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Bourton on the Water, known as \"The Venice of the Cotswolds\" is an extremely popular Cotswold destination where elegant 18th century bridges cross the River Windrush as it flows through the centre of the village.

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What’s the Importance of Water Filtration Systems?

Water is unquestionably vital to human life. Most of the surface of our planet is made of water — and the majority of the human body is too.

But though this essential, hydrating fluid should be clear, refreshing and healthful, it isn’t always. Pollution, pesticides, other chemicals, heavy metals, and organic waste can all potentially seep into our water supplies. At best, they impart a mildly unpleasant tang or smell to our water. At worst, they compromise our short-term and long-term health.

Fortunately, water filtration and purification systems provide a convenient and cost-effective way to make sure you have clean, refreshing water in your home and even on the go. According to the EPA and the Water Quality Association, 40% of Americans use some form of water filtration in their homes to enhance the quality of their water. Below, we’ll discuss the importance of purifying or filtering drinking water and show you the benefits of doing so.

Why It’s Important to Filter Your Water

Why do we use water filters? Filtering your water is important for both aesthetic and health-related reasons. Filtered water helps provide these essential benefits:

1. Better Taste

Filtered water generally tastes better than unfiltered water. Chlorine, pesticides, bacteria, and heavy metals can all contribute to water that has an unpleasant taste or aftertaste.

Municipal tap water is usually safe to drink. But just because your water will not harm your health does not mean it is of high quality. Safe tap water may still contain contaminants that give your water an unpleasant taste, smell, or cloudy appearance. A water filtration system reduces these contaminants to provide you with clean, great-tasting drinking water.

2. Better Smell

Chlorine, pesticides, bacteria, and heavy metals also contribute to bad-smelling water. Have you ever been to an old farmhouse in the country where all the water coming out of the taps smelled like pennies? Metals like zinc, iron, and copper can leach into groundwater and lead to rust stains in the bathroom and metallic-smelling water coming out of the taps. Chlorine or Chloramine – which are added to most municipally supplied water to prevent microbiological contamination – both have strong chemical odors that can make the water unpleasant to consume.

Not all contaminants give off a bad smell. But some, like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which include formaldehyde and ethylene, can give your water a distinctively unpleasant odor. VOCs have been implicated in effects ranging from skin irritation to liver and kidney damage to carcinogenic effects, so if your water smells off, you will undoubtedly want to invest in water filtration. Plus, better-smelling water is just more pleasant for the senses.

3. Protecting the Environment

Though some people turn to bottled water in an attempt to ensure that their drinking water is contaminant-free, buying cases of bottled water becomes environmentally expensive very quickly. Filling our landfills with plastic bottles is also harmful to the environment, and many areas don’t have the resources or infrastructure to recycle plastic bottles properly. Because the United States can no longer ship as much trash abroad, some cities have turned to throwing away or incinerating the materials that residents put out to be recycled. Using water filtration systems instead of bottled water helps keep nonbiodegradable plastic bottles out of our landfills and incinerators.

4. Protecting Against Contaminants From Flooding or Construction

Flooding and construction can add all kinds of contaminants to your water supply, especially if your water is well water. Recently, flooding in the Midwest led to a high incidence of well-water contamination, and similar effects are possible no matter where you live. As floodwaters sweep across the landscape, they can pick up chemicals, waste products, and other harmful contaminants and eventually deposit them in human water supplies. Wells and reservoirs that become overtopped by floodwater are at particularly high risk of water contamination, but floodwaters that merely saturate the surrounding soil can also seep into a well if it is older and not adequately sealed.

Construction can also lead to high levels of water contaminants. Construction materials such as chemicals, plastics, and adhesives leach into the soil and from there into the groundwater, where they can have adverse effects on human health if they make it into drinking water without being filtered out. If the construction project is a renovation of an older building, asbestos contamination, in particular, poses a serious risk.

5. Protecting Your Health

Protecting Your Health

Lead, chlorine, pesticides, viruses, and more — all these contaminants can have serious adverse effects on your health if they make it into your home’s drinking water. Water can also contain microbiological contaminants such as bacteria, giardia and cryptosporidium. A water purifier can help protect against these harmful microorganisms so that you don’t get sick from ingesting these organisms.

Don’t forget about cooking, too. If your water is unsafe to drink, it’s also unsafe to cook with, brush your teeth with or wash vegetables in. Filtering your water also helps protect your health in these often-overlooked areas.

