Things to do in Bibury, England | A scenic village in the Cotswolds

View of Rack Isle & Arlington Row - things to do in Bibury, England

A charming and picturesque Cotswold village, Bibury, England features one of the most photographed places in England – Arlington Row. It’s a group of beautiful cottages dating back to 1380. And the village has a plethora of pretty stone buildings and scenic views to take in. Despite being a small village, there are plenty of things to do in Bibury, England to fill a day of exploring. With few changes since the 18th century, visiting Bibury feels like stepping back in time.

View of Rack Isle & Arlington Row - things to do in Bibury, England

About Bibury, England

Sitting on the River Coln, Bibury is located 10 miles from both Cirencester, which is called “The Capital of the Cotswolds,” and Burford, a town considered the southern gateway to the Cotswolds. What’s now just called Bibury used to be two separate villages, Arlington and Bibruy, separated by the river. It’s unknown why the lone name withstood time, while the other didn’t.

Highlights of Bibury, England

Arlington Row

Built around 1380, Arlington Row started as a tythe barn where a monastery stored wool. During the 17th century, it was converted into cottages for weavers. Then, in 1939, the Royal Society of Arts renovated the cottages and gave them to the National Trust. Now, eight of the cottages have tenants, and you can book one for holiday accommodation. As one of the top things to do in Bibury, these nine cottages are incredibly pleasing to the eye, causing tourists from all over the world to flock to this spot. Back in the day when Henry Ford visited this Cotswold village, he even wanted to buy Arlington Row and ship the cottages to Michigan.

Arlington Row - things to do in Bibury, England

Rack Isle

This site was where wool was hung to dry on racks, hence the name Rack Isle. Now a National Trust site, it’s been turned into a nature reserve. Rack Isle features a boggy meadow in the heart of Bibury and boasts wildlife, unusual plants, and a picture-perfect view of Arlington Row.

Rack Isle, a National Trust Site - things to do in Bibury, England

Row Bridge

Another scenic place to see in Bibury, Row Bridge is a footbridge that used to be the main way to cross the River Coln within the village. The stone bridge is beautifully framed between Rack Isle and the main street through Bibury. I recommend sitting along the river with a view of Row Bridge, Arlington Row, and Rack Isle. It was certainly my favorite spot in this Cotswold village.

Row Bridge - things to do in Bibury, England

Bibury Trout Farm

Originally this spot was a water cress farm, but in 1902, the beds were turned into ponds for trout rearing. The Bibury Trout Farm produces rainbow trout and sells them to the public, restaurants, and hotels. Additionally, fish are sold to restock lakes and rivers. On top of that, the farm is tranquil with beautiful flowers and scenic spots to sit and take in the surroundings. Admission for an adult is £4.50. You can also purchase a cup of food to feed the fish for 60 pence.

Bibury Trout Farm - things to do in Bibury, England

The Catherine Wheel

As the only pub in Bibury, this family-owned venue is a great spot for a meal or pint of beer in between exploring this Cotswold village. The Catherine Wheel offers dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients and features a garden to enjoy a sunny day. Hit the pause button on sightseeing and enjoy the ambiance of a traditional village pub.

The Catherine Wheel pub - things to do in Bibury, England

St Mary’s Church

A pretty church set in Bibury, St. Mary’s boasts a churchyard with beautifully landscaped plants and flowers. Peek inside the church to see the lovely stained-glass windows. St Mary’s Church also sells brochures perfect for those visiting the village, including “A Short Walk Around Bibury” and “A Short Walk Around Arlington” for 50 pents each. Each brochure includes a map, interesting historical information, and buildings and places of interest to visit. I found the two brochures a great guide to exploring the area.

St Mary's Church - things to do in Bibury, England

Seeing the village’s picturesque views are many of the top things to do in Bibury, England. It’s truly a lovely destination to include in an itinerary for the Cotswolds. William Morris, who was an English textile designer, novelist, poet, and was associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement described Bibury as “the most beautiful village in England.” Have I convinced you to visit this scenic village in the Cotswolds?

There are plenty of things to do in Bibury, England to fill a day of exploring. With few changes since the 18th century, this scenic village in the Cotswolds feels like stepping back in time.

11 Comments

  1. Great post, I love Bibury and travel through the village fairly frequently but don’t get to stop as often as I’d like to. It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a walk around there or visited the Trout Farm.

  2. What a beautiful, charming place!! I didn’t get to visit the Cotswolds when I was England, but they will definitely be on my itinerary next time I’m there! I’ve seen the pictures of Arlington Row but had no idea that this was the village it was in.

  3. I enjoyed reading your article and looking through beautiful pictures. Looks like a very picturesque and interesting place. I agree with William Morris that Bibury is the most beautiful village in England. I put it on our bucket list.

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