Burford Tourist Information

Burford Tourist Information

Burford is a small community of around 1,000 residents that is known as one of England’s prettiest small towns in Oxfordshire. The merchants of the town were granted a charter over 900-years ago that allowed them to hold their own markets. To this date, the business owners in Burford continue the traditions that were started years ago regarding the supply of essential services and goods to the area. However, in addition to the stable and unique economy, there are some other things about Burford that make it attractive to tourists and residents alike. Chief among these attributes are the beautiful churches, the Cotswold architecture, beautiful landscape and the one of a kind shops.

The Burford area is surrounded by vast fields and hills that are perfect for cycling, walking or even horseback riding. In the center of the town there is a main street that has buildings on it that appear to be original to the time they were built hundreds of years ago. The houses, cottages and storefronts give you a glimpse back in time to see what things were like hundreds of years ago. There are also many smaller side streets that provide a look into the past. The buildings that line these streets were constructed between the 17th and 18th centuries and still maintain their original features.

St. John the Baptist Church is one of the oldest buildings in the town of Burford. It was constructed around 1175 and has stood the test of time. The original structure remains in place for all visitors to marvel at overflows with abundant beauty. In addition to the church, the Tosley Museum is also a building steeped in history. The building, where traders once paid their tolls, is currently a structure that is filled up with Burfords past. It contains many pieces of history that were once relevant to the town.

Burford Accommodation

Burford has plenty of accommodation available to suit all budgets from Luxury Hotels, Inns and Bed & Breakfast accommodation there is a fantastic choice for the visitor, even though there are many places to stay in the town they do fill up very quickly as this is such a popular town to stay so it is advised to book in advance.

Recently Burford was voted 6th best destination to life in the world! By Forbes magazine, this really shows what an amazing place Burford is and why it should be on everyones must see list whilst visiting the Cotswolds.

Numerous celebrities live in and around Burford these include Kate Moss, Kate Winslett, Ruby Wax and many more.

Burford is centrally located near other historic towns and sights. However, the history that can be found in this area may be enough o make you want to stay for a while.

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Burford Oxfordshire

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Forbes Article

Rousham House

Rousham House is a large, regal-looking manor house located in Oxfordshire in the Cotswolds.  The house was first constructed around the year 1635 and has never left the ownership of its original family in all the centuries since.  It has however been remodeled a number of times, most notably by William Kent in the 18th century, who added Gothic elements to its style.  William Kent is quite well known, and fans of his work travel from all over England and all around the world to see the Rousham House.

The manor house itself resembles a miniature castle with its embrasured walls, and overlooks a beautiful garden featuring a pigeon house, apple trees, herbs and flowers, and artfully grown hedge walls.  There is no tea room at the Rousham House, which makes it a bit different from other houses in the area.  The reason for this is that the family did not want the grounds to become commercially developed.  They do however allow you to bring your own picnic lunch and eat on the beautiful grounds.  It is easy to spend an entire afternoon at the Rousham House, so you probably will want to plan for this.  You can also choose to have your wedding hosted at Rousham House.

Rousham House

Rousham House Wikipedia

Blenheim Palace

There are some magnificent places to visit in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds and Blenheim Palace is no exception. In fact as famous houses throughout the UK go Blenheim Palace is widely recognised as one of the most exquisite stately homes in the country. In fact even this year it was awarded the Green Business Silver award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme; another award to add to its already long list of accolades.

The home originally came into play as a gift from Queen Anne to John Churchill who was the 1st Duke of Marlborough. Now a days the home is still in the Marlborough family and is home to the 11th Duke of Marlborough.

If you take a visit into the home you will see that there is a breathtaking collection of paintings, furnishings and tapestries which are reason enough to pay a visit to Blenheim Palace.

Another reason to pay a visit to Blenheim Palace is the fact that the home is packed full of so much history. For example in 1874 former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill was born here and within the home there is a room dedicated to him which pays tribute to this.

Blenheim

It is hard to put into words just how magnificent his building is – it really is something that you have to see in the flesh to be able to appreciate the history, culture and beauty that this home offers.

If you do pay a visit to Blenheim Palace then the start of the art visitor experience will give you a day to remember. You’ll get to tour the palace and learn about its history throughout the past 300 years as well as what it has to offer in the modern day and age.

