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16 festive Cotswold pubs with real fires

Posted: Tue, 12th Dec 2023
Dog in Cotswold pub

The festive season is upon us, so we thought we would share our favourite Cotswold pubs that offer delicious meals as well as a roaring log fire. Cosy up, settle down and cheers!

The Ebrington Arms

Location: Ebrington, near Chipping Campden

According to The Times, this is the UK’s #1 village pub. It would be hard to disagree as well. They’ve held 2 AA Rosettes for over a decade and picked up a few gongs along the way, including Sawday’s Best Pub For Food and The Good Pub Guide’s County Dining Pub of the Year. They are also certified three-stars from the Soil Association for organic produce on their menus.

If that seal of approval wasn’t enough to persuade you, the warming fire just might.

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The Wild Rabbit 

Location: Kingham

Described as a modern British inn, The Wild Rabbit is part of the famous Daylesford estate, one of the most sustainable organic farms in the UK. Those principles have guided The Wild Rabbit, with organic ingredients used in the kitchen and artisan beers at the restored bar. You can also see the original stone mullioned windows with beautiful chestnut panels beside the two fireplaces.

There are a few nods to classic pub grub, but above all the menu is inspired from the farm’s best seasonal produce.

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The Lion Inn 

Location: Winchcombe

With a restaurant, bar and cosy snug to choose from, you are not short of dining space in this beautiful Cotswold setting. Their menus constantly change, relying on local seasonal ingredients and bursting with delicious dishes. Even within the contemporary interior there is a roaring fire to keep you company – a true spirit of a lion!

Guests of Bolthole Retreats can enjoy a 10% discount on food at The Lion Inn too. See the Guest Login for all the details.

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The Boot at Barnsley House

Location: Barnsley, near Cirencester

A traditional country inn showcasing the best of local produce, accompanied by craft ales and fine wines. They are known for their soulful Sunday lunches, with butcher cuts from Paddock Farm which is just down the road from them. You can expect a warm welcome when you visit, and an even warmer fire as you settle in a cosy armchair and enjoy the atmospheric setting.

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The Royal Exchange 

Location: Hartpury, near Gloucester

Owned by a local farming family who have lived and worked in the area for over 90 years, you will quickly feel at home when you enter The Royal Exchange. Warm your feet after a long Cotswold walk by the lovely log burner and settle down for some delicious classic food such as steaks, burgers and sharing plates.

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The Lamb Inn 

Location: Great Rissington, near Bourton-on-the-Water

This dog-friendly pub is a cosy retreat, with many of man’s best friends curled up beside the fire. The restaurant is furnished in a comfortable country style for the daytime, before settling into a candlelit atmosphere for the evening. Enjoy their Sunday Roasts and burgers on Wednesdays, or simply sit down at the bar and enjoy a pint of one of their real ales. The staff and locals love to give tourists advice on where to go and what to see in the Cotswolds, so it’s an informative pit-stop for the start of your journey!

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The New Inn 

Location: Coln St Aldwyns, near Cirencester

It may be a sleepy 16th-century coaching inn, but The New Inn has been refurbished and redecorated in a gorgeous contemporary country manner. Enjoy the echo of your footsteps as you cross the wooden floorboards and settle down in front of the crackling fire. Earth tones are used throughout the pub, and the menu is committed to hearty fare which will warm your soul.

A brilliant local, and one you will quickly be returning to.

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Horse & Groom 

Location: Bourton-on-the-Hill

The blazing log fire is a welcome addition in winter, and after your winter walk dogs are welcome to relax in the main bar area while you rest your feet. Friendly service and a laid-back atmosphere are on offer at the Horse & Groom – fresh ingredients and minimal fuss is their motto. Enjoy the natural flavours which change with the seasons.

Guests of Bolthole Retreats receive a 10% discount on food at the Horse & Groom. Visit the Guest Login for more details.

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The Fleece Inn

Location: Bretforton

Owned by the National Trust, The Fleece Inn was originally built in the early 15th century and remains largely unchanged. It continues to serve local pub grub with a celebration of the locally grown asparagus in May and June. In the winter months you can expect to see more traditional English favourites such as slow-cooked Cotswold lamb shoulder, locally made faggots and dry-aged Longhorn beef and local ale pie.

With regular music nights as well, The Fleece Inn is the perfect pub for soul food and resting beside the fire.

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The Green Dragon Inn

Location: Cowley

Beamed ceilings, a roaring log fire and hand-crafted bars and furniture from the famous Robert Thompson (The ‘Mouse Man of Kilburn’) result in a one-of-a-kind pub.  Dating from the 17th century, The Green Dragon Inn has remained a popular retreat for those that appreciate good food, fine wine, real ales and warming fires. No matter your taste, there will be something here to savour.

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The Bell Inn 

Location: Langford, near Burford

The Bell Inn keeps it nice and simple. Simple food and a straightforward wine list ensures there will be no “umming” and “aahing” – no matter what you choose, you will be in for a treat. The focus is mostly on pizzas and steaks, and a modern country pub ambience. For something different, definitely enjoy the warming fire while tucking into one of the a la carte dishes such as smoked haddock and cod fish pie.

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The Bell 

Location: Stow-on-the-Wold

Picture a rustic yet stylish pub, and you have The Bell. Flagstone floors, low beams and a crackling fire create a magical escape from the cold seasons. Their daily specials change regularly, and they are known to suggest a Bloody Mary to go with your Sunday Roast – a firm favourite once tried!

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The Woolpack 

Location: Slad

Nestled in the Slad Valley, The Woolpack has been celebrated for its unique charm for more than 300 years. This tiny dog-friendly pub includes a fireside tavern, dining room and snug where you can enjoy real ales, craft beer, fine ciders and great food such as partridge, sage, pancetta, polenta and cavolo nero.

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The Angel

Location: Burford

Run by the King family since 2011, you will receive a warm welcome from both the owners and locals alike. They are the proud winners of Cotswold Pub of the Year three times in a row, but they have not let that go to their head. They are committed to remaining focussed on local, seasonal food, with incredible drinks to complement. In the summer you can enjoy the walled garden and terrace, and in the winter, you can settle down beside the fire in one of their many armchairs.

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Snowshill Arms 

Location: Snowshill, near Broadway

A 15th-century family-friendly pub that is complete with charm and character. Enjoy the outside play area, skittle alley and roaring log fire. There are a range of local Donnington ales, as well as wines and spirits, to satisfy any palate. Dogs are welcome, and the menus regularly change to fit with the seasons.

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The King’s Head Inn 

Location: Bledington, near Kingham

Situated on the edge of the village green, The King’s Head believes in wholesome and hearty food, using only the freshest ingredients from incredible, organic producers. They are known for their Aberdeen Angus Beef which is from Bledington itself, their fish which is delivered daily from Cornwall, and local venison and pheasant. Popular drinks include Hook Norton Best and wines from the Oxford Wine Company and Haynes Hanson Clarke.

Settle down in front of the fire and enjoy one of their delicious seasonal dishes, such as wild mushroom gnocchi with tarragon cream, truffle oil and Parmesan.

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We understand how important it is to have a local near to your holiday cottage – we’ve compiled some of our favourite Cotswold pubs which have received glowing reviews, are close to our cottages, and provide the perfect winter warmer.

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