‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ village says it is overrun with tourists


Tourists have created a puzzle for the inhabitants of the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ (Photo: Alamy)

Residents of a small English village known as ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ for its little bridges now say they have a tourism crisis to match after being inundated with thousands of staycationers.

Situated on the River Windrush, Bourton-on-the-Water is billed as ‘one of England’s most beautiful villages’ – with its unique chocolate box cottages and 17th century bridges making for an ‘ideal’ day out.

But the tourist office appears to be a victim of its own success, with residents of the town of 3,200 complaining that they are overrun by 10,000 tourists a day.

They compared their rural idyll to ‘Brighton Beach on a bad day’, with tourists creating traffic jams, blocking walkways, leaving trash and urinating in public places.

Rubbing salt into the wound, a local businessman said tourists barely spend any money in the village.

Retired farmer Bill Limbrick, 74, told the Sunday Times: “Since the lockdown was lifted, the place has gone crazy. ”

His wife, Celia, 73, added: “They keep coming. It’s like Brighton beach on a bad day.

“It’s always busy in the summer, but this year it’s been a lot worse.

Bourton-on-the-Water is known for its small bridges that cross the River Windrush (Photo: Alamy)

Holidays in the UK have increased during the pandemic as travel restrictions deter people from traveling abroad.

While cities like London lack international tourism, other UK destinations say they have been overwhelmed – Cornish tourism chiefs saying the county is ‘full’ and in Bournemouth, a new app alerts people when beaches are full.

Bourton-on-the-Water Parish Council Chairman Bob Hadley said the number of tourists was “too high for a small village to take.”

The tourists have created a puzzle for the people of 'Venice of the Cotswolds.

One man said that on a particularly bad day it took him an hour to get from one side of the village to the other (Photo: Alamy)

He said that one day it took an hour to get from one side of the village to the other because of a traffic jam.

Previously, many tourists came from Japan, China and America, arriving by coaches instead of cars.

Mr Hadley said: “Every day is like a holiday. It is too much for a small village to take.

“People miss their hospital appointments”

Local businessman Nigel Payne, owner of a gift shop, said “not enough” tourists were spending money in the village.

He said, “You make your way through the village to your store, then wait patiently and quietly until someone comes in. ”

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