A family-friendly pub makes for a very relaxing addition to a holiday. A gourmet pub or inn with a...
The Cotswolds is filled with beauty and charm – a place for countryside road trips and opulent holidays, there’s no wonder that some of the finest pubs in the country are located in the Cotswolds.
Nestled in quaint villages and beside the rolling hills are traditional ale houses, modern cocktail bars and family-run pubs serving up hearty home-cooked meals.
If you’re visiting the Cotswolds and are looking for the best bars and pubs where you can enjoy a cold pint in a beer garden, sip a refreshing summer spritz with a view, or a tuck into a delicious dinner by a roaring fire you’re in luck, as we have put together the ultimate guide to the 50 best pubs and bars in the Cotswolds.
As Cotswolds experts we are familiar with the fantastic array of pubs and bars in the Cotswolds, but picking out the ultimate 50 best pubs in the Cotswolds was no easy feat. That’s why we turned to trusted sources including The Good Pub Guide, TripAdvisor and Google Reviews to find the most loved pubs in the Cotswolds.
We scoured the reviews for every Cotswolds pub and bar as listed on The Good Pub Guide, across TripAdvisor, Google and The Good Pub Guide, to find the top 50 best pubs and bars in the Cotswolds.
We used a unique formula to analyse the ratings of every pub across each of the three review sites to find the top 50 pubs with the strongest ratings.
Have a look at our ultimate guide below to find out more about the best pubs and bars in the Cotswolds, and get inspiration for your next Cotswolds break.
This champagne bar and café can be found at Blenheim Palace, overlooking the stunning water terraces. Food on offer includes staples such as sandwiches, coffee, and cake, while hot meals including pork and turkey dishes are also on offer for guests who want heartier options. Guests can rest their feet after wandering the palace, while catching a splendid view of the water terraces over a tasty meal and a drink. Those who want more of a treat can opt for champagne, scones, and pastries. The Water Terrace Café and Champagne Bar is the perfect treat to round off a trip to the Blenheim Palace and its gardens.
Address: Blenheim Palace Grounds, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PP
If you want to experience a truly traditional English pub, the Turf Tavern is the place. It’s a hidden gem that is popular with the locals. Once inside, you’ll notice the pub is packed with university students, and local families. This pub was once a watering hole for Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Ernest Hemingway, and the cast and crew of Harry Potter. The staff run the pub like a free house and keep plenty of authentic ales and beers on tap. There are three outdoor beer gardens to enjoy in nice weather too. Meals include classic English favorites including fish and chips, beef and ale pie, and Cumberland sausages.
Address: Turf Tavern, 7 Bath Place, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 3SU
Nestled in the heart of the village, this pub caters to guests who want a well-crafted meal in a charming setting. It’s refurbished but has a touch of rustic style with a wood-paneled bar, wooden floors, exposed ceiling beams, and stone walls. Slightly upscale, this is the perfect place for a romantic date or a special family celebration. Menus cater for lunch, dinner, brunch, children, and vegan diners. Specialties include a caramelised fig and whipped goat’s curd pizza, and warm Belgian chocolate brownies. The drink menu offers a selection of gin, Aperitivo, cocktails, wine, and champagne.
Address: 2 The Green, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7AA
This pub is located inside one of the most beautiful, yet quaint hotels in the Cotswolds. It keeps its countryside, village charm on the outside, however, the interior is a stylish display of beauty. After exploring the garden trails, watching the chickens roam, and lounging on the terrace, guests enjoy the simple and fresh menu. The smoked salmon and lemon cream cheese sandwich is popular as well as the cauliflower macaroni and cheese. The pub grows their own produce, raises their own chickens for eggs, and tends to their own bees for honey. Dogs are allowed into the pub area too, making it an ideal choice for the entire family.
Address: Old Minster Lovell, Minster Lovell, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 0RN
Quirky, crafty, and downright beautiful, this pub is located inside Bonham’s auctioneers. It spans four floors and has a rooftop terrace. The place looks more like an artist’s home; full of mismatched picture frames, potted plants, and shelves of books. Try the duck hash, vegan Shepherd’s pie, or the goat cheese salad. Their wine list is extensive and their cocktails range from classics like Tom Collins and an old fashioned, to a juniper and elderflower spritz. In the dining room, guests can watch the open kitchen while the chefs prepare their meals. In the potting shed, visitors can focus more on the cocktails.
