The Cotswolds is one of the most popular destinations in the English countryside, appealing to both locals and tourists. Gentle farmland, villages with yellow stone houses and soaring churches all contribute to the peace and quiet. Yet it can appear appalling twee, stuffed with Range Rovers and green wellies.
Fortunately the village of Oddington is the exemption that proves the rule and the dog friendly Horse & Groom is the main reason for going there. This is the archetypal country pub, stone flags on the floor, a roaring wood fire and plenty of locals. Both the beer and the food here are excellent and there’s also a select wine list. Don’t expect anything fancy but the rooms are cosy and comfortable and you’re guaranteed a good night’s sleep.
Cotswolds tourists and business travellers alike wanting a stay with extra atmosphere. Also dogs are welcome.
Seven rooms with five above the pub and two in a cottage ten yards away. All have en-suite bathrooms, TV & DAB radio, Nespresso coffee machine and tea making facilities, plus iron and ironing board. A welcome basket is provided complete with bottle of water, crisps, snacks and biscuits.
We stayed in Room 1, all textured rugs and snug throws with pristine linen on a very comfortable bed. There were posh cosmetics in the bathroom and a USB charging adaptor was provided. Even though the room was above the bar, it was completely silent at night.
Food & Drink
This is the oldest working inn in the Cotswolds, established in 1584, with excellent local ales on tap, a draw for locals and visitors alike. Food is of gastropub quality, sourced locally where possible and a map on the menu shows you where the suppliers are. Stalwarts such as Liver and Bacon and Slow Cooked Belly Pork share the bill with Asian influenced starters. Of course there’s a substantial roast on offer on Sundays. Breakfasts are copious so don’t miss out on a Full English.
The whole Inn is dog-friendly, and three guest rooms are designated for dogs and their owners. The dog-friendly welcome means that dogs are usually greeted before owners, and complimentary dog beds, biscuits and blankets are supplied. The large beer garden is completely enclosed and has its own stream, a real attraction for four-legged visitors.
There’s a separate lounge for hotel guests and, as well as the main bar, there’s also a cosy “Snug” adjacent. Wi-Fi is free throughout, