Humphreys of Henley | The 5 best pubs in the Cotswolds

The 5 best pubs in the Cotswolds

Whether you are having a day out, or weekend away, the Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful places to visit here in the UK. In fact, it is a favoured bolthole for many Brits, wishing for a taste of the quintessential chocolate box villages, ancient woodlands, and country houses.

As a luxury travel concierge service, we often get asked what our thoughts are on the top spots to visit, play and dine, and so in today’s post we are going to cover our top five Cotswold pubs.
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Why you should visit an English pub over a restaurant on a short break

If you are travelling into the English countryside, wanting to experience everything truly British, then you cannot afford to miss the good ‘ole English pub. Pub culture is an integral part of British life and in rural landscapes it is very much the centre of local evenings. The pub is a great place to socialise with the community, to relax and of course to unwind.

Now in most cases short breaks, or days out are spontaneously planned and so booking the finer dining spots can occasionally be problematic, especially if you want to eat at high-end restaurants where reservations are often booked months ahead. It is not all doom and gloom though, because in recent years the rise of gastropubs and higher-end pub dining experiences have become a much wider part of the pub scene. So, there is plenty of choice for your luxury holiday.


The 5 best pubs in the Cotswolds

In alphabetical order, here are our top 5 pubs in the Cotswolds… enjoy!

1.The Castle Inn, Castle Combe – Just 30 minutes outside of Bath, in the stunning setting of Castle Combe (Cotswolds), the 12th Century Castle Inn is a fine choice for traditional pub dining. The bar has an open fire, cosy atmosphere and table service delivering high quality fare to put a smile on anyone’s face.
We recommend trying the Wiltshire Downlands lamb neck fillet, with crushed heritage potatoes, spring greens, salsa verde, and lamb sauce.
2.The Chequers, Churchill – You will find The Chequers about 40 minutes by car outside of Oxford in the central north tip of the beautiful Cotswolds. This pub is a beautiful Cotswold stone building set at the very heart of the village, making it a central hub for the community and giving you a real taste of what it is like to enjoy a traditionally English pub experience.

We recommend the steak freshly cooked in Josper ovens. The smell is divine!

3.The Swan at Southrop – The Swan at Southrop is a 17th century coaching inn just on the very tip of the Cotswolds (in Gloucestershire) and great to stop at if you are travelling to, or from the Chilterns during your countryside stay. The pub itself sits on the Southrop Manor estate; with beautiful views you will not ever want to leave.
We recommend the Southrop lamb loin, with onion puree and tender-stem broccoli pulled directly from the manor farm.

4.The Village Pub, Barnsley – Sunday lunch is what countryside pubs are made for and The Village Pub, set on Barnsley Manor grounds is no exception. The traditional Sunday choice has to be roast beef, with Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings, roast potatoes, homemade gravy, and seasonal vegetables.

Just 50 minutes away from Oxford and near Cirencester, this traditional English pub has a beautifully peaceful vibe, creating a cosy dining experience for you and your guests.

5. The Wild Rabbit, Kingham – The Wild Rabbit is set in Chipping Norton, in the Cotswolds, just 45 minutes by car from Oxford. This stunning 18th century hotel plays host to ‘The Dining Room’ a beautiful restaurant serving highly accomplished dishes with ingredients from Daylesford, a local organic farm. Nathan Eades heads up the kitchen, where his love of locally sourced seasonal ingredients puts a twist of traditionally English flavour into the restaurant’s menu.

We recommend trying the Wotton Estate venison served with savoy cabbage, chicory, celeriac, and pomegranate.

What else to consider on your Cotswold getaway

If you are looking to getaway to the Cotswolds, then we recommend checking out our following guides to get the best from your stay;

The 5 best luxury hotels in the Cotswolds 

The 10 best things to do in the Cotswolds   

Concierge Tip - Should I tip pub staff?

Typically, here in the UK, pub food and drink are served with service included, but specifically where a pub has become more of a restaurant, then tipping is usually optional. In this case we would recommend checking your bill to see if service is included and if not, reverting to a restaurant tipping etiquette of around 10-15%. Of course, if you feel you have had exceptional food and service, or you dined as a large group and service was included in your bill, you are entirely within your rights to tip staff appropriately.