And showering in contaminated water can also make you feel rundown. If your water contains chlorine, inhaling chlorine as you shower can lead to respiratory ailments.

On the other hand, hydrating yourself with clean, clear water leaves you feeling refreshed and energized. The peace of mind you feel from knowing your water is safely filtered — along with the crisp, clean taste of filtered water — will often encourage you to drink more water and feel healthier.

If you have children in your household, remember that their immune systems are still developing. So filtered water is crucial to keeping your children healthy and thriving.

Browse Our Water Filtration Systems

Removal of Contaminants

The right water filtration or purification system can help reduce the concentration of many types of contaminants in your home’s water:

Lead

Lead, a neurotoxin, can also seep into groundwater or leak into tapwater from old lead pipes, fittings and fixtures. Even low levels of lead in water can be harmful to human health, especially for young children whose bodies and nervous systems are still developing. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan showed us just how harmful lead-contaminated water can be to a community’s health. Lead in water can cause minor irritations such as itchy skin, rashes, and hair loss. It also causes serious issues such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and infertility, along with the profound neurological problems it is notorious for causing in children. Filtering your water is an excellent way to help remove lead and protect your family’s health.

Chlorine

Chlorine is often added to tap water for good reason — it kills bacteria that would make us ill if we ingested them. But chlorine is not ideal for us to consume in high doses either. High levels of chlorine in water can lead to infant congenital abnormalities, for instance. Chlorine also has a drying effect, so filtering the chlorine out of your water leaves you with more moisturized, elastic, younger-looking, and younger-feeling skin and fewer skin rashes and irritation. And filtering the chlorine out of your water will also leave you with more hydrated, softer, and shinier hair.

Trihalomethanes (THMs)

When chlorine interacts with organic matter, it can also lead to the formation of trihalomethanes (THMs), which have been linked to carcinogenic activity. Fortunately, activated carbon filtration is effective in reducing concentrations of THMs.

Mineral contaminants

High concentrations of mineral contaminants in your water can lead to a mineral buildup and soapy film that remains on your skin even after you’ve showered, causing itching and irritation. The same buildup can leave your hair looking dull and feeling unclean, even if you’ve just showered. Water full of contaminants can make it harder to get your clothes clean. It can also lead to wear and tear on your plumbing because mineral contaminants build up inside the pipes.

Nitrates

Nitrates form when nitrogen and oxygen react. High concentrations of nitrates in water pose serious risks, especially for children and pregnant women. Fertilizers, industrial waste runoff, and improper waste disposal can all lead to high levels of nitrates in groundwater. Especially if your home has well water, you will likely want to invest in a water treatment system that reduces nitrates. Boiling and water filtration will not remove nitrates, but some water treatment systems can.

Viruses, bacteria and cysts

Viruses, bacteria and cysts like giardia, cryptosporidium, hepatitis, rotavirus, and norovirus can all contaminate water supplies through runoff from waste. Municipal water systems are tested and treated for these microbiological threats. Still, if you’re connected to the municipal water system, a water purification system provides an extra layer of protection and peace of mind. If you use well water, a water purification system is a wise investment. If you have a particular reason to suspect microbiologically contaminated water, it’s also smart to boil your water before drinking it.

Radon

Particularly in the northern United States, radon can seep into the groundwater from the soil. Radon is known to have carcinogenic effects, so if you live in an area with a high radon concentration, investing in a water treatment system that can reduce radon is a wise idea.

Arsenic

Arsenic, commonly used as a poison and in fertilizers, can seep into groundwater from industrial and agricultural operations and is toxic to human health. Neither boiling nor chlorine bleaching will remove arsenic from water, but some water treatment systems can. Fortunately, some activated carbon filtration is effective at reducing concentrations of arsenic in water.

Pesticides

The United States applies about a billion pounds of pesticides annually to both farmland and non-cropland. Especially in agricultural regions, pesticide runoff can easily seep into groundwater and contaminate the water that comes into your home. Activated carbon filtration is widely considered the best method of treating pesticides in water.

Pharmaceuticals

Not everyone disposes of unused medications safely. Sometimes prescription or over-the-counter medications end up thrown away in landfills or flushed directly into wastewater systems. These improper disposal methods make it more likely that pharmaceutical contamination can seep into your water supply, and pharmaceutical manufacturing waste adds to the risk. Drinking water contaminated with pharmaceuticals is like taking someone else’s medicine, and it may produce unwanted side effects. Fortunately, carbon block filters are an effective way to reduce the concentration of pharmaceuticals in your water.

