One of the most popular villages in the Cotswolds, Bourton-on the-Water is a popular place to visit in the UK. Whether it’s marvelling at the low bridges that straddle the River Windrush, the many chocolate box cottages made of traditional Cotswold stone or perhaps people-watching in the array of pubs and quaint cafes in the village, there is plenty to see and do. Of course, no trip to Bourton-on-the-Water is complete without a trip to its Model Village.
Not just any Model Village, this one is Grade II listed. As such, it is the only one of its kind. So, is this the reason why so many people come flocking to the Model Village?
The history of the Bourton on the Water Model Village
The Model Village was first opened in 1937, on the day of the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. However, the idea was first initiated five years before then, by the then landlord of the nearby Old New Inn. The Morris family who owned the Inn had the idea for an exact miniature replica of Bourton-on-the-Water. At the time, the Model Village would have been only the second of its kind in the country.
So, in 1932, the Morris family began, alongside several local craftspeople, to create their village in miniature to an exact one-ninth scale. Five years later, the miniature village was open to the public and has continued to delight visitors since then.
The Model Village is the perfect place to wander after visiting the village itself. You can hear the choir-song in the miniature church, marvel at the tiny gardens and browse the local shops you may have frequented earlier in the day. You can even find a model of the Model Village, within the Model Village. It really is a village within a village within a village!
How to get to Bourton on the Water Model Village?
Nestled in the heart of the village of Bourton-on-the-Water, the Model Village is just behind the pub, The Old New Inn. Both the Inn and the Model Village share a small car park, which charges a small fee.
However, there are also several car parks in and around the village of Bourton-on-the-Water, which makes it just a short walk to get to the Model Village.
The village lies on the Fosse Way. If you’re travelling to the Model Village from London, take the M4 to the exit for Swindon and then take the A419 to Cirencester and then the A429 to the Model Village. Alternative you can take the M40 through Oxford and then the A40 to Bourton-on-the-Water. The village is just beyond Stow-on-the-Wold which is also a picturesque Cotswolds village.
From London, the travel time is between two and two-and-a-half hours.
If you are travelling from the north of the UK, it is best to use the M1 or the M6 to get to Coventry and then follow the A429 all the way to Bourton-on-the-Water.
The postcode for navigation systems is GL54 2AF.
For travelling by train, the nearest train station is in the village of Moreton-in-Marsh which is around eight miles away from Bourton-on-the-Water. You can then get a bus from Moreton-in-Marsh to Bourton-on-the-Water. The bus line is number 801 or 803, which takes around half an hour. However, it is worth noting that the bus typically runs every three hours.
For travel via bus, there are several routes such as the 801, the 803 and the 802 which runs from Kingham Rail Station to the village. Line 818 runs from Stow-on-the-Wold, while the 855 runs from Cirencester and the V12 which runs from Witney and Oddington to Bourton-on-the-Water.
Due to its popularity, the Model Village is open every day apart from Christmas Day. In winter, the Model Village opens from 10 am to 4 pm. The last admission is at 3.45 pm. It is worth noting that the Model Village may not open in adverse weather such as snow due to the health and safety of its visitors. To plan your visit and ensure the site is open by calling 01451 820467.
In summer, the opening hours are extended. The Model Village is open between 10 am and 6 pm. With the last entry being fifteen minutes before closing time.
Bourton-on-the-Water Model Village tickets
As of summer 2019, the admission costs are £4.25 for adults and £3.25 for children. However, children under the age of three are allowed in for free. There is also a concession for senior citizens.
The ticket price for seniors is £3.75. The ticket booth is at the Model Village. You do not have to purchase tickets in advance.
What to expect at the Model Village?
It can take around one hour to view the Model Village, or longer if you want to spend more time tracing your route through the village. As well as the village that is all crafted in traditional Cotswold stone, you can see the Bonsai trees that are all meticulously pruned to keep them to the exact scale of the village.
The gardens of the houses in the Model Village are quite spectacular with lots of greenhouses, garden furniture and alpine plants to keep the bedding plants of the village to scale.
As well as access throughout the Model Village, there is also a gift shop and public toilets as well as baby changing facilities. Due to the size of the Model Villages, they are unable to permit pushchairs. Dogs and smoking are also forbidden from the premises.
Access for the Model Village
Due to its size, strollers, walking frames, mobility scooters, pushchairs and wheelchairs cannot go into the site. To make the Model Village as accessible as possible, staff can admit disabled visitors through a side gate where they can view the village. However, they may not be able to travel throughout the site. This access is free of charge.
The entrance has a parking area for pushchairs and other transport systems which you cannot take through the Model Village.
Maintenance in the Model Village
The Model Village attracts many visitors, and all of the gardens contain live plants, which means that the Model Village is always undergoing some form of maintenance and upkeep.
This means some areas of the village may be out of bounds to the public while the restoration is underway. However, usually, this is kept to a minimum.
Safety in Bourton on the Water Model Village
Visitors are advised to only walk on the designated paths and bridges in the village for their own safety. Guests are also reminded not to enter the gardens of the Model Village.
The weather can cause some of the paths to be wet and slippery, so care and caution are advised.
Is it worth visiting the Model Village in Bourton-on-the-Water?
If you are visiting Bourton on the Water village, then the Model Village should the on top of your list. It’s one of the best things to do in Bourton on the Water! Whether it’s a family day trip out of London or a couple trip to the Cotswolds, you will have fun!
This area is one of the best places to visit in southern England with many other attractions waiting to be explored! 🙂
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