Any cyclist or walker or paddler worth their salt will tell you that a slice of cake or a nice cold pint is crucial to the perfect active afternoon. On our tours we have worked hard to find (and personally test, it’s a hard life!) the best pubs in the Cotswolds so that our guests always break up their journeys with delicious food in wonderful settings, or finish their days of adventure and activity with a wonderful home-cooked pub meal. Here are our top favourite spots, and how to get to them by bike, on foot or by SUP!
Top 5 Cotswolds Pubs:
- The Ebrington Arms
- The Plough at Kelmscott
- The Swan at Swinbrook
- The Fox, in the Barringtons
- The Bakers Arms, in Summerford Keynes
This family run pub and beer garden, locally known as Yubberton, sits perched and overlooking the North Cotswolds Hills, not far from Chipping Campden, and has their very own craft beer brewery – Yubberton Brewing Co. Voted the UK’s Number 1 village pub in the Times it is hard to beat! We cycle here on a beautiful loop of the North Cotswolds which takes us through Broadway and Past Broadway Tower, through pretty little villages and quiet country lanes. Alternatively, our walking guests often walk here through fields and footpaths, after spending the afternoon looking around the stunning Hidcote Gardens (only 3 miles away).
This proper country pub sits on the quiet Thames riverside and is an ideal spot for those wishing a paddling-pub adventure. Wind your way along the lazy river before lifting your craft onto the banks and strolling the short distance to the Plough for a well-earned lunch! In the heart of the countryside, served by the local Hook Norton brewery, and next to the home of the Arts and Crafts movement founder, there is something for everyone to enjoy when we visit on our Multi Activity Cotswold Tours.
The Swan at Swinbrook. In idyllic settings, The Swan sits on the river Windrush and is perfect walkers’ and cyclists’ paradise. Sip a gin and tonic or a local ale on the benches outside, or enjoy the cosy atmosphere indoors and try out their great seasonal menu. Only 1.5 miles outside of the pretty market town of Burford, we often walk the along the riverside and through the meadows into town on our Cotswolds Walking Tours. A fun fact about The Swan… the infamous Mitford sisters grew up in the very building that is now the pub!
To the other side of Burford, along the very same river, is a great little pub called the Fox. Many use this as their base from which to explore the Cotswolds! Great for a cycle ride through the hills that encompasses Bourton on the Water, the Wildlife Park, The Slaughters and more! After a day in the saddle, on our Cotswolds Cycling Tours, rest your feet and in this glorious pub, busy and bustling with locals and explorers alike.
In amongst the Cotswold Water Park lakes lies this great village pub. We like to take our guests on an evening stroll here, after a day on the lakes, swimming, Stand UP Paddle Boarding, kayaking and more! After every adventure should come a home cooked meal, a great atmosphere and some heart warming drinks. Serving all the greats of a British menu, it is a wonderful place to relax at the end of a day outdoors on our Multi-Activity Cotswolds Tours.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Classic Cotswolds Cycling – 6 Day Self-Guided. Encompassing the whole of the Cotswolds, its greatest pubs, and most iconic sites! Immerse yourself in the history and heritage here, the local cuisine, incredible ales, and a wonderful week of cycling.
Cotswold Towns and Villages Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided. Return to nature by hiking through the Cotswolds on a hassle-free tour that takes in the prettiest golden-stoned villages, along with the best gastro-pubs, locally sourced ingredients and welcoming atmospheres.
Cotswolds Multi Activity Adventure Long Weekend. Embrace your weekend and get stuck into some great activities. With morning swims, paddling, cycling, hiking. Proper pub lunches, firepit dinners, a free beer and wine fridge and a great group around you! We can guarantee you’ll go home with a glow!
Head over to our Instagram for some more great country pub ideas, cycling, walking and paddling inspiration in the Cotswolds and throughout England.