Caravan tours: Bourton-on-the-Water
Caravan heads to the Cotswolds
Words by Ken Elborn
His Outfit: Swift Challenger GTS and BMW 3 series Touring
Pretty Bourton-on-the-Water sits on River Windrush. Its chocolate-box cottages and stone houses make it look like it's from of a storybook.
You can say the same thing could be for the whole of The Cotswolds.
There's been a settlement here since Anglo-Saxon times and the Doomsday Book mentions it. Looking around, you can't imagine it's changed all that much!
Things to do near Bourton-on-the-Water
Close by are popular attractions including:
- The Model Village
- Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection
- The Maize Maze
- And a good choice of eateries (something important when you're on holiday).
To make the most of the nearby countryside, I recommend a visit to Sherborne Park Estate. There, you'll find various moderate walks to suit the needs of most families.
A mere 4000 acres of rolling farmland encompasses parkland, woods and lakes. You'll find woodland, family farmland and meadow walks. The area provides a rainbow of colour.
On our walks we saw:
- metal and wooden sculptures
- an original 'ice house' (pre-1820)
- innumerable birds, butterflies and wild flowers
There's a tearoom in Sherborne. The tearoom is close to St. Mary Magdalene and next to Sherborne House.
You'll find parking for the estate at Ewe Pen Barn (postcode GL54 3DT). Or the Watermeadows car park at Northfield Barn (GL54 3DL).
What about the site?
The Caravan & Motorhome Club site (5 miles (ca. 8 km) from Bourton) lacks a toilet block. We prefer not to use our own on board facilities. Instead, we chose a rustic gem of a site close to the village of Great Rissington.
Bill and Lyn run Ashspring Caravan & Camping. They are welcoming hosts, and the site has toilet and shower facilities, albeit basic. A shower costs 20p.
It is a Camping & Caravanning Club CL site so you need to be a member.
The site is sloping so take some levelling blocks. But this slight elevation creates wonderful countryside views. Weather-permitting, you get sunsets to end your day on a high.
When locating the site, look for the life-size 'giraffe' indicating the entrance. Site your unit and Bill will come by in the evening to collect your fees and a have chat. Check pitches are available and pre-book!
This is a well-kept grass site abundant with flowers. Many bird feeders encourage different animals to visit including squirrels and pheasants.
Red kites hover overhead in search of a snack.
A few minutes' walk away and you'll be in the village of Great Rissington. The village has a pretty 13th century church and The Lamb Inn — the perfect stop for a pint of local ale and a hearty meal.
Ashspring Caravan & Camping Site
Blacksmith Barn, Great Rissington, Bourton on the Water, Cheltenham GL54 2LH
T 01451 820224
Open March to October
This independent campsite is set in a village location and you can walk for miles from the site itself. TV reception is poor but use the free on site connections to get reception.