Five best Cotswold pubs and walks
Now that autumn is in full swing, you can expect most weekends to be filled with roaring fires, cosy pubs, delicious grub and brisk walks. The Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful UK destinations to welcome in the changing seasons, and here we reveal five of our favourite pubs and walks in the region.
This is a beautifully renovated, family-run country pub that’s just around the corner from Blenheim Palace. Expect to find dog-walkers, avid hikers and friendly locals sipping on ales from the region and eating deliciously hearty food.
To fully appreciate the beauty of the pub’s surroundings, we’d recommend heading out on one of the best circular walks in the Cotswolds – the Wootton Circular. You’ll leave from the charming village and head up into the fields and valleys surrounding the River Dorn. Passing the Blenheim Estate and trundling along the Oxfordshire Way before heading back to the village. After admiring stunning views and idyllic Cotswold cottages, you’ll be more than ready to sink into the sofas and relax in front of the fire.
Set within 7-acres of cider orchards, The Holford Arms buzzes with happy locals and nature lovers who have popped in for a post-explore Sunday lunch. It also happens to be one of the most vibrant dog-friendly pubs in the Cotswolds. The chefs serve up tasty classics and treats using homegrown produce from the garden. Enjoy them inside on the comfy sofas and at the rustic wooden dining tables, or on a sunny day out in the covered beer garden.
There are ample places to walk in the surrounding area. Head to Westonbirt Arboretum to experience the very best of the changing autumnal colours. With 15,000 specimens, and 2,500 species of tree from all over the world, it offers a wonderful variety of walks that are perfect for all ages to enjoy. Alternatively, set off for a Cotswold Way walk, a route famously known for spanning the entire length of the county. Tetbury is a brilliant base, and you can follow the path from the pub right up to Stroud or Cirencester.
The Wheatsheaf stands at the vanguard of a cool new movement; a village local reborn in a country-house style. It’s a winning formula with locals and travellers flocking in for afternoons of long lunches and rural walks. Expect to find armchairs in front of smouldering fires, noble portraits on panelled walls, cool tunes playing in the background.
The inn is tucked between pretty hills on a crossroads of the Roman Fosse Way, so there are plenty of walks to choose from. The Fosse Way is an ancient road that runs all the way through the Cotswolds, taking in some of the county’s most beautiful towns and villages. If you fancy something short and sweet, a stomp across the hills will take you up towards Bourton-on-the-Water and back in five miles. Nothing beats returning back to a freshly cooked meal, a pint of something local and a long soak in the bath if you’re treating yourself to a stay.
This is a real gem and one of the best Cotswold pubs there is. The glorious gardens of Hidcote Manor and Kiftsgate Court are just across the fields, as well as plenty of walks for you to enjoy. The Ebrington Loop takes in the rolling hills and views of Foxcote Manor as you head right up towards the Cotswolds escarpment. The nearby market town of Chipping Campden is located on the Cotswold Way, which spans 102 miles all the way down to Bath. The route passes through rolling pastures, beech woodland and the famous honey-coloured villages built from Cotswold stone. You can pick up different routes along the Way, using the pub as a cosy base.
The 17th-century bar is the hub of the community and beloved by locals and tourists alike, cosy with low beams and roaring fires. Bag a seat on the settle and share organic own-brewed Yubby, Goldie or Yawnie with the regulars, or seek out the dining rooms next door. Flagstone floors, fresh flowers and a delightful mishmash of tables set the scene for some terrific pub food cooked from Soil Association certified organic ingredients.
This 17th-century coaching inn has a delightful setting in the heart of a historic Cotswold village, with the babbling Windrush River just a stone’s throw away. Several walks from the door take in the peaceful countryside. It’s a 50-minute walk to the pretty town of Burford, which has boutiques brimming with antiques, art and gifts. For a lovely circular walk, start at the pub and follow the path over the river, around towards Asthall Manor and back. You’ll pass serene countryside, rabbits, birds and deer if you’re lucky!
It’s no surprise that this has been named one of the best pubs in Cotswolds. Good food is sourced locally and freshly cooked in a modern British style, and drinks are taken seriously: an ever-growing choice of gins, a beer menu with craft and world beers, an excellent choice of whiskies and wines by the glass.
Pub Awards 2020
Get inspired by browsing the winners of the Sawday’s Pub Awards 2020, including the Telegraph’s Pub of the Year.
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