Olly Symonds
Olly Symonds
Associate Director
Fergus Mitchell
Fergus Mitchell
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Cotswold Life

Gateway to the Cotswolds

The town of Burford is famously known as the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’ and has been recently ranked as one of the ‘coolest places to live in Oxfordshire’! Burford High Street sweeps downhill towards the River Windrush, its three-arched medieval bridge and its impressive church, both sides flanked by an unbroken line of ancient houses and shops.

Little has changed over the centuries, where Burford is popular with visitors now both for its beauty and history but also its shopping, particularly the antiques and its wide variety of sweet, traditional cafes and pubs that source locally. You’ll find an abundance of stunning property to rent in Burford!

The Burford Cotswolds are a truly magical location, and we believe it’s one of The Best Places to Live in The Cotswolds, where the honey-coloured stone cottages, traditional Georgian character, thatched roofs, dry stone walls, house hugging wisteria enchants the Town. Burford acquires its nickname thanks to its geographical position, where it is literally a ‘gateway’ to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Burford History

Burford is thought to take its name from a combination of two words ‘burh’ meaning defended town, and ‘ford’ meaning river crossing. Where Burford began as an agricultural village, but was given a market charter in the early 12 century; this mean it now had the right to hold markets, which changed the face of the village as traders now visited and the population began booming. Burford has an extensive history that dates back to Anglo-Saxon times and boasts some pretty important historical visitors in the past.

There are many fine medieval churches in Burford, the most well known perhaps being St John the Baptist. Construction started on the church around 1175, however most of what visitors can see today is the result of restoration that was carried out in the late medieval times.

Burford also boasts great examples of the typical architecture from different periods of time; from the mosaic Roman remains situated in the town’s chapel, to the medieval buildings that dot the town’s high street. The most noticeable being The Tolsey, built in the 14th century, which is a structure located on the high street and is raised on wooden timbers that allowed wool traders to gather underneath. Today The Tolsey is a museum.

The town was involved in one particular grave incident during the English Civil War, in which renegade army troops mutinied in Salisbury and marched to Burford to join fellow minded comrades. On May 14th 1649, some 340 of the ‘levellers’ were taking their rest in Burford when army leaders Oliver Cromwell and Sir Thomas Fairfax captured them in the church. Three were executed the next day, and you can still see the bullet holes in the church wall, and carvings from the captured inside the building, with one on the actual font which is inscribed ‘Anthony Sedley 1649 Prisner’.

Places to Eat & Drink in Burford

The Royal Oak – For reasonably priced, no nonsense pub grub the Royal Oak is hard to beat. Fine shortcrust pies on the menu, alongside classic dishes like fish and chips, plus there’s children’s options too. Featuring a wide selection of drinks including fine local ales, the pub has a warm, friendly atmosphere and is just the place for a hearty lunch or dinner.

The Lamb Inn – With several awards to its name the Lamb Inn serves traditional British food with a contemporary twist. Head Chef Sean Ducie is noted for his use of local produce, with which he creates scintillating and scrumptious dishes. Inside the Lamb Inn you’ll find a smart dining room and bar. Outside there’s a beautiful garden to explore complete with tables and chairs for eating al fresco.

Glasshouse Café – Hidden in Burford Garden Company, glasshouse café is perfect for gardeners and food lovers this is delightful place to spend some time and enjoy a meal. Alternatively, have a tea or coffee with a scone or a cake whilst you relax in a fun and family friendly space. The café has its own fruit and vegetable garden and serves lamb that has come from its own flock of sheep.

The Bay Tree Hotel – Located on the banks of the River Windrush, at the Bay Tree you can choose to eat from the bar menu or the restaurant menu. Both offer outstanding food that is seasonal and as sophisticated on the eye as it is on the palate. The dinning spaces have a contemporary country chic feel to them and are impeccably kept. Eating here, whether it is at breakfast, lunch or dinner is a treat to be savoured.

Our Places in the Burford Cotswolds

Burford Sweet Shop – It’s a portal of nostalgia, retro vibes, vibrant colours and scrumptious sweets. The traditional store is nestled among other shops along the high street, but you can’t miss it with its glowing window of jars, swirly lollipops and pyramid of handmade chocolate boxes.

Lynwood & Co – Their cafes are always delightful, with an energetic atmosphere and smiles beaming from customers and their hard-working, friendly staff, it feels like having a cup of tea and cake at an old friends. Whether you would like to enjoy their menu from the window seats watching the bustling atmosphere of the town with your dog, a close friend or family, Lynwoods will always leave you smiling.

Jesse Smith & WJ Castle – a family owned and run butchers, bakery and deli with delicious taste, locally sourced ingredient, supportive collaborators and trustworthy Owners… one of the best visits you can make when in Burford and one you do not want to miss, as there are only 5 stories dotted around the Cotswolds and Burford happens to be so lucky to have one.

The Cotswold Cheese Company – they create and sell the most divine cheeses, chutneys and delis as well as gorgeous hampers that are perfect for friends, families and special occasions.

Events & Activities in and near Burford

Burford Festival – Most towns have a festival but few encompass the full spectrum of music, art, literature, history and horticultural interests in one go. Burford may be one of the smallest towns in the Cotswolds, yet it’s about to host one of the biggest events in its social history. Indeed for its size, it knows how to punch more than its weight when it comes to organising what will be the 10th festival.

Cotswold Lavender – A third generation family farm set in heart of the beautiful Cotswold Hills. The lavender grown here is steam distilled on the farm to make the highest quality essential oil, which is used to make a range of toiletries. The vast sheets of lavender are the perfect background for family photos. Dogs on leads are very welcome to walk around the fields and enjoy a picnic with you.

Cotswold Wildlife Park – the family and dog friendly Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens has over 260 Animal species in over 160 acres of stunning gardens and Parkland.

Bibury Trout Farm – Founded in 1902, Bibury Trout Farm is one of England’s oldest working trout farms set in the historic village of Bibury, in the heart of the Beautiful Cotswolds.

Little Oak Vineyard – a small, family-run business based in Chipping Campden producing high quality and award-winning wines and brandy. We offer vineyard tours and wine tastings all year and by prior arrangement we can also offer a lunch platter.

Places to Stay in the Burford Cotswolds

Whether you’re looking for a short let or long term rentals, The Cotswold Letting Agency is the place to look for property to rent in Burford! As the nickname suggests, Burford’s position as The Gateway to the Cotswolds, makes it ideally situated for accessing the entire Cotswolds area. After all, when it comes to property it’s all about the location and no one knows that better than an experienced Burford letting agent.

It’s our job to make sure owners and tenants get the best possible service when it comes to letting some of the finest rental properties the Cotswolds has to offer. What sets us apart from standard estate agents in the Cotswolds, however, is experience, maturity and a fantastic network of local connections.

This “black book” has grown as a result of hard work, integrity and reliability over our many years of living and working in this wonderful area. This reputation is hard-earned, and a genuine source of a source of pride. Besides a comprehensive knowledge of the Cotswold letting market from top to bottom, we’re on first name terms with suppliers, tradesmen and surveyors.

This trusted and well-established network guarantees we are ideally located to deal with any request around Cotswold lettings and management. On the one hand, tenants and buyers trust us as the Cotswold Letting Agents for their dream property. Whether to rent or purchase, no-one is better connected when it comes to sourcing that once-in-a-lifetime home.

Get in touch on 01993 684572 or drop us an email at hello@cotswoldlettingagency.com to begin your move, long or short, to the Cotswolds!

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