PUB CRAWL THE COTSWOLDS
Sure, you could tick off the gazillion boutique stores and eat a degrading amount of cream teas. But a Cotswolds pub is a special thing. All that wood (the beams, get your mind out the gutter), local brews, and riverside beer gardens.
This is a pub crawl so overnight stops are obligatory, which is why our picks all have rooms for you to stumble to at closing. This route factors in four stops but feel free to extend or knock some stops off if you’re strapped for time.
Here’s how to pub crawl your way round The Cotswolds…
Cirencester, United Kingdom
The Stump is the master of the undersell. A transformed old 17th century coaching inn, it has all the best things in life - a cosy bar with three open fires, a pool table, sunny garden and a wood fired pizza oven. The childhood friends who run the open kitchen say they are 'obsessive about pizza and pasta' (our kinda place) but there's also a burger night on a Tuesday and they serve up rotisserie chicken on Sundays. There's cocktails (try the aged negroni) and craft beer to wash it all down and a great selection of local gin.
There are just ten cosy and comfortable en-suite rooms (detached from the pub so you don't need to worry about noise), complete with Nespresso coffee machines.
The Lamb Inn
Burford, United Kingdom
Another day another pub. The Lamb Inn is one of Burford’s best boozers. It’s a handsome 15th century inn with a traditional English bar and raved about restaurant (don't leave without sampling the afternoon tea). The leafy hidden garden is a highlight - try and grab a spot on the benches. Dogs are also welcome.
There are 17 individually-designed bedrooms of all shapes and sizes and a collection of sitting rooms (think grandfather clocks, stone fireplaces and snoozy armchairs).
Chester House Hotel
Bourton on the Water, United Kingdom
Entering this honey-coloured building in the centre of Bourton-on-the-Water (aka the Little Venice of the Cotswolds), feels like entering a relaxing family home. Chester House Hotel understands you. Grab a spot on one of the cushiony leather sofas and work your way through the menu of local craft lagers, ales, ciders and spirits - most are from the nearby Cotswold Distillery. Save the Cornish rum for dinner at the Italian restaurant, L'Anatra. The ingredients are locally sourced and the menu seasonal.
The rooms are gloriously indulgent (choose one of the ten in the coach house if you're a light sleeper) with flat-screen TVs and coffee machines. Don't miss the endless breakfast spread.
The Fish Hotel
Broadway, United Kingdom
The Fish Hotel is sitting pretty on a 400-acre estate. The wraparound dining room makes the best of the beaut views while the bar centres around an impressive 360 degree fireplace. The modern decor is a nice change of pace once you've had your fill of the traditional cosy pubs. The restaurant here specialises in fish - the crab fritters with guacamole sliders go perfectly with a Cotswolds-brewed beer.
There's 63 stylish rooms but shun the suites in favour of one of the majestic treehouses - they have 2 heated outdoor bathtubs on the private decks. There's also a farmhouse, outhouse, and stables on the grounds - so you can live out all your Hunter welly, Barbour jacket fantasies.