A Winter Walk In Bourton on the Water, Cotswolds.

During the summer most of the Cotswolds towns are busy but one of the busiest is Bourton on the Water which as the name suggests has water running right through the village.
Bourton on the water, Cotswolds

We visit the Cotswolds frequently, mainly because we have friends who have a home there, and no trip to this beautiful part of England would be complete without a cream tea - scones topped with jam and clotted cream and a pot of English Breakfast tea and a wander through the River Windrush in Bourton on the Water.

Afternoon tea, Cream Tea

Yes, that's not a typo. In the summer you will always see children, dogs and the occasional brave adult walking in or splashing about in the river as it's shallow enough to walk from the car park nearest the model village, bird park and maze to walk all the way into the centre of the village.

Bourton on the water, Cotswolds

My children love doing this and also love feeding the ducks from the middle of the river - you can buy duck food from some of the shops in the centre of the village.

ducks at Bourton on the water, Cotswolds

Most recently however I left the children at home with dad while I enjoyed a peaceful weekend with my sister in law and niece which involved less duck feeding and more us feeding than our normal visits.

It turns out Bourton on the Water is a great winter destination. Still busy, even on a day with hail and a raw wind, but not so busy you can't get a table in a tea room. If you are hoping for Sunday lunch in the Cotswolds however I would book ahead, even in winter.

We got lucky and enjoyed a lovely lunch at The Coach and Horse, a 400 year old former coaching inn  at Stow Bridge on the A429 where it was unexpectedly quiet.

A fabulous main course of pork belly, black pudding mash and fresh green beans cost £12.95, typical for the area, and we had great service . I still don't understand why the place was empty when the pubs in Stow on the Wold where we had planned to have lunch were rammed.

As I mentioned Bourton was very chilly but we still spent a happy couple of hours browsing round the shops before enjoying our scones and tea. Mostly the shops are aimed at tourists obviously - there's Edinburgh Woollen Mill, some traditional style sweet shops, a fascinating shop selling crystals and fossils, ice-cream shops and a host of places selling ornaments, jewellery and tourist tat.

Even with that however the place is still very pretty with low bridges over the water and buildings made from the creamy yellow Cotswolds brick.

Bourton on the water, Cotswolds

It's very relaxing to stroll round and admire the buildings and the view down the river- all you have to worry about is whether you put jam then cream or cream then jam on your scone. Which way round do you do it? I'm a jam then cream girl myself. Who's with me?