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Specific Roles and Duties of a Building Contractor

Ecosystems provide water resources

  • Available clean water is critical to the health of people, the environment, and the economy. s such as rivers, lakes, and streams provide roughly 80 percent of usable freshwater, while the remaining water comes mostly from underground wells1.
  • Vegetated land cover helps regulate the flow of water through a  by intercepting, absorbing, and slowly releasing water. This “sponge” effect can reduce adverse impacts such as stream bank erosion, sediment transport, and the frequency and severity of floods and drought.
  • Natural resources such as wetlands, stream buffers, and vegetated land cover can also naturally filter out pollutants such as metals, pesticides, sediment, and overabundant nutrients that may affect water quality.
  • The efficiency of ecosystems to filter pollutants depends on many biological and physical characteristics, including species composition, soil types, slope, and climate characteristics.
  • Natural land cover helps maintain the flow and usability of water resources so that they remain clean and abundant for sustainable use by current and future generations.

 Stressors to water quality and quantity

  • Multiple factors can affect water quality and quantity, including land management, point-source pollution, hydrologic alteration, and .
    EnviroAtlas Eco-wheel on Clean and Plentiful Water: Shows the resources that provide this service, the benefits to society, and drivers of change.
    This eco-wheel image shows the natural resources providing clean and plentiful water, the benefits, and drivers of change.
  • Point-source pollution enters water directly from factories, power plants, and other stationary sources. Non-point source (NPS) pollution is pollution that runs into water from agricultural lands, impervious surfaces, or other land uses.
  • In the 2000 National Water Quality Inventory, agricultural NPS pollution was reported to be the leading source of water quality impairment in surveyed lakes and rivers2. Forestry practices also significantly affect water quality by increasing the amount of sediment that gets deposited into local water bodies.
  • Pollution reduces the overall usability of water, and in some cases, such as with the presence of algal blooms, can transform entire ecosystems.
  • Altering the  through activities such as dam construction interrupts the overall functionality of water systems by slowing water flow, trapping sediments, changing temperature, and promoting the presence of non-native and invasive species3.
  • Invasive species may further undermine natural communities by crowding out native species in  areas, changing local species composition, and affecting structural integrity as well as the ecosystem’s ability to remove pollutants from the environment.
  • Various land uses, such as those that require large tracts of  (e.g., parking lots), also affect water quality and quantity. Impervious surfaces prevent rainwater from entering the soil, forcing water to flow along the land until it finds a place to drain, which impedes groundwater recharge. These surfaces also increase the quantity, speed, and temperature of water runoff and add to water pollutant loads that can reduce water quality downstream.

 Health impacts and benefits

  • Clean and plentiful water resources are needed for every aspect of life. Humans require safe, potable water for drinking, food preparation, and simple everyday uses.
  • Though most U.S. municipal water resources are typically treated before consumption, maintaining clean water resources helps minimize the need for and cost of this treatment. For instance, the New York City drinking water supply system is the largest unfiltered water supply in the U.S., which is made possible through strict watershed protection measures. This protected natural system has saved the state am estimated $8 – $10 billion in avoided water treatment costs4.
  • Municipal water sources are typically treated only for those contaminants that we are aware of, thus making natural filtration by ecosystems beneficial in adding a level of protection. Contaminated water that is not adequately treated may result in waterborne disease outbreaks or serious health issues as a result of chemical or metal contaminants.
  • Abundant water resources are used to grow crops, to water feed animals, and to process much of the food that we consume.
  • Water resources are also used to produce power (e.g., thermoelectric, hydroelectric, nuclear) and are essential to the production of most of the material goods that people enjoy.
  • Clean and abundant water resources are also needed for plant and animal survival. Wetland-dependent and aquatic species require aquatic habitats all or part of the year. These rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands are also visually pleasing and provide opportunities for people to fish, hunt, and relax.
  • The regulating and filtration services provided by natural resources help maintain a clean and plentiful water supply for the entire nation.
  • For more information on the health benefits of clean and plentiful water, explore the Clean Water portion of the Eco-Health Relationship Browser.

The Village of Bourton-on-the-Water

I’ve lived in Bourton-on-the-Water for 30 years and think it a wonderful place. It’s full of nice people living in one of the prettiest villages in England surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside. Let me tell you a little of its history.

The name Bourton comes from the Saxon word BURGH which means a fort or camp and TON which means a village or settlement. If you put the two together, you get ‘the village beside the camp’. There is evidence of  far earlier settlements in this part of the Cotswolds. Stone Age and Bronze Age burial mounds are common throughout the area. On the northern edge of the village is the sight of a Stone Age encampment, which was subsequently occupied by later civilisations. Iron Age currency bars from about 300 BC were found on the sight during excavations carried out in the last century. They are now in the British Museum.

The Fosse Way, (A429) that passes on the western side of the village, was an important Roman road running from the West Country to Lincolnshire in as straight a line as the terrain would allow. For a time, this formed the border between Roman Britain to the east and Celtic Britain to the west, but Roman expansion soon made it redundant as a border. The Romans considered the crossing place on the River Windrush to be of strategic importance so they built a camp in the area that we now call Lansdowne.

The river was much wider and deeper at that time and flowed from the bridge to the south of the village across the meadows to Pockhill then along the present day Letch Lane and Clapton Row to join the present river where Birdland is sited today. In the early 17th Century it was channelled through the centre of the village in order to provide a sufficient flow of water to power three mills, one of which is now The Motor Museum. It seems that no records exist detailing the realignment of the river which in later centuries was to be such an important feature in drawing visitors, artists and photographers from all over the world.

