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The best pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water

The best pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water

The riverside village of Bourton-on-the-Water is one of the most popular places to visit in the Cotswolds. And as well as attractions like the Model Village and Motor Museum, it’s also got some great traditional pubs. Whether you’re looking for a summer beer garden or winter log fire, real ale or refreshing G&T, locally sourced gourmet lunch or big plate of sausage and mash, you’ll find a pub to suit you in our round up of the best pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water.

The River Windrush in Bourton-on-the-Water
The River Windrush in Bourton-on-the-Water

5 of the best pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water

The Mousetrap Inn

Located in Lansdown on the edge of Bourton, the Mousetrap Inn is a traditional Cotswold stone inn which was built in the early 19th century and has been refurbished to be a light and bright space, with exposed brick walls, an open fire and colourful local artworks.

Being out of the centre of the village means it’s a bit quieter than our other pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water, with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and a mix of locals and tourists. The Mousetrap Inn is a free house, with three pumps serving a rotating mix of ales and lagers from local breweries – and it’s been included in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide every year for the last nine year.

It’s also a great place to come for food, with high-end cookery using local, seasonally sourced and sustainable ingredients that sets it above average pub grub. The menu is fairly small but well thought out and inventive, with dishes like Cotswold lamb rump with Pommes Anna and miso-glazed cauliflower – and includes a few vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

The Mousetrap Inn, one of the best pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water
The Mousetrap Inn

Food is available from Wednesday to Sunday, and it’s a good idea to book in advance, especially for Sunday lunch. You can also stay overnight* in one of the inn’s 11 ensuite bedrooms – three of which on the ground floor are dog-friendly, as is the pub, with treats behind the bar for well-behaved canine visitors. There are a few tables outside too (though they are by the road).

If you’re looking for a gastropub experience with a friendly welcome in Bourton then the Mousetrap Inn is a great option. But what about the name? Well no-one’s really sure where it came from, but there’s a rumour that Mousetrap author Agatha Christie once popped in.

Address: Lansdown, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2AR

Sunday lunch at the Mousetrap Inn, Bourton
Sunday lunch at the Mousetrap

The Old New Inn

After being taken over by new owners, the refurbishment of The Old New Inn was finished this spring when the new Tap Room bar and restaurant opened. The original stone walls of this 1712 coaching inn have been exposed, with new leather benches and William Morris fabrics.

The spacious bar serves Hook Norton ales, lagers, ciders and wine. Food is available from Wednesday to Sunday, with a diverse mix of options to suit everyone – lunchtime sharing planks, smaller tapas dishes, a selection of salads and main meals like chicken Milanese and mushroom and truffle risotto, as well as Sunday lunches with all the trimmings.

The Old New Inn in Bourton-on-the-Water
The Old New Inn

As well as plenty of space inside, the Old New Inn also has a big beer garden outside (which is non-smoking throughout) with picnic benches on the grass, and a herb garden which supplies the kitchen. The inn has nine en-suite bedrooms*, including the smart Cotswold Suite which comes with a super king-sized four-poster bed, separate seating area and slipper bath.

The Old New Inn is also home to Bourton’s famous Model Village – a one-ninth scale replica of the village in miniature. And guests staying at the inn get entry to the village in the mornings before it opens to the public. Having the model village, a car park, plenty of space and being family- and dog-friendly makes the Old New Inn one of our top Bourton pub picks.

Address: Rissington Road, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2AF

The Tap Room at the Old New Inn
The Tap Room at the Old New Inn

The Duke of Wellington

The Duke of Wellington is a traditional Cotswold pub that dates from the Elizabethan era, which combines oak beams and honey-coloured stone walls with a recently refurbished, simple but stylish décor. There’s also a lovely hidden space out the back – a beer garden on the edge of the River Windrush where you can sit and listen to the water flowing by.

The Duke has a friendly, hospitable atmosphere, with dogs and children welcome, and is perfect for a casual meal. Freshly prepared food is available from 12pm–9pm daily. The menu is made up of traditional pub food with a few more unusual options – like teriyaki beef and Thai cauliflower and spinach curry. There are also burgers, baguettes and sharing platters.

The Duke of Wellington, one of the best pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water
The Duke of Wellington

And if you can never choose which meat to have for Sunday lunch, you might want to try their Sunday carvery lunch, which has three different meats as well as Yorkshires, potatoes and seasonal veg. There’s also a kids menu and lighter plates if you’re not too hungry.

The Duke of Wellington has weekly special offer nights, like Monday burger night and fish and fizz on Fridays. You can also stay overnight in one of their in double and twin en-suite bedrooms*. If you’re looking for a amiable, relaxed pub in Bourton it’s an ideal choice.