Address: 1 Old King Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 2JW
Found near Oxford University, this traditional pub was once the watering hole of C.S Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien. The lineup of frood is classic, as the menu features fish and chips, Gloucester sausages, chicken, ham hock, cheese pie, and wholetail scampi. The bar features real ales, and a fine selection of whisky. In fact, they take their spirits quite seriously, as they have a superb collection of gin. This is a great place for a cocktail and a meal while you soak in the literary history and academic atmosphere.
Address: 49 St Giles’, Oxford OX1 3LU
Located by river in Oxford, this pub is a lovely spot for a drink or a bite to eat on weekend break in Oxford. The terrace seating for dining on looks over the River Isis, a perfect setting in the summer. The menu offers a modern twist on the classics like roasted chicken breast, and pan-fried bream. There is also a well-rounded breakfast menu and sandwich selection on offer. Guests will find a collection of real ales at the bar, as well as some of the world’s best whiskey.
Address: Folly Bridge, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 4LB
This inn exudes history with its classic, British architecture, and historic furnishings. Guests can stay overnight in one of the antique decorated rooms, or enjoy a unique dining experience in the pub’s traditional dungeon. The inn’s bars are cosy, and the exposed beams in the dining area make the atmosphere feel warm and familiar. The menu features homemade soups, risotto, baked sea bass, and confit duck. The wine list is one of the highlights of drinking at The George. Enjoy their selection of local beers by the roaring fireplace in the winter or in one of the ancient courtyards in the nice weather.
Address: Mill Lane, Bathampton, Bath, Somerset, BA2 6TR
Located in the centre of Bath, this traditional pub and restaurant is known for its hearty pies and flavorful sausages. The atmosphere is cosy and the owners believe in delivering a top notch experience without the pretension. There is a rotating list of beer, wine, and ciders to be enjoyed in the pub’s historic setting. Guests can grab a Ploughman’s lunch, a helping of pork and leek sausages, and choose from a whole selection of savory pies. The pub prides itself on serving real ales, and have offered more than 200 different ales over the past year. They even serve ales that are specifically made for them on occasion.
Address: Queen Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 1HE
Dining at the Cosy Club is an experience that goes well beyond the food and drink. The blue bar looks like something out of a saloon and the quirky chandeliers offer a unique atmosphere. The walls are different colors and sport intriguing wallpaper, paintings, and various other knick-knacks. There is an outside terrace that makes dining on a nice day a perfect choice too. The bar-restaurant offers tapas, brunch, gluten free and vegan options. Guests can try a Moroccan Tabbouleh, salt and pepper squid, or a Thai veggie burger. And, the crafty cocktails are an added treat too – try the rhubarb and ginger bramble or the lemon drizzle cake.
Address: Southgate Place, Bath, Somerset, BA1 1TG
Bath has a food quarter and Graze makes up a large part of it. The food quarter is built around the 19th century train station, and Graze takes up the whole first floor with additional outside seating areas. The menu focuses on meats, cooked in the British style, with particular interest in dry aged steak. There are also fish and shellfish dishes, small plates, and vegetarian options. The drink list includes boutique wines, high-end spirits, real ales, and craft beers from around the world. There is a small brewery on-site as well as an open kitchen with a rustic charm.
Address: 9 Brunel Square, Bath, Somerset, BA1 1SX
A stone exterior that looks like a farmhouse, tons of natural lighting, and epic countryside views are only the start of what makes this pub so special. The wooden interior offers a rustic charm while the perfectly manicured gardens create the feeling of a luxurious oasis. The old fashioned bar is a great place to enjoy a sparkling cocktail and the terrace is the perfect spot to warm up with a cup of tea while watching the sunset. Try the roasted butternut squash salad or the beef and gammon hash. And, if you want to eat on the terrace, they even offer blankets for when it gets chilly.
