The Best Affordable Places To Stay In The Cotswolds
Wild Thyme & Honey
Wild Thyme & Honey opened a couple of years ago in the quintessential Cotswolds village of Ampney Crucis, just outside Cirencester. The 16th-century pub was transformed with 24 bedrooms, several event spaces and The Crown at Ampney Brook, a new gastropub where diners can enjoy dishes made with local produce. The menu currently includes crispy duck and watermelon salad; braised pork belly with raclette potatoes, wild garlic purée, peas, bacon and spring greens; and corn-fed chicken with dauphinoise potatoes and asparagus. Sunday lunch brings hearty roasts with all the trimmings – think smoked duck-fat roast potatoes, confit carrots, homemade Yorkshire pudding and lashings of gravy. Guests can choose to stay in rooms with views of the beautiful Ampney Hills, riverside and waterside suites, or the luxury London Road apartment with its own private terrace.
From £170 per night.
The team behind one of our favourite boozers, The Chelsea Pig, recently opened a pub in Barnsley. At this traditional affair with all the charm you’d expect from a village pub, guests are welcomed with a roaring fire and a menu of elevated classics by chef John Jewell (of Calcot Manor fame). The all-day menu starts with dishes like cheese soufflé with Wiltshire truffle, and beef tartare with mustard sauce and game chips; while main courses include venison pie with smoked mash, Gloucestershire pork chop served with Hawkestone cider sauce and celeriac slaw, and a signature beef wellington with mash, portobello mushrooms and seasonal greens. Desserts include hot chocolate and amaretto pudding with salted caramel ice cream, and pear and berry crumble. Overnighters can book one of six cosy bedrooms above the pub, featuring boutique interiors and en-suites with rolltop baths.
From £175 per night.
Double Red Duke
Double Red Duke is a modern gastropub in the Oxfordshire part of the Cotswolds – but its rooms rival that of any hotel on this list. Ideal for a foodie staycation, guests can stay in one of six spacious rooms above the restaurant; expect bold patterned wallpaper, plush headboards and cosy lighting, while some even have freestanding baths. Food is at the heart of each stay, as guests are treated to the best local produce for breakfast and all-day dining. There’s also a fantastic Sunday lunch menu; roast dinners with all the trimmings are served by a roaring fire in the main dining room, before generous desserts arrive with lashings of custard or homemade ice-cream. Guests can also book treatments in the shepherd’s hut using 100 Acres products.
Rooms from £180 per night.
No 38 The Park Hotel
For something a little more urban, this Georgian townhouse in the centre of Cheltenham could be just the ticket. Each of its 13 bedrooms is individually decorated with quirky yet chic interiors – expect parquet flooring, king-sized beds lined with Egyptian cotton sheets, bright rolltop baths, and artwork by the likes of David Hockney and Peter Black. Guests can enjoy elevated crowd-pleasing classics at its restaurant, as well as a continental buffet spread in the morning. There’s a well-stocked bar filled with local spirits and interesting mixers, while sister restaurants No 131 and The Tavern are within walking distance.
From £110 per night.
This historic hotel in Cirencester dates back to Elizabethan times. Today, it’s surrounded by boutiques and the Corn Hall market in the centre of Cirencester. Rooms are individually designed to show off the Georgian, Tudor and medieval elements of the building; some have bare beams or exposed, centuries-old brickwork. Book Room 103 for a copper bath on a wooden floor next to the bed. Guests can also relax at the Elemis spa, where treatments include couple’s massages and full-body scrubs, or enjoy classic British dishes at the restaurant, which is open on Friday and Saturday for dinner and for hearty Sunday lunches. The Bathurst estate is only five minutes away if you fancy a walk.
From £113 per night.
The Wheatsheaf Inn
This old coaching inn is on the edge of Northleach, a pretty market town in Gloucestershire. Bedrooms are elegant yet full of character, with exposed brickwork and original beams. There are three options to choose from – Cosy, Very Good and Excellent – all featuring luxurious touches from rolltop baths to scenic garden views. While there are plenty of Cotswold eateries to choose from nearby, The Wheatsheaf’s restaurant is a destination in its own right. Guests can choose from classic pub-style comfort food, as well as hearty Sunday lunches, and wood-fired pizza which are served in the wildflower garden during the warmer months.
From £150 per night.
The Rectory Hotel
This small hotel between Malmesbury and Cirencester is surrounded by beautiful walled gardens. It’s one of the few properties on this list with a heated outdoor pool. Inside, there are 18 rooms perfect for a romantic getaway, each with characterful touches and simple décor. Large sash windows bring the outdoors in, while rolltop baths are the perfect place for a soak after a day exploring the surrounding area. As an added luxury, there are corridor-based honesty bars that guests can help themselves to morning, noon and night, as well as room service. Dogs aren’t left out either, with plenty of treats available. While four-legged friends aren’t permitted in the smart orangery-style restaurant, they are allowed to relax in the drawing room, bar and neighbouring Potting Shed pub.
From £150 per night.
Regular SL readers will know how highly we rate Artist Residence’s affordable boutique hotels – and that includes its Oxfordshire outpost, which is housed in a former 16th century inn. There are five spacious and luxurious rooms, as well as three suites and a beautifully converted shepherd's hut. Five of the nine rooms welcome dogs, with treats including a comfy bed, food bowls and organic nibbles. Guests can relax in the clubhouse with its open fire or pull up a chair in the terraced garden. The hotel’s traditional country pub, The Mason Arms, also has space for dogs. With a warm and welcoming atmosphere, it serves up everything from cooked breakfasts to late-night cocktails.
From £125 per night.
The George Inn
This pretty pub is in Barford St Michael, a traditional Cotswold village full of dark honey-coloured cottages along the river Swere. The George Inn is a thatched pub with flagstone floors, wooden beams and plenty of local ales on tap. After a two-year renovation, there are now nine individually designed bedrooms with comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms with underfloor heating and 100 Acres toiletries. The three rooms above the main pub are more traditional, with original beams and rolltop baths, while six garden rooms are dog friendly with direct access to the terrace and garden. Italian chef Valerio Grimaldi-Plant has created a menu to showcase local produce and suppliers with dishes like roast chicken terrine, globe artichoke tart, curried cauliflower soup and 28-day aged steak with beef-dripping chips, as well as puddings such as orange baba and dark chocolate bombe. There’s an extensive 100-bottle wine list, plus a separate Wine Room with a chef’s table and space for six people. Broughton Castle and Blenheim Palace are short drives away.
From £110 per night.
3 The Square
If you’re planning a family staycation or group trip, Sand & Stone Escapes has a great selection of properties across the Cotswolds. One of our favourites is this two-bedroom 17th-century cottage in Upper Slaughter, a quaint village surrounded by green valleys. The hub of the cottage is the light and bright kitchen/diner which leads onto a living room with a plush velvet sofa and indoor wood burner. Upstairs, there are two cosy bedrooms and a family bathroom, while a spacious courtyard for al fresco dining awaits outdoors. The property is also dog friendly, so bring your pet for long walks along the River Eye.
From £178 per night.
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