Bourton on the Water is one of the most picturesque villages in the Cotswolds. With quaint, stone cottages and the gorgeous River Windrush running through, it could easily pass as being straight off a postcard from days of old. In this article, you’ll discover some of the best pubs in Bourton on the Water to help you enjoy your stay.
Table of Contents
- Best Pubs in Bourton on the Water
- 1. The Mousetrap Inn: Top Pub in Bourton on the Water Overall
- 2. The Duke of Wellington
- 3. The Willow
- 4. The Kingsbridge Inn
- 5. Old Manse Hotel
- 6. The Old New Inn
- 7. The Hawkstone Arms
- 8. The Wheatsheaf Inn
- 9. The Slaughters Country Inn
- 10. The Plough Inn at Ford
- Bourton on the Water Pubs: FAQs
- Final Thoughts
I have friends living in the Cotswolds and have been visiting the region for years. Bourton (on the Water) is one of my favorite places for a pint and there’s no shortage of excellent pubs and inns, most of which date back hundreds of years. Many of the village pubs overlook the river and offer plenty of outside seating to enjoy the views.
Below, you’ll find the cream of the crop of Bourton pubs with places to enjoy a cold pint on the river in summer or a cozy place to hide away from a chilly winter’s evening. One thing’s for sure, you won’t go thirsty (or hungry) on a trip to this gorgeous Cotswold village.
Best Pubs in Bourton on the Water
Quick Look – Best Pubs in Bourton on the Water
- Top Choice Overall: The Mousetrap Inn
- Best Historic Pub: The Old New Inn
- Cheapest Pint of Beer: Duke of Wellington
- Fun Atmosphere: The Kingsbridge Inn
- Nicest Views: Old Manse Hotel
After drinking my way around Bourton on the Water over the years, I’ve compiled this list of my favorite pubs in the village based on the atmosphere, quality of the food and drinks, service, my personal opinion, and customer reviews (so that it’s not solely based on my own experiences).
This list has been narrowed to my top 10 based on those criteria.
1. The Mousetrap Inn: Top Pub in Bourton on the Water Overall
The Mousetrap Inn is a traditional 19th Century country inn (pub) that also offers rooms. This gorgeous Cotswold-brick building is right on the main street and is just a few steps away from the River Windrush that passes through the village.
The bar has an excellent selection of beers, wines, and ciders, and the restaurant serves up some of the best food in the village.
This is definitely my favorite place to eat and drink in the Cotswolds and is one of the best pubs in Bourton on the Water (if not the best). It’s rumored that the writer Agatha Christie was a guest here; which ties in with the murder-mystery play she wrote of the same name.
The Mousetrap Inn Information
Address: Lansdowne, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2AR
Phone: +44 (0)1451 820579
Operating Hours: 5 pm-11 pm, Mon-Tue, 12 pm-11 pm, Wed-Sat, 12 pm-6 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Cotswold Brewery beers, pan-fried seabass, beer-battered haddock and chips
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £17-£28 per main
2. The Duke of Wellington
The Duke of Wellington is an excellent pub just a stone’s throw from the river and is one of the cheapest pubs in Bourton on the Water. With pints from £4 and hearty mains from just £10, it’s a great place for a pint and a bite to eat; you’ll be hard-pushed to find anywhere cheaper in the village.
This cozy, family-run pub is also a superb place for a classic roast dinner and there’s a carvery every Sunday from 12 pm to 4 pm. Keep an eye out for other promotions such as Burger Night (Mondays), Steak Night (Wednesdays), and Fish and Fizz (Fridays). The Duke of Wellington also plays live sporting events.
The Duke of Wellington Information
Address: 1 Sherborne Street, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BY
Phone: +44 (0)1451 820539
Operating Hours: 11 am-11 pm, Mon-Sat, 12 pm-10:30 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Wells Bombardier, Sunday carvery, Thai green cauliflower and spinach curry
Average Cost: £4 per pint, £6 per cocktail, £10-£14 per main
3. The Willow
The Willow is one of the coziest pubs in Bourton on the Water with a log burner to warm up with on cold, winter evenings and a pleasant patio outside that overlooks the river, complete with the weeping willows that give the pub its name, for warmer summer days.
The pub has an excellent menu and serves lunches, main meals, afternoon tea, and Sunday roasts. You’ll find a mixture of pub classics like fish and chips, steak, and Fuller’s London Pride pie (a real winner) alongside more imaginative dishes such as English pea ravioli and baked Bibury trout.