Multipure’s filtration systems use advanced filtration technologies to reduce contaminants in your home’s water:

Drinking Water Systems

  • Solid carbon block filtration: Multipure’s solid carbon block filters help mechanically filter out some types of materials out of the water. These contaminants include asbestos, some types of dormant microorganisms, and some particulates that lead to cloudy water.
  • Solid carbon block adsorption and chemical reduction: Our solid carbon block filters reduce the amounts of a large number of other contaminants by adsorbing them as water passes through the filter. These contaminants include lead, mercury, radon, VOCs, chlorine, the pesticides chlordane and toxaphene, and many more.
  • Water purification via the Aqualuxe: Our Aqualuxe water purification system uses advanced technology to reduce concentrations of harmful viruses and bacteria in your home’s water.

Water Filtration Options

Different water filtration systems are optimized for different uses throughout your home. Different systems filter different materials — shower and bath systems are typically most effective at reducing chlorine. In contrast, drinking water systems can reduce concentrations of a range of contaminants, such as arsenic, that would be harmful if ingested.

Drinking Water Systems

Many of our Multipure drinking water systems are NSF certified. They have met stringent testing and inspection requirements and are proven to be quality systems that our customers can rely on for safe, clean water.

Drinking Water Systems

  • The Aqualuxe: Our Aqualuxe water purification system is our finest system and only true water purifier — it removes many harmful viruses and bacteria from water to keep you and your family healthy and safe. The Aqualuxe combines state-of-the-art filtration technology and our advanced carbon block water filters to create a system that gives you the ultimate in crystal-clear, healthy water. It even comes with Wi-Fi technology so you can monitor your system on the go.
  • The Aquaperform: Our Aquaperform drinking water system, one of our premium models, is NSF-certified to perform against contaminants of both health concern — those that are known to harm our health — and aesthetic concern, or those that make our water taste and smell unpleasant. It’s also effective against emerging contaminants and incidental compounds, such as medicines, pesticides, and herbicides. This under-counter water system features an advanced carbon block filter and is outfitted with an arsenic adsorption media for maximum protection against arsenic.
  • The Aquaversa: Our Aquaversa drinking water system is a mid-range under-sink system that works effectively against many harmful contaminants. It is certified to be effective against health concern contaminants, aesthetic concern contaminants, emerging contaminants, and incidental compounds. You can also use this filtering system as an extension of your faucet since it is made of stainless steel.
  • The Aquamini: Our Aquamini drinking water system is an exceptionally compact filtration system that increases the aesthetic appeal of your water by reducing bad-smelling and bad-tasting contaminants. Our most cost-effective filtration system, it is also perfect for carrying with you when you travel.

Browse Our Water Filtration Systems

Home Essentials

Multipure’s shower and bath filtration systems filter chlorine out of your water to make your water softer, better smelling, and better tasting. With less chlorine in your water, you’ll experience softer skin, shinier hair, and less skin dryness and irritation.

  • The Aquasource: Our Aquasource is our premium whole-house water filtration system. Perfect for installing in your garage or in your basement with the water heater, this system uses our advanced carbon block technology to provide clean water for drinking, showering, washing dishes, and more. It is particularly effective at reducing chlorine concentrations, so your household will be treated to softer water that’s easier on the skin.
  • The Aquashower: Our Aquashower is a showerhead filter that effectively reduces chlorine to leave you with softer, more moisturized skin and hair. It removes 90% or more of the chlorine in your water to leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after showering.
  • The Aquasplash: Our Aquasplash is a water filter that gives you softer water for your bathtub soak. This bathtub dechlorinator does not have to fit over a bathtub faucet — you can swish it around in the bathwater to filter the water through it. The Aquasplash removes chlorine to soften your water and leave with you with silky, irritation-free skin and soft, hydrated hair.
  • The Aquagrow: Our Aquagrow is a filtration system designed for use with your lawn or garden. You can fit it over your garden hose to provide healthy water to your growing shrubs, flowers, grass, vegetables, or trees. It removes over 86% of the chlorine from your hose water to give your plants the clean water they need to flourish.
  • The wriggle: The wriggle portable filtered water bottle that provides you with a convenient option for carrying clean, great-tasting filtered water with you wherever you go. Perfect for taking to class, sporting events, or the gym, this filtered water bottle, which is fitted internally with our proprietary carbon block technology, will keep you safely hydrated all day.