Address: Lansdown Road, Bath, Somerset, BA1 5TJ
This tavern prides itself on home-cooked food and friendly service. The interior is noticeably cosy, and the terrace is full of colourful flowers. Stay until after dark when the candles and string lights come out; this is when the terrace is at its best. Try the 28-day aged ribeye steak or the warm smoked pigeon breast with pancetta and black pudding. The wine list is extensive and the beer selection includes classic ales and ciders. The tavern offers a special Sunday lunch which included beer-battered fish and chips, and slow roasted belly of “Berkshire Boar” pork.
Address: 35 Marlborough Buildings, Bath, Somerset, BA1 2LY
The Noel Arms is one of the most historic hotels in the Cotswolds. Legend has it that King Charles II stayed here during the English Civil War. The rooms are cosy with antiquated charm and the café offers hot coffee and homemade cakes. Guests enjoy cocktails at the bar by the fire, and diners love that the restaurant’s produce comes from local farms. While all dishes are loved, the pub is best known for its curries. They are said to be some of the best in the country. Every last Thursday of the month is curry night, and every first Sunday is Jazz Sunday Lunch.
Address: Lower High Street, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6AT
Countryside views are what you’ll get while dining by the river Avon in Bath. The exterior exudes a classic, country charm while the interior offers a historic atmosphere. Pull up a wooden stool at the bar and choose a Badger Beer from the chalkboard menu. Tuck into baked camembert on the terrace while it’s sunny, or the pressed confit duck by the indoor fireplace in winter. Homemade soup can be enjoyed by the shelves of historic books as you take an afternoon break from exploring Bath.
Address: Newbridge Road, Bath, Somerset, BA1 3NB
This beautiful pub could easily be a scene from a postcard. This landmark hotel is situated right in the middle of the Cotswolds countryside, nestled quietly by the River Coln. The former coaching inn boasts a stone exterior, covered in lush vines of ivy. The Swan offers a luxury dining experience, and guests love to have tea by the river or sip a contemporary cocktail under the bar’s chandeliers. Enjoy a whole baked Bilbury trout on the outdoor terrace or the butternut squash risotto inside as you marvel at the expertly designed interior.
Address: Bibury, Cirencester GL7 5NW
This pub is one of the oldest in Oxford and keeps up its reputation with traditional British fare and ales. The building itself is from the 17th century, offers stunning views of the river, and boasts an impressive garden during the summer months. For 800 years there has been a pub in this location and it has seen poets, musicians, and authors. It was even a prominent venue to the British jazz scene in the past. Enjoy steamed river muscles, Gloucestershire pheasant, and pot roasted ox cheeks. Working closely with small breweries, The Perch always has something new on tap. And, the extensive wine list caters for everyone. Don’t forget that your dogs can join you for a drink and a light bite on the terrace at this dog-friendly establishment,
Address: Binsey Ln, Binsey, Oxford OX2 0NG
This traditional inn is home to 14, uniquely designed bedrooms, roaring fires to keep warm in the winter, and beautiful gardens to enjoy a drink in the summer. It was once a 17th century coaching inn and can be found in the historic market town of Northleach. The rooms have historic touches, like clawfoot bathtubs and modern features like Hypnos beds and power showers. The food is locally sourced and rustic with specialties such as lamb, lobster, venison pie, and sea bream. The wine list is extensive and offers a variety of styles to match the luxurious cuisine.
Address: West Rd, Northleach, Cheltenham GL54 3EZ
This welcoming pub has been serving guests since 1776. Their dishes are modern takes on the classics, with many innovative and inventive items on the menu. Chequers has a pub environment with a clean, tasteful, and simple interior. There’s an open kitchen, plenty of natural light, and wooden furnishings. Some of their main dishes include monkfish, salt and pepper squid, and a 35-day dry aged sirloin. They also offer a 7-course tasting menu with an optional wine flight for those who want to try out various options. Every Sunday the pub offers a specialised lunch menu of roasts, and all dining experiences can be accompanied by a well-curated and extensive wine list.
