Things to Do in Burford, Cotswolds Villages | Activities & More

Burford is a quaint marketplace town filled with Tudor-style architecture, wonderful locals, and fantastic pubs for a good night out in the town.

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Burford forms part of the Cotswolds Villages and is well known as the Gateway of the Cotswolds. You can find tons of viewpoints in the Cotswolds that make any journey to this side of the world jam-packed with activity and adventure.

Burford Things to do

Discover everything that Burford has to offer, from old architecture and ruins to modern shops and traditional bakeries.

You’ll quickly understand how this town was ranked as one of Forbes’ most idyllic palaces to live.

In this post, you’ll find out how much fun can be had in the old town of Burford, and more importantly, you’ll discover where to go, and what to see in Burford, Cotswolds. Here are the top things to in Burford.

Burford Cotswolds UK

Where is Burford

In the heart of England, you’ll hear all about the Cotswolds Hills. Located in the West district of Oxfordshire, Burford can be found straddling the River Windrush.

Burford, Oxfordshire in England is easily accessible through main roads and highways which make this wonderful town a beautiful destination for a one-day pit-stop.

The Cotswolds’ Burford town covers only a portion of the countryside and is home to just over 1 300 people.

Where is Burford

If you’re looking to map out Burford, you can find it about 18 miles west of Oxford and 22 miles southeast of Cheltenham.

Things to Do in Burford

Being a small town with lots to do, visiting Burford is one of the things to do in The Cotswolds.

Bumbles of Burford

Have a look below at some of the wonderful things that you can add to your itinerary. They’re perfect whether you’re there for one day or decide to make a full week out of it. 

Burford Walking Tour

Covering about a mile’s worth of Burford, a guided walking tour is a perfect way to start your morning.

Things to Do in Burford Cotswolds

The stroll is organized by volunteers from the town, so you’ll only get the juiciest and most accurate information from this tour.

You’ll start somewhere around 10:00 and by 12:00 you’ll be back at a restaurant ready for lunch.

Your walking tour will be filled with Instagram-worthy shots. Make sure to head down to Church Lane, go up Burford Hill, or explore Burford’s shops.

Church of St. John the Baptist

Church of St. John the Baptist

The evangelical church is a lovely pit-stop for any architecture buffs. While the church is currently operating in its full capacity as an Anglican Church, you don’t necessarily have to be religious to enjoy its beauty.

The old building broke ground in the 12th century and was completed in the 15th century. 

Through its revamp during Victorian times, this building holds a lot of character and unique elements like the stained glass and merchant’s guild chapel.

The Tolsey Museum

Located on High Street, the Tolsey Museum offers your insight into the interesting development of the town. The museum was initially built in the early 1500s as a marketplace for traders.

Repurposed into a museum from 1960 onwards, this lovely building has been collecting and preserving any Burford-related memorabilia in the hopes of holding onto and sharing the priceless footprint of history.  

There are old photographs that catalogue interesting events in the town as well as some curious exhibits displaying the nature of crafts and trades throughout history.

Stone Gallery

Visit River Windrush

If you’re looking to head outdoors and explore the muddy walkways of Burford, the river is a beautiful place to get a dose of adorable ducks and swans.

Make sure to get some birdseed and spend some time feeding the creatures that call this river home.

You’ll need to wear appropriate walking shoes that are easy to clean as the wet weather causes tons of mud around the riverbanks.

Burford Garden Company

The Burford Garden Company offers you a true English experience. In the medieval town of Burford, you can sit back with your cup of tea while overlooking the beautifully decorated and well-looked after English garden.

There are tons of activities around the garden as well, although you may want to visit Le Souk, the intriguing marketplace located on the grounds.

Here you can sort through all kinds of handcrafted furniture, vintage jewellery, stunning art, and plants!

Manfred Schotten

Where to stay in Burford

While Burford and the surrounding Cotswold villages are usually advertised as day trips while on your way to London, it is also a beautiful place to chill and unwind.

There aren’t many people around, so you know that you’re in for some peace.

There are a few places available, ranging from lodges to hotels and classical inns. Each one is unique and as special as the next.

Where to stay in Burford

The Fox Inn

Set right on the banks of River Windrush is an adorable 17th-century inn. Each room is individually styled and you’re always welcome to get a drink or dine right next to the river.

The Fox Inn offers a great location, free parking, wifi, and serene comfort just a few miles away from Burford’s High Street.

This is a great getaway for couples and professionals looking to get away from the city and explore the countryside in style.

The Angel at Burford

The Angel at Burford, located on Witney Street, offers family-run and homely accommodation. With an award-winning restaurant on the premises, you’ll be in capable hands for the duration of your stay. 

After a day walking through the town and getting acquainted with the architecture and ducks, you can retire back to the shared lounge area.

Meet up with some of the other guests and share interesting secret spots or make new friends with a fresh pint.

The Tolsey Museum

The Royal Oak

If you’re looking to feel like royalty (at least for a morning), The Royal Oak is for you. The main drawcard of this establishment is the full English/Irish breakfast offered every morning.