Contact Multipure to Learn More About Water Filtration

Contact Multipure to Learn More About Water Filtration

Multipure is committed to providing refreshing, safe, clean water in homes around the world. We know how important it is for people to have quality drinking, cooking, and bathing water in their lives, so we provide easy and effective water solutions.

With a variety of point-of-use and whole-house systems in our catalog, we can offer something for every household’s needs and budget. And our advanced technology and rigorous third-party NSF certifications mean you can trust our products to keep your water clean and healthy.

When you invest in a Multipure water filtration system for your home, you’ll taste and feel the difference. Contact us to learn more.

14 Top-Rated Things to Do in Bourton-on-the-Water

It’s impossible to feel stressed in Bourton-on-the-Water. Dubbed the Venice of the Cotswolds, this lovely town oozes English charm. From picturesque bridges spanning the River Windrush to stone-roof cottages dating to the 15th century, this fairy-tale village is captivating. No wonder it’s been voted one of England’s prettiest villages.

Photographing its immense beauty isn’t the only thing to do in this idyllic place. Whether you’re hoping to make your way through a maze, enjoy high tea by a river, or see one of the world’s first cars, there is a bevy of fun to be had in Bourton-on-the-Water.

You won’t likely be the only tourists in town. Tour buses unload in this tiny village, which is one of the best small towns in England, especially during summer. If you’re hoping for a quieter trip, visit in spring instead — you’ll be rewarded with optimal weather and smaller crowds.

Be sure to check out these helpful ways to get from London to the Cotswolds, located just 84 miles northwest of London, before you leave. And plan your trip with our list of the best things to do in Bourton-on-the-Water.

1. Peek Inside an Old Caravan at the Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection

 

Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection
Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

 

Car buffs will be greatly rewarded by a visit to Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection. Opened in 1978, the museum was the mastermind of avid collector Mike Cavanagh. He purchased the Old Mill to display his vast collection of old motoring signs, motorbikes, and historic cars.

In 1999, the museum was sold to the CSMA club (a.k.a. Boundless). They transformed the space into the impressive, seven-gallery fun zone you’ll find today. A tribute to the history of 20th-century motoring, the museum includes cars, caravans, enamel signs, and other memorabilia.

Wander through the Blacksmith’s Workshop to get a feel for the trade’s progression — from creating anvils to distributing motorcycles and cars. There’s even a funky section called Paved Paradise, which offers multiple throwbacks to the 60s and 70s.

The oldest car in the museum is a 1911 Alldays & Onions Victoria. You’ll also find a 1924 Levis bike, which was once used to play motorcycle football (that’s soccer to North Americans).

Kids will love the toy collection. Although they can’t touch the displays, there are plenty of hands-on areas, as well as a dress-up space and a play zone conveniently placed in the middle of the untouchable section. Brilliant!

Address: The Old Mill, Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham

2. Feed Penguins at Birdland & Jurassic Journey

 

King penguin at Birdland, Bourton-on-the-Water
King penguin at Birdland, Bourton-on-the-Water

 

Come face to beak with birds of all different sizes and colors in this unique park. Established in 1957 on what was once a tree plantation, this nine-acre site is home to more than 500 birds (including rare and exotic creatures) and 50 aviaries.

In addition to species like flamingos, cranes, pelicans, hornbills, and falcons, visitors can see egg-laying amphibians and reptiles. Special experiences, which involve an additional fee, offer visitors a chance to feed the penguins and be a zookeeper for a day.

Take your kids to the Jurassic Journey for some fossilized fun set along a woodland trail. They’ll be able to spot dinosaurs in the trees (don’t forget to look up), follow dino footprints, and excavate fossils in the Dino Dig.

If you’re hoping to get even closer to the animals, head to the Encounters Area, where guests are invited to listen to Meet the Keeper talks (daily at 12:15), be climbed on by a parrot, and slithered on by a snake.

Address: Rissington Road, Bourton-on-the-Water

3. Feel Tall at The Model Village

 

The Model Village
The Model Village

 

Know anyone with a short-person complex? Send them to The Model Village at The Old New Inn. A model town of Lilliputian dimensions, this mini village is a phenomenal recreation of Bourton-on-the-Water in the 1930s. It resides in the inn’s back garden and attracts visitors from across the globe.