Address: 50 Rivers Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 2QA
The Kings Head may be one of the most opulent pubs in the Cotswolds. The venue is a hotel filled with luxury rooms, a renowned spa, and a highly revered dining experience. With chandeliers, wall art, and fresh flowers abound, the atmosphere is definitely one of luxury. Guests can dine on lamb, duck, trout, beef filet, fish and chips, and potato gnocchi. They also offer Sunday lunch, and afternoon tea. Wine lovers will be happy to see an extensive list and an onsite cellar.
Address: 24 Market Place, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2NR
With roots dating back to the 16th century, this cosy hotel and restaurant has managed to maintain its historic charm over the years. It boasts 28, tastefully furnished rooms, including a 4-poster bed suite. The restaurant has a fireplace, creating an intimate and comforting atmosphere. Dishes are made with locally sourced produce and the wine cellar is stocked with new world selections. Guests can start with a pate of the day, have prawn risotto for the main dish, and enjoy a raspberry, white chocolate cheesecake for dessert.
Originally a coaching inn from the 16th century, the Crown & Cushion is now a 40-bedroom hotel that was once owned by the drummer from The Who, Keith Moon. The venue and restaurant are modern and chic with historic touches. The relaxed atmosphere is romantic, and guests enjoy meals that are prepared by the renowned chefs. Main dishes include a whole, oven roasted sea bass, fillet tips of beef, and mushroom and pepper stroganoff. On offer is an impressive wine list as well as a Sunday lunch. If you like Spanish wine, their Maximo Tempranillo, which has hints of tobacco and vanilla, is a great choice.
Dating back to the 15th century, this inn and restaurant has preserved many of its historic features. It has been beautifully restored and features cosy rooms, a medieval courtyard, and a line-up of real ales. Their Old Top and Barrel Bar offers ciders, perry, wine, spirits, and a range of lagers that are both local and international brands. The Pilgrim’s Restaurant offers classics dishes including beef lasagne, chicken tikka masala, chili con carne, and a katsu burger. Also available is breakfast, Sunday lunch, afternoon specials, live music on Friday, and karaoke on Saturday.
Sports lovers will appreciate this open-floored pub with multi-screen televisions. The pub’s name derives from the fact that the pub bought the house next door, sprawling the pub out into two venues. This pub is very much a place for friends to meet for a drink, and families with children aren’t encouraged to stop in – though children are allowed in the venue. The pub does offer a few hot bites on the weekends to help visitors soak up their beer, but meals are not their main selling point. The pub primarily serves Arkell’s beer, which is a popular choice with the sports fans who frequent the pub.
Located in the heart of the Cotswolds, this pub and hotel is full of historic character, real ales, and locally sourced food. The old, wooden bar gives it rustic charm but the rest of the interior has a modern, farmhouse atmosphere. The menu boasts a refined version of classics such as fish and chips, Lincolnshire sausages, pan roasted chicken breast, and a selection of steaks. They offer an extensive brunch menu, and a selection of dessert wines, port, and whisky. And, if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, the boutique rooms here are modern with small details left from the days of the 17th century.
This pub specialises in the classic, English roast dinner. They offer hand-carved meats, golden roasties, Yorkshire pudding, and roasted vegetables. Diners can find juicy pork, turkey, gammon, and roast beef that will go straight from the carving station to their plate. They also offer a breakfast menu, pudding menu, and Sunday specials. This is a great place for a low key, high value meal with the entire family.
The Queen’s Head has one of the best reputations in Gloucester for delicious food and drink. There are four dedicated chefs on-site who have been expertly preparing the dishes here for years. With an exterior that resembles historic, countryside architecture, and a dimly lit, romantic dining room, this pub is the perfect spot for a quiet evening. Children under twelve are not eligible for entry, making The Queen’s Head an excellent choice for date night. Guests can enjoy Scottish salmon, slow roasted pork belly, and ostrich steak for their main course. While brunch offers lite bites like hunter’s chicken and warm black pudding with chorizo.
