What to do in Burford
Often referred to as the Gateway to the Cotswolds, the picture-perfect market town of Burford is a must visit destination. Take a look at our Top 10 things to see and do in Burford;
1. Church of St John the Baptist
A great way to start your stay in Burford is at the Church of St John the Baptist which had the local Medieval wool merchants to thank for their investment, ensuring the Church was developed into the extravagant building you can visit today. The glorious south porch with its panelled façade makes a stunning entrance into the church from where visitors can admire the medieval wall paintings, a beautiful array of tombs and the stunning 17th century canopied tomb of Sir Lawrence and Lady Tanfield. Find the time to attend one of the 3 Sunday services and see why The Church of St John the Baptist is one of the top 10 visited churches in the country.
2. Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens
Just south of Burford is Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens – a must see for guests, especially those with children. Pop into the Madagascar enclosure where lemurs zip through the trees before wandering around each of the spacious enclosures of rhinos, zebras and lions. Get up close and personal on the fabulous giraffe walkway before stopping to learn about the penguins at their daily feed and talk. The 160-acre gardens of the wildlife park are filled with plants and flowers year-round making the routes from one animal enclosure to another worth the walk.
3. Kilkenny Lane Country Park
Another beautiful park is Kilkenny Lane Country Park situated just minutes south-east of Burford. The park is a fantastic family destination with an amazing adventure playground for older children featuring rope nets, a zip-line and trampolines. Smaller children are not left out though with their own playground along with a willow maze – great for all ages! The surfaced footpaths, cycle ways and bridle ways weave through the wildflower meadows, making Kilkenny Lane Country Park a fantastic outdoor destination all year round.
4. Arlington Row
If quintessential Cotswold Villages are high on your must-see list, then you will want to plan a visit to nearby Bibury to see Arlington Row. This charming row of 17th century weavers’ cottages are part of the reason William Morris dubbed Bibury “The most beautiful village in England”. Visitors must stop to take a picture of the most photographed Cotswold scene which has featured as a location in Bridget Jones’s Diary and Stardust. Pop into the nearby Swan Hotel on the River Colne for a delicious afternoon tea – enjoyed on the terrace in summer or in front of a log fire in the winter!
5. Crocodiles of the World
Wildlife lovers should make a trip to Crocodiles of the World, a short drive from Burford. The centre is home to seventeen of the world’s twenty-four crocodile species and visitors should plan their trip around the Nile crocodile feeding times. True enthusiasts can try their hand at being a croc keeper where both children and adults can enjoy time working with the keepers and learning about the crocs in more detail. Once you’ve marvelled at the power of the many crocodiles you can also stop by to see snakes, turtles, otters and eagles with experiences available for visitors to meet the meerkats, giant tortoise and Komodo dragon.
6. Cotswold Woollen Weavers
The history of the medieval wool town of Burford is maintained at the Cotswold Woollen Weavers in nearby Filkins. Visitors are welcome to sit and enjoy a coffee before wandering the tangle of wonderful 18th century buildings taking in the textile museum exhibitions. The shop is packed full of lovingly made woollen throws and scarves which will make a beautiful souvenir to be enjoyed in your own home. Or a slightly bigger purchase can be made from the collection of vintage and antique furniture that has been restored and reupholstered using the cloth made on site. Then, as shopping can be exhausting you may just want to pop into the café for a cake, some lunch or a spot of afternoon tea – delicious!
7. Burford Antiques Centre
Burford High Street prides itself on being chain-free and it has certainly meant that the town has attracted some of the best local antiques shops. You will find plenty of antiques on offer at Burford Antiques Centre, Bygones of Burford and Antiques at the George, whilst art lovers will want to stop at the Wren Gallery and the renowned Brian Sinfield Gallery. With beautiful side streets bursting with old pubs, tea rooms and antique shops we recommend taking a day just to explore the town itself.
Stop off for afternoon tea at the original branch of Huffkins, opened by the founder Mr Titcomb back in 1890! Their infamous baked goods have made it all the way to Fortnum & Mason and some Royal households – so it would be rude not to sample the delights for yourself. Serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea enjoy a bowl of piping hot soup served with a homemade scone before indulging in an ultimate chocolate brownie, a chocolate éclair or vanilla slice. With treats this tasty you will struggle to resist taking away a little piece of Huffkins to enjoy back at your holiday cottage.
However, if you’re more of a coffee aficionado then Lynwood Coffee Co is not be missed and their carrot cake is truly the best in the Cotswolds!
9. Burford Garden Co
The Burford Garden Co is a hugely popular destination for visitors and offers so much more than a garden centre. As you’d expect the place is brimming with wonderful indoor and outdoor plants but you can also buy art, homewares, clothes and just the perfect lantern or throw as a charming addition to a cosy corner back at home. Le Souk is an eclectic marketplace of interiors treasure. As well as all that you can choose from a great selection of wine and food too.
10. The Cotswolds Arms
Burford prides itself on its quintessential pubs which make a great place to stop for a drink at any time of year. The Cotswolds Arms has a great selection of locally brewed beer, ale and cider or in the summer months while away the afternoon at The Angel with its stunning walled garden and sun terrace. On a chillier winter’s evening try out the charming grade II listed Royal Oak where you can take a seat in front of an open log fire and enjoy a glass from their wine list. Finally, the unusually named Mermaid Inn is known locally for its excellent home-made food and its extensive gluten free menu.
We have a great choice of holiday homes in Burford which is great base for exploring the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire