The Venice of the Cotswolds,
Bourton-on-the-Water is one of the most charming places I have ever visited; packed with independent shops, cafes and the most elegant collection of 18th century footbridges in England, Bourton is definitely an idyllic village, watered by the river Windrush and known by locals as the Venice of the Cotswolds.
During summer months, the tranquil and beautiful village of Bourton becomes the tourist mecca of the area; offering alfresco dinning, a friendly smile from the locals and tourist attractions like the Model Village, the Model Railway, the Motor Museum and the sanctuary of birds “Birdland”.
If you prefer to relax and stay away from the crowds, then I recommend you to go for a wander around the village during the evening; the river flows along the main street, this is one of the most beautiful and relaxing experiences you can ever enjoy; the beauty of the place is incomparable.
My favourite attraction was Birdland; this is a sanctuary for birds just minutes away from the centre; you can enjoy a day out in this beautiful park that offers plenty of variety of birds to see; there are in fact over 500 birds and a 2.5 acre nature reserve; what I loved about Birdland is that many of the birds can wander freely in the natural surroundings; they range from Cockatoo to flamingos and owls but what will surprise you the most, is the Remarkable collection of King and Humboldt penguins. If you plan in advanced you need to treat your kids, husband, wife or anyone you love to the “Feed the Penguin experience”; that was my surprise birthday present from friends and I absolutely loved it; I was nervous at the beginning just thinking that over 60 people were looking at me but after the first few minutes you will forget about them and just enjoy this wonderful experience.
Address: Birdland Park and Gardens
Glos, GL54 2BN
Opening times: Daily – April to October from 10am to 6pm, however they close at 4pm from October until March.
Another place that you will enjoy is The Model Village, this is an amazing miniature reconstruction of the village; you will not be disappointed with a visit to this attraction; they even have cherry and chestnut trees built in miniature. The Model Village opens from 9am to 6pm between March and October and from 10am until 4pm during the cold months.
You also need to visit the Motor Museum, with cars ranging from classic automobiles to replicas of car TV programmes; the Model Railway is not far; and this is one of the best operating layouts in the United Kingdom.
Bourton-on-the-Water is a beautiful place but if you plan carefully, allow a few days to explore peaceful and striking villages and cities located just a few minutes drive from Bourton; for more details read The Cotswolds, "Outstanding Natural Beauty"
I have also prepared guides for other destinations in England:
- Visit London; top 10 places to visit in the city of London
- Places to see in Manchester
- Kew Gardens "Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew"
- Marwell Zoo Review
- Places to visit in England - Brighton
- Places to visit in Spain - Andalusia
- Bogota; top 10 places to visit in the city of Bogota
- Places to visit in Malaysia - Penang