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Top places to live in Oxfordshire Burford

Dubbed 'the gateway to the Cotswolds' this buzzing town on the Oxon/Glos border by the River Windrush ticks all the boxes for the Cotswolds idyll. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.


Sitting equidistant between Oxford and Cheltenham (around 40 mins in either direction) Burford – known locally as the ‘gateway to the Cotswolds’ with it’s handsome sandstone architecture, AONB vistas and thriving High Street with indie shops galore, is a headliner on any Oxfordshire bucket list.


Nestled down a pretty side street, award-winning 500 year old gastropub with rooms The Angel at Burford is all nooks, crannies, exposed beams and punches above its weight on the food front with an AA rosette. The Lamb Inn (winner of Best Boutique Stay in the Muddy Bucks & Oxon 2021 Awards), set in a 15th century former weaver’s cottage, is also excellent on the foodie front with 2 AA Rosettes and is equally cosy with flagstone floors, comfy armchairs and a pretty walled garden. Burford House, in a charming 17th century coaching inn on High Street, features an Italian restaurant as well as six ensuite rooms and a self-contained cottage if you need to crash after overloading on pasta. If it’s afternoon tea you’re after then quintessentially Cotswolds Huffkins tea room and bakery (founded in Burford) is a dead cert, also in a beautiful listed building (be sure to try the signature Lardy Cake – fruity, sticky, delicious!).


Sweeping downhill towards the River Windrush, elegant Burford High Street is flanked on both sides with a row of indie and family-run stores from fashion and homewares (head to Slate Clothing for the best womenswear, or Antiques @ The George to find something totally unique), to local producers including WJ Castle farm shop, Bakery on the Hill and The Cotswolds Cheese Company. Running since 1976, Burford Garden Co, just outside the town centre, is a destination in itself with a drop-dead gorgeous curated mix of plants, home and garden decor, several cafés, as well as Le Souk marketplace selling handcrafted items, jewellery, clothing and artwork.


The Cotswolds AONB is on your doorstep here with its rolling hills and pretty stone architecture, plus the National Trust Lodge Park and Sherborne Park Estate is just a short drive over the Glos border where you’ll find wildlife aplenty in the 18th-century water meadows (home to otters, water voles and dragonflies) as well as England’s only surviving 17th-century grandstand. Cotswold Wildlife Park, set in a Georgian Gothic Revival manor, is just a seven minute drive from the centre of Burford (go eye-to-eye with a giraffe or see the newly born baby Tamarin monkeys), as is Crocodiles of the World for beasts of the scalier variety.


In a word: expensive, but that’s what you get for living in quintessential Cotswolds territory. On average over the last year houses sold for £730,635 with most detached properties going for £967,940, semi detached for £711,429 and terraced for £436,839.


This handsome Grade II listed 5-bed property is composed of two cottages with the master bedroom featuring a freestanding bathtub and Juliet balcony overlooking the garden. On for £2.25k with Strutt & Parker.


Burford School – one of the few state school in the UK with the option to board, is rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted, as is the local primary school. Independent schools nearby include Christian-led co-ed secondary Kingham Hill, St Hugh’s non-selective co-ed prep school in Faringdon (both a 24 minute drive) and co-ed prep Hatherop Castle School – all of which are surrounded by seriously stunning grounds.


Fancy a dip? Stroll 20 minutes along the River Windrush at the foot of Burford High Street towards Swinbrook and you’ll find a spot perfect for wild swimming with stretches for a longer swim as well as shallow parts for kids to paddle. Also, 10th century Burford Church is one of the 10 most visited churches in the UK – though William Morris was aghast at the addiction of Victorian floor tiles!


It’s 74 miles to central London which will take just under two hours to drive. There’s no train station in Burford but you can either head to Oxford (40 min drive) where you can get a train from 47 minutes, or Charlbury (20 min drive) where you can get a train from 1 hour 7 mins, although they are less regular here. You can also drive to Cheltenham in just under 40 mins.

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live 

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