Portmeirion is a small village in North Wales on the…
Although for me nothing beats visiting country houses, gardens and heritage museums, I do enjoy going on country walks. The reason is that you can almost always find a hidden gem during a walk, which you probably wouldn’t find if you were driving.
Because we exhausted the surrounding area during the pandemic, it’s quite refreshing to explore other areas.
I’ve been to Burford a few times, but I never explored the surrounding area. Therefore, it was lovely to walk in the countryside around this charming Cotswold town and I really enjoyed it. The walk is ca 8km and it goes through villages of the Windrush Valley.
So this week let me take you on this country walk and show you around.
Starting in Burford
Burford lays 18 miles from Oxford and is often called the Gateway to the Cotswolds. Nestled among the rolling hills and on the banks of the River Windrush, Burford is one of the most beautiful towns of the Cotswolds. Its special ambience captures everyone’s heart and its view from the top of the High Street is world famous.
Burford was a market town and played an important role in the Cotswolds wool trade. It was a wealthy town which is reflected in the various Tudor houses, Georgian buildings, shops and tearooms. Its special ambience has always attracted many and you can easily see why.
My walk started here in Burford. I arrived early because the car park fills up quickly. Although parking is free, toilets aren’t and they work with 20p coin only.
As the car park is situated sort of in the middle of the High Street and the walk starts at the lower end of it, it’s worth climbing the hill first. Enjoy the views from the top of the High Street.
Tip: You can get some snacks from the local butcher. The Burford sausage roll is very good.
Leaving Burford, I crossed the bridge over the River Windrush and made my way to a small village, Fulbrook. The path lead through fields from where I enjoyed beautiful views of Burford.
On the top of the hill there is a beautiful 16th century coaching inn and some honey stone cottages which I probably would have never seen had I driven around the area.
The Cotswolds countryside
Having walked through Fulbrook, I entered a vast wheat field which looked gorgeous with the dramatic sky above it.
After rolling hills, I arrived at the next point, an old farmhouse. As I walked downhill, I noticed a few more cottages which looked stunning in the curve of the road. Sheep were observing my steps.
Although it rained a bit and I had to hide under trees, I didn’t mind it. The countryside looked stunning in the contrasty summer weather.
The route took me to another quaint village called Swinbrook. Another charming Cotswolds village full of cottages with roses climbing up the side.
It’s always worth visiting English churches, as you can often find something quirky or interesting. The St Mary’s Church in Swinbrook was no exception, with its effigies commemorating the Fettiplace family and wooden carvings on the seats.
Before reaching the last leg of the walk, I crossed a vast field near Widford where I noticed an old Saxon church, St Oswald’s Church.
Of course, I popped in to have a look and it was great to see that this old church is still used today. I was positively surprised by the fresh flowers in the church.
The last leg of the walk was by the River Windrush back to Burford. The river springs in the Cotswolds near Snowshill and reaches the Thames in Oxfordshire near Witney. The river is a popular spot for fly-fishing where fishermen can catch trout, perch, roach and other fish.
I can only recommend country when you visit England. It’s worth dedicating a day to explore the rural countryside on foot.
The Burford circular walk is a great choice as it’s close to London. It’s a relatively easy walk and it offers loads to see and to explore.
You can find a map and the walk description here.
Hope you enjoyed this walk in the Cotswolds.