The Willow Information
Address: High Street, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2AP
Phone: +44 (0)1451 798505
Operating Hours: 11 am-11 pm, Mon-Sat, 12 pm-10:30 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Fuller’s London Pride steak and ale pie, fish and chips
Average Cost: £4-£6 per pint, £8 per cocktail, £16-£24 per main
4. The Kingsbridge Inn
This charming Cotswold-stone-built pub sits right on the riverside and has a beautifully decked beer garden to enjoy the picturesque surroundings with the perfect pint. This is one of the most lively Bourton on the Water pubs thanks to the weekly quiz nights, poker, and other entertainment on offer.
The Kingsbridge has lots of special deals throughout the week such as a meal and pint for just £11.50, three shots for £9.50, and double on spirits for an extra £1.75. You’ll find a menu of classic pub meals from burgers (try the Ultimate Spicy Beef Burger) to fish and chips and grills.
This is one of my favorite places in Bourton on the Water to have a few drinks in the evening, and friends and I will often have a crack at the pub quiz.
The Kingsbridge Inn Information
Address: Riverside, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BS
Phone: +44 (0)1451 824119
Operating Hours: 12 pm-10 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: Cask ale, local cider, spicy burger
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £6 per cocktail, £10-£16 per main
5. Old Manse Hotel
The Old Manse is a gorgeous ivy-covered hotel made of Cotswold stone. Dating back to 1748, it’s one of the oldest pubs in the village. This historic pub has a great selection of real ales and a menu of pub classics from sizzling steaks to burgers and light snacks.
It’s also possible to reserve a room at the Old Manse which is one of the best places to stay in Bourton thanks to its location right on the river.
This is one of my favorite places to book into when I’m in the village, and I always pop in for a pint on the Windrush when I’m in the area.
Old Manse House Information
Address: Victoria Street, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BX
Phone: +44 (0)1451 820082
Operating Hours: 11 am-11 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: Green King IPA, mushroom and ale pie, salmon fishcake florentine
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £6 per cocktail, £11-£16.50 per main
6. The Old New Inn
This picturesque 18th Century Grade II listed building in the heart of the village is another of the beautiful, historic pubs in Bourton on the Water and is an ideal place to sit and relax over a couple of drinks or a meal. It’s also the home to the Model Village, one of Bourton’s top attractions, which even features a scale version of the pub itself.
The pub is dog-friendly and serves a large selection of real ales, locally made ciders, wines, and cocktails. The menu features light bites, sharing platters (the Windrush is a delight of seafood nibbles), and pub classics.
The Old New Inn Information
Address: Rissington Road, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2AF
Phone: +44 (0)1451 820467
Operating Hours: 4 pm-11 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: Cask ale, local cider, Windrush sharing board
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £15-£25 per main
7. The Hawkstone Arms
The sustainable Hawkstone Brewery in Bourton produces some of the best beers and ciders in the Cotswolds using locally grown grains, hops, and apples. I love a nice, cold pint of cider and one of the best places to enjoy one is at the Hawkstone Arms attached to the brewery.
The bar is open seven days a week and they even have a series of food trucks on site selling delicious hot snacks and street food. The brewery is co-owned by former Top Gear presenter and contentious personality Jeremy Clarkson as part of his Diddly Squat Farm.
Top tipples to try include Jeremy’s Lager, Hawkstone Premium Lager, and Kaleb’s Cider (I’m not much of a lager drinker but I can’t turn down one of these ciders). The Hawkstone is definitely one of the best pubs in Bourton on the Water if you want to really sample the local specialty beers.
The Hawkstone Arms Information
Address: College Farm, Stow Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 2HN
Phone: +44 (0)1451 824488
Operating Hours: 11 am-6 pm, Mon-Thu, 12 pm-8 pm, Fri-Sat, 12 pm-6 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Kaleb’s Cider, Hawkstone Session, Jeremy’s Lager
Average Cost: £5-£6 per pint, £8 per cocktail
8. The Wheatsheaf Inn
This historic coaching inn dates back to the 17th Century and is located just 6 miles from Bourton. The inn is a combined pub and restaurant serving an excellent selection of ales, ciders, and cocktails. There’s a roaring fire to cozy up beside, and a beautiful beer garden for longer British afternoons.
The food menu specializes in classic pub grub and makes a mean Sunday lunch. This is a great spot for a lazy Sunday in serene, Cotswolds surroundings and is a great place to come with friends or family. I’ve visited many times and intend to again very soon.
