Venice of the Cotswolds

A trip out to Bourton-on-the-Water today. Bourton is about 7 miles from Broadway and is another pretty Cotswold village with the typical Cotswold honey-coloured stone buildings. The River Windrush runs down the main road which is where it gets its nickname of Venice of the Cotswolds.


One of the quirky things about Bourton is that every year they have a football game in the river! Lots of fun and the competitors get very wet, and some of the audience too.

Apart from the village itself, Bourton has quite a few attractions including:

  • Cotswold Motor Museum and toy shop
  • Model village – a one-ninth scale model of Bourton itself
  • Birdland Park and Garden
  • Maze – A half mile maze with 14 clues on the way. Answer them correctly to find the Golden Dragonfly in the centre of the maze.
  • The Cotswold Brewing Company – Brewery tours and sales
  • Cotswold Perfumery – Factory tours, courses and of course a shop.
Model Village, Bourton on the Water
Model Village, Bourton on the Water

I’ve been to model villages before but the Model Village in Bourton is excellent. The model is of Bourton itself so it would make a great starting point when you get to Bourton as you can see all of the village and decide which bits to go find. There are some interesting courtyards and hidden roads which are well worth exploring.

Back to the Model Village. The buildings are made of (or seems to be) the same honey-coloured stone, there are curtains in the windows and the churches have cut-outs so you can see what is going on inside; there was a church choir singing in one. The detail is amazing with the gardens kept to scale.

Snowy Owl, Birdland Park & Garden, Bourton on the Water
Snowy Owl, Birdland Park & Garden, Bourton on the Water

Totally different is Birdland – not surprisingly, it is a collection of birds. There are various types of (what I’d call) parrots, flamingoes, some beautiful owls, penguins and lots of other birds. There are events at various times of day such as Meet the Keeper, and Feeding the Penguins.

Bourton-on-the-Water makes an excellent trip with lots to see and do, and plenty of cafes for lunch – I’d recommend the Bakery by the Motor Museum.


Apple Tree Bed and Breakfast is located in the village of Broadway in the Cotswolds. Contact us on 01386 853681 or visit for details and availability.


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