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Burford

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Burford is a picturesque town in the Cotswolds.

Understand

Burford is often known as the "gateway to the Cotswolds". Lying 18 miles W of Oxford, 2 miles from the Oxfordshire border, and on the southern bank of the River Windrush. The town dates back to the middle Saxon period and is recorded in the Doomsday Book as being an "agricultural village" However, around 1100 the town was granted its charter meaning that today, despite having a population of only 1,400 it is technically a "town".

The decision that the railway be routed through Charlbury undoubtedly affected the town's prosperity but also allowed it to maintain its character.

The town church was instrumental in the formation of Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. In 1874 designer William Morris visited Burford Church and was appalled by the "restoration" works being carried out. In that era much "restoration" seemed involve destroying (or significantly altering) the genuine old features to replace them with "sham" modern imitations. On his visit to Burford Church he witnessed the ongoing destruction of the medieval wall paintings and was prompted to setup the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Not all the wall paintings were destroyed and many can still be seen today.

Get in

By bus

A number of different buses run between Burford and other local towns.

By road

By car you can reach Burford easily via the A40 from Oxford or Cheltenham directions. Otherwise you can come in from the direction of Stow-on-the-Wold on the A424 which is a beautiful drive.

There is a 1 free car-park at the bottom end of town, and car-parking on the streets as well as at Burford Recreation Ground off Tanners Lane. Be careful, though, as parking in some areas is limited to 2 hours - this is clearly marked. Most of the hotels also have their own car-parking.

By train

There's no station in Burford. Most services stop at Charlbury Station whilst slightly closer Shipton has a more limited service. Both stations are on the line to Oxford and Worcester. There are direct trains to London Paddington twice an hour.

By bicycle

  • 4 National Cycle Route 57. Passes through the town. Cycle route runs Farmington, Gloucestershire near Northleach to Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire.

Get around

The town is small enough to walk everywhere. The lovely high street has many shops, pubs and tea rooms to spend a pleasant afternoon browsing.

See

  • 1 St John the Baptist, Church Green, Burford OX18 4RY, ☏ +44 1993 823788, ✉ churchoffice@burfordchurch.org. Large Anglican church in Burford. Built in 1175, the church has some interesting features.
  • 2 Tolsey Museum, 122 High St, Burford OX18 4QU. Early Apr-late Oct: Tu-Su 2-5PM. Local museum featuring exhibits such as a charter from Henry VIII granting a fair and a doll's house modelled after the Great House on Witney St. The museum is situated on the first floor (up stairs) of the Tolsey so there is no disabled access.

Do

  • Walk. There is a lovely walk from Burford to Little and Great Barrington.
  • 1 Cotswold Wildlife Park, Bradwell Grove, Burford OX18 4JP (2½ miles S of Burford), ☏ +44 1993 823006, ✉ enquiries@cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk. Apr-Oct: 10AM-6PM; Nov-Mar: 10AM-5PM or dusk. Adult £15; Children & seniors £10.
  • Levellers Day. Annual commemorative event remembering the execution of 3 soldiers in Burford Churchyard on the orders of Oliver Cromwell in 1649. They belonged to a movement known as the Levellers, with beliefs in civil rights and religious tolerance. Speeches, rally, debates, refreshments, stalls, music.

Buy

  • 1 W. J. Castle, 111 High St, Burford OX18 4RG, ☏ +44 1993 822113. Tu-F 8:30AM-5PM, Sa 8:30AM-4PM. Fantastic butchers.
  • Burford Sweets (The Sweet Shop), 94 High St, Burford OX18 4QF, ☏ +44 1993 824344. M-Sa: 9AM-5:30PM, Su: 10AM-5PM. A small confectioner that sells sweets usually in 100 g (3 oz) from a jar.
  • Burford Garden Company (Burford Garden Centre), Shilton Rd, Burford OX18 4PA, ☏ +44 1993 823117, ✉ info@burford.co.uk. M-Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM. A large and notable garden centre, but due to its size it's like a department store. They sell toys, clothing, confectionery, souvenirs, furniture and antiques. Also has an upmarket café.
  • 4 The Co-op (The Co-operative), 76 High St, Burford OX18 4QF, ☏ +44 1993 823038. M-Sa 6AM-10PM, Su 7AM-10PM. A local convenience store.

As with much of the Cotswolds antiques are a big thing in Burford. There are regular Antique fairs which take place at the church and in one of the buildings on the high street. There are also antique shops selling some beautiful things.

