The River Windrush flows right through the picaresque village of Bourton-on-the-Water. Shallow and ankle deep, it’s a popular spot for paddling with kids in Gloucestershire. Close to the border with Oxfordshire and nestled in the Cotswold, there’s lots to do in Bourton-on-the-Water with kids from paddling in the river to a visit to Birdland or time trail walk at Greystones Nature Reserve.
Flanked by grassy banks and overlooked by honey coloured Cotswold stone buildings, it’s not surprising this is a tourist hot spot and can get extremely busy in the summer especially on hot days.
The water is shallow and an easy step down into which makes it such an easy spot to go paddling with kids on a hot day. Right in the centre, where you’re surrounding by shops is the most popular part. There’s more space and it’s just as lovely a little further out closer to the Rissington Road Car Park. The water is extremely cold but only ankle deep.
Bourton-on-the-Water is often referred to as the Venice of the Cotswold. Several charming bridges cross over the river, adding to the fun of exploring.
There are lots of cafes, restaurants and ice cream shops if you’re looking for refreshments. We took a spur of the moment decision to search out a fish and chip shop for lunch and ventured into The Chip Shed overlooking the village green. Best decision ever, as the fish and chips were hands down the best I’ve had. We devoured our lunch sat on a grassy bank dangling our feet in the water.
Where to park at Bourton-on-the-Water to go paddling
We parked at Rissington Road Car Park where you can pay with cash or card. It’s £1.30 for an hour. It’s right next to Birdland if you fancy adding a bigger adventure to your day. From the car park it’s only a couple of minutes walk so easy if you have a toddler to drag along.