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Voted one of the most idyllic places in Europe by Forbes magazine, Burford is about as perfect as English villages get. Higgledy terraces rub shoulders with picture postcard cottages and handsome Georgian houses. Known as the gateway to the Cotswolds, the best places to stay in Burford are ideally situated to explore this quintessentially English part of the country.
Medieval church? Check. Mill race? Check. Air of cherished antiquity and established prosperity? Check, check, check. And there are lovely shops for visitors to amble round as they enjoy the pretty surroundings.
For fishermen and women there is an Orvis shop. The artisan bakery and tea room, Huffkin's has tables where you can sit outside. There is a sewing shop, a shop selling fresh country style furnishing fabrics and a women's clothes shop whose clientele, it is safe to assume wouldn't be seen dead in a fleece.
A deli sells local produce and there is a gallery hawking, among other things, Europe's largest collection of modern and antique paperweights. Search in vain for a chippy or a launderette or a bookie.
There is only one problem with our list of the best places to stay in Burford - which mouthwatering place to try first!
In and around Burford
- You could swan in to the Swan Inn in next door Swinbrook, picturesque home to the Mitfords. The individually designed rooms are in a Cotswold barn and the food is good gastropub.
- Barnsley House on the Burford side of Cirencester, is the former home of renowned gardener Rosemary Verey so the garden is every bit as beautiful as the classic Cotswolds house. The decoration is light and modern with traditional accents and there is a lovely restaurant with a terrace, an outdoor swimming pool and a spa accessed via a garden path.
- The Feathered Nest north of Burford is a great foodie place to stay with fabulous gastropub food. Bedrooms are simple and cosy and the seats of the bar stools downstairs are antique saddles.
- The nearby King's Head at Bledington also has excellent food, a really snug bar, a stream with a bridge in the garden and cracking comfy rooms.
Further afield from Burford (but only a morning or afternoon excursion away)
- North of Burford near Chipping Campden, Russell's of Broadway is a sophisticated restaurant with rooms which looks rustic from the outside but is cleanly pared-back in its spacious interior. The delicious food is well-presented and the beds are sumptuously comfortable. Nice products in the bathrooms too for enjoying in your roll-topped bath.
- On the other side of Cirencester from Burford, Calcot Manor has absolutely everything you would expect from a smart Cotswolds Hotel. The honey-coloured former farm house sits perfectly in its lush surroundings. When you can tear yourself away from the indoor pool and spa the bedrooms are the epitomy of modern country luxury. The soothing restaurant has a superb menu and glorious views and the stone-floored bar has a fender seat round the fire, perfect for resting your polo boots on as you toy with a malt and prepare for bed.
Best Hotels in Burford
King's Head 11 rooms from $122Burford
A cosy and characterful traditional English Inn. With simple, homely guest rooms and fine pub food - The King's Head offers guests are proper countryside getaway. Lovely scenic walks in the heart of the Cotswolds and outdoor activities available to those looking for something extra.Country Escape - A traditional inn - the inexpensive alternative to a country house hotel.Quirky - Full of junk shop findsGreat walks - Beautiful country walksFull of characterRecommended by - Good Hotel Guide
The Swan Inn 11 rooms from $147Burford
Located in a pretty little village, seemingly lost in time - this river side Inn offers elegant boutique bedrooms, a fine seasonal British menu and charming riverside cottages. Chickens freely roaming the garden and Mitford memorabilia add a unique charm to this quaint Cotswold retreat.Country Escape - A traditional English Inn in the heart of the Cotwolds.Great walks - Explore the Cotsolwds - an area of natural beautyLocal markets - Daylesford Organic Farmshop and Spa.Birdwatching - Cotswold Wildlife Park
Bay Tree Hotel 21 rooms from $202Burford
Winding your way along the Burford lanes, stumble across this 'chocolate box' property. Dating back to the 16th century it has traditional flagstone flooring, open fires and cosy rooms. The award winning restaurant serves lunch and dinner. A popular wedding venue and base to explore the Cotswolds.Sights nearby - Blenheim Palace, home to the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and birthplace of Winston Churchill is a must visitGreat walks - Walk the 'Cotswolds Way'Full of characterFour poster beds - For romantics.
The Feathered Nest 4 rooms from $220Burford (Nether Westcote)
Newly converted inn in the modern gastropub with rooms tradition - practical and countrified, with lush garden, simple, cosy bedrooms and gourmet cooking.Restaurant - 3 AA Rosettes. AA Notable wine listViews - views over the Evenlode Valley.Recommended by - Sawdays