Address: 84 Tewkesbury Road, Longford, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL2 9EJ
Dating back to the 16th century, this inn is located in the medieval town of Burford. The staff warmly welcomes families, children, and even dogs. The inn only offers three boutique rooms which have been decorated with a historic charm. Guests love the classic, simple, and delicious meals that make up the Angel’s menu. Diners enjoy the prime Windrush Meade rump steak, free range chicken, and parmesan crusted sea bass. They also serve breakfast which is especially convenient for guests who stay overnight. They have a Cask Marque accreditation and work in partnership with Hook Brewery to provide real ales. Their wine list is extensive and carefully selected by the staff as well.
Address: 14 Witney St, Burford OX18 4SN
This historic building is a combination of 15th and 18th century architecture. There are 28 bedrooms, all uniquely decorated, a medieval hall, and a pub with a roaring fireplace. Royal Hop Pole is considered an English Heritage Hotel, which can be seen in the exquisite details. The pub offers classic dishes such as bangers and mash, fish and chips, and beef chili con carne. They also offer a quinoa salad, and a Mediterranean vegetable lasagne. The bar has a lineup of real ales, a full supply of bubbly and prosecco, and a selection of rum for tropical cocktails.
Address: 94-96 Church Street, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 5RT
This family-friendly eatery is said to be more than 300 years old. It offers a relaxed atmosphere for dining through the week, while on Friday nights live bands provide entertainment. The pub is dog friendly and has a patio where guests can enjoy a pint and meal outside in the sun. The exterior is made of stone and looks just as old as the rumors say it is. However, it offers modern comforts while keeping its antiquated features intact. The inside is dimly lit, features historic furnishings, a pool table, and plenty of exposed brick. Every Wednesday night the pub holds a pub quiz, which makes it a favorite hangout with the locals.
Address: East End, Fairford, Gloucestershire, GL7 4AP
This historic, riverside inn sits on its own private land that is just as picturesque as a countryside postcard. The pub is dog-friendly, family-friendly, and a perfect escape for nature lovers. Once inside, the exposed brick, matte green panelling, and wooden features makes this place feel like a cosy farmhouse. All eggs and poultry are free range, and meats are sourced from carefully selected suppliers. Visitors dine on pub classics like fish and chips, tiger prawns, and burgers. The pub features a full wine list and a hearty selection of beers. The highlight for most visitors is the beautiful location on the River Avon.
Address: Fleet Lane, Twyning, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 6FL
Located in the heart of the Cotswolds, this countryside inn offers boutique, overnight accommodation. The dining room boasts wooden floors, clean cut furnishings and luxurious chandeliers. The chefs work with local producers to provide the freshest produce for their dishes. Bartenders serve up real ales, ports, Calvados, Cognacs, and a selection of local ciders. Try the butternut squash and sage risotto, honey and mustard roasted ham, and the pan fried salmon.
Address: Market Place, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8DD
A popular local chain, the Elmbury Lodge is known for its consistent quality and great taste. The interior is laid back and simple, and the atmosphere is family-friendly. Start your meal off with tempura prawns, and move on to the mains which include burgers, pie, beef and stout, gammon, and Yorkshire sausages. Their dessert menu is almost as large as the main so make sure to satisfy your sweet tooth before leaving.
Address: Shannon Way, Ashchurch, Tewkesbury GL20 8ND
Sitting on the banks of the Frome River, this 16th century corn mill has been converted into a boutique hotel, apartments, wedding venue, and pub. The restaurant is styled uniquely, with intriguing artwork and flagstone floors. The menu offers simple, yet tasteful, British food with an international twist. Guests tend to love the brunch menu which offers steak and fried eggs, pancakes, and smoked salmon and cream cheese on a bagel. The dinner menu offers cauliflower dumplings, flatbreads, and 40-day aged British steak. And, while they offer spirits and beer, their wine list really shines.
Located near the Roman Baths, this gem makes a great retreat from the tourist trail. The interior is rustic, with wooden tables and chairs, a shaded terrace, and a dimly lit dining room. Start with a charcuterie platter or a fish board and work your way to the main menu. You’ll find roasted butternut squash, wild boar, roast pork belly, and a pie of the day. The pub also offers a full sandwich menu, cask conditioned ale, and an impressive wine list to go with the dinner menu selections. The Crystal Palace does a great job of providing a refined dining experience that’s also laid back and unpretentious.
