the-Water.

Take a look below and get inspiration for your next visit to Bourton-on-the-Water.

The Model Village

Bourton Model Village

On your visit to Bourton-on-the-Water, The Model Village is a great chance to see the immense detail of the town’s history. The village is the only Grade II listed model village in the country and is a perfect display of what the town looked like throughout the 1930s.

The Model Village is a great spot to take the kids and then to go and find the actual buildings afterwards. Plus, there are also two special exhibitions that feature some of Cotswolds most famous miniature cottages.

Opening Times: Mon – Sun: 10:00 – 17:45
Location: The Old New Inn,Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2AF
Contact:; 01451 820 467

Cotswold Motoring Museum

Motoring Museum Bourton

For any motorheads out there, The Cotswolds motoring Museum is the perfect thing to do in Bourton-on-the-Water. With cars, motorbikes, caravans, toys and memorabilia on display, you can discover a world of vintage restoration.

Opening Times: Mon – Sun: 10:00 – 18:00
Location: The Old Mill, Sherborne St, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham GL54 2BY
Contact: 01451 821 255

Bloody Bourton Walking Tour

Take a spooky tour through Bourton-on-the-Water on the Bloody Bourton Walking Tour. From ghouls and witches to persecution and mythology, the walk takes you on a haunting walk through the town’s history.

For lovers of all things mysterious, the Bloody Bourton Walking Tour is one of the best things to do in Bourton-on-the-Water. The tour is open to the whole family with children and family tickets available.

Start Time: Fri – Sat: 7pm
Location: The tour starts from the war memorial at the village green. Tickets are available from the Visitor Information Centre.
Contact:, 07954182016

Discovery Walks in Bourton-on-the-Water

One of the best ways to see the area is to head out on one of the many hikes around the area. The walks vary in difficulty and preparation is best done beforehand. Whichever walk you decide to follow you are sure to find stunning views, history and heritage surrounding Bourton-on-the-Water.

Grab a picnic, put on your boots and set out on a journey around the Bourton area. There is nothing better than setting off on a crisp spring morning with a fresh coffee in hand.

Here are two of our favourite walks around Bourton-on-the-Water.

Windrush Way

The Windrush Way Walk

The Windrush Way is a 13-mile walk between Winchcombe and Bourton-on-the-Water. The trail offers beautiful views with rolling hills following the River Windrush. 

Along the way, you can see the delights of Sudeley Castle, beautiful green areas of the Cotswolds and much more.

The walk is not for the faint-hearted. But it is a unique way of experiencing the nearby countryside.

Distance: 13.5 miles
Difficulty: Challenging
Notes: The walk is a one-way trip, so if staying at Bourton-on-the-Water, you will need to find a way back from Winchcombe.

Water Mill Loop

The Water Mill Loop Walk

For a slightly shorter walk, the Water Mill Loop is a great choice. Along the way, you can see a variety of beautiful wildflowers, nature and stunning scenery.

Starting at Bourton-on-the-Water, the trail loops around to Lower Slaughter where you can enjoy a refreshing break at one of the local tea rooms. Then follow the trail back around to Bourton-on-the-Water to re-energise in The Mousetrap Inn.

Distance: 7.3 miles
Difficulty: Intermediate

What Shops are in Bourton-on-the-Water?

Throughout your stay in Bourton-on-the-Water, you have an opportunity to explore some of the local shops and boutiques. From unique gifts to fashion and home decorations, the shops in Bourton-on-the-Water offer a selection of bespoke products.

Whether you are looking for clothing, local food or a gift for your friends, Bourton-on-the-Water is a great place to find something special.


Bourton Fashion Shopping

Taking a walk down the local High Street shows you the range of clothes shops Bourton-on-the-Water has to offer. Check out the brands at Chesnuts Fashion Fix, or head over to Cotswold Sheepskin Limited and explore the range of leather goods.

Plus, on your day of indulgence, why not treat yourself to afternoon tea in one of the local tea rooms.


Decoration Shopping

Find the perfect decorations for your home in some of Bourton-on-the-Waters handcrafted shops. Cotswold Candlemakers offers a range of beautifully scented candles that can spruce up any home. Or discover the perfect kitchen decorations at The Cotswold Pottery.

Whether you are shopping for yourself, friends or family, the decorations available in these shops are a wonderful way of celebrating the Cotswolds. You can find vases, bowls, crockery and many special items that can re-design your home.

Unique gifts

Unique Gifts

If you are looking for the perfect gift for your friends, Bourton-on-the-Water has many eccentric shops. Dutton’s Gift Shop is perfect if you are looking for wedding gifts, christening gifts, photo frames or children’s toys.

Places to Stay on Your Visit

With so many things to do in Bourton-on-the-Water, accommodation in one of the local areas will make your stay more comfortable. You can find beautiful cottages with a variety of amenities throughout the Cotswolds. Plus, you can even find the perfect accommodation to share with your favourite pets.


Bourton on the water accommodation

As the obvious choice, a holiday cottage in Bourton-on-the-Water is perfect for exploring the area. There are many stone cottages with features like log fires and hot tubs. No matter what you are looking for on your visit to the Cotswolds, you will be able to find the perfect holiday home for your family.


Stow on the wold accommodation

Just four miles from the bustling Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold is a great place to plan your visit. You can choose from a number of historic cottages in Stow-on-the-Wold, perfect for a weeks getaway.


Burford Accommodation

Only a 20 minute drive away, Burford is a quiet town full of character. The cottages offer a rural getaway and are ideal for visiting places like Oxford, Swindon and Bourton-on-the-Water.

If you can’t find what you are looking for, give Manor Cottages a call, and we will help you find the perfect property for your stay in the Cotswolds.

There are so many magical things to do in Bourton-on-the-Water. Planning your week around your favourite activities will help you to maximise your time in the Cotswolds. Book your stay in a Bourton-on-the-Water cottage and start planning the perfect getaway.

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