Even outside of the Blenheim Palace the surroundings and views are fantastic. It is set in 2,000 acres of land which play home to parklands, lakes, fountains and gardens all of which are the perfect setting for a summer’s afternoon.

Blenheim Palace has had restoration work take place throughout much of its grounds so places like The Secret Garden and the Water Terraces are looking better than ever.

There is so much to see and do at Blenheim Palace that it is the perfect setting for a family day out no matter the time of year. A miniature train adds a little excitement to your day out by letting you take a tour of some of the grounds. You can also help to keep everyone entertained by taking part in the Marlborough Maze, touring the Butterfly House or experiencing the Lavender Garden.

It is worth keeping up to date with the events and fun days that take place at Blenheim Palace. There is a full year round schedule of family days out and events which take place, so no matter what time of year you are visiting Oxfordshire there will be something at this magnificent palace to suit you and your family.

blenhein-palace

http://www.blenheimpalace.com

Broughton Castle

If you are looking a family day out that has something to suit everyone then Broughton Castle is the place for you. Arguably Broughton Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in England, surrounding in picturesque scenery and magnificent buildings alongside water and woods. This landscape will truly take your breath away and makes Broughton Castle worth a visit even if you simply wander around alongside natural beauty. In fact so recognised for its beauty it was awarded five stars in England’s Thousand Best Houses back in 2003, only twenty of the houses in the survey were given full marks.

Planning your visit to Broughton Castle is easy because there is so much to do. Whether you want to explore the castle, relax in the gardens or simply take in some of the scenery in the surrounding areas you can do so with a visit to this luxurious home.

Broughton Castle is famous for its gardens which are designed and maintained to perfection and many people visit the castle simply to walk amongst the walls, water and lawns that this piece of garden offers.

What you will find with Broughton Castle is that there is plenty to see and do for everyone, with a whole host of events on throughout the year so that everyone will be kept entertained no matter when they visit.

If you do take time out to visit Broughton Castle you will find that it has whatever you want to ensure you have a good time. Welcoming staff will make sure that you have everything you need and with different tours and events happening there is something for everyone, no matter when you choose to visit.

Broughton Castle

http://www.broughtoncastle.com

Faringdon

Faringdon is a mid-sized market town in the Vale of the White Horse in Oxfordshire.  The Vale is wedged between the River Thames and the River Ock.  Faringdon was the first town in England to achieve Fairtrade Town status in 2004.  The town is a half hour drive away from Oxford.

Due to its strategic position, Alfred the Great built a castle there.  Faringdon was once a rather important town; it was the original capital of Wessex and had its own mill and plentiful farming land.  In 1216 King John granted Faringdon a charter for a weekly market.  You can still attend this market today.

The Town Hall constructed in the 17th century has an idiosyncratic history, having served as market hall, meeting room, whipping post, jail house, storage area for the town’s fire engine, ambulance station and town library at various points of history.  Today it remains a well known landmark, as interesting for its diverse past as for its architecture.

There are several areas just outside town which would are of definite interest to visitors.  Folly Park is an open, natural park with a lake for fishing and tables for picnic dinners.  The local folly is located on Faringdon Hill to the east, a tall, slender tower built by Lord Berners in 1935 and designed by his friend Lord Wellesley to stand a hundred feet high.  Perhaps the most famous landmark and the most remarkable in Faringdon is on White Horse Hill.  The chalked-in hill figure of a galloping steed is the second largest hill figure in the area and has existed for 3000 years!  It is this ancient white horse which gives its name to the Vale and Hill.

With so much to see which is distinctive, Faringdon makes for a fascinating side trip on a journey through the Cotswold Hills.

 

Woodstock

Woodstock is a captivating market town in Oxfordshire just ten miles north of Oxford on the way to Broadway and Worcester.  It sits surrounded by the Glyme Valley which was once a part of Wynchwood Forest.  This is the origin of the town’s name which in Anglo-Saxon means “Clearing in the woods.”

Woodstock itself is a lovely town with many pleasant inns and bed and breakfasts, tea houses, craft and antique shops and restaurants.  The town is most renowned for being close to the illustrious Blenheim Palace which belonged to the Churchills.  The nearby village of Bladon is the burial place of Sir Winston Churchill.

