Located on the south bank of the River Windrush, Burford is a picturesque town that’s considered a gateway to the Cotswolds. It takes its name from the Old English words “burh” (fortified town) and “ford” (river crossing) and is clustered with half-timbered residences, stone cottages and Georgian townhouses.
Things to do in Burford
Stretching south from Burford’s three-arched medieval bridge is its high street, which is lined with historic buildings constructed using Cotswold stone. Don’t miss the Bull Hotel where King Charles II and Nell Gwynne once stayed and admire the Church of St John the Baptist, which is topped by a 12th-century tower. Step inside to see the canopied tomb of Sir Lawrence and Lady Tanfield, as well as the medieval wall paintings and a 1st-century AD carving.
You can delve into Burford’s past at the Tolsey Museum, which houses a fascinating collection of artefacts related to the town’s cultural and industrial history. See antique brewing tools and a 15th-century charter from Henry VII granting the town a fair, in addition to a Victorian doll’s house inspired by Burford’s Great House. The museum occupies a timber-framed 16th-century courthouse that is an attraction in itself.
Burford lies on the doorstep of the spectacular English countryside within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s dotted with medieval villages and historic market towns, including Northleach (with its impressive church) and charming Bibury. The Cotswolds’ rolling hills are ideally traversed along the 164-kilometre-long Cotswold Way, which connects from Bath to Chipping Campden.
Getting around Burford
Burford is a 30-minute drive from Oxford and 1.5 hours from the centre of London while Heathrow Airport is just over an hour away. Buses are the main means of getting to Burford and the town centre is compact enough to explore on foot.