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15 beautiful riverside pubs to visit in the Cotswolds

PUBLISHED: 14:42 12 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:42 12 July 2017

Picture supplied by 'Old Swan and Minster Mill'.

Picture supplied by 'Old Swan and Minster Mill'.

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There can’t be many better places to enjoy dinner and drinks than in a stunning riverside setting in the Cotswold countryside. From a position on the banks of the River Thames to the River Churn, here are some of the best riverside pubs that the region has to offer…

1. The Riverside, Lechlade

Set in one of the most picturesque sites along the River Thames, the Riverside is an ideal pub for settling down with a beer on a warm summer’s evening. Find a spot in the beer garden located right on the river bank, and enjoy spectacular views of the historic Ha’penny Bridge before staying overnight in one of the many comfortable rooms. Enjoy food from the extensive menu in either the inside dining area or out on the patio, with a BBQ available during the summer months. The Riverside is also ideally located, with easy access to nearby attractions and towns such as Swindon and Cirencester.

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2. The Inn at Fossebridge, Cirencester

With its rolling gardens reaching down to the banks of the River Coln, the Inn at Fossebridge will offer you an idyllic retreat from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you will not be disappointed with the spectacular location of this quintessential Cotswold pub. The menu offering home-cooked food is enough to get mouths watering, and you can enjoy it in the four acres of land that this pub is home to. There is even a breakfast menu on offer which guests can enjoy from the scenic Garden Room; surely the perfect start to any day!

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3. The Fox Inn, Great Barrington

For a traditional riverside pub, The Fox Inn ticks all the boxes. Its spectacular location, nestled next to the banks of the River Windrush, provides the perfect setting for enjoying the locally sourced cuisine and the views across to the ancient meadow make this a place that you won’t want to leave. The menu includes a special fish of the day, and an Asian twist to many of the dishes making this pub that little bit different. Kick back and relax in the picturesque beer garden, before heading off to explore the pretty village of Bibury.

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4. Duke of Wellington, Bourton-on-the-Water

The Duke of Wellington could not be set in a better location, as it lies right in the heart of the must-visit village, Bourton-on-the-Water. Choose from an extensive menu brimming with freshly prepared meals, including plenty of gluten free dishes, sat in the garden next to the tranquil babble of the River Windrush. There is also a fantastic children’s menu, and on Sundays you can indulge with a full carvery. In its pretty setting surrounded by water, it is easy to see why Bourton is fondly referred to as ‘The Venice of the Cotswolds’!

5. Swan Hotel, Bibury

Located on the stunning banks of the River Coln, this former Cotswold coaching inn offers the perfect spot for enjoying traditional pub food in glorious surroundings. The Swan Hotel’s menus are seasonal; offering a plethora of tasty fare from Bibury trout caught in the local river to pork belly. For a quintessentially English experience, you can even have a spot of afternoon tea on the banks of the river, before spending the night in one of the luxurious rooms.

6. The Red Lion, Wainlode

A popular stop off point since the mid 1800s, The Red Lion is steeped in history. With its location on one of the most beautiful stretches of the River Severn and with a menu boasting a selection of locally reared meats, this pub is the perfect venue for enjoying a leisurely lunch. Sit outside and admire beautiful views out across the river, or find a seat inside next to the log burning fire, where you can curl up and watch the world go by.

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7. The Trout at Tadpole Bridge, Faringdon

In keeping with its name, The Trout Inn makes the most of its riverside location through its menu offering a fantastic selection of locally sourced fish alongside seasonal game. Take in the spectacular views whilst sampling the fish of the day, before settling down for the night in one of their cosy rooms. With the River Thames flowing by just outside the front door, there’s even the choice to arrive by boat and moor up outside! Be sure to explore the local area whilst you’re there, with attractions such as Blenheim Palace close by.

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8. The Swan Inn, Swinbrook

If you’re seeking a traditional Cotswold Pub in a stunning setting, look no further than the Swan Inn. Enjoy a pint of local beer or lager from the Cotswold Brewing Company on the scenic banks of the River Windrush, before heading off to pay a visit to the nearby Burford. The local theme continues into the restaurant with the beef being sourced from the University Farm in Bledington, whilst the pork, lamb and poultry also come from the area. Complete your visit with a stay in the pub’s picture-perfect Riverside Cottage, with views that won’t disappoint.

