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Home | Guidebooks | Burford, Fairford and Lechlade-on-Thames

Your Guide to

Burford, Fairford and Lechlade-on-Thames

“The Gateway to the Cotswolds”

Burford shows the Cotswolds in its full glory. Wandering the high street you are surrounded by historic buildings, each with their own character and charm. The view has barely changed since Tudor times and you are transported to a bygone era. Explore the tempting alleyways and side streets and pop into antique shops filled with treasures, quaint gift shops and tearooms for some locally baked cake.

The Windrush Valley hides the remains of a deserted village, country pubs where you can stop off for a pint and enjoy the view, and a real taste of rural Cotswolds farmland and countryside.

From Burford, Fairford and Lechlade-on-Thames are a 20-minute drive. Sat at either end of Bowmoor Lake these villages are joined by the River Coln which flows into the Thames. The area is surrounded by beautiful, rolling Cotswold scenery, perfect for exploring by bike or on foot. From Lechlade, the Thames Path National Trail is a good place to start, and both towns are ideally located to explore the Cotswold Water Park with all its water sport activities and easy to follow trails.

We hope you enjoy your stay in this much-loved part of the Cotswolds. To help you plan your days we’ve put together a collection of our favourite experiences so you can make the most of Burford and the surrounding area.

Arlington Row, Bibury

Take the perfect Instagram photo to show off how you’ve spent your time while on holiday. This row of 17th century weavers’ cottages is probably the most photographed scene in the Cotswolds, make sure you get up early to avoid other tourists ruining the view!

Burford Garden Centre, Burford

The Burford Garden Centre is more than simply a place to buy plants. It’s an under-one-roof emporium of unique, curated plants, gardening items, home décor, furniture, and art. Set over 15 acres, it’s a smorgasbord of ever-changing handpicked products. There’s also a gallery and a relaxed and informal café.

Cotswold Wildlife Park, Burford

Home to one of the UK’s largest zoological collections and diverse gardens, the park is home to more than 260 different species of animals, many of which are endangered in the wild, and sits in 160 acres of landscaped parklands and gardens.

Lodge Park & Sherborne Park Estate, Sherborne

Spend time in a peaceful Cotswold estate filled with wildlife including fallow and roe deer, badgers, and foxes. This is also the home of England’s last surviving 17th century grandstand along with 18th century water meadows.

Kelmscott Manor, Lechlade

A beautiful old house that was home to William Morris, it offers very interesting interiors and a shop full of Arts and Crafts designs. The nearby churchyard also houses William Morris’s grave.

National Trust Estates

The area is blessed with three National Trust properties – the Buscot and Coleshill Estates, and Badbury – all with lots of space to run around and let off some steam, take a tranquil walk, do some forest bathing, have a picnic, enjoy the views, fly a kite, and learn about the local history (Coleshill was where the British Government trained WWII’s British Resistance aka spies).

Cotswold Water Park

Cotswold Water Park is an outdoor activities mecca, with over 180 lakes interlinked by footpaths and bridleways. There is a fantastic range of activities for every age, plus a beautiful spa for those who simply want to relax.

River Thames Watersports and Walks

Lechlade-on-Thames is an idyllic spot to launch into the River Thames in just about any form of watercraft. Head to Cotswold Boat Hire to hire a motorised boat (of all sizes) or head to Cotswold Canoe Hire for canoe, kayak or paddle board hire. You can also follow the Thames Path National Trail which runs beside ­­the river.

Find our tailored collection of services, available at your cottage in our Experiences section on our website!

Tolsey Museum, Burford

The Tolsey is Burford’s tiny but perfectly formed museum dedicated to the town’s long and rich history. Housed within the historic Tudor market building you’ll get a great insight into Burford through the ages. Entry is free but donations are welcomed.

The Drang Gallery, Burford

In the heart of Burford, the Drang Gallery hosts exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. Previous exhibitions have included works by Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and Banksy.

The Barn Theatre, Cirencester

The fabulous Barn Theatre, located on the outskirts of Cirencester, offers a huge variety of shows from music to drama. Performances include The Mozart Question, Driving Miss Daisy, The Girl on the Train and Million Dollar Quartet. Alongside the theatre is the Teatro restaurant where you can enjoy a pre-show meal and drink.

Corinium Museum, Cirencester

Cirencester – the Capital of the Cotswolds – is home to the Corinium Museum which houses a huge variety of artefacts from the town’s Roman roots, brought to life in the Roman Amphitheatre just a short walk from the town centre. This English Heritage site is one of the best-preserved of its kind in the UK, built in the early 2nd Century for a capacity of over 8,000 spectators. The museum takes you on a “journey through time, charting the development of the Cotswolds from its prehistoric landscape to the modern day”.