The northern section of the town above the Glyme River is called Old Woodstock and was settled by the Saxons.  King Alfred was believed to have resided there in 890 and Ethelred the Unready was believed to have held a council there.  Woodstock Manor, a famous site in Old Woodstock (demolished in the 18th century) was where Henry I created a deer park and seduced Rosamund.  You can still visit Rosamund’s Well today, one of the most popular destinations in Woodstock.    Woodstock Manor was also believed to be the place where the Black Prince was born in 1330.  During the reign of Queen Mary, Elizabeth I was held prisoner in a gatehouse of Woodstock Manor.

The part of Woodstock south of the Glyme was developed by Henry II who started a weekly market there.  New Woodstock became home to a prosperous glove making industry and subsequently grew to be an industrious and busy market town.

You can visit the Oxfordshire County Museum in Fletcher’s House to learn more about daily life in Woodstock over the centuries.

Perhaps one of the most magnificent sites in all the Cotswolds is Blenheim Palace.  Queen Anne gave this gorgeous 2500 acre estate to John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough in the early 1700s in thanks for his military service and victories.  She agreed to finance an opulent new home for him there next to Woodstock.  John Churchill commissioned Sir Jon Vanbrugh, an architect, to design his house in 1705.  The house is considered one of Vanbrugh’s greatest works, featuring such renowned rooms as the Long Library, The Great Hall with its ceiling painting of the Battle of Blenheim and the Green Writing Room.

Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace near Woodstock

The beautiful estate was eventually passed down to Sir Winston Churchill’s cousin who became duke through his inheritance.  Winston Churchill was born there and loved Blenheim as though it were his own home; he proposed to his wife Clementine there.  He desired to be buried upon his death in Bladon Churchyard with his family.  Their graves can all be seen there today.

Woodstock’s history is long and highlighted by many intriguing personalities and events.  Despite being a small, seemingly remote town, some truly famous personages have lived there and treasured it.  Woodstock is a wonderful destination in the Cotswolds for history buffs who are interested in the Churchill family or want to appreciate a truly stunning English estate.

Woodstock

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Chipping Norton

Chipping Norton

Chipping Norton has the highest elevation of any town in Oxfordshire.  Its site was previously occupied by a Norman castle with a commanding view of the hills.  The word “Chipping” in its name is derived from an old English word, “ceapen,” which means market.

Chipping Norton has had a profitable market since the Middle Ages.  Like other towns in the Cotswolds it did well in the wool trade and was able to construct a “wool church” called St. Mary.  Unlike other towns in the Cotswolds, this one is out of the way; you will see less tourist related bustle in Chipping Norton and find that the town retains a very local character.

Nonetheless there is much to delight a tourist in Chipping Norton.  The unusually constructed Bliss Tweed Mill identifies Chipping Norton as a landmark for kilometers around.  You can also see the Almshouses built by the unfortunate but generous Henry Cornish in the 17th century.  The Town Hall and the Chipping Norton museum also provide diverting distractions.  One of the most unique features of Chipping Norton is the presence of a theater in such a tiny town.  The theater hosts a diverse program of regular events and its annual pantomime is so celebrated that travelers come from around the world to enjoy it.

Chipping Norton is a wonderful “off the beaten path” town to visit in the Cotswolds!

 

Chipping Norton

 

Charlbury

If you want to go somewhere quiet and secluded on your Cotswolds trip, you may want to meander over to Charlbury in Oxfordshire, a small market town well out of the way in the Evenload valley.  The town is hemmed in by the Wychwood Forest and has a 600 acre estate known as Cornbury Park.

Cornbury Park is a National Nature Reserve and has no roads.  The only way into the park is via footpath and while in the forest you will be able to enjoy a peaceful walk in nature among the deer and other wildlife.

Back in town you can visit the Charlbury Museum on Market Street, which shows off some of Charlbury’s traditional arts and crafts.  Charlbury became a profitable town during the 18th producing gloves.  A quaint green in town known as Playing Close features some iconic English cottages and a neo-Jacobean water fountain.

The liveliest time of year in Charlbury is during the second week in July when the town hosts an annual beer festival.  Cornbury Park also hosts its own festival each year, a unique event featuring music and family entertainment.

Charlbury is a lovely place to escape from the main roads and busier destinations in the Cotswolds and enjoy the country air!

Charlbury