Model Village

Following our visit to Blenheim Palace, we drove over to the Cheltenham where we would be staying for our day trips to the Cotswolds. Our main destinations were Burford and Bourton on the Water. The only plan booked was for the wildlife park and gardens in Burford, and we would wing the rest around Bourton on the Water. 

Date Visited: 19th – 22nd July 2021

Location: Cheltenham, Burford and Bourton on the Water

Getting There: I’m sure there’s plenty of other options available – trains, buses, coaches. But our road trip continues by car… 

Fun times for the kids, lovely towns and sites for the adults

After running solo for our summer holidays to date, we met up with a couple of other families from Cara’s school for the Cotswold leg. Nothing like some fun in the sun with other kids. By the time we arrived and checked in to our hotel in Cheltenham, we were beat so booked a slot at the pool and chilled out for the rest of the day. Cara was able to catch up with her friends.

The next day, we drove to Burford to appreciate the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Garden. I was expecting to see a couple of bird enclosures and perhaps a donkey. However, just driving up to the entrance you could tell it was different with ostriches roaming around. Once inside the park, I was pleasantly surprised at the vast number of animals and space. Loads of birds, zebras, giraffes, rhinos and lions. Add in some insects, porcupine and farm animals. If that isn’t enough, there’s a large play area for the kids to run around on. Similar to Blenheim Palace, there’s also a mini-train, but unfortunately during our visit it wasn’t operational. 

Cotswold Burford Wildlife Park Cotswold Burford Wildlife Park Zebra

It was another scorcher of a day, so walking around in the open was strenuous. There’s amenities dotted around the park and plenty of areas to stop and take a break. After taking a lap of the park, and spending quite a bit of time on the climbing equipment, we headed for lunch and ice creams in the lovely village of Burford. 

Burford Lunch

Ratings for Burford (and the Wildlife Park and Gardens):

Burn Time: 5 out of 5 – Great day trip. You can head to the park in the morning after breakfast, especially if it’s a hot day. Spend a few hours there, then head to the village for lunch and ice creams. 
Value: 5 out of 5 –
 You can bring your own food into the park if you wish to keep costs down to the entrance fee only.  
Overall: 5 out of 5 –
We had a fantastic day out in Burford. Definitely a must-see when in the Cotswolds.

Prettiest village we’ve seen

Growing up in a big city like Sydney and London, it’s amazing to be able to getaway from all the hustle, bustle and skyscrapers. Filling up on a buffet breakfast (how good are they now they’re back after Covid restrictions), we made our way to Bourton on the Water. Regularly voted as one of the prettiest villages in the UK and known as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’, if you’ve ever been, you’ll understand why. Before lunch, we opted to check out the model village. It’s a great family attraction as the kids can pretend to be giants. Cara loved seeing the little scaled buildings, including the nice stained-glass window detail in the church.  

Model Village Model Village Chinese

There’s a few options for lunch, and plenty more for afternoon tea. We headed to a pub as it was an easy option for the kids. Post-lunch, we walked around the village shops before deciding to plant ourselves by the water. Even on a hot day, the water runs cold through the village. But, it’s refreshing to dip your feet in and Cara absolutely loved it. 

Bourton on the Water Cara Bourton on the water Cara smiles 

Ratings for Bourton on the Water (and the Model Village):

Burn Time: 5 out of 5 – Another day trip, especially if the weather is nice, you can dip your feet in or sit under the willow tree with some drinks. I’m sure it’s just as nice in the rain, but definitely a lot nicer when the sun’s out.
Value: 5 out of 5 –
 You can bring your own picnic and laze around. We chose the easy lunch at a pub option. Besides that, we spent a bit on parking, entrance to the model village and a couple of souvenirs. Can be a very cheap day out if you so wish.  
Overall: 5 out of 5 –
If they had a Bourton on the Water in London, it would be packed every day. If you’re in the Cotswolds, you have to swing by.


Love the Cotswolds? Are there any other towns or villages that we missed and should visit next time? Let us know in the comments!

Other ideas…

Be sure to check out the other posts of our 2021 summer holidays below: 

Blenheim Palace

Millets Farm and Mollies Motel and Diner


New Forest

Peppa Pig World

Isle of Wight – East Cowes / Blackgang Chine and Ventnor / Needles and Tapnell Farm / Robin Hill and Sandown

And some other summer holidays ideas from previous years:

Summer Holidays 2018 – 5 tips to plan for it, it’s not too late

Ideas for Summer Holidays 2019

Things to do; Summer Holidays 2020