The Parish of Burton & Winkton includes the village of Burton and the hamlets of Winkton, Bockhampton and Holfleet, all of which are separated by open farmland. The Parish Council was formed following the county boundary change in 1974, previously it was part of the Ringwood & Fordingbridge Rural District Council area.
The parish lies approximately 2 km to the north east of Christchurch along the historic and strategic route north between Christchurch and Ringwood. It is situated between the River Avon Flood Plain to the west and the open landscape of the River Terrace to the east on relatively low lying ground. Historically, difficulties in crossing the Christchurch flood plain resulted in the fringe settlements of Burton & Winkton developing along the Avon Valley route north. The earliest reference to the village of Burton comes from the twelfth century, but its name derives from Burhtun and is of the earlier Anglo Saxon period in origin. Older buildings in the village date back to the early eighteenth century.
It is believed Burton Cottage, the home of author and poet Robert Southey, was the inspiration for his fairy tale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Originally home to a handful of landowners, the area largely consisting of numerous neighbouring farms and small holdings. Following WW2, the national requirement for housing resulted in much farmland being sold off to make way for large scale housing development during 1960-70s resulting in the population which today amounts to approximately 4200 persons.
The Avon Valley Path, a 34 mile walk from Salisbury Cathedral, passes through the parish along Clockhouse Stream across the water meadows to journey's end, Christchurch Priory. The footpath appeals to both the historian and the naturalist. Opened in 1992, the path follows the lower reaches of the River Avon, a chalk stream rising in Wiltshire that flows south to Christchurch Harbour. In 1993 much of the Avon Valley from Fordingbridge to Christchurch was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is of great botanical interest.