The Model Village features buildings created from the same local Cotswold stone used to build the actual town’s homes, banks, shops, and meeting halls.

Special exhibitions include The Miniature Landscape Exhibition, featuring detailed cottages crafted by miniature specialist John Constable (he’s not the famous painter). The intriguing Exhibition of Miniatures, which costs an extra £1, is adorable. You’ll see uber detailed scenes and room sets created by more than 100 English craftspeople.

Insider’s tip: Strollers won’t fit down the narrow streets of this small-scale village, so be prepared to carry your little ones.

Address: Rissington Road, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham

4. Get Lost in The Dragonfly Maze

Traveling to England without visiting a maze is like having a scone without clotted cream. This verdant land is known for its hedge-lined labyrinths and one of the most fun, kid-friendly-mazes is located right in Bourton-on-the-Water. It will take about 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

The Dragonfly Maze, which lies beside Birdland, was crafted out of yew hedges in 1997. As you travel along its complicated pathways, you’ll come across 14 numbered clues. As with most English mazes, the goal is to reach the center before moving on to the exit.

Each clue will help lead guests to the middle, where they’ll find the hidden, golden dragonfly. Hint: it’s housed in a round house. Don’t worry, if you get stuck, the lovely woman in charge is more than willing to help get you out.

Address: Rissington Road, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham

5. Unleash Your Inner Child at the Model Railway Exhibition

 

Model Railway Exhibition
Model Railway Exhibition | Elliott Brown / photo modified

 

Bourton-on-the-Water really likes to make its visitors feel tall. Another miniature display, this time featuring railways, the Model Railway Exhibition is a must-see. The fully functional exhibit sits in a beautiful stone farmhouse, which houses the Model Railway Shop.

Head to the back of the shop (if you can tear your kids away from all the fun toys) to find the exhibition. Three rooms of fun await, begging your inner child to let loose. In one room, day turns into the night while the trains zoom around their tracks.

Another room allows visitors to take charge, pressing buttons to start the trains themselves. This is a real hit with kids. Look closely and you might spot Thomas the Train.

With over 500 square feet of trains and railways, there’s a ton to see. And it’s hard not to appreciate the detail that’s gone into each scene. Mountains, streams, houses, and a funfair are represented in all their glory.

Address: Box Bush High Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham

6. Enjoy Afternoon Tea along the River Windrush

 

The River Windrush
The River Windrush | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

 

Usually served between 2 and 3 pm, afternoon tea is a classic English tradition you won’t want to miss. Depending on where you go, it involves tea (of course), sammies (a.k.a. crustless finger sandwiches), and pastries. Some places even offer scones with jam and clotted cream. Yum!

The best way to enjoy afternoon tea in Bourton-on-the-Water is by having it “by the water.” This way, visitors can enjoy the stunning view, people-watching, and a tasty treat while relaxing at a local restaurant or café.

Green & Pleasant Tea Rooms, a family-owned restaurant on the banks of the River Windrush, is a wonderful spot to rest and enjoy a cuppa. Their baked goods are homemade, meaning you’re in for a treat. Plus, they cater to those with allergies. Their gluten- and dairy-free cakes are divine!

Bakery on the Water is another family-friendly spot. This small artisan bakery produces some of the most delectable cream tea around. Your order will include two homemade scones (yay!), jam, clotted cream, and a small pot of tea. Take a pain aux raisin to the riverside patio and exhale!

Green & Pleasant Tea Rooms

  • Address: 6 West Market Place, Riverside, Cheltenham

Bakery on the Water

  • Address: 1 Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham

    7. Picnic along the River Windrush

     

    Benches along the River Windrush
    Benches along the River Windrush

     

    One of the best villages in the Cotswolds, this picturesque spot is so pretty, you’ll gasp with delight. Its main attraction lies in the center of town. Sandwiched between long, vibrant greens, the River Windrush snakes its way under stone bridges and beside cute shops, quaint cafés, and charming restaurants.

    On warm, sunny days, children and adults alike dangle their feet in its shallow water, some maneuvering their way between ducks to cross to the other side. The town’s main hub, is a fantastic spot to people-watch.

    Roll out your blanket, pop open your picnic basket and settle in for a lovely afternoon on the river bank. When you’re bored, head to the stores or grab a cuppa from one of the local tea shops.

