An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds is home to some of the country’s most picturesque landscapes, breathtaking views, and beautiful rambles, making it a haven for avid walkers.
Meanwhile with traditional pubs and cosy inns galore, there are plenty of places for pre-, post-, or mid-walk breaks where you can enjoy a refreshing tipple, a tasty meal, or simply soak up the sights.
And while routes are ever-changing, with numerous pathway options, lengths, and varying levels of difficulty, SoGlos’s list offers a starting point for planning a beautiful country ramble.
Ranging from historic inns to hilltop taverns, SoGlos has selected 29 of the best Cotswold pub walks, in this hot list sponsored by The Royal Oak in Tetbury.
For more information about The Royal Oak visit theroyaloaktetbury.co.uk.
This charming Cotswold inn has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, with cosy booths, a stylish dining room and a stunning outside courtyard, ideal for relaxing after a long Cotswold ramble.
Located in Tetbury, The Royal Oak offers a seasonal dinner menu, as well as an entirely vegan menu. If you’re a fan of real ale or cider there are plenty of local choices available, as well as a delicious Sunday roast. Find out what SoGlos thought in our Sunday Lunch review.
The Royal Oak also benefits from six gorgeous rooms, three of which are dog friendly. The venue is the ideal base for exploring Tetbury and its chic boutiques, or as a cosy home-from-home if visiting for a Cotswold getaway.
For more information visit theroyaloaktetbury.co.uk.
Housed in the centre of Stow-on-the-Wold, The Old Stocks Inn challenges the preconceptions of what a Cotswold Inn can be.
Combining stylish Scandi décor with period features and a quintessentially Cotswold location, there are plenty of short walks nearby which are ideal for those who want a flavour of the Cotswold countryside, but don’t have the time for an all-day ramble.
Following a brisk walk, relax in The Old Stocks’ bar and restaurant for a seasonal, locally sourced meal and delicious cocktail.
Nestled in the idyllic village of Stanton, The Mount Inn provides a beautiful setting and great views across the countryside, with its classic British menu and local real ales sure to go down a treat with visitors, while its prime Cotswold location makes it a popular spot with walkers.
While the unspoilt country lanes of Stanton offer wonderful short walks, there are plenty of pleasant routes in the area, with the pub conveniently situated on the Cotswold Way.
A cosy Cotswold pub next to Broadway’s quaint village green, The Swan draws in hordes of locals and tourists with its warm and welcoming atmosphere, seasonal British fayre, and impressive selection of real ales.
The traditional pub’s close proximity to the Cotswold Way makes it a perfect starting or finishing point for country walks, with a trail leading to the famous Broadway Tower, and another route winding down into Stanway.
Nestled in the heart of Cirencester, the pub is in a great location for country walks, with the historic market town providing a pleasant set off point.
Walkers can also discover the wonders of Cirencester Park – a paved path lined with majestic trees, which leads into tranquil woodland trails for exploring further into the countryside.
With a picture-perfect setting in the chocolate box village of Bourton-on-the-Hill, The Horse and Groom offers a contemporary yet cosy setting, with its well-stocked bar boasting local real ales and lagers, making it ideal for a refreshing pint.
With plenty of pleasant village and farm walks, footpaths in close proximity, Moreton-in-Marsh within walking distance, and local attraction Batsford Arboretum providing beautiful gardens, the local pub offers a great point for exploring.
A characterful pub nestled in the sleepy Cotswold village of Frampton Mansell, The Crown Inn offers a beautiful countryside setting, serving up seasonal dishes and showcasing the best local beers.
Boasting a prime location for local walks, there is plenty to see in and around the village, including its historic church, river, and canal. While more avid walkers can venture into the countryside and visit neighbouring villages such as Sapperton, with its famous canal tunnel.
Located near the historic market town of Chipping Campden, The Ebrington Arms provides a great rest stop for walkers, serving up tasty bar snacks for peckish walkers, while its range of award-winning ales is extensive and enticing in equal measure.
And with countless country routes right on the doorstep – and books with local walks available at the pub – ramblers are spoilt for choice. Whether it’s ambling along the Cotswold Way and up to Dover’s Hill, hiking up Ebrington Hill, or embarking on the Diamond Way.
With its roaring log fires, stone walls, flagstone floors, glorious gardens and riverside setting, The Inn at Fossebridge boasts an unrivalled setting which is sure to complete any Cotswold experience.
Surrounded by gorgeous greenery, the charming inn is ideally situated for walks around the quiet hamlet and off into the countryside. Next to the River Coln, routes can wind through the Coln Valley, offering breathtaking views across the rolling hills.