  • 5 Antiques @ the George, 104 High St, Burford, OX18 4QJ, ☏ +44 1993 823319, ✉ ask@antiquesatthegeorge.com. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. A range of affordable antiques.
  • Burford Antiques Centre, The Roundabout/Cheltenham Rd, Burford OX18 4JA, ☏ +44 1993 823227. M-Sa 10AM-5:30PM, Su 11AM-5PM.

Eat

  • 1 Huffkins Tea Room, 98 & 96 High St, Burford OX18 4QF, ☏ +44 1993 822126. A lovely tea room serving anything from a traditional cream tea with home-baked scones to a good plate of bangers and mash. Very popular with locals and tourists. Child friendly. shop and tea rooms opening hours vary through year mi-range.
  • 2 The Lamb Inn (Pub, Food & Rooms), Sheep St, Burford OX18 4LR, ☏ +44 1993 823155, ✉ info@lambinn-burford.co.uk. Good food, pleasant interior. A stones throw from the High Street.
  • 3 The Mermaid, 78 High St, Burford OX18 4QF, ☏ +44 1993 822193, ✉ info@themermaidburford.co.uk. Restaurant serving traditional food in a traditional setting.
  • Wychwood Deli, The Green, Milton-under-Wychwood, OX7 6GF. 9AM-5PM. Local deli.
  • 4 The Priory (Restaurant & B&B), 35 High St, Burford OX18 4QA, ☏ +44 1993 823249. Daily 8:30AM-5:30PM.
  • 5 The Spice Lounge (Indian Restaurant), 81 High St, Burford OX18 4QA, ☏ +44 1993 823340. M-Th noon-2PM & 6-10PM, F 6-10PM, Sa Su noon-2PM & 6-10PM.

Drink

There are a number of good pubs in Burford with pints costing around £2.50 to £3 each.

  • 1 The Angel at Burford (Pub, Food & Rooms), 14 Witney St, Burford OX18 4SN, ☏ +44 1993 822714, ✉ enquiries@theangelatburford.co.uk. Bar: 10AM-11:30PM. Food: noon-9:30PM. A 16th-century coaching inn. Pub serving food.
  • 2 The Bay Tree (Pub, Food & Rooms), Sheep St, Burford OX18 4LW, ☏ +44 1993 822791, ✉ info@baytreehotel.info. Nice pub.
  • 3 Royal Oak, 26 Witney St, Burford OX18 4SN, ☏ +44 1993 823278. M-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight, Su noon-7PM. Good pub, run by locals.
  • 4 The Cotswold Arms (Pub & Food), 46 High St, Burford OX18 4QF, ☏ +44 1993 822227, ✉ info@cotswoldarms.co.uk. M-Sa 10AM-midnight, Su 10AM-11PM.

Sleep

  • 1 Travelodge BurfordBury Barn A40, Burford OX18 4JF, ☏ +44 8719 846018 (premium). Check-in: from 3PM (noon £10), check-out: by noon (2PM £10). Wi-Fi. Free on-site parking From £70 a night.
  • 2 The Fox Inn (Pub, Food & Rooms), Great Barrington OX18 4TB, ☏ +44 1451 844385, ✉ info@foxinnbarrington.com. Pub: Daily all day. Food: M-F noon-2:30PM & 6:30PM-9:30PM, Sa Su noon-9:30PM. A traditional pub in small village near Burford. On the River Windrush, with great garden and traditional pub meals. Worth a visit for a pint, or to stay.
  • 3 The Highway Inn (Pub, Food & Rooms), 117 High St, Burford OX18 4RG, ☏ +44 1993 823661, ✉ info@thehighwayinn.co.uk.
  • 4 The Burford House Hotel (Hotel, Restaurant & Tea Rooms), 99 High St, Burford OX18 4QA, ☏ +44 1993 823151, ✉ stay@burford-house.co.uk. Food: Tu-Sa noon-2:30PM & 6-9PM, Su noon-4PM. Bar: M-Th noon-10:30PM, F-Sa noon-11PM, Su noon-6PM. Tea House: M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su noon-6PM.

Connect

  • 1 Post Office, Burford News, 107 High St, Burford OX18 4RG. M-Sa 7AM-6PM, Su 7AM-5PM.

Go next

Map of places with Wikivoyage articles nearby

Oxford isn't too far away and is a good next stop if you're leaving the Cotswolds. Swanbrook bus no. 853 runs to Oxford and surrounding towns. Check the schedule as this does not run frequently - especially on Sunday.

If you want to see other attractive villages in the Cotswolds, then BroadwayChipping NortonCirencesterMoreton-in-Marsh and Stow-on-the-Wold could be good places to head to.

Roads are flat and good for cycling.



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