    8. Greystone’s Farm Nature Reserve

     

    Greystone's Farm Nature Reserve
    Greystone’s Farm Nature Reserve | Chen Zhao / photo modified

     

    Sixty-six acres of a verdant wonderland await visitors to Greystone’s Farm Nature Reserve. You’ll find meadows to explore, the River Eye to enjoy, and an abundance of wildlife to observe. Look closely; you may spot devil’s-bit scabious, sedge warbler, common knapweed, or pied wagtail. Pack binoculars for a better view.

    Vibrant walking trails wind their way within the grounds, transporting visitors on a quiet and beautiful adventure through the reserve. The main trails — Wildlife Walk and Time-Travel Trail — are both levels, with no steep areas to worry about. Meadows Walk is closed during Autumn to protect the area and its creatures.

    Relax with a warm cup of tea or coffee at the café, which is open every Thursday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. The reserve is open daily.

    Insider’s tip: There’s no on-site public parking, so you’ll have to park in the village and walk for about 10 minutes.

    Address: Greystones Farm, Greystones Lane, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham

    9. Treat Your Senses at Cotswold Perfumery

     

    Cotswold Perfumery
    Cotswold Perfumery | Elliott Brown/photo modified

     

    You may smell the Cotswold Perfumery before you see it. Housed in a lovely, 300-year-old Grade-II-listed historic building, this luxurious shop will melt your worries away. Founded in 1966, the perfumery was a welcome, well-scented addition to Bourton-on-the-Water.

    In addition to fragrant soaps, moisturizers, and perfumes, guests can find oils, scent-making equipment, and jewelry in the store. Those who have a penchant for all things smelly may want to sign up for a perfumery course.

    The perfumery even offers luxury accommodations. Two five-stars, self-catering apartments are located on-site. One offers views of the town center while the other overlooks the river.

    Address: Victoria Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham

    10. Dine and Sleep at The Mousetrap Inn

     

    The Mousetrap Inn
    The Mousetrap Inn | David Merrett / photo modified

     

    Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at The Mousetrap Inn, and boy are they delicious. Each tasty dish features locally sourced produce, and the menu changes with the seasons. Dishes range from simple fruit smoothies to miso-glazed cauliflower to classic fish and chips with a side of mushy peas.

    As for dessert, you won’t be disappointed. While the sticky date pudding is a decadent English fave, the coconut and kaffir posset with mango sorbet and warm Madeleines really hits that sweet spot.

    Have allergies? Don’t worry. There are plenty of options to suit all types of diets, including vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. We’d suggest making a reservation, especially if you’re visiting during half-term or the summer.

    Insider’s tip: If you stay in one of the inn’s 11 recently revamped rooms, you won’t have far to commute for your meal.

    Address: Lansdowne, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham

    11. Solve the Crime at Bourton-on-the-Water Mystery Trail

     

    Meandering lane in Bourton-on-the-Water
    Meandering lane in Bourton-on-the-Water

     

    Be honest, sometimes walking sightseeing tours are boring, especially if you’re following a monotonous guide. Treasure Trails, a company that creates self-guided, themed treasure hunts, does not fall into this category. For a small fee, you can print (or have printed) a Murder Mystery-themed Treasure Trail around Bourton-on-the-Water.

    Expect between 20 and 25 sneaky clues along this two-hour trail, the most exciting tour in town. Along the loop, you’ll wind around the most historic buildings, across the five bridges spanning the River Windrush, and through the Model Village, Birdland, and the Cotswold Motoring Museum.

    This mysterious, 2.5-mile-long trail will also take you through the town center and a Roman encampment site. Kids six and up are more than welcome to participate, and if you get stuck, there’s a number to text for clues. Can you find the murderer? There’s only one way to find out.

    12. Feel Like a Hobbit at St. Edward’s Church

     

    St. Edward's Church
    St. Edward’s Church

     

    Stow-on-the-Wold is an adorable market town located a six-minute drive from Bourton-on-the-Water. Nestled among the ancient stone homes, right near Market Square, is the town’s crowning feature: St. Edward’s Church.

    Dating back to the 11th or 12th century, this classically English church (complete with a tower and stained-glass windows) doesn’t seem very unique at first glance. Walk-behind it, and you’ll see why so many tourists add this attraction to their Bourton-on-the-Water itineraries.

    The wooden back door is framed by two giant yews that were planted so close to the building, they appear to be part of the stone walls. This section of the church dates to the 17th or 18th century, so these trees have been around for a while.