During the civil war, which began in 1642, the area was loyal to the king. The Rector of Bourton-on-the-Water was Thomas Temple who was also chaplain to the Royal household and tutor to the Royal Princes. The Rector lived in the manor house opposite the church and Charles I paid several visits. In June 1644 the king on route to Evesham with his army stopped in the village. The king and his son, the future Charles II, stayed in the manor house and his army camped on what are now the playing fields of the Cotswold School .

The king was not to know that within two years the war would be lost after the final battle ended in the town square of Stow-on-the-Wold just four miles up the Fosse Way. At the Restoration in 1660, Charles II made Thomas Temple bishop of Bristol in recognition of the support he gave to his father.

The Parish Church of St. Lawrence was built on the site of a Roman temple. Records show that a Saxon church, probably built of wood, occupied the site in 708 AD. In 1110, a Norman stone church was built. The present building is a combination of 14th century chancel, a Georgian tower and a Victorian nave and this odd mixture of styles have resulted in a pleasant and interesting building.

The true landmarks of Bourton-on-the-Water are the five bridges that cross the River, all constructed of local stone. At the western end of the village green is Mill Bridge built in 1654 and originally called Broad or Big Bridge. Next is the footbridge in the centre of the village green called High Bridge and was built in 1756. This is followed by Paynes Bridge built in 1776. The footbridge, which stands close-by, is called New Bridge and was built in 1911 by a local benefactor, named George Frederick Moore who had been a successful tea planter. In 1953, opposite the Old New Inn, the Coronation Footbridge was built to replace an earlier wooden structure dating back to 1750.

When the railway was built to connect Cheltenham to the Midlands, a Mr.Pulham used a horse-drawn charabanc service to bring visitors from the industrial Midlands over the hills from Cheltenham to Bourton-on-the-Water. The very first tourists were on their way to see the Cotswolds. By 1881, a railway line ran from Cheltenham to Oxford via Bourton-on-the-Water and Kingham. Though the railway station closed in 1962, Pulhams coaches remain part of local life and visitors still come to see our lovely village.

Top 5 Model Villages Of All Time

We take a look at some of the biggest model villages ever made

We will soon be approaching the Christmas period where we will see enthusiasts readily preparing their Christmas model villages. In anticipation of the tradition, we take some time to look at some of the most popular model villages from around the world, which will hopefully inspire those Christmas model villages to become even more grand projects this year.

Model villages have been popular tourist attractions since they were first conceived. Visitors love to look at the intricate detail in the buildings which often replicate actual places around the world and children have always enjoyed playing at being a giant by walking through the tiny streets and roads created with painstaking detail.

There are many model villages around the world, but there are some which are feats of engineering and patience which stand head and shoulders (to scale obviously) above all the others.

Babbacombe, Devon, UK

To give yourself time to visit all parts of Babbacombe, you’ll need at least 3-4 hours as it is an incredibly large site to walk around!

What makes Babbacombe really stand out is the attention to detail and the real-life elements which you can see in various parts of the village; there are smoking chimneys on the houses, a wind farm, a fire-breathing dragon complete with special effects, and even a replica car accident for the mini-emergency services to deal with. You’ll see miniature families such as those made by Lemax and really get a sense of being part of a real community.

The village holds lots of secrets to be discovered by those who wander around and a tip is to read all the miniature road signs and shop names to share the humor of those who created this 4-acre wonder.

Bekonscot, Buckinghamshire, UK

For any model village enthusiast, Bekonscot is the location to start any replica village pilgrimage. It’s the oldest in the world and has had over 14 million visitors since it opened in the 1930s.

The site stretches over 2 acres and includes complete towns built in different architectural styles which have been added over time to reflect current construction fashions. There are many parts of the village that date back to when it first opened. Recent additions include moving models which include walking horses at a cider center and a lady cleaning a window.

Tiny Town, Colorado, USA

Tiny Town is close on the heels of Bekonscot with regards to age as it is the oldest model village in America with over 100 buildings and a fully operational model railway.

The project started when a father made a village for his daughter in the 1920s and nearby neighbors came to visit. It was called Turnerville but was destroyed by fire. One rebuild later and the addition of a train in 1939 and Tiny Town was born.

Legoland Windsor, Berkshire, UK

Legoland Windsor changed the idea of a model village forever. Instead of buildings made from natural materials or concrete, Legoland uses the childhood favorite building bricks to create towns and cities using 40 million colored plastic bricks. The interactive system is run on 14 computers and there is 300km of underground cabling operating cars, boats, trains, and bridges.

Image Courtesy of The Guardian

Tobu World Square, Tochigi, Japan

Tobu World Square not only holds over 100 buildings – some of which are replicas of UNESCO World Heritage sites but there are 140,000 miniature people there themselves taking in the 1:25 scale models.

History was made on  24 April 2010 at the unveiling of the tallest miniature village model. The scaled-down version of the Tokyo Skytree is 26 meters tall, even at 1:25 scale, and pushed the 19.95-meter replica World Trade Centre – also on-site – into second place.

Model villages are modern wonders of the world and stand to show the history of the community, building styles and are ingenious innovators of engineering and technology in how the interactivity of the buildings and features are now coming to life. This is just a selection of the amazing model villages worldwide. This winter we will be excited to take a look at more Christmas model villages and see which of those compare to these mentioned in the article.

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, 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 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 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.


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, 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.


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.


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