The Wheatsheaf Inn Information
Address: West End, Northleach, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 3EZ
Phone: +44 (0)1451 539889
Operating Hours: 8 am-11 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: Cask ales, local cider, Sunday roast
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail
9. The Slaughters Country Inn
The gorgeous Slaughters Country Inn is one of the best pubs near Bourton on the Water and is located in the small village of Lower Slaughter, just 1.5 miles from Bourton (it can be walked in half an hour – I’ve done it a few times!). There’s a bar and restaurant, and rooms are available to rent.
The pub prides itself on serving up a wide variety of local ales and ciders from around the Cotswolds. The kitchen also seeks out the freshest and tastiest ingredients across the region. The sharing platter of local cheeses and meats is a great hit and showcases some of the best food on offer around Bourton.
The Slaughters is a more upmarket establishment so expect to pay a little extra for the experience. That being said, it’s definitely worth it; the roast venison loin with parsnips and red cabbage is to die for. Beers on the other hand are average for the region and you can still get a pint for under £5.
The Slaughters Country Inn Information
Address: Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire, GL54 2HS
Phone: +44 (0)1451 822143
Operating Hours: 12 pm-11 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: Try the local guest ales, sharing platter, roast venison loin
Average Cost: £4-£6 per pint, £9 per cocktail, £17.50-£32.50 per main
10. The Plough Inn at Ford
The quaint Plough Inn is located in the tiny village of Ford and is one of the best pubs near Bourton on the Water. It won the Casque Mark certificate of Excellence in 2023 for serving traditional cask ales and was voted best pub in the Cotswolds in 2017, so you know it’s the real deal here.
In addition to the top-notch cask ales on offer, you can also sample local ciders and interesting cocktails and there’s a comprehensive wine list too. The food menu specializes in traditional British cooking from slow-roasted pork belly to fish pie (my favorite) and a quality vegan chili.
The Plough Inn at Ford Information
Address: Ford, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 5RU
Phone: +44 (0)1386 584215
Operating Hours: 12 pm-11 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: Any cask ale, local cider, fish pie
Average Cost: £4-£6 per pint, £8 per cocktail, £16.95-£18.95 per main
Bourton on the Water Pubs: FAQs
Here are some answers to popular questions about the best pubs in Bourton on the Water:
What are the best pubs in Bourton on the Water?
The best pubs in Bourton on the Water include the Mousetrap Inn (arguably the most popular in the village), the Kingsbridge Inn for its games and lively atmosphere, and the Old Manse House; one of the most historic pubs in Bourton.
Do you tip in Bourton on the Water?
There is no need to tip for drinks in Bourton on the Water. However, if you have a meal at one or more of these fantastic pubs it’s customary to tip 10%-15% for great food and/or service.
What neighborhood has the best pubs in Bourton on the Water?
Bourton on the Water is a tiny village (the population is around 4,000) so there aren’t distinct neighborhoods. Many of the pubs are located along the Windrush River and are within an easy walk of one another.
How much is an average pint in Bourton on the Water?
The average price of a pint in Bourton, like the rest of the Cotswolds, is £4.44 with the Duke of Wellington and the Kingsbridge Inn being two of the cheapest with pints costing around £4.00 each.
What is the most famous pub in Bourton on the Water?
The most famous pub in Bourton on the Water is the Hawkstone Arms, part of the Hawkstone Brewery which is co-owned by TV personality and columnist Jeremy Clarkson (they even have a beer named after him; Jeremy’s Lager).
What is the oldest pub in Bourton on the Water?
The Old Manse Hotel is over 250 years old; making it one of the oldest pubs in Bourton on the Water. It’s also one of the most charming as it’s located right on the riverbank.
What is the main bar street in Bourton on the Water?
Lansdowne is the main street and runs parallel to the River Windrush. This is where you’ll find many of the best pubs in Bourton on the Water including the Mousetrap and the Willow.
Now you know about the best pubs in Burton on the Water from my favorite the Mousetrap where Agatha Christy is rumored to have stayed, to the oldest pub in the village, the Old Manse Hotel to the Duke of Wellington. Although there aren’t any pubs with live music in Bourton on the Water (usual for country pubs), if you’re looking for a lively evening be sure to check out the Kingsbridge Inn for games and quiz nights.
Bourton really is one of the most beautiful villages in England and this is helped in no small part by its characterful pubs along the river. The west country is famed for its cider and has some excellent local ales, so be sure to stop by one (or all) of these great pubs and inns when visiting.
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