    Some believe this mysteriously beautiful sight that’s been photographed about a zillion times to be the inspiration behind J.R.R. Tolkien’s Doors of Durin in Lord of the Rings.

    Address: Sheep Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham

    13. Become One with Nature at the Batsford Arboretum & Garden Centre

     

    Batsford Arboretum & Garden Centre
    Batsford Arboretum & Garden Centre

     

    Although not technically in Bourton-on-the-Water, the Batsford Arboretum & Garden Centre lies less than 10 miles (and under 20 minutes) north of the ancient village. Created on an estate owned by Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, parts of this interesting garden (in particular the giant bamboo trees) date back to the late 1880s.

    Mitford based his garden’s design on naturalistic plantings he saw and admired during trips to China and Japan. After years of neglect following the Second World War, the garden was restored to its former glory by new owner Lord Dulverton the Second in 1956.

    He planted multiple rare and beautiful trees (including birch, oak, ash, fir, spruce, magnolia, and maple) that make up the arboretum today. Visit every season to see the park in every stage of its life.

    While you’re here, don’t miss the café, garden center, and gift shop. You’re sure to find some wonderful things to munch on and a few wonderful gifts to bring home.

    Address: Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh

    14. Go Wild at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

     

    Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens
    Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

     

    Just over 12 miles separate Bourton-on-the-Water from the magical world found at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens in Burford. Founded in 1970, this park was established on over 160 acres of the Heyworth family estate. It is currently one of the largest zoological collections in the UK.

    Among its famous guests are over 260 species of animals, including giraffes, rhinos, and alligators. The park has worked hard to protect animals, including the endangered crowned sifaka and greater bamboo lemurs, which can be seen in the Madagascan Walkthrough exhibit.

    The animal enclosures are bordered by magnificent gardens, including the vibrant Walled Garden. Be sure to bring a camera if you visit once the spring bulbs have burst into bloom.

    Bring the kids for a super fun day out. In addition to the animals, they’ll love playing in the adventure playground and Skymaze, a web of interconnected treehouses, slides, and jungle bridges. A ride on the narrow-gauge railway (open from April to October) is another hit with little ones.

    Insider’s tip: When hunger pangs hit, head to the Oak Tree Restaurant near the rear of the Manor House.

    Address: Bradwell Grove, Burford, Oxfordshire

Simple Ways to Drink More Water

Your body is about 70% water, and drinking enough of it is vital for optimal health (1).

Water plays many roles in your body, including maintaining electrolyte balance and blood pressure, lubricating joints, regulating body temperature, and promoting cell health (12Trusted Source).

While everyone knows that it’s important to stay hydrated, doing so can be difficult at times.

Here are 12 simple ways to drink more water.

1. Understand your fluid needs
12 Simple Ways to Drink More Water

Before you decide to drink more water, you have to understand your body’s fluid needs.

A common recommendation for daily water intake is 64 ounces (1,920 ml), or 8 cups, but this is not based on science (3Trusted Source).

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) recommends that men consume 125 ounces (3,700 ml) and women about 90 ounces (2,700 ml) of fluid per day, including the fluid from water, other drinks, and foods (4).

However, NAM acknowledges that it isn’t ideal to make broad recommendations about fluid needs, as they depend on your activity level, location, health status, and more (5Trusted Source).

For most, simply drinking to quench your thirst will ensure you meet your fluid needs. Yet, you may need more fluid if you exercise regularly, work outside, or live in a hot climate (5Trusted Source).

2. Set a daily goal

Setting a daily water intake goal can help you drink more water.

Simply the act of setting a goal can be motivating and make you more likely to make positive changes that last (6Trusted Source).

To be effective, goals should be SMART, which is an acronym for the following criteria (7Trusted Source):

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

For example, one SMART water-consumption goal might be to drink 32 ounces (960 ml) of water per day.

It can also help to record your progress, which can keep you motivated to achieve your goal — and make it a habit.

3. Keep a reusable water bottle with you

Keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day can help you drink more water.

When you have a reusable water bottle, you can easily drink water in any setting, whether you’re running errands, traveling, or at home, work, or school.

Keeping a water bottle handy can also serve as a visual reminder to drink more water. If you see the bottle on your desk or table, you will constantly be reminded to drink more.

Plus, it’s better for the environment than relying on single-use plastic water bottles.

 

4. Set reminders

You can also set reminders to drink more water using an app or the alarm on your smartphone or smartwatch.

