A Visitor’s Guide to Burford…
Often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’, Burford really is one of the most beautiful towns in Oxfordshire. From its rich coaching history to the beautiful architecture, Burford is a popular Cotswold destination for tourists from all over the world, no matter what time of year.
The sloping high street provides perhaps one of the most iconic streetscapes of the Cotswolds, greeted at the bottom by the charming River Windrush and medieval bridge. With plenty of shops, pubs and cafes waiting to be discovered, Burford is the perfect Cotswold town to explore over a long weekend.
It also makes a great base for exploring what the rest of the Cotswolds has to offer, with many more fascinating places just a short and exquisitely scenic drive away. We’ve put together a guide to help you make the most of your time in this outstanding area of the UK.
Little and Big Kids
There’s plenty on offer to entertain, educate and amusing in Burford and the surrounding area, including many great attractions to be enjoyed by all age groups!
The Tolsey Museum in Burford is compact but full of artefacts and photographs illustrating the town’s rich history. Housed in the historic Tudor Market building, this curious little museum is worth a visit.
The Cotswold Wildlife Park is a truly fantastic day out for both little and big kids! As one of the UK’s largest zoological collections, the park is home to over 260 different species of animals set in 160 acres of beautiful landscaped parkland and gardens. With daily talks on the penguins and lemur feeding, a hands-on animal farmyard, narrow-gauge railway and adventure playground, there’s plenty to see and do to keep the whole family entertained!
Kelmscott Manor is the former Cotswold retreat of William Morris, a Grade I listed building that has hosted a strong of famous historical visitors. Open from April to October each year on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the house contains an outstanding collection of Morris’ possessions and works, and those of his family and close associates, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti who was a joint tenant of the property with Morris for three years. Take a step back in time and explore the vast treasures of this house and its beautifully maintained gardens.
The Burford Garden Company is a wonderful shopping destination with something for everyone, offering a high-quality curated mixture of plants, gardenalia, home decor, furniture, and clothing. There is also a wonderful art gallery offering unique and affordable original works of art by artists primarily (but not exclusively) from the Cotswolds.
The Burford Garden Company’s Café offers a fantastic selection of home-made treats and restaurant dishes, using locally sourced produce and ingredients, served in the relaxed atmosphere of one of the beautiful glasshouses. An ideal destination on a rainy day – but also a place not to be missed, whatever the weather!
Sitting in the heart of the Cotswolds, Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park has a longstanding reputation for a fun-filled day out. Visitors of all ages can interact closely with the animals and learn about farming, past and present. As the home of rare breed conservation, visitors can meet over 50 flocks and herds of farm animals, including Gloucestershire Old Spot Pigs and Highland cattle. The Touch Barn and Demonstration Barn can be enjoyed all year round, as they are undercover and protected from the elements. With an adventure playground, Farm Safari, Maze, Tractor School, Sand Pits and Jumping Pillows, there’s lots of entertainment for children of all ages. The on-site restaurant, serving seasonal food and Adam’s own beer is a hit with the adults!
Blenheim Palace is perhaps one of the most magnificent buildings in the UK. Built between 1705 and 1722, this masterpiece of English Baroque architecture is open to the public to explore. Set in the distinctively landscaped grounds of Capability Brown, Blenheim was most famously the birthplace and home of Sir Winston Churchill. With exhibitions, a shop, restaurant and seasonal events, Blenheim Palace provides a fascinating and educational day out for all the family.
Bamford Haybarn Spa is a luxury Cotswold wellness retreat situated next to the renowned Daylesford Farmshop and Café. With a strong focus on reconnecting to nature, Bamford Haybarn Spa provides many luxurious and invigorating treatments as well as offering yoga, pilates and meditation classes, making it the ultimate destination to unwind and relax.
The Spa at Witney Lakes Resort offers an enticing range of treatments as well as spa days. Whether you’re looking to relax with friends, family, your partner or maybe just some much needed ‘me-time’, this lovely spa has all the beauty and spa treatments you could dream of!
The Cotswolds is full of beautiful walks, chiefly the 102 miles eponymous Cotswold Way. However, do not fear if you’re not feeling up to trekking over 100 miles, there are plenty of shorter, flatter walks around Burford.