9. The Bathurst Arms, North Cerney

Positioned on the beautiful banks of the River Churn and just a few miles north of Cirencester, The Bathurst Arms is a fantastic place to spend a sunny day. Try the slow roasted lamb sat in the pretty beer gardens as the river meanders past, creating an atmosphere of calm and relaxation. Afterwards, embark on one of the many scenic local walks from which you can admire views of historic sites such as the 12th century All Saints Church and the spectacular Rendcomb College. You can then choose to stay in one of the pub’s spacious rooms which look out over the gardens - the perfect end to a glorious day in the Cotswolds.

10. The Egypt Mill Hotel and Restaurant, Nailsworth

A sympathetically restored 16th century corn mill, the Egypt Mill Hotel and Restaurant offers guests a wonderful dining experience in the beautiful Cotswold village of Nailsworth. With its positioning on the banks of the River Frome and its setting against stunning countryside, you will struggle to find a better place to spend a summer’s day. The tranquil gardens backing on to the water create a space for relaxation, and the eccentric-styled restaurant has a menu offering all the classic favourites including a ballotine of chicken and a whole rack of ribs. If you can’t bear to tear yourself away, stay in one of the 32 individually designed bedrooms that are on offer.

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11. The Boat Inn, Ashleworth

Sit on the riverside terrace and sample one of The Boat Inn’s ten real ales or twenty real ciders, and bring your four-legged friend along too since this pub prides itself on being dog friendly. With its positioning on the west bank of the River Severn, you can enjoy idyllic views in a pretty rural setting. Even better, the pub has recently started serving traditional basket meals, including burgers with locally sourced beef, with the menu continuing to grow.

12. The Fleet Inn, Twyning

Situated 2 miles north of Tewkesbury, The Fleet Inn is set amongst beautiful open space on the banks of the River Avon. Enjoy spectacular views from expansive gardens reaching down to the river, with plenty of places to sit and enjoy a summer’s evening with a pint. The renowned chef’s specials are sure to satisfy hungry visitors, and the menu is wide ranging, from wild boar, apple and sage sausages to Thai beef salad. The bar is well-stocked with locally brewed Wadworth beers, and the interior is stylishly decorated to give a modern twist on a traditional design.

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13. The Severn Bore Inn, Minsterworth

As its name suggests, the Severn Bore Inn is set on the banks of the famous Severn Bore, a tidal area which is formed when surging waters force their way upstream. As a result, fantastic spectacles are created at certain points during the year, which can be enjoyed from the gardens of this nearby pub. Stand on the river banks and watch the waves come crashing in, and you might be forgiven for thinking you’re on a beach in Hawaii (albeit a cold one!)! The menu offers a fantastic range of traditional pub-grub, such as Hunter’s Chicken and their special Surfer’s Breakfast.

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14. The Old Boathouse, South Cerney

It may not technically be by a river, but for stunning water-side views The Old Boathouse will not disappoint. Located at the beautiful Cotswold Water Park, this is a pub that will provide you with a spectacular dining experience. Enjoy a memorable evening sat on the decking with a glass of Prosecco whilst looking over the lakes and countryside that surround you. The menu is also enough to get stomachs rumbling, offering a 21 day dry aged steak and a superfood salad, and on Sundays, delicious roast dinners with all the trimmings are served.

15. Old Swan and Minster Mill, Minster Lovell

Although it is located just 15 miles from Oxford, this idyllic retreat will make it feel as though you are worlds away from the busy city. The Old Swan and Minster Mill is set in a luscious 65 acres of its own grounds, with the River Windrush flowing through the meadows and woodland areas. The buildings feature an old English mill which makes for a quintessential rural setting while the sympathetically decorated interior gives a modern twist on the historical charm. The Old Swan pub and restaurant serves seasonal but simple food, including a classic afternoon tea which can be enjoyed in the beautiful grounds as the river ripples past.

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