Time to snuggle up at some of our favourite cosy places to stay in Oxfordshire

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Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

5 min read

As the days start to draw in, our thoughts are turning to long country rambles on crisp autumnal days, scuffing up leaves the colour of rusty gold, and breathing in lungfuls of clean fresh air. Post walk, we’re dreaming of delicious pub lunches in front of roaring fires or a snug holiday cottage to retreat to with a good book. So, we’ve rounded up a handful of our favourite cottages and inns in lovely Oxfordshire that tick all the cosy boxes. Warming wood burners and snuggly sofas, beautiful bedrooms and a deep sense of comfort. From each place, you’ll discover fantastic strolls and a clutch of charming Cotswolds towns.

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Tolstoy Cottage

Set off for gorgeous walks through splendid countryside from this 18th-century semi-detached farm worker’s cottage set in a small hamlet. Inside, it’s nicely beamed, the flagstones are original, the walls are lime plastered and the kitchen table is oak. You’ll find a good utility room for muddy boots and then a big separate sitting room with a roaring open fire, original art and a dresser stuffed with colourful antique china. The kitchen is homely with a big table and pretty bedrooms upstairs are off a square hallway. There are footpaths leading from the cottage gate across fields down to the Thames.

Guest Annie: This is one of THE most special cottages. It is also super comfortable, the fire is so cosy, and the warm Aga greets you when you arrive.

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The Field Barn

This is not your average Cotswolds barn conversion. It’s actually a very smart, contemporary architect-designed retreat given a utility-chic makeover by your next door hosts. A soaring ceiling and huge sliding glass doors, drawing your eye to long country views, give a sense of space. Despite the wow factor, it’s remarkably cosy. Sit, drink in hand, at a breakfast bar, while the cook whips up supper in the super-stylish kitchen, or snuggle up in the inviting living area in front of the toasty wood burner. A glass-sided staircase transports you upstairs to two double bedrooms, each with a separate sleek bathroom. Explore Cotswold gems, Blenheim and Burford.

Guest Jeanie: I gasped when I walked in. Beautiful and thoughtful decor and details – INCREDIBLE space and completely tranquil. So spacious and yet so cosy.

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The Double Red Duke

This immaculately restored old inn with generous bedrooms, great food, ale and wine is a cosseting sort of place. Come for seasonal and local menus of English lamb, beef, pork, oysters and hand cut chips, cooked on an open fire in the centre of the dining room – a performance art. Spill out into the garden on warm days, retire to bedrooms with gorgeous fabrics, soft feather and down, homemade biscuits and bathrooms with 100 Acres soaps and lotions. All well away from the bar area. For extra indulgence, book a massage in the Shepherd’s Hut treatment room.

Inspector Nicola: A treat to come and stay here, with children or as a couple for a romantic weekend. Bring the dog too! 

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The Feathered Nest Country Inn

This 18th-century malthouse has an appealing flagged bar that steps down to a smouldering fire in the snug – the perfect spot to enjoy the papers. In summer, relax in the garden where the view reaches five miles. Walkers drop by for a drink or Sunday lunch, locals stay for acoustic evenings. The food here is a real draw. They chefs churn their own butter, bake their own bread, and take immense pride in their inventive menus. Spoil yourself with the three-course Nest menu, the more relaxed bar menu, or a raid of the sommelier’s carefully chosen wine list. You’re looked after beautifully and the sense of comfort is enveloping. Visit nearby Burford, with its medieval three-arched bridge and pretty little Stow-in-the-Wold. 

Guest Karen: The staff made us feel very special and we had a wonderful time away that we will never forget. 

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The Kings Head Inn

A beautiful 17th-century English inn made of ancient stone sitting on the green in a quiet Cotswold village with free-range hens strutting their stuff and a family of ducks bathing in the pond. Inside, the fire burns throughout the winter, while low ceilings, painted stone walls, the odd settle and country rugs on flagstone floors keep the feel cosy. Bedrooms have lots of colour and style, those in the main house have more character, those in the courtyard are bigger (and quieter), most have great views. Breakfast and supper are taken in a pretty dining room and you can lunch by the fire in the bar. There’s loads to do, too, from antique hunting in Stow, to circular walks through gorgeous country. The front terrace teems with life in summer.

Inspector David: Loved this place instantly, from the moment I was greeted by a chicken! They’ve done great work to maintain the historic feel and update only what really needed updating. 

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Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

Carmen is a freelance writer specialising in travel. She once lived in a bus in north Wales, skipped off to study in Barcelona, and now calls Bristol home. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she can be found reading (a lot), lake swimming (a little), and pottering on the allotment with husband and two kiddos. She’s currently dreaming about cold cerveza and torta in Mexico.

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