A 16th century gastropub in Ford near Temple Guiting, The Plough Inn is a traditional county pub with glorious countryside views, offering hearty mains and rustic baguettes for a light lunch, in addition to some of the county’s finest real ales.
Its enviable setting adds to its appeal, with plenty of space for country walks, the River Windrush adding to the picturesque scenery, breathtaking views, and Temple Guiting hamlet close by.
A pretty, ivy-covered village pub, The Swan at Southrop boasts a picture-perfect setting within the Thyme Estate, with its classic menu, Cotswold stone garden and stylish interior promising a quintessential experience.
Nestled among rolling hills, idyllic villages, gardens, and glorious countryside, the estate is a haven for avid naturalists and even has a favourite local walk for visitors, with maps of the area available on request.
Nestled in the heart of the picturesque village with views of the historic village church, The Snowshill Arms is a traditional country pub which is both child and dog friendly, making it an ideal rest spot for happy families.
Aside from exploring the Cotswold village – so beautiful it was used as a filming location in Bridget Jones's Diary – ramblers can also embark on a circular Cotswold Way walk complete with woodlands, valleys and hilltops, and leading all the way to Stanton.
A charming country pub in the historic Nether Westcote village, The Feathered Nest boasts panoramic views across the Evenlode Valley, with visitors able to soak up the sights, and some suds, within a stunning setting.
Home to a maze of fantastic footpaths and surrounding walks including the Diamond Way, routes around Nether Westcote offer beautiful views, with the chance to visit neighbouring Cotswold villages, including the unspoilt Church Westcote.
A 17th century country pub in Guiting Power, The Hollow Bottom is set within a quiet valley and surrounded by bucolic views, providing a comfortable setting, while its tapas and light bites are ideal for a quick pick-me-up.
A hub for walkers, the village offers access to a number of routes, with the Wardens’ Way passing through, leading throughout the Cotswold countryside from Bourton-on-the-Water to Winchcombe, and visiting beauty spots such as the Slaughters.
Located in one of the Cotswolds’ most beautiful villages on the banks of the River Eye, The Slaughters Country Inn offers a great base for exploring the local area – with its hearty sandwiches perfect for a quick, and delicious, energy fix.
And while wandering around Lower Slaughter and seeing its famous old mill promises a delightful experience, more active explorers can also venture off the beaten track, with miles of meadows and river walks, and routes to neighbouring places such as Upper Slaughter and Bourton-on-the-Water.
A country pub in Great Rissington and overlooking the Windrush Valley, The Lamb Inn offers a brilliant base for exploring the area, with its Cotswold stone exterior, glorious garden, and traditional pub atmosphere promising a pleasant visit.
And with the Cotswolds’ most picturesque villages within close proximity, including ‘Little Venice’ Bourton-on-the-Water and Little Rissington, the inn is ideally situated for country rambles, with routes taking in historic villages and hamlets, the River Windrush, water meadows, and natural wonders galore.
Housed in a traditional coaching inn, The Wheatsheaf Inn provides a rest stop for walkers in Northleach, with its hearty breakfasts perfect for fuelling up before walks, while its lunches and cask ales are ideal for some well-earned post-ramble refreshments.
Walkers are spoilt for choice in Northleach, which is home to a number of lovely walks, with National Trust’s Lodge Park close by, access to the Diamond Way, and a number of additional picturesque routes boasting beautiful views along quiet footpaths and bridleways.
With Winchcombe part of numerous Cotswold walking routes and hosting its own walking festival, The Lion Inn provides a homely stop-off point for walkers, with the pub situated in the heart of the historic town, serving up great food, real ales, and homemade cakes for a quick energy fix.
Whether it’s the figure-of-eight Winchcombe Way, famous Cotswold Way, or Gloucestershire Way – to name just a few of the trail options, avid explorers will be in their element, with the town offering accessing to routes for all ages and abilities.
Hailed as England’s oldest inn, The Porch House in Stow-on-the-Wold is home to beamed ceilings, cobbled stone floors, fireplace and rustic furnishings, offering the perfect pub experience, with traditional lunches sure to delight weary walkers.
From the charming Cotswold streets of Stow-on-the-Wold into the surrounding countryside, the area is full of short and longer walks, with points of interest including Stow Well and neighbouring hamlets, and the Gloucestershire Way accessible for longer rambles.
