Visit Burford: Best things to do in Burford Cotswolds!

From stylish bars, cosy cafes and independent shops, the Cotswolds town of Burford is a stunning place to visit for a weekend trip!

With its three-arched medieval bridge, impressive church, and an unbroken line of ancient houses and shops, Burford’s famous High Street gracefully descends towards the River Windrush. Despite the passing centuries, the town retains its charm and is a popular destination for visitors drawn to its beauty, history, shopping, and dining options, including antiques, restaurants, pubs, and teashops. Visitors can stay at hotels once frequented by King Charles and Nell Gwynn, dine where Nelson once dined, or visit England’s oldest pharmacy, which has been operating as a chemist since 1734.

The 16th-century Tolsey building, situated halfway down the hill, was once the meeting place for medieval merchants and now houses The Tolsey Museum. This delightful local museum showcases the town’s social and industrial past.

As part of the Cotswolds, Burford gets a fair amount of foot traffic. Its famous high street is an impressive area, filled to bursting with plenty of places to shop, eat, and explore. The street unfurls down towards the River Windrush, showcasing the medieval bridge that gallops over the water’s surface.

The three arches of this bridge are a strong and unusual sight to behold!

Burford Cotswolds

Where is Burford UK?

Where is Burford in the Cotswolds? As a small medieval town, Burford can be easily missed if you’re not sure where to find it. Many visitors actually drive right through it without realising that it’s its own little slice of the area! Burford is referred to as the “gateway” to the Cotswolds because it’s right off of the A40, where many people enter the Cotswolds from.

You can find Burford just before you hit Fulbrook, nestled on the A361, about halfway between Cheltenham and Oxford.

Where is Burford UK
Cotswold Burford

Burford postcode

The postcode for Burford is OX18.

How to get to Burford from London?

There are five main ways to get to Burford when you’re travelling from London. The first is by car, which is a 70-mile journey, and takes around one hour and 19 minutes to complete. Drivers can expect their petrol cost for this journey to be up to £20. Driving will take you via the M40 and the A40, through Chiltern Hills and Oxford.

The second popular way to get to Burford is to take a train from London Paddington to Kingham (Burford nearest train station). From there, you would need to take a taxi Burford Cotswolds. Unfortunately, there aren’t many train stations around the Cotswolds. The train to Kingham can cost anywhere from £30 to £75, while the taxi is between £20 and £30.

Next, there’s the coach option. This is the most inexpensive option so far, thanks to the National Express services that run from London Victoria Coach Station. It’s a two-hour journey, but it’ll only set you back a few pounds. You will need to book this journey in advance to get the best deals. Otherwise, the costs can rise – though the coach is still less than the train/taxi option.

The last two options combine trains and buses to get you from London to Burford. These will take a fair bit longer, from two and a half to three hours. But it is possible to get a train to Oxford, and then take the bus routes over to Burford.

How to get to Burford from London
What is there to do in Burford

How far is Burford from Oxford?

Burford is just 20 miles away from Oxford, depending on the route that you take to get there. At most, it should be 23 miles. The journey takes 30 minutes, taking you through the A40. This is, of course, the option for anyone who is able to drive themselves from Oxford.

If you’re travelling via bus or taxi, your travel time may differ.

How far is Burford from Oxford
Visit Burford Oxfordshire

Burford parking

Parking in Burford shouldn’t be costly! There are plenty of free places to park your vehicle in this part of the Cotswolds. The biggest space is a large car park at the lower end of Burford’s town centre, next to the River Windrush. The car park backs onto the local countryside and can be located by finding Mrs Bumbles and following the road past the church.

The entrance/exit is only wide enough for one car at a time, so do proceed with caution.

Burford parking
Burford car park

What is Burford famous for?

