7 Great Things to Do When Staying in Bourton-on-the-Water

1. Visit the Model Village

Bourton on the Water - The Model Village

ittle and big kids alike will enjoy spending an afternoon in this miniature village, which is located behind the Old New Inn. The mini replica village is one-ninth of its full scale, and contains all of the local buildings as they were in the 1930s. Pop into the adjoining pub after for a few drinks – it’s a got a great beer garden, plus a wide selection of hot and cold drinks, real ale, ciders and wine.

2. Explore the Dragonfly Maze

Dragonfly Maze – Bourton-on-the-Water, England - Atlas Obscura

Take the whole family to take on this fun and puzzling hedge maze on Rissington Road. Unlike other mazes you may have been to, this one isn’t just a bog standard hedge maze. It has clues and games that need solving throughout, so there’s plenty of fun to be had from start to finish. Suitable for all ages, and close to Green & Pleasant Tea Rooms for refreshments after.

3. Go to Birdland Park and Gardens

Birdland Park and Gardens - Cotswolds

This superb wildlife park is one of Bourton-on-the-Water’s most popular attractions, and it’s an opportunity to get outdoors. See birds of all different colours at the park, home to one of the UK’s largest exotic bird collections. Don’t miss the adorable penguin families at Penguin Shore and be sure to take the little ones to the Jurassic Journey.

4. Visit the Cotswold Brewing Company

Cotswold Brew Co - Bourton On The Water - Cotswolds

Head to the brewery at College Farm for a tour and tasting session. According to the team at the brewery, the whole place smells like “sugar dusted Shreddies”, and there are lots of different beers to try whilst you’re there. For non-beer fans, they have their own cider, vodka and gin – so there’s something for everyone.

5. Take the Bloody Bourton Walking Tour

Bloody Bourton Walking Tour (Bourton-on-the-Water) - 2021 All You Need to  Know Before You Go (with Photos) - Bourton-on-the-Water, England |  Tripadvisor

If you’re interested in ghosts and ghouls, or you just want to learn more about the area’s dark past. This tour is around an hour on foot, with tales of the paranormal, of witchcraft, hidden locations, accounts of religious persecution, and even murder. The tour is wheelchair friendly, and dogs are welcome too.

6. Enjoy British Style Tapas at the Mousetrap Inn

THE MOUSETRAP INN - Updated 2021 Prices, Reviews, and Photos ( Bourton-on-the-Water) - Tripadvisor

This is one of the Cotswolds’ oldest inns, with the stone building dating back to the 18th Century. It’s been serving top grub and drink for over 150 years, and one of its most famous patrons has been Agatha Christie. The food menu here offers a wide range of dishes ranging from light bites to three course meals. If you’re coming here with a group, you’ll love the British style tapas on offer. They’re great for sharing and nibbling after a long ramble.

7. See Rare Vehicles at the Motor Museum

Cotswold Motoring Museum - Bourton-on-the-Water - Mill Gal… | Flickr

The Cotswold Motor Museum is home to a collection of rare vehicles and classic car memorabilia. For ‘petrol heads’ or kids who love cars, this is a great way to kill an hour or two. The displays have a sense of nostalgia, with toys, games and models taking you back to your childhood days. A family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) is just £18.75, and there’s a lovely little gift shop at the end too.

We have lots of beautiful cottages in Bourton-on-the-Water for you to stay in during your visit. If you’d like any advice or to chat to someone about your trip, please do get in touch.

Curious Kids: how is water made?

What is water and where did it come from?

Water is made of two hydrogen atoms bonded to an oxygen atom. Shutterstock

You’ve probably heard of atoms, the tiniest building blocks of all matter in the Universe. We are all made of atoms stuck together (or, as scientists would say, “bonded”). Atoms bonded together to form molecules.

A molecule of pure water is made of two hydrogen atoms bonded to an oxygen atom. As explained in a previous Curious Kids article, scientists think the water on Earth may have come from the melting of water-rich minerals during the formation of the planet and icy comets that, billions of years ago, smashed into Earth and melted.

Scientists believe water may have come to us from rocks melting during the formation of the Earth and icy comets. Flickr/barny Follow, CC BY

Why can’t we just make more?

While making small volumes of pure water in a lab is possible, it’s not practical to “make” large volumes of water by mixing hydrogen and oxygen together. The reaction is expensive, releases lots of energy, and can cause really massive explosions.

While the total volume of water on Earth stays about the same, water continually changes location and state. That means sometimes it is a liquid (like the water we drink), a solid (ice) or a gas (water vapour such as steam).

Scientists call this process of change the hydrologic (water) cycle, which is where water constantly moves around the world by cycling between the air, the ground and the ocean.

Round and round

The cycle begins when water is evaporated from the ocean (or lakes, rivers and wetlands) and enters the atmosphere (the air all around us) as water vapour (gas).

As warm, water-rich air rises, it cools down and can hold less water.

As a result, clouds form. Eventually, the water vapour changes back to liquid water and falls to Earth as rain. Rain that’s not immediately evaporated back into the atmosphere either flows into the ocean as runoff or is absorbed into the earth and becomes groundwater – water stored underground in the tiny spaces within rocks.

Plants can suck up groundwater with their roots, and push water out through tiny holes in their leaves (this is called transpiration).

Groundwater flows slowly through the earth to the ocean and the cycle begins again.

This is the water cycle. Shutterstock

The hydrologic cycle is sensitive to changes in temperature and pressure. For example, if it is hot and windy, more evaporation occurs. Therefore, climate change impacts the hydrologic cycle. Regions that were once wet can become dry (and vice-versa) because clouds drop their rain into the ocean instead of upon the land where it can be collected and used.

Two tiny drops of drinking water

We drink freshwater, but most water on Earth is salty. And the vast majority of available fresh water on Earth is actually hidden underground as groundwater.

In fact, if you imagine all the water on Earth could fit into a one-litre milk carton, it would all be ocean water except for only two tablespoons of freshwater.

Of the two tablespoons of freshwater, slightly less than three quarters would be frozen solid into ice and most of the rest would be groundwater.

The freshwater we see and use in rivers, swamps and lakes would only amount to less than two drops of the water in the world.

Therefore, protecting large freshwater sources like groundwater is very important because removing salt from ocean water can cost lots of money and energy.

Most water is salty and is found in the ocean. Flickr/beana_cheese, CC BY

The atmosphere, Earth and ocean are interconnected and things we do in one place can affect the quality of water in other places.

Chemicals poured down the sink or pumped into the atmosphere can eventually end up in the groundwater, which means less available freshwater for us to use.

Although we can’t “make” more water, we can make the best of the water we have by conserving and protecting it.