Nestled in the peaceful Cotswold village of Naunton, The Black Horse Inn welcomes walkers with open arms, catering to groups of 10 or more when pre-booked, with an enticing menu of main meals and sandwiches cooked-to-order.
Next to the River Windrush and in the heart of the countryside, Naunton is located along the Warden’s Way, which can lead walkers to beauty spots including Guiting Power and Upper Slaughter, in addition to creating a lengthy circular route covering the Windrush Way.
A 15th century Cotswold stone inn, The Catherine Wheel boasts a glorious setting in Bibury, offering the perfect base for exploring the area, with its traditional setting and delicious food sure to delight visitors.
Along with numerous gentle walks around ‘the most beautiful village in England’, soaking up sights of its famous Arlington Row and the River Coln, more active walkers can also wander beyond the centre, exploring nearby woodlands, copses, valleys, and streams.
Located on Cleeve Hill, The Rising Sun is famous across the county for its breathtaking views of Cheltenham and beyond, with walkers able to soak up the sights while relaxing in its spacious beer garden, or inside the traditional pub.
Aside from its countryside views, the pub is conveniently located next to the Cotswold Way. And with Cleeve Hill marking the highest point along the entire trail, The Rising Sun is sure to provide a welcome relaxation point after the steep climb.
Located at the foot of Stinchcombe Hill in the market town of Dursley, The Old Spot Inn offers a traditional setting, with its pretty beer garden and cosy interiors sure to be a hit with pub seekers. Hailed to be ‘highly recommended’ by Cotswold Way guides, the venue also promises to help wayward walkers.
With Dursley situated on the Cotswold Way, it’s a central spot for walkers, while the area also has a number of alternative routes for exploring the rolling countryside and neighbouring villages, which include Uley and Cam.
Nestled in Cotswolds’ ‘Little Venice’, Bourton-on-the-Water, The Mousetrap Inn is a traditional, family-run establishment set inside a quaint Cotswold stone building, with its well-stocked bar boasting a great selection of refreshing tipples.
With a number of walks passing through the village, including the Heart of England Way, the Oxfordshire Way, Warden’s Way, and Windrush Way, walkers can head off on lengthy explorations. Meanwhile the natural beauty of the town and its surroundings make for pleasant short strolls too.
Located in the ‘gateway to the Cotswolds’, 17th-century inn The Angel at Burford boasts a brilliant location for exploring the local area – and as a children and dog-friendly venue it provides a perfect rest point for family walks with four-legged friends in tow.
With a number of National Trail paths surrounding the classic Cotswold town, picturesque paths along the River Windrush, green meadows, country lanes, and plenty more to see along the way, the walks promises a real countryside experience.
Located in Gloucestershire’s most northern village, The Kings Arms in Mickleton offers a relaxed and informal environment for walkers to retreat to, with cosy, classic pub interiors, and an enticing lunch menu guaranteed to satisfy hungry visitors.
Aside from its proximity to the glorious gardens at Kiftsgate and Hidcote, Mickleton is situated on the Heart of England Way, which leads onwards to iconic Cotswold hot spots such as Chipping Campden and Bourton-on-the-Water, with plenty of natural sights to soak up along the way.
Offering a warm and welcoming atmosphere, The Yew Tree in Conderton is a cosy pub with a great selection of beers and real ales, while its classic British menu ranges from hearty mains to lighter bites – giving hungry walkers plenty of choice.
One of the parishes surrounding Bredon Hill, Conderton is in a prime location for avid ramblers, offering access to the pleasant hill walk and a plethora of footpaths to explore. Meanwhile the views from atop Bredon Hill are sure to make the climb worthwhile, along with plenty of glorious sights along the way.
A traditional pub situated in the Cotswold village of Charlbury, The Rose and Crown specialises in serving real ale, along with a range of alternative tipples – making it a haven for walkers seeking relaxation and refreshment.
Meanwhile Charlbury, a charming village nestled in the Evenlode Valley, offers the ideal base for countryside walks, within close proximity to the ancient Wychwood Forest, and a number of scenic routes around the area, including the Oxfordshire Way.
A historic inn in the centre of Slad, The Woolpack Inn boasts glorious views across the Slad Valley, with its unspoilt, traditional setting promising a pleasant visit, while its local real ales and seasonal dishes are sure to go down a treat.
Immortalised in Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie, Slad Valley provides a breathtaking backdrop for countryside walks, with routes throughout the area bringing to life the author’s wonderful writing, while offering historic and natural sights, including Laurie Lee’s grave and childhood home.
By Kathryn Godfrey
Friday 07 December 2018
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