Burford is a picturesque town located in the Cotswolds, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the south-central region of England. The town is known for several things, including:

  • History: Burford has a rich history dating back to the medieval period, with many historic buildings and landmarks still standing. The town is known for its distinctive architecture, including the 15th-century Church of St John the Baptist and the 16th-century Tolsey building.
  • Burford Garden Company: The Burford Garden Company is a popular garden center and lifestyle store located on the outskirts of the town. It is known for its beautiful gardens, high-quality products, and excellent customer service.
  • Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens: The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens is a popular family attraction located just a few miles from Burford. The park is home to a wide variety of animals from around the world, as well as beautiful gardens and a children’s farmyard.
  • Antiques: Burford is known for its many antique shops and markets, which attract collectors and enthusiasts from all over the world.
  • Scenic beauty: Burford is located in the heart of the Cotswolds, an area known for its beautiful countryside, rolling hills, and picturesque villages. The town itself is situated on a hill overlooking the Windrush River, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Explore the best things to do in Burford Cotswolds and top ideas for places to eat in Burford:

Where to eat in Burford Cotswolds?

Best places to eat in Burford? Travelling to any location requires a trip to a local restaurant or eatery. Food is a special kind of memory, it can be good, bad, flavourful, and even unique! You’ll want to find somewhere well-reviewed to spend a lunchtime with the rest of your family or travel party. In this section, there are three of our favourite places to chow down in Burford in the Cotswolds.

The Highway Inn Burford

A restaurant and inn steeped in the history of the area; The Highway Inn has been running in various capacities for over 500 years. The inn offers perfect, local food in their dishes, and an atmosphere that is a great mix of informality and fun. It’s a family-friendly place to stay or just share a meal together.

Go for lunch, bring the kids and the dog, and treat yourself to fresh, homemade soups, filling sandwiches, or a classic British breakfast.

Burford Cotswolds - The Highway Inn Burford
Places to eat Burford

Lynwood & Co. Café

Lynwood & Co. manages to combine cultures in their food and the artisan preserves and chutneys that they sell. When they opened in 2015, they brought with them the family values of Sydney, Australia’s coffee culture, hoping to serve products of good value in generous portions.

Pop by for a bite to eat, and be treated to fresh sourdough bread, light café food with a unique twist, and coffee that can be traced to its source. 

Burford Cotswolds - Lynwood & Co. Café
Burford places to eat

Bakery on the hill Burford

This wonderful bakery doesn’t have much history online, so it’s difficult to find more than an address and a handful of extremely positive reviews. That said, Bakery on the Hill has a wonderful family-like atmosphere, where you can get breakfast or lunch – or just pop in for some delicious and fresh baked goods!

Burford Cotswolds - Bakery on the Hill
Places to eat in Burford Oxfordshire

What to see in Burford Cotswolds?

Best things to do Burford? Burford may be a small town, but there are plenty of places to visit while you’re in this part of the Cotswolds.

W.J Castle Farm Shop

Whats on in Burford? Also known as “The Burford Farm Shop”, this little butcher has a range of quality meat products in stock each day, as well as a display of fine cheeses. Why not make up your own picnic cheese board while you’re visiting and take advantage of their offerings?

Burford - W.J Castle Farm Shop

The Cotswold Cheese Co.

What to do in Burford? Based in Moreton-in-Marsh, The Cotswold Cheese Co. sells a variety of artisan cheeses. The helpful staff members are happy for customers to try their cheeses before they settle on which ones to buy. You just have to visit Cotswold Cheese company Burford.

Burford Cotswolds - The Cotswold Cheese Co.

Brian Sinfield Gallery

Places to visit in Burford? One of the leading galleries outside of London, the Brian Sinfield Gallery specialises in 20th-century paintings that were created by British artists. Interestingly enough, the Gallery is right across from Bakery on the Hill; in case you want to grab a bite!

Burford - Brian Sinfield Gallery

Bakery on the Hill

Top Burford things to do? Already mentioned in our section on where to eat in the Cotswolds, Bakery on the Hill can be found at 53 High Street in Burford.

Bakery on the Hill

Antiques At The George

Best Burford Cotswolds shops? Burford’s home of antiques was established back in 1992 and is a well-known place to visit in the area. The building carries a lot of history, and the team behind the facility are happy to assist guests. Are you going to visit some of the Burford antiques?