Address: 10-11 Abbey Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 1NW
Dating back to the 1600s, this elegant hotel and eatery fits in just perfectly in this historic town. It has quite the reputation for high-quality food and top-notch service. The atmosphere in the pub is equally historic, with low beams, wooden furnishings, and antique decorations. The menu offers classic favourites including gammon and chips, slow-cooked pork belly, surf and turf, and creamy fish pie. They have a Sunday roast, a breakfast menu, and an extensive selection of gin. Make sure to try their rhubarb or elderflower gin and tonic for a real treat.
Address: Church Street, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 5SA
This pub is a music lover’s haven. It puts on live shows, DJ sets, and even festivals. The cellar bar is where guests can be found dancing until the early hours of the morning, and, the live music spans a huge variety of genres so that everyone can listen to something they’ll love. In the restaurant, the staff pride themselves on serving up hearty meals at affordable prices. You’ll find all of the British classics like fish and chips, pies, jacket potatoes, lamb curry, and sausages and mash. The beers are supplied by local breweries, and the pub has their own cider which is made from The Cider Tree Cidery. It’s a relaxing dining atmosphere that really should be experienced twice, both during the day and well into the evening.
Address: 31 Southgate Street, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL1 1TP
This is a traditional, Victorian style pub that offers modern comforts while maintaining its historic touch. It dates back to the 18th century and offers real ale, ciders, beer, and spirits. Sports lovers enjoy catching the games on the televisions while sipping on a pint. With a jukebox and a dark, cosy atmosphere, this is one of the few ‘real’ pubs left. The landlord is hands-on and sometimes offers snacks to guests. But, this pub is loved because it’s a bare bones place to catch a rugby game in a comfortable setting with an endless supply of beer.
Address: 59 Northgate Street, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL1 2AG
This pub is also a bed and breakfast, and live music venue. Over the years, the exterior has hardly changed, however, the inside has been refurbished while keeping its antiquated decor. They offer live music every Friday and Saturday evening, as well as monthly jazz and blues bands on Thursday evenings. On Sundays the pub serves up a tasty roast, and all other days of the week they have a full lunch and dinner menu. There’s a patio for sipping cocktails in the summer and an open fire in the bar to enjoy hot toddies and apple cider in the winter. The food menu includes traditional favourites including Worcester pie, gammon steak, and venison sausages.
Address: 14 Church Street, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7AE
Nestled on a quiet side street, this inn is a peaceful retreat from this bustling, historic market town. The pub offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. Guests can enjoy a selection of deli boards, smoked salmon, crayfish cocktail sandwiches, and rare roast beef sandwiches. The bar menu also offers fish and chips, sausage and mash, burgers, and a 40-day dry aged sirloin. Dinner options include rack of lamb, duck breast, filet of stone bass, and pan fried halibut. No matter what you choose, the experience is sure to be elegant and romantic. The interior of The Lamb is dimly lit, features a fireplace, has wood panelling, stone floors, and historic artifacts.
Address: Sheep Street, Burford, Oxfordshire, OX18 4LR
The spacious patio and sunny garden makes a great first impression on guests as they enter this rustic pub. The interior transports you into another world as it’s full of books, roaring fires, flagstone flooring, old furniture, and antiquated artwork. The pub is family-friendly, and well behaved dogs are welcomed in the outdoor areas. Start your visit off with cheese and beer croquettes, and move on to the confit chicken liver and bacon salad, vegan shepherd’s pie, or British sirloin steak. There’s a lengthy list of puddings to consider for dessert, and a well-curated wine list to accompany the menu. If you happen to be around on a Sunday, their roasts are the talk of the town.
Address: 56 Winchester Rd, Petersfield GU32 3PG
The founders of this unique pizza chain are a couple who quit the music industry and decided to get into the restaurant business. They did away with the preconceived notions of pizza and put their own spin on it. They focus on pies, cider, and pizza, with all ingredients being locally sourced. There is a vegan menu, salads, delicious starters, and of course, pizza. While they have some of the classics, they also offer toppings like roast lamb, pig chorizo, smoked mackerel, and jerk chicken. Their bar list focuses on cider, and they even have a cider tasting flight for those who want to taste more than one. Expect to run into some live music while you’re visiting.