The Windrush circular 5 mile walk that begins and ends in Burford, with a lovely return stretch along the River Windrush, is perfect for those looking to explore a little further afield. Simply download the map and instructions from the link above.
This annual four-day event hosted in April is not to be missed by literary lovers! Offering insightful talks and educational creative workshops, find out more information about the upcoming festival on the website.
Between the months of May and October Cheltenham hosts renowned festivals of Jazz, Science, Music and Literature, visited by some of the most esteemed professionals in their field.
Burford is very proud to be home to Warwick Hall, the recently developed church hall and café that hosts fantastic variety of lectures, musical evenings, tribute acts and classes. All events are open to non-residents.
Cheltenham racecourse, the jewel in Jump racing’s crown, plays host to the best jumping action in the world from 350 spectacular acres in the lee of the beautiful Cotswold hills. Whether you’re here on a crisp bright October day or a balmy evening in May, you’ll feel that unmistakable Cheltenham magic. The racing, the setting, the tradition and history,
the shared sense of enjoyment all combines to give everyone, from those sampling our finest hospitality to the racegoers on the course, an experience they’ll never forget.
A beautifully sheltered golf course spanning 6,402 yards in length, Burford Golf Club is open to non-members. The course is particularly challenging yet rewarding for golfers of all experience levels and handicaps. There are buggies and trolleys available for hire and as the course enjoys good drainage, it is playable all year round.
The Cotswold Clay Club and Shooting School is located in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold Countryside. It is open every day to everyone from novices, to experienced shots and also for shooting experiences.
999 (toll free/freephone – police, ambulance & firefighters)
Burford Taxis – 07855806102
Charlie’s Travel – 01993 845253
Cooperative Burford, 74 High St, Burford OX18 4QF
Waitrose, 25 Woolgate, Witney OX28 6AR
M&S, Marriott’s Close, Woodford Way, Marriotts Walk, Witney OX28 6GW
ASDA, Black Bourton Rd, Carterton OX18 3HQ
Burford is home to a vast selection of cafés, restaurants and pubs, each with their own individual character and menus to suit all tastes. Travel a little further afield, and you will also discover a fantastic selection of unique eateries, – the Cotswolds really is a foodie’s paradise!
Snacks & Bakeries
Enduring craft bakery and simple, beamed tea room, perfect for myriad blends, a refreshing cup of coffee and delicious cakes.
The Lynwood & Co name has been a staple of Australian artisan preserves and chutneys for more than 20 years. Bringing a taste of Australia to the Cotswolds, Lynwood serves freshly ground coffee and fantastic artisan bread.
With hundreds of ingredients, toppings and mixtures – this is a shake and snack stop that’s not to be missed!
Dinner & Lunch
The Angel at Burford has been run by The King family since 2011 and is loved by both visitors and locals for its blend of Cotswold charm, delicious food and drink and a warm, friendly welcome. They are proud winners of ‘Cotswold Pub of the Year’ in 2015, 2016 and 2017, making it a must-stop spot in the town.
This is a fantastic Indian restaurant in the heart of Burford. The emphasis is on organic and creative dishes. Ethnic recipes are used to provide a diverse, unusual menu, while focusing on healthy eating.
The Upton Firehouse
Located just outside Burford in the rolling Cotswold countryside, The Upton Firehouse is a different take on informal dining. Truly unique. Using their own smoked meats and cooking them over the feature huge indoor BBQ is a sight to be seen!
The Bull at Burford
Reputed to offer the best food in Burford, guests can enjoy lunch or dinner from the brasserie menu in the restaurant, bar or lounge areas.
The Wild Rabbit is part of the Daylesford estate. Offering a mouth-watering selection of dishes working with British farmers and artisan producers. The award-winning kitchen uses the finest seasonal ingredients to create dishes that celebrate traditional British cooking with a contemporary twist.
An established culinary destination and a much sought-after fine dining Cotswolds restaurant, combining excellent service and decadent dishes to deliver a truly special dining experience. Listed in the Sunday Times’ Top 100 restaurants in Britain, and named as one of the Top 20 Most Romantic Dining Rooms by The Times and consistently recognised by the Good Food Guide, you truly don’t want to miss out on experiencing this restaurant!