Burford - Antiques At The George
Burford antiques centre

The Sweet Shop Burford

There are mnay small shops in Burford. Looking for something unique? Burford Sweet Shop is the perfect place for any family on the lookout for some lovingly crafted delights.

Burford Cotswolds - The Sweet Shop Burford
Burford shops

The Burford Emporium

A vintage emporium that sells great gifts for anyone looking to take a piece of the Cotswolds back home for their friends and family.

Burford - The Burford Emporium
Burford Cotswold Emporium

Three French Hens

Three French Hens Burford, a great gift shop, is full of tonnes of unusual items to take home with you. The owner is extremely friendly, and more than happy to help you find a special present.

Burford - Three French Hens
The Three French Hens

St. John the Baptist Church

Visited by over 100,000 people every year, Burford Church is an evangelical, Anglican Church. There are several Sunday services and mid-week events.

Burford Cotswolds - St. John the Baptist Church

Where to stay in Burford England?

Places to stay Burford? Burford is a charming little town, and its nearby accommodation offerings are just as pleasant as you’d expect.

The Golden Pheasant Inn

The Golden Pheasant Inn is more than just an inn, it’s also a restaurant, bar, and a 200-year-old piece of the local history of Burford. Not to be confused with an establishment of the same name up in Cheshire, this Cotswolds gem is located in the heart of Burford at 91 High Street. Guests love the affordable, tasty food so much that they’ve come back during their trip to eat here again!

Burford Cotswolds - The Golden Pheasant Inn
The Golden Pheasant Hotel Burford

The Bull at Burford Hotel

A friendly and family-run place that has 600 years of history within its walls, the Bull offers amazing bed & breakfast deals, but is still a small enough hotel that it has that cosy inn feeling. Just a stone’s throw further down the High Street than the Golden Pheasant Inn, you’ll find this address at number 105.

The Bull at Burford Hotel
Bull Burford

The Mermaid Inn

Known for its food and its ambience, The Mermaid Inn has enough on its menu to suit all tastes and requirements – including gluten-free! There’s regular entertainment in the form of live music, too. Definitely a place to visit if you’re looking for a filling dinner that comes with a great show.

Burford - The Mermaid Inn
The Mermaid Burford

Burford history

Burford is a historic market town located in Oxfordshire, England. The town dates back to the medieval period and has a rich and fascinating history. Here are some of the key events and facts from Burford’s history:

  • Burford was founded in the 9th century as a defensive settlement against Viking raids. The town’s name comes from the Old English words burh (meaning fortified town) and ford (meaning river crossing).
  • In the Middle Ages, Burford became an important market town and a center for the wool trade. The town’s prosperity led to the construction of many impressive buildings, including the Church of St John the Baptist, which was built in the 15th century.
  • During the English Civil War in the 17th century, Burford was the site of a significant battle between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians. The battle took place on May 13, 1649, and resulted in a victory for the Parliamentarians.
  • In the 18th and 19th centuries, Burford continued to prosper as a market town, with many new buildings constructed in the Georgian and Victorian styles. The town’s location on the main road between London and Cheltenham also made it a popular stopping point for travelers.
  • Burford’s historic buildings and charming streets have made it a popular destination for tourists, particularly those interested in history, architecture, and antiques. The town is home to many antique shops and markets, as well as a local museum that showcases the town’s social and industrial past.

Overall, Burford’s history is a testament to the town’s resilience and adaptability over the centuries. From its early days as a defensive settlement to its current status as a thriving market town and tourist destination, Burford has endured and thrived through many changes and challenges.

Pubs in Burford

Burford has several pubs and bars, offering a range of drinks, food, and ambiance. Here are some of the most popular pubs in Burford:

  • The Angel at Burford – This historic pub has been around since the 16th century and is known for its cozy atmosphere, real ales, and locally sourced food. There’s also a charming beer garden for warm weather.
  • The Highway Inn – A former coaching inn with a long history, The Highway Inn is a popular spot for both locals and visitors. They offer a variety of drinks, including real ales, as well as a menu of traditional pub food.
  • The Mermaid Inn – A charming, traditional pub with a cozy atmosphere and plenty of character. They offer a range of real ales, as well as a menu of classic pub dishes.
  • The Royal Oak – A 16th century pub with a cozy interior, The Royal Oak is known for its selection of real ales and locally sourced food. There’s also a lovely beer garden for sunny days.
  • The Lamb Inn – A historic coaching inn with a charming interior and a menu of classic pub dishes. They offer a range of drinks, including local ales, and there’s a lovely courtyard for outdoor dining.

