Known as the Venice of the Cotswolds, Bourton on the Water is a very popular destination in the Cotswolds, with the pretty shallow river running through the middle of the town that had several small footbridges running across it, I could see the comparison to Venice.
We were told that Bourton was the busiest town in the Cotswolds, but I didn’t expect it to be on the scale that it was. We went twice and our first visit we arrived around 5pm and there were people and cars everywhere! I thought something important was taking place, but no. We ate at a below average Greene King pub where we were dumped on a small table next to the bar and we overpaid in the huge car park, as that was the best car park we spotted.
We returned the following day in the early afternoon and it was even busier. We also found a free car park, which made us slightly peeved that we didn’t spot it the day before. Droves of people, families, couples and old people walked in and out of the town. Bourton wasn’t a large place, nor did it have a lot to explore except the river, a few shops and a museum. Yet it was hard to walk down pavements because of all the people and difficult to cross roads with all the cars. Especially pushing a toddler around in a pushchair.
I can’t deny the prettiness of the town, but the effort from the sheer volume of people was quite exhausting. We wouldn’t go back to the Cotswolds until our daughter was a good few years older.