Cogges Manor Farm Museum, Witney

Cogges Manor Farm Museum is a unique working museum of Victorian rural life in Oxfordshire, set in a historic manor house and Cotswold stone farm buildings. Fans of Downton Abbey might recognise Cogges Manor Farm – it was Yew Tree Farm, home to the Drewe family in series four and five, where Lady Edith’s child is raised.

Cotswold Woollen Weavers Mill, Filkins

The Cotswolds was one of the great centres of the UK’s historic wool trade. The wealth that came from it can still be seen across the region in some of the great mansion houses, churches, and miles of stone walling. Want to see wool being woven? You can visit Cotswold Woollen Weavers in Filkins, which is home to a textile museum, design studio, and shop dedicated to traditionally woven cloth. There’s also a café, picnic area, sculpture gallery and rug warehouse.

Cheltenham Festivals

Cheltenham is well known for its spectacular festivals which bring a flourish of life and entertainment to the town throughout the year. Starting in May with the Jazz Festival, the Science Festival and Food & Drinks festival are in June, followed quickly by the music festival in July and the literature festival in October. Each showcase the talents of celebrities and offer great free events alongside the big-name tickets.

Longborough Festival Opera

The beautiful setting of the Longborough opera house, which has two bars, a choice of dining venues and picnic options, shows acclaimed performances during their annual season. Even if you are not an opera afficionado, this is an experience not to be missed.

The Cotswold Outpost, Burford

Perfect for: breakfast, morning tea, lunch

This café/farm shop/deli is open for breakfast and lunch, all of which feature the best of their local produce. You can sit inside or outside when the weather is good and take in the wonderful views. The Outpost is also dog friendly, and they offer a range of doggie-friendly ice creams too.

The Lamb Inn, Burford

Perfect for: lunch, dinner

The Lamb Inn is everything you would expect a lovely old Cotswold inn that dates to the 1300s to be. The menu is interesting and award-winning, with traditional classics and modern dishes which can be enjoyed in the restaurant and the bar areas.

The Royal Oak, Burford

Perfect for: lunch, dinner, Sunday lunch

This dog-friendly country pub is tucked away off the main street and offers great service and really tasty food, they are also renowned for their pies. During the winter, the cosy bar and restaurant area are warmed by a log fire. In the summer, you can head out to the sun- trap beer garden and relax in the sunshine.

Lynwood & Co, Burford, Fairford, Lechlade

Perfect for: breakfast, hot drinks, lunch

Lynwood & Co brings the down-to-earth coffee culture of Sydney to the beautiful Cotswolds. The cafes are at the centre of the community, and they work exclusively with local and independent suppliers. Expect excellent coffee and homemade food.

Angel, Burford

Perfect for: lunch, dinner

The Angel at Burford is a 16th century coaching inn packed with character. This popular family-run restaurant can be found just off the high street. Expect wooden beams, open fires, and a lovely walled garden and sun terrace for outside dining. The menu offers excellent traditional meals.

The Prince of Burford is a newly refurbished pub converted from an 18th-century coaching inn, which sits which sits at the top of the hill before you head down into the picturesque town of Burford. On the menu you will find locally sourced seasonal dishes, hearty pub classics and a roast on Sundays, with a great selection of award-winning Butcombe beer, wines and cocktails to choose from too. 

Carpenters Arms, Burford

Perfect for: lunch, dinner

Just a short walk from Burford you’ll find the family-run Carpenters Arms. This warm and welcoming country pub offers excellent food and great hospitality. It’s family-friendly, dog-friendly and offers an interesting menu with pub classics and modern British dishes.

Cotswold Arms, Burford

Perfect for: lunch, dinner

This busy traditional pub is popular with locals and visitors not least for the extensive menu, selection of real ales and live music on a Saturday night. They are also featured on the gluten-free dining guide.

Maytime Inn, Asthall

Perfect for: dinner

The beautiful Cotswold pub the Maytime has been treating visitors to a warm and comforting welcome since the 17th century and it continues today. The menu combines pub classics with elegant modern British dishes and a wonderful array of puddings (they even make their own salted caramel rolos!) When it comes to drinks you can expect a great wine list available by the glass, craft beers, real ales, and over 150 different gins.

The Swan, Swinbrook

Perfect for: lunch, dinner

This characterful, wisteria-clad pub lies on the banks of the River Windrush and is suited to relaxed meals and dining. Dishes are seasonal and use the best local ingredients around, including Swinbrook beef and Cotswold cheese. The Swan is steeped in history including a connection to the infamous Mitford sisters – ‘Debo’ the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire was the former landlady.

