20 miles from Cotswold Waterpark Retreats

Bourton-on-the-Water, often referred to as the "Venice of the Cotswolds," is a charming village known for its low stone bridges arching over the gently flowing River Windrush. This picturesque village captivates visitors with its unique combination of natural beauty and architectural elegance. Highlights include the Model Village, Birdland Park and Gardens, and the Cotswold Motoring Museum.


Things to do in Bourbon on the Water

Tourist Spot

Bourton-on-the-Water Model Village

Tourist Spot

Cotswold Lavender Fields

History of Bourton-on-the-Water

Population: 3,297
Current Weather: 16 °C

Bourton-on-the-Water is special place to go but be warned – it gets busy! Go before 9 or after 5 in the evening when it’s a little quieter. Christmas is particularly busy but a stunning place to visit

Historical Background

Bourton-on-the-Water, often hailed as the “Venice of the Cotswolds,” has a rich history dating back to the Neolithic period. Archaeological finds support its ancient origins. The village’s name comes from the Saxon term “Burgh,” meaning a fort or camp, highlighting its early significance.

During the Roman era, Bourton-on-the-Water became a notable site due to its strategic location along the River Windrush. Remnants of Roman roads and a villa still stand today. The Roman influence shows the village’s long-standing role in regional trade and connectivity.

In the Middle Ages, Bourton-on-the-Water thrived as an agricultural community. The construction of its iconic low stone bridges began in the 17th century. These bridges enhanced the village’s infrastructure and became a hallmark of its picturesque landscape.


Interesting Historical Facts

  • Saxon and Roman Heritage: The village’s Saxon origins and Roman development show its historical depth. The Roman villa and roads offer a glimpse into its ancient past.
  • 17th-Century Bridges: The iconic low stone bridges, built in the 17th century, are functional structures and historical artefacts. They have become synonymous with the village’s identity.
  • Agricultural Hub: In the Middle Ages, Bourton-on-the-Water flourished as an agricultural centre. Its fertile lands and river proximity supported local farming and trade.
  • Architectural Evolution: The village’s architecture reflects its historical evolution. Buildings showcase styles from various periods, including traditional Cotswold stone cottages.
  • Historic Events: Bourton-on-the-Water has witnessed many historical events. From its early Saxon roots through Roman occupation and medieval development, each era left its mark on the village’s heritage.

Today, Bourton-on-the-Water blends its rich historical legacy with the serene beauty of the Cotswolds. Visitors can experience a unique journey through time amidst a stunning natural backdrop.

Rentals in Bourton-on-the-Water

Essitone House

In the Village
We are thrilled to announce the launch of Essitone House, a brand new luxury retreat in the picturesque village of Ashton Keynes. Named in honour of the village’s historical name, Essitone House seamlessly blends modern comfort with a nod to the past, offering an unforgettable stay in the heart of the Cotswolds. Accommodation Details Essitone […]


On the Lake
Sleek Lakeside Living The stunning Maricor is ready to welcome its first guests! This recently renovated property was beautifully furnished by Interior Design Masters, Amy Davies, and is a testament to modern design. The open plan living and kitchen area offer a perfectly sociable space, alongside uninterrupted views across the lake. Those who are lucky […]

Summer Lake

On the Lake
Summer Lake: A Tranquil Lakeside Retreat Welcome to the serene elegance of Summer Lake, a beautiful property designed by Cotswold Water Park Retreats for a memorable lakeside experience. Located in a private gated community, this New England style home comfortably hosts up to 8 guests in four adaptable king-size bedrooms, which can be arranged as […]

The Boathouse

On the Lake
Experience Lakeside Serenity Little Horseshoe Lake has only 5 lodges in a private 55 acre estate with each lodge angled and placed to give maximum privacy to guests and at the same time giving stunning floor to roof views across the 2 lakes. The one bedroomed homes are The Boathouse, Willow, Waterlily and Island with […]

York Cottage

In the Country
York Cottage Welcome to York Cottage, a stylish two-storey retreat that offers the perfect blend of comfort and elegance. Nestled within the Yellowstone Collection at Cotswold Water Park Retreats, York Cottage is an ideal destination for families, small groups, and couples seeking a relaxing and affordable getaway in the beautiful Cotswolds. Stylish Two-Storey Design York […]

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