It’s a wonderful way to experience true English cuisine and prepare yourself for the day ahead.

The Royal Oak is just off of High Street, so you’ll be able to easily head out to any of the touristy hotspots. While it isn’t a modern hotel with the latest technology, you’ll feel right at home in one of their available rooms.

The Madhatter Bookshop

Burford Lodge

If you’re looking for easily accessible and fancy living areas, the Burford Lodge is calling for you. The exposed brick interior coupled with dark wood floors and furniture add a certain level of panache to this 19th century stone building.

You’ll be 15 minutes away from the town centre which makes this a lovely escape when you’re looking for some downtime.

A private on-site bar and restaurant as well as wonderful hospitality will leave you to unwind in privacy.

The Bull

The Bay Tree Hotel

Enchanting, picturesque, rustic, charming; these are just some of the words that have been used to describe the Bay Tree Hotel.

As an award-winning establishment, you can expect nothing less than excellence from this 16th-century residence.

If your idea of a relaxing holiday is sitting out in the garden reading a good book then this is what you’re looking for.

The Bay Tree Hotel offers you a library, inglenook fireplace, and gardens with wonderful wisterias in bloom during the warmer months. 

Where to eat in Burford

The Priory

Food, glorious food! We need that fuel to thrive but who says it has to be bland? Eat your way through Burford and you’ll be surprised at the great range of options as well as the delightful flavours.

Many of these restaurants are within walking distance from each other, some double up as bars where others are essentially Burford accommodations that offer a friendly face and a warm plate of food.

Huffkins – Tea Rooms and Bakery

At Huffkins bakery, you can treat yourself to all things delectable and sweet. There’s also a gift shop where you could get some beautiful tote bags or lovely gifts for your friends back home.

The Huffkins pantry stocks everything from jams to chutney to biscuits and fudge. If you’re looking for something to nibble on while driving back to your hometown, this place will have enough treats for any journey.

Tea Rooms and Bakery

Lynwood & Co – Café

Lynwood & Co is fast developing into a franchise worthy institution with shops in Lechlade, Fairford, and Carterton. Lynwood & Co are dedicated to all things unique and try to stay true to originality. 

This is a perfect establishment for brunchtime meals and has enough space for a gathering of any size. Lynwood offers flavoursome food from sustainably sourced producers from around the neighbourhood.

The Priory Hotel – Tea Room and Restaurant

If you love to wake up in the afternoon but would also love to have breakfast at 14:00 – The Priory will sort you out.  It is well known as a tearoom as well as a licensed brasserie within the hotel itself.

The Priory has delectable takeaway menus as well as beautiful in-house mouthwatering options. Besides the Brasserie, there’s also a tearoom available to enjoy England in the true English fashion.

The Spice Lounge – Indian & Bangladeshi Restaurant

If you’re accustomed to carvery, burgers, steaks, and chips, you may want to get out of your comfort zone and try something a little bit different. A mixture of traditional ethnic foods creates a unique and diverse experience.

Indian food is something inherently different from everything else around you. Treat yourself to a wonderful chicken, lamb curry, or poppadoms that stay true to the ethnic origins and flavours.

Manfred Schotten

Tattersalls Brasserie – Broadway Hotel

As an extension of the Broadway hotel, the Tattersalls Brasserie can be found within the elegant atrium.

Experience the up-beat atmosphere of their bar, coupled with light meals and drinks, or sit down for a full meal inside the restaurant.
Here you can find a wonderful a la carte menu which has been filled with fresh seasonal dishes and a wide variety of their signature steak dishes.

From noon, you’re welcome to come and experience a modern twist brushed into the traditional backdrop of the countryside.

Pubs in Burford

What would a lovely day out in town be without a good place to sit back and have an ice-cold beer? In Burford, there are a few options that you can choose from to settle down for the night and kick back a few. You can find many of your favorite pubs in Burford’s High Street.

The best part is that everything is within walking distance (or has accommodation as well) so that you can enjoy yourself responsibly.

The Cotswold Arms

The Cotswold Arms

The Cotswold Arms is a great place for a lunchtime pint. Find yourself relaxing in the beer garden, dappled in the sunshine with a calming pond and waterfall in the background.

There’s a selection of real ales and other beers to choose from, so you can taste everything that Cotswold has to offer.

Plus, you can dive into the crafts brought in from other sources around the world. You can also find live entertainment over the weekend and burgers for only £10 a pop.

The Mermaid Inn

If you’re going gluten-free, the Mermaid Inn has you covered. Here, you’re able to choose anything from their tasty menu while sitting back to enjoy the live entertainment offered by the local and regional talent.

The restaurant and pub display 15th-century architecture and offer you an intimate setting, with a cosy backdrop of fireplaces and wooden beams.

This Inn will have you feeling like you’ve stepped into an old-timey English film.

The Golden Pheasant Inn

The Highway Inn

The Highway Inn offers its patrons accommodation, a place to eat as well as a place to enjoy a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

Their ales are sourced from local breweries and are also a hotspot for artisanal ciders and lagers.