Colosseo Restaurant, Fairford

Perfect for: lunch, dinner

A classic Italian restaurant with an extensive menu, and a dedicated bar where you can enjoy drinks right besides the open fireplace.

Sourdough Revolution, Lechlade

Perfect for: baked goods, picnics, snacks, lunch

This award-winning bakery sells freshly made sourdough bread, pizza, sandwiches and drinks. They pride themselves on simple ingredients to create incredible baked goods.

Magic Beans Cafe, Fairford

Perfect for: breakfast, lunch, cakes, drinks

An independent café on the outskirts of Fairford with an attached soft play area for little ones (Hocus Pocus Play).

New Wave Brasserie, Lechlade

Perfect for: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Bringing the coast to the Cotswolds, the New Wave Brasserie offers a substantial breakfast and brunch menu, but their true passion is seafood. This is reflected in the extensive range of fishy dishes available for lunch and dinner, including seafood platters.

The Bull Hotel, Fairford

Perfect for: breakfast, lunch, dinner

A Grade II listed Cotswold coaching inn with a traditional pub bar, open fires and lots of character and private dining spaces, plus a vaulted barn that’s ideal for wedding receptions.

The Coffee Post, Fairford

Perfect for: breakfast, coffee and cake, lunch, takeaway

An independent coffee shop serving hand baked cakes and sweet treats as well as sandwiches, toasties and paninis.

The New Inn Hotel, Lechlade

Perfect for: breakfast, lunch, dinner

A 17th century coaching inn with a traditional bar and restaurant, serving all fresh, locally sourced produce. Their Sunday lunches are incredibly popular.

The Railway Inn, Fairford

Perfect for: lunch and bar snacks, dinner

A family-run 250-year-old pub and restaurant serving traditional cask ales, locally sourced food menu, with a log fire and sun terrace. Dog and child friendly.

The Riverside, Lechlade

Perfect for: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Located right on the banks of the River Thames, the Riverside pub is a fabulous place to sit in the garden and watch the river world go by on a sunny day. Or you can enjoy the covered area or head inside to the restaurant.

The Swan Inn, Lechlade

Perfect for: lunch, bar snacks, dinner

A traditional 16th century pub with a bar and small restaurant area. They are dog lovers, so you’re welcome to bring your four-legged friends, too.

The Trout Inn, Lechlade

Perfect for: bar snacks, lunch, dinner, takeaway

Located by St John’s Lock, the first lock on the River Thames, this historic riverside pub has outside seating for the summer months and a cosy bar with a roaring fire for the winter months.

The Falcon Inn, Poulton

Perfect for: dinner

The owners of the Falcon Inn wanted to create a great village pub serving a good pint, interesting wine and excellent food at a great price and they do just that. The menu changes with the seasons to ensure you always have the best ingredients on your plate.

Amore Mio, Cirencester

Perfect for: lunch, dinner, takeaway

Amore Mio is a delightful Italian offering a wide range of sour dough pizzas, pasta and homemade gelato. Dine in or order online and pick up a pizza to go.

Café Mosaic, Cirencester

Perfect for: breakfast, lunch

This independent, family-run café is in the heart of Cirencester and offers great, homecooked food. Whether you are in the mood for a breakfast sandwich, coffee and cake or soup and sandwich, this is a wonderful place to refuel.

Enjoy a leisurely wander around the town and choose from a wide range of cafes and historical coaching inns for refreshment before exploring the myriad delights of Blenheim Palace. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and is just a short walk from the marketplace. Explore the magnificent palace, which dates back to the 1700s, and the spectacular parklands.

Chedworth Roman Villa

Cradled in a beautiful, quintessentially English valley are the remnants of what was once one of the grandest Roman villas in Great Britain. Through a series of spectacular mosaics, take a stroll through Britain’s Roman past. The tranquil setting and abundant wildlife make for a lovely day out.

Bampton Village

A large village with an impressive church which is also the filming location of Downton Abbey village. It has several traditional pubs, a bistro, coffee shops and an interesting garden centre.

St Mary’s Church, Fairford

The origin of this impressive church at the heart of Fairford is 1,000 years old, while the church you see today dates back to 1497. The significance of St Mary’s lies in its stained windows, which are the only complete set of late medieval glass in a parish church in the UK, attracting thousands of visitors each year. The church is open daily and has visitor guidebooks and audio guides. A private tour can be booked in advance.


This picture-postcard village offers a wealth of attractions including Birdland Park and Gardens, the Model Village, Dragonfly Maze, and the Cotswold Motoring Museum. Wander alongside the riverside walk, as the River Windrush flows through the centre of the village, before refuelling with a cream tea in one of the lovely independent cafes.

