Cotswolds

The Model Village, Bourton-on-the-Water

The Model Village, at the heart of the Cotswold town of Bourton-on-the-Water, is the country’s only grade II listed model village. Step inside and find out how it feels to be a giant as you wander through the quaint streets of this pretty Cotswold-stone town. 

A one-ninth replica of the real-life Bourton-on-the-Water, The Model Village took local craftsmen five years to build and opened on King George VI’s Coronation Day in 1937.  

If you have already had a chance to explore the town, some of the landmarks in The Model Village may look familiar. You will see the Old Water Mill (now the Cotswold Motoring Museum), the Old New Inn and the ford. As you tower above the tiny village, you’ll be able to wander along the River Windrush and even cross its miniature bridges (earning the town the nickname of ‘The Venice of the Cotswolds.’) 

Keep an eye out for the model of The Model Village and listen to the choirs singing in the churches. The Village has become famous for its miniature bonsai type trees, which are carefully pruned to scale. In the summer, you might even spot tiny garden furniture and greenhouses. 

As well as the replica of Bourton-on-the-Water, you will also see seven other historic English cottages sitting in their own special garden. Miniature specialist, John Constable, crafted these exceptionally detailed houses using traditional methods and materials. Each took 12 months to build. One of them is an exact replica of Willy Lott’s Cottage, made famous by the craftsman’s namesake – the artist John Constable – in The Hay Wain. 

You may wish to see a special exhibition of detailed miniature room sets in an undercover area of the village. It includes some moving miniatures and costs £1 extra to enter. 

There is a small souvenir shop, but no café at The Model Village. Don’t miss a wander around the beautiful Cotswold town of Bourton-on-the-Water, home to some lovely tearooms and gift shops. 

The Model Village opens daily except Christmas Day. Check their website for opening times and admission charges. Please note it does not open during snow and may not open in bad weather – please call them to check. Pushchairs must be left in the stroller parking area by the entrance. 

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in the Cotswolds here.

Images copyright The Model Village

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