These are just a few of the many pubs and bars in Burford. Whether you’re looking for a cozy traditional pub, a trendy wine bar, or a lively cocktail spot, there’s something to suit every taste in this charming market town.

Burford tourist information

Burford is a charming market town located in Oxfordshire, England. It is a popular destination for tourists, particularly those interested in history, architecture, and antiques. Here is some tourist information to help you plan your visit:

  • What to see: Burford is home to many historic buildings and landmarks, including the Church of St John the Baptist, the Tolsey building (which houses a local museum), and the medieval bridge over the River Windrush. The town is also known for its antique shops and markets, which attract collectors and enthusiasts from all over the world.
  • Where to stay: There are several accommodation options in Burford, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering cottages. Some of the most popular hotels in the town include The Lamb Inn, The Bay Tree Hotel, and The Highway Inn.
  • Where to eat: Burford has a wide variety of places to eat, including restaurants, pubs, and teashops. Some of the most popular dining options include The Angel at Burford, The Carpenters Arms, and Huffkins.
  • How to get there: Burford is easily accessible by car, located just off the A40 between Oxford and Cheltenham. The nearest train station is in Charlbury, about 8 miles away, and there are also regular bus services to and from Oxford and other nearby towns.
  • When to visit: Burford is a great place to visit year-round, although the town can be particularly busy during the summer months. Spring and autumn are also lovely times to visit, as the surrounding countryside is particularly beautiful during these seasons.
  • Tourist information center: Burford has a Tourist Information Centre located on High Street, where you can pick up maps, brochures, and other information about the town and its attractions.

Overall, Burford is a delightful town to explore, with a rich history, beautiful architecture, and plenty of things to see and do. Whether you’re interested in antiques, architecture, or just a quiet country getaway, Burford is a great choice for a vacation or day trip.

Burford coffee shops

Burford has several charming coffee shops and tea rooms, perfect for a quick break or a leisurely afternoon tea. Here are some of the most popular coffee shops in Burford:

  • Huffkins – A quintessential English tea room with a wide range of teas, coffee, and sweet and savory treats, including freshly baked scones and cakes.
  • Lynwood & Co – A cozy, independent coffee shop located in the heart of Burford. They offer a variety of coffee and tea drinks, as well as fresh pastries and light bites.
  • The Bay Tree Cafe – A charming cafe located in The Bay Tree Hotel, serving up a range of hot and cold drinks, including specialty coffees and loose-leaf teas. They also offer a menu of light bites and afternoon tea.
  • Burford Garden Company Cafe – A beautiful garden center with a lovely cafe serving breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea. They use fresh, locally sourced ingredients and have a range of coffee and tea drinks.
  • The Highway Inn – In addition to being a popular pub, The Highway Inn also has a coffee bar serving up a range of specialty coffees and teas. It’s a great spot for a quick break or a casual meeting.

These are just a few of the many coffee shops and tea rooms in Burford. Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional English tea room experience or a trendy specialty coffee shop, there’s something to suit every taste in this charming market town.

Things to do near Burford

Is it worth visiting Burford Cotswolds?

Upon first glance, Burford looks like a place taken directly off of a postcard. Its natural beauty is almost unreal – but we can assure you that this little town is very much a piece of the Cotswolds.

It may not be a location that you spend a whole week in, but if you’re looking for a piece of serenity that’s in the centre of one of the most beloved areas of England, then you’ve found it.

With great food, plenty of family-run businesses, and a few charming attractions, there’s no reason to miss out on visiting Cotswolds Burford. There are also many things to do around Burford if you fancy exploring the area.

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