Address: Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2BY

Real ales at the Duke of Wellington pub in Bourton
The Duke of Wellington

The Old Manse

The Old Manse has one of the best locations in Bourton-on-the-Water, in a 18th-century stone building alongside the River Windrush, right next to the historic Mill Bridge and Motor Museum. And there’s a big terrace in front of the pub to make the most of the scenic views.

Grab a drink and people watch on a sunny day, or stay warm under the patio heaters into the evening. The Old Manse is run by Greene King pubs so serves their Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen beers. There’s also a selection of wines and gins, plus mocktails for non-drinkers.

The Old Manse pub by the River Windrush in Bourton-on-the-Water
The Old Manse by the river

Food is served from 11am–9pm every day and the menu focuses on classic pub meals like beef and ale pie, cod and chips, and chicken in a basket, as well as a few fancier options like slow-cooked lamb shoulder and sea bass and scallop risotto. You can also have brunch on Saturdays and Sundays until noon, and there are separate gluten-free and kid’s menus.

The hotel has 15 bedrooms*, which are fairly simple but comfortable, and you can bring your dog. The bar and restaurant are cosy and welcoming, with a log fire in winter, but it’s summer in the beer garden that makes the Old Manse one of the best pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water.

Address: Victoria Street, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2BX

Restaurant at the Old Manse Hotel
The restaurant (photo © Greene King Hotels)

The Kingsbridge Inn

The last of our Bourton-on-the-Water pubs, The Kingsbridge Inn is another pub which has a fantastic riverside location, right in the village centre. Though beware that its prime spot can mean it can get very busy, especially in summer, and service can be a bit slow.

The Kingsbridge is run by Marston’s and serves their Hobgoblin ales as well as a decent range of wines and spirits. There’s a beer garden and tables out front, and a fire for chillier days. The pub is wheelchair accessible. It also welcomes dogs and has occasional pub quizzes.

The Kingsbridge Inn in Bourton-on-the-Water

Food is available from 12pm-8pm daily, with good-value, simple pub grub like hunter’s chicken, breaded scampi, mixed grills, burgers and pies. There are also gluten-free and kid’s menus and Sunday roasts. And look out for special offers like their steak Thursdays or curry Wednesdays.

Address: Riverside, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2BS

Inside the Bourton-on-the-Water
The Kingsbridge Inn

More great pubs near Bourton-on-the-Water

Not enough pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water for you? If you don’t mind travelling a bit further afield there are also some lovely Cotswold pubs in the surrounding towns and villages. Here’s our pick of a few more options near Bourton which are worth checking out.

The Slaughters Country Inn (2 miles)

The Slaughters Country Inn lies in the charming village of Lower Slaughter, with a beer garden next to the River Eye. This converted farmhouse is full of character, with a smart but unstuffy feel. They serve local ales and food is available all day, which includes sharing platters of meats, cheeses, breads and pickles, Sunday lunches and a fantastic afternoon tea.

Lower Slaughter is five minutes’ drive from Bourton – or a 1.3-mile walk each way. You can also visit on the 5.4-mile circular Bourton-on-the-Water to the Slaughters walk.

Address: Lower Slaughter, Cheltenham GL54 2HS

The Slaughters Country Inn in Lower Slaughter in the Cotswolds
The Slaughters Country Inn in Lower Slaughter

The Plough Inn, Cold Aston (2.5 miles)

Located in the tiny village of Cold Aston, the Plough Inn is run by locals with a welcoming, friendly feel. It dates back to the 17th century with historic flagstone, beams and fireplaces. There’s a good selection of real ales and craft beers, and freshly cooked food using local ingredients. The menu changes with the seasons and includes dishes cooked on their wood-fired grill.

Address: Chapel Lane, Cold Aston, Cheltenham GL54 3BN

The Plough Inn in Cold Aston in the Cotswolds
The Plough Inn in Cold Aston (photo © The Plough)

The Wheatsheaf Inn, Northleach (5 miles)

A historic, creeper-clad coaching inn in the picturesque market town of Northleach, the Wheatsheaf Inn is straight out of a Cotswolds postcard. This popular pub has recently been taken over by Young’s Brewery, who will hopefully maintain its reputation for simple but delicious cooking, its cosy bar, quirky contemporary design touches and sunny terrace garden.

The Wheatsheaf Inn in Northleach in the Cotswolds
The Wheatsheaf Inn in Northleach (photo © The Wheatsheaf)

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A guide to the best pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds – five traditional pubs with beer gardens, log fires and great food and drink | Best Bourton-on-the-Water pubs | Cotswold pubs | Bourton-on-the-Water dog-friendly pubs | Places to eat in Bourton-on-the-Water

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