Address: 1-3, Westgate Building, Kingsmead Square, Bath BA1 2AE
This 12th century inn still boasts some of its original features, making it one of the most historic pubs on the list. It’s been refurbished with contemporary comforts but holds on to its traditional charm. Guests can enjoy an all-day menu, Sunday lunch, and a selection of cream teas in a luxury setting. There’s a warm fire, local beers, and traditional sharing boards. Try the pie of the day, the guinea fowl, or the lamb hotpot. Wash it all down with a craft beer or a fine wine.
Address: Castle Combe, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 7HN
This historic inn has been the recipient of countless restaurant and food awards over the years. It’s fish bar was one of the top three newcomer fish and chip shops in the National Fish and Chips Awards. The pub also won the Remy Restaurant Award, Hotel Restaurant of the Year, and Best Local Menu award. They take their food and drink seriously with a perfectly curated drink list with local breweries, award winning wines, and cider both in bottles and on draft. With high ceilings, exposed timber beams, a fireplace, and oak tables, the atmosphere is welcoming no matter what you’re drinking. There’s a patio as well for a cold cider on a hot day in the sun. The restaurant prides itself on rustic food at affordable prices. There’s a wood fire oven for gourmet pizzas, a selection of burgers, and a lineup of classics like slow cooked ribs, fish and chips, lamb shank, and roast chicken.
Address: London Road, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8JJ
Seating only two dozen guests, this little pub has been serving up classic, British fare since 1242. Guests enjoy lamb kofta, shepherd’s pie, sausage and mash, and sticky toffee pudding in this dimly lit retreat. The taps pour real ales, stouts, ciders, and lagers. There is also a collection of world wines to enjoy. This pub is as simple as you can get without sacrificing taste and atmosphere. It’s a classic British eatery and watering hole that will be a welcomed retreat when you want to satisfy your hunger.
Address: 6 Alfred Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 4EH
One of Oxford’s best kept secrets, this pub has been serving up delicious food and drink since 1869. The pub is family owned, and sits on a quiet street away from all the hustle and bustle. In fact, it can be found nestled into the nearby suburb of Jericho where it is one of the last remaining, historic pubs of its kind. The owners offer real, British ales and French-bistro-style food. The menu is small and changes frequently as they focus on quality over quantity. Try the pork and leek sausages, smoked salmon, or a savoury crepe. They also serve up wines, cocktails, and cider to accompany the dishes.
Address: 17-18 Victor Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX2 6BT
You’ll find this historic inn beside the River Thames in the market town of Gloucestershire. It’s a 17th century coaching inn that has been completely revamped for a modern feel with rustic touches. It has a traditional bar with a log fire and sturdy wooden tables, and dim, warm lighting. The menu offers decadent sandwiches including sweet chili chicken, and hearty mains such as gammon steak, beef lasagne, burgers, and mushroom risotto. They also have ales, ciders, lagers, and a fine wine list.
Address: Market Square, Lechlade, Gloucestershire, GL7 3AB
This restaurant can be found on the banks of the Cherwell River. There is a large terrace and plenty of gardens to enjoy a glass of wine in the summer. Winter time is just as nice for a visit as guests can enjoy a warm cocktail by the fire. The clientele is a little mix of everyone, and even dogs are welcomed in the outdoor areas. They offer Sunday roasts, murder mystery dinners, live music, and holiday events. The menu includes homemade soups with rustic bread, honey glazed ham, smoked haddock, pies of the day, and a large selection of sandwiches. The beers, ciders, spirits, and wines are a great addition to any meal.
Address: Mill Lane, Marston, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX3 0QA
This hotel and restaurant is located within a traditional, Georgian Inn. It’s traditionally British on the outside with a chic interior. All meals are cooked with local ingredients, and the menu offers both European and British classics. They offer a traditional British dinner as well as a breakfast and Sunday lunch menu. Try the chicken liver parfait, roast Cornish cod, duck breast, or charcoal grilled lobster. The drink list is extensive, with an impressive selection of whisky, champagne, and craft cocktails.
