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Best pubs in Stow-on-the-Wold

Posted: Thu, 16th Feb 2023
The Bell Inn pub in Stow-on-the-Wold

The pretty Cotswold town of Stow-on-the-Wold sits high on the ancient Fosse Way and has been a natural meeting point for hundreds of years. It therefore stands to reason that there are plenty of welcoming inns and hostelries waiting to receive a weary traveller. Whether you want gastro-pub dining, outside space for dogs, or to meet the local characters, there is a pub for you. Read on for our pick of the bunch when it comes to pubs in Stow-on-the-Wold.

The Bell at Stow

This charming pub is rustically pretty and atmospheric without veering into tweeness! Think old beams, flagstone floors and roaring log fires perfect for when it turns chilly. Call in for a refreshing ale or chilled G&T and dine from the seasonally influenced menu of British classics. Enjoy the full Stow-on-the-Wold experience by staying at stunning Stow House too.

The Porch House

If the walls had ears this inn could certainly tell you a tale or two. Crooked staircases, low-slung beams and open fires characterise this ancient pub which is one of the oldest in the land. If you’re looking for a tipple to tickle the tastebuds, then head for the bar. Hungry souls can dine in the cosy pub, the sunny conservatory or outside on the terrace. Make sure to treat yourself if you are staying at Teagles Cottage, a short walk away.

Kings Arms

Dating back more than 500 years this charming coaching inn is built from traditional Cotswold stone and is one of the most characterful pubs in Stow-on-the-Wold. Illustrious past visitors include Charles I as he travelled to the Battle of Naseby in 1645. The pub itself is warm and welcoming, local characters will tell tales over a pint or two and there is an excellent selection of real ales, beers, wines and spirits on offer. Diners can remain in the bar or enjoy a meal in the stylish restaurant.  

Queen’s Head

Sitting on the main square in the very heart of Stow-on-the-Wold, the Queen’s Head is a lovely old ‘proper’ pub which dates back to the 17th century. You’ll find good pub grub, plenty of old-world character and charm and some very amiable locals. It’s also a pooch-friendly pub so you can bring your four-legged friends along too.  

The Old Stocks

Whether you are searching for a kick-start coffee, a craft ale or a seasonally inspired menu of fabulous local produce, The Old Stocks Inn is a good starting point. The bar is relaxed and welcoming and the head barman is renowned as an excellent mixologist. The restaurant is open for dinner each evening and on Saturday and Sunday lunch times.

The Fox Inn, Broadwell

Whilst not strictly a pub in Stow-on-the-Wold, it’s less than two miles away and too lovely not to be included. The charming Fox at Broadwell is popular with locals and visitors, is family-friendly, and serves excellent food. There’s also a great range of real ales, ciders, spirits and wine and you can bring your favourite (well-behaved), four-legged friend, too. During the summer months, the pub has a large garden, which is a lovely spot to while away a few hours on a sunny afternoon. In the winter you can cosy up in front of the open fire. Eagle-eyed fans of the cult TV drama Father Brown will recognise the setting, for the Fox Inn has been used in several episodes. You can even stay at Poppy Cottage which is just around the corner.

The Golden Ball Inn

The Golden Ball Inn, in Lower Swell, is less than a mile and a half away and is a quintessentially classic, Cotswold village pub experience. As part of the local Donnington Brewery, there is always a local beer or two on tap. There is also a seasonal food menu, which takes full advantage of the excellent local produce. Hearty meals and no skimping on flavour or portion sizes are all trademarks of the Golden Ball, and it’s family and dog-friendly too. Why not stay at Pineapple Spa Cottage which is just a six-minute walk away!  

Read more: Best pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water

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