Bourton on the Water The Venice of the Cotswolds’
Often referred to as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ due to the River Windrush running right through the centre, Bourton on the Water is one of the most visited villages in the Cotswolds. Clear sparkling water and attractive low bridges crossing the river create a charming scene, especially at the quieter times of day and quieter months of the year. Pubs, shops, restaurants and tearooms, and an unusually high number of visitor attractions for such a small place, provide plenty of options to keep all ages entertained. Bourton has a long history of attracting visitors with the Model Village (a replica of the village itself) opening in 1937 and Birdland twenty years later. Other attractions include one of Britain’s best small motor museums. Historically, St Lawrence’s church is notable for its domed tower, unique in the Cotswolds. Salmonsbury Meadows has been saved as a wildlife reserve, and the Iron Age site of Salmonsbury Camp can be traced in outline. Bourton offers lovely walking country and is very close to the beautiful villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter, as well as Stow on the Wold, Northleach and Burford a little further afield.
1) Short Walk Greystones Farm Nature Reserve
The reserve is a 5-minute walk from Station Car Park and there are two walking routes including an audio trail marked by arrows: Meadow Walks and Archaeology Walk. As well as being an important nature area, Greystones Farm is a protected Scheduled Ancient Monument with human habitation dating back almost 6000 years. Available from the Visitor Information Centre.
2) Moderate Walk Bourton on the Water to Little Rissington via Rissington Mill
Approx 4 miles. A pretty circular walk leaving the village through fields and along the river to Rissington Mill. Admire the 12th century church of Little Rissington and its RAF memorial window and graves
3) Long Walk Circular Walk from Bourton through Naunton and the Slaughters
Approx 9 miles. Beginning from the Visitor Information Centre on Victoria Street, this walk heads out into the fields and along the Windrush Way and Donnington Way. You can stop in Naunton for refreshment before heading along the Wardens Way to the pretty village of Upper Slaughter. The route then heads to Lower Slaughter and back to Bourton.
Classic Chipping Campden “Jewel in the Crown of the Cotswolds”
Chipping Campden’s long and flowing main street gives the town its shape and style. Frequently described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Cotswold towns, this is also one of the best preserved and most historically important towns in the area. The town has a long history of wool and wealth, reflected in its wonderful stone buildings. Its more recent history includes the arts & craft movement when artists and designers took up residence around 1900. Court Barn Museum in Church Street showcases a glittering collection of silver, jewellery, printing and furniture. Today, there are a number of galleries and craft shops selling contemporary crafts. Chipping Campden is a place to stop and breathe in the atmosphere of your surroundings. Notable buildings include the Grevel House, the 14th century Woolstaplers Hall, Town Hall and St James Church – a fine Cotswolds ‘wool church’. Alongside, are the gates of Campden House, much damaged in the Civil War. The ancient word ‘Chipping’ refers to a market and the Market Hall was built in 1627 to sell butter, cheese and poultry. On nearby Dover’s Hill, Captain Robert Dover founded the Cotswold Olimpicks in the 17th century and they are still celebrated every year with a quirky mix of sports, games and festivities.
1) Short walk Chipping campden town walk
Approx 2 miles – A self guided walk to learn about various points of interest as well as the history of this beautiful town.
2) Moderate Walk Across the Fields to Campden Tunnel
Approx 3.4 miles – Across the extensive market garden fields to the NE of the town, crossing the end of the Campden Railway Tunnel and then returning across more agricultural land. An optional extension (a further 0.6 miles) takes you over more agricultural land to the north of the town.
3) Long Walk The Cotswold Way
102 miles. National Trail. Runs between Chipping Campden and Bath. Follows the Cotwsold Escarpement with wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. Magical walking, picturesque villages and ancient sites.
The Cathedral City of Gloucester
Rich in history, Gloucester boasts a wealth of architectural gems, numerous visitor attractions and Premiership rugby. It can truly be regarded as a great English city. The awe-inspiring 900-year cathedral is the most-complete Perpendicular Gothic building in the world. Here, William the Conqueror ordered the Domesday Book in 1085 and King Edward II was buried after being murdered at nearby Berkeley Castle. More recently, the medieval fan-vaulted cloisters can be seen in the Harry Potter movies. Gloucester’s waterside location and stunning Victorian Docks add a special dimension to the city. Although this area is now used for leisure and entertainment, it is still a working environment. You may see a ship being repaired in the dry docks or glimpse a tall ship. At the docks, you will find the Waterways Museum and the Soldiers of Gloucester Museum housed in former grand warehouses. For some retail therapy, Gloucester Quays offers a choice of shops, an Antiques Centre, restaurants and bars. Throughout the year, numerous festivals include food & drink and the magnificent Tall Ships. The city centre is based on a Roman cross layout. Westgate Street features smaller, independent shops and access to the Cathedral via College Court. Here visitors will see the strangely familiar Tailor of Gloucester’s shop from Beatrix Potter’s story. As you wander the streets of Gloucester, be sure to look up above the shops to catch some real architectural gems.
Short Walk 1) Norman Walk
Approx 2.5 miles – This circular walk begins at the Cathedral and takes you through ancient Gloucester, following in the footsteps of William the Conqueror. Norman history echoes through the streets and fascinating sites and fine structures are dotted through the city, transporting you back nearly 1000 years, such as St Oswald’s Priory, Blackfriars Priory and the site of the Norman Castle. Route available from the TIC.
2) Moderate Walk Gloucester Waterside Walks
A series of four waterside walks ranging from 1.5 miles to 5.5 miles, starting within a walk or bus ride of Gloucester city centre. These embrace the River Severn or the Gloucester Sharpness Canal, an area that offers great opportunities for the quiet enjoyment of the countryside
3) Long Walk Gloucester Sharpness Canal Walk
Approx 16 miles (there are also shorter options) – Take the footpath from Gloucester Docks down the Gloucester Sharpness Canal. The former towpath runs the whole length of the canal to Sharpness and can be accessed at each of the 16 bridges. Enjoy the boats and nature along this flat walk for all abilities. An excellent half way point at Saul Junction offers refreshments and toilet facilities. It is possible to return back to Gloucester by bus from Slimbridge (where you will also find Slimbridge WWT) or Frampton on Severn. We recommend you plan your journey in advance due to the infrequency of buses.