England’s Little Venice: Burton on the Water

Everyone who knows the South West will know that Somerset is, built from picturesque stone villages. There are so many it can be hard to know which ones to visit first. Having lived on the Somerset border for almost 4 years now, I’ve been granted the chance in that time to explore a few. Though there was one small village that I’d long since read about and was desperate to explore.

Burton on the Water is known locally as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’. Built around the River Windrush, it has a unique appeal amongst its neighbouring sandstone siblings. Walking along the river bank you will no doubt witness the bridges of rustic honeycomb that adjoin either side of the village. Regularly voted one of the prettiest villages in England, it’s not hard to see why. For its compact size there is plenty to see and do.

I visited last summer for a birthday outing and funds were limited so we couldn’t enjoy the eclectic motoring memorabilia found in Cotswold Motoring Museum (which note is the home of Brum). However, to my delight we did make a visit to The Model Village. When I was young, I had enjoyed similar attractions elsewhere and so I was enchanted at the prospect of viewing the Cotswolds in miniature.

You may think such an attraction is just for kids, but is family friends and there were at least three generations there when I visited. Plus, I’m just a big kid at heart! No point in denying it. As well as the model village, there was also an indoor museum of miniature collections, which depicted various scenes across England over the generations i.e. from grocers to the trenches, the classroom to the docks. It was actually very cool, I admired the patience, detail and craftsmanship that went in to such delicate model pieces. Longing to treasure them, I took many photos for posterity.

After our walk around the miniature village, it was time for exploration of the real village and so we strolled by the river where we admired the stonework and watched ducks diving in the water. We stopped by a tea-room and sat outside in the sun, pondering our would be futures. As we did so I noted the British flag embellished on bunting above the bridges, I guessed there must have been a village fete for the Queen’s 90th celebrations. The place shouted out of the Cotswolds, it was what I’d always imaged an traditional village in England to be like. I reminded myself how lucky I was to live relatively near.

Having emptied the pot, we wandered over the low-lying bridge to the high street, filled with further tea-rooms and independent stores. And what other way was the afternoon completed, than with a pint in the local pub. Though we merely popped by for the afternoon, there are many other attractions to Burton on the Water. For more information on the village, events and attractions view: bourtoninfo.com

I visited in early June, but I imagine it is beautiful in autumn. Have you visited Bourton on the Water or any other Cotswold villages near-by, I’m always keen to collect new places on my ever-lasting list.

Leave a Reply