Faringdon Folly and Woodland

The last major folly to be built in England, the 100ft Faringdon Folly sits on top of Folly Hill surrounded by four acres of mixed woodland with walking and sculpture trails to explore. The breath-taking view from the top extends over five counties.

On the August Bank Holiday, two teams take to the river in Bourton for a unique game of footie!

Fairytale Farm

Divided into six zones, including Huff and Puff, Enchanted Walk, and Fairy Dell, Fairytale Farm has something to keep the whole family entertained. With animals including pigs, goats, ponies, lambs, chickens, rabbits, and alpacas, as well as an adventure playground, Fairytale Farm has enough to do to keep children occupied for hours. What’s more, because they’re having so much fun, it won’t feel like learning at all!

Crocodiles of the World

Dedicated to the conservation of these much-maligned creatures, you’ll be able to see 17 of the 24 species currently found in the world including fresh and saltwater crocodiles, caiman, and alligators. For those who want to get even closer, there are wild keeper experiences for children and grownups alike.

Set high in the Cotswolds, overlooking the Windrush Valley, this is a fabulous day out for the whole family and much loved by locals and visitors alike. See rare breeds, spot new arrivals in the animal barn, follow the wildlife trails and spend time in the glorious countryside.

Birdland Park & Gardens

Birdland Park and Gardens in Bourton-on-the-Water is inhabited by over 500 birds including flamingos, pelicans, penguins and even the elusive cassowary. The aviaries, which total more than 50, house parrots, falcons and ibis, whilst the Parliament of Owls, the newest attraction in the park, provides a home for eight different species of owl.

Carterton Soft Play & Trampoline

Discover the main jump area, with an airbag dive tower, reactive pod, foam pit and battle beam. With tunnels, slides, obstacles and a skyglide track – as well as a special area, just for babies and toddlers – there’s something for everyone.

Cotswold Country Park & Beach

The Cotswold Country Park & Beach has a great soft-sand beach with a swimming lagoon, paddling lagoon and water sport activities, including the super-fun inflatable AquaVenture. There are BBQ facilities at the park and a café.

Swindon and Cricklade Steam Railway

Travel back in time along the Swindon to Cricklade railway line in a carriage driven by a steam engine. After the journey, visit the railway museum and have a bite to eat at the Whistle Stop Café or bring your own food and eat in the picnic area.

Did You Know?

Tom, Dick and Harry lived in Fulbrook, just outside Burford and committed highway robbery in the 18th century.

Bamford Wellness Spa, Kingham

Set on the Daylesford organic farm, Bamford Spa offers a holistic approach to relaxation and healing. A range of treatments use both modern and ancient techniques to fully relax the body and let the mind quiet. Classes are available and you can purchase access to The Spring wet spa.

C-Side Spa, Cowley

The magnificent surroundings of Cowley Manor make the C-Side Spa a luxurious escape. After enjoying a treatment of your choice and a swim in the indoor or outdoor pool, wander the grounds where you will find natural springs and lakes.

Dormy House Spa, Broadway

An award-winning spa just outside the heart of Broadway, a picturesque Cotswold location. You will find a menu of treatments, relaxed spa café and fitness suites alongside the candlelit infinity pool.

Hatherley Manor Spa, Cheltenham

Take some time for yourself at Hatherley Manor Spa. A thermal suite lets you choose your favourite way to rejuvenate, or meditate in their tranquil relaxation room. Visit for a treatment and spend some time in the pool for a break away from life’s stresses.

Cotswold House Spa, Chipping Campden

Open for spa days or treatments, Cotswold House Spa also has a hair salon and nail bar on site. Found in the centre of Chipping Campden, combine your spa day with a stroll around the town.

Ellenborough Park Spa, Cheltenham

The luxurious Ellenborough Park will not disappoint. Surrounded by countryside on the outskirts of Cheltenham you can enjoy the grounds after your favourite treatment or treat yourself to afternoon tea.

The Elan Spa at The Greenway, Cheltenham

This oasis of calm is an ideal retreat to relax and unwind while on holiday in the Cotswolds. With a choice of day packages and mini spa days you will find something that will fit your needs perfectly.

The Lygon Arms Spa, Broadway

Sitting on the main street in Broadway, The Lygon Arms is a wonderful place to while away a few hours with a treatment before spending time relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet on a lounger. The Lygon is also home to the James Martin Grill for a delicious meal.

The Garden Spa at Minster Mill, Minster Lovell

Choose how you want to spend your time by booking either a spa day, a treatment, or add on use of the pool facilities. This space only allows eight users at a time making it a truly relaxing experience.

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Please Note: Information correct at time of publishing. Please check the destination/attraction direct website before visiting to confirm opening hours and visitor details.

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