For example, try setting a reminder to take a few sips of water every 30 minutes, or set a reminder to finish drinking your current glass of water and refill it every hour.

These reminders can help you increase your water intake, especially if you struggle with being forgetful or too busy to drink.

5. Replace other drinks with water

One way to drink more water — and boost your health and reduce your calorie intake — is to replace other drinks, such as soda and sports drinks, with water.

These drinks are often full of added sugars, which can be extremely detrimental to your health.

For optimal health, limit your added sugar intake to less than 5% of your calorie intake. Just one 8-ounce (240 ml) cup of soda per day can exceed this limit (8Trusted Source).

Diets high in added sugars have been linked to obesity and other conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease (9Trusted Source10Trusted Source11Trusted Source).

Furthermore, replacing these sugary drinks with water is an easy and cheap way to cut calories, potentially helping you lose weight.

6. Drink one glass of water before each meal

Another simple way to increase your water intake is to make a habit of drinking one glass of water before each meal.

If you eat 3 meals per day, this adds an extra 3 cups (720 ml) to your daily water intake.

Moreover, sometimes your body may mistake feelings of thirst for hunger. Drinking a glass of water before eating can help you discern whether you are feeling true hunger (12Trusted Source).

What’s more, if you’re trying to lose weight, drinking a glass of water may help you eat fewer calories at the following meal (13Trusted Source14Trusted Source).

7. Get a water filter

In America, most tap water is safe to drink. However, if you have concerns about the quality or safety of your tap water, consider purchasing a water filter.

There is a filter for almost every budget, from costly whole-home water filtration systems to inexpensive water-filtering pitchers.

In addition, filtering your water could improve the taste.

Point-of-use water filters, such as water-filtering pitchers or filters that attach directly to a faucet, can reduce levels of waterborne bacteria, lead, and arsenic in contaminated tap water to safe levels (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source17Trusted Source).

Using a water filter is also less expensive and more eco-friendly than purchasing bottled water, which is oftentimes no different than tap water (18Trusted Source).

8. Flavor your water

If you dislike the flavor of water, or just need a bit of flavor to help you drink more, you have many choices.

Using an inexpensive fruit-infuser water bottle is one healthy option.

Popular fruit combinations to use in an infuser bottle are cucumber-lime, lemon, and strawberry-kiwi. Although, you can use any combination of fruits that suits your taste.

You can also purchase water enhancers in powder or liquid form to add to your water, but be aware that many of these products contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, or other additives that may harm your health.

9. Drink one glass of water per hour at work

If you work a standard 8-hour workday, drinking a glass of water each hour you’re at work adds up to 8 cups (1,920 ml) to your daily water intake.

Fill up your cup as soon as you get to work, and at the top of every hour, simply drink the remaining water and refill.

This method will keep your water intake consistent throughout your workday.

10. Sip throughout the day

Sipping on water consistently throughout the day is another easy way to help you meet your fluid goals.

Reaching for a sip of water consistently during your day will keep your mouth from getting dry and may even help keep your breath fresher (19Trusted Source20Trusted Source).

Keep a glass of water or a reusable bottle nearby and within your line of sight for a constant visual reminder to take a sip.

11. Eat more foods high in water

One simple way to get more water is to eat more foods that are high in water.

Fruits and vegetables that are particularly high in water include (21Trusted Source22Trusted Source23Trusted Source24Trusted Source25Trusted Source26Trusted Source27Trusted Source):

  • Lettuce: 96% water
  • Celery: 95% water
  • Zucchini: 95% water
  • Cabbage: 92% water
  • Watermelon: 91% water
  • Cantaloupe: 90% water
  • Honeydew melon: 90% water

In addition to their high fluid content, these fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote your overall health.

12. Drink one glass of water when you wake up and before bed

An easy way to boost your water intake is to simply drink one glass when you wake up and another before you go to bed.

A glass of cold water in the morning may help wake you up and boost your alertness (28Trusted Source).

Plus, drinking water before bed can keep you from waking up with a dry mouth and bad breath (19Trusted Source20Trusted Source).

The bottom line
Easy Ways to Drink More Water

Adequate water intake is essential to good health.

The National Academy of Medicine estimates that most people need 90–125 ounces (2,700–3,700 ml) of fluid per day, including fluid from water, other beverages, and food.

However, it can be difficult to drink water habitually, especially if you are busy, regularly forget to drink or dislike the taste of water.

Choosing from these 12 simple tips can help you boost your daily water intake.

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