Address: Promenade, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1NW
This hotel is considered the oldest in England, and the owners and staff members take great pride in the experience that this creates for guests. Both the interior and exterior are picturesque, with elaborate gardens, terrace, antique furniture, and delicate, artistic decor. There are colourful stained glass windows, wooden panelling, and a fireplace by the bar. They offer a continental breakfast buffet, slow cooked chicken, beetroot risotto, Scottish lobster, and Shetland scallops. Pair the mains with a selection from the elaborate wine list to perfectly complete your meal.
Address: Abbey Row, Malmesbury SN16 0BW
We also asked esteemed Cotswolds locals to provide us with their recommendation of their favourite pub in the Cotswolds, which could either be from our top 50 or a bonus suggestion. Here’s what they had to say:
“I’d recommend Mr Hanbury’s Mason Arms in South Leigh. This place strikes a difficult balance between cosy, comforting and relaxed in atmosphere but exciting and inventive in its menu – beige gastropub fare this isn’t. Plus, the art is terrific.”
-Kathy Slack, Blogger
“I would say The Five Alls, Filkins. It’s perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon or a casual Saturday evening supper with friends. Great service and excellent food. Décor is eclectic and fun.”
-Scott Paton, Managing Director at Pippa Paton
“My recommendation would be The Mount Inn, Stanton. After following walking routes in and around Stanton, there’s nothing better than taking a seat in the Mount Inn’s pretty pub garden, overlooking the village and the surrounding countryside, with a pint of real ale in hand. We’re a region abundant in quintessential country pubs with bags of character so it’s difficult choosing just one!”
-Elizabeth Hartland, Digital Producer at Cotswold Life
“My current favourite pub is the Fountain Inn…I mainly go to watch live football…but they’re a great crowd of very friendly people.”
-Pete Coleman, Musician
“When you’re out and about in the town that I consider to be the heart of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham, I really recommend the newly renovated Suffolk Arms on Suffolk Road.
The manager Neil goes out of his way to make families feel welcome – there are all the facilities you might need as a family (including colouring for the children, changing facilities) and their wood-fired pizzas are perfect for keeping rumbling little tummies happy. It’s a great pit-stop for groups of mums looking to get together with their babies and children and for families to get some quality time over a delicious meal.”
-Kate Starkey, Blogger
“Crowned pub of the Year 2018 by the Good Pub Guide, The Kings Head Inn, Bledington, is a hidden foodie secret. An authentic pub set on a picturesque village green, with low ceilings, crackling fires, and craft ales on hand. Try the locals’ favourite, devilled kidneys on toast, with seasonal local meats and game from the farmer down the road. Tucked away in a quintessential Cotswold village, with its own Shepherd’s Hut ice cream parlour out front, it is truly a pub destination to go for!”
-The team at Cotswold Foodie Tours
“The Weighbridge Inn is easily our favourite Cotswold Pub. Its charm and character perfectly complement the delicious, and famous, 2in1 pies. A perfect winter recommendation!”
-Adam and the team at Cotswold Food Blog
We created our ranking of the top 50 pubs and bars in the Cotswolds by analysing reviews across The Good Pub Guide, TripAdvisor and Google Reviews.
The first step of our research was to find every Cotswolds pub and bar included with a rating on The Good Pub Guide website.
We calculated the score for each pub by diving the number of reviews for each pub by its average rating. We also awarded an additional 5 bonus points to any pub which had been awarded the Good Pub Guide Recommended rating.
We then analysed the reviews for every pub across TripAdvisor and Google Reviews, again using the same formula (number of reviews/avg.rating) to calculate a score for each pub for these platforms. We then totalled the Good Pub Guide, TripAdvisor and Google score for each pub to give the final score. The 50 pubs with the highest final score were deemed the 50 best pubs and bars in the Cotswolds.
As part of our research we also looked at the cost bracket for each of the pubs and were happy to find that prices remained consistently good value across all the pubs included in our ultimate guide, and as such we have not included specific cost indicators for each pub.