Here, you’ll find everything you need to have a wonderful night out. From basic beers to crafty gins and so much more.

The Cotswold Gateway

This 18th-century style inn presents guests with a traditional pub and restaurant. Their winning dishes are made from locally sourced ingredients and the menu is altered seasonally to provide you with just the right bite.

The rustic pub is both family-friendly and open to your canine friends so that you can sit back and enjoy a tasty meal followed by a delicious merlot.

Shops in Burford

Regardless of what you’re looking for, there’s something for almost anyone in Burford. What you’re looking for can be easily located at one of Burford’s High Street shops.

Walker Burford

From home goods stores like Burford Emporium to Slate Clothing right next door. You can also visit Huffkins Burford for some sweet, delectable treats or simply head over to Three French Hens if you’re looking for souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones back home.

Things to Do Near Burford

On your way out of Burford, you’ll want to be on the lookout for some interesting adventure just a stone’s throw away from Burford itself. Here are some fun things to do once you’ve headed out of town.

The Burford Farm Shop

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

Cotswolds Wildlife Park and Gardens can be found about 15 minutes outside of Burford. Here you can discover a wide range of fantastic creatures wandering about on their part of the park.

You can discover over 130 various species of birds, visit a selection of mammals, and meet the primates that make up the Madagascar exhibit.

There are also reptiles and amphibians on display which make this tour a full rounded animal experience.

If you’re an animal lover, this park also offers you the opportunity to adopt an animal which allows the park to ensure its safety and that it is well looked after. 

Crocodiles of the World

Known as the UK’s only crocodile zoo, out of 24 species of crocodiles throughout the world, this park is home to at least 17 of them. Find yourself discovering caiman, alligators, crocodiles, and even a few birds.

You’re welcome to get something to eat at the cafe on-site or bring some snacks in for a picnic. Once you’ve filled up on some yummy snacks, you can walk around and learn everything there is to know about croc conservation and the work being done at Crocodiles of the World.

Kilkenny Lane Country Park

The Country Park is a lovely place to take the kids. There’s over enough space for them to run about.

With an adventure play area and 21 hectares of safe, open land, the kids can go running, do some cartwheels, or simply chill out on a picnic blanket.

The Park is open every day and offers free entry. You and the kids can explore the multi-sensory play area while helping exercise both the body and mind. There are interesting elements included in the park, like willow igloos, totem poles, mounds, and tunnels.

How to Get to Burford

If you’re travelling from London, there are a few ways to get around. The usual bus, car, and train options are open to everyone.

Regardless of whether you’re travelling from Burford to Oxford or London to Burford, these are all safe and secure methods for any traveller – as long as you’re driving on the right side of the road.

By Train

Burford has two railway stations, one coming out of Worcester and another coming out of London. You’ll have to find your way to Charlbury station which is approximately seven miles away. Here, you’ll have access to all relevant services.

If you’re looking for something closer, Shipton-under-Wychwood Station is just 8km away. Although, it doesn’t offer as many services as Charlbury station.

By Bus

Depending on where you’re coming from, there are a few bus options that you can choose from. Stagecoach destinations offer the 233 bus which covers Witney to Woodstock.

Swanbrook destinations take you around Gloucester, Cheltenham, Burford, and Oxford. You can also keep an eye out for local villagers servicing the area.

Just try not to meet your new driver at one of the local pubs.

By Car

If you’ve decided to rent a car, you’re welcome to either rent it in Burford or from any of the neighbouring locations. The A40 highway is the main connector between these villages. Once you’re close by, you’ll see The Hills turnoff coming out of the Burford roundabout, which takes you straight into Burford. 

Where to Park in Burford

Find free parking in Burford next to River Windrush. At the lower end of the town and overlooking the countryside is a large free parking lot.

From here, you’ll be able to walk anywhere you need without the paranoia of something happening to your vehicle.

Street parking is also available. However, you are limited to two hours if parked on the east side of High Street.

So, keep an eye out for Mrs. Bumbles of the Church and ensure that you’re not speeding as the roads are only wide enough for one car at a time.

Where to Go From Burford

Burford is dotingly called the Gateway to The Cotswolds, due to its location. From this friendly town, you are just a stone’s throw away from the other Cotswolds villages like Stow-On-The-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Castle Combe.

You can opt to spend a day travelling from Burford to Oxford, or even as far as London. At the heart of England, Burford allows you easy access to many English favourites.

You can try your hand at wandering through Oxford on your own or choose one of Cotswolds tours from London and leave the navigation to the professionals.

Final Thoughts on What to Do in Burford

Burford is an idyllic location giving off major old-town vibes. This spot is filled with things to do as well as so much to explore around the various Cotswolds Villages.

If you’re planning your trip, Cotswolds’ Burford is one town that needs to be on your itinerary. Burford, Oxfordshire is a wonderful place to catch your breath and reset your clock.

Even if you’re just looking to spend a day without the hassles of finding a place to sleep, day tours around the Cotswolds are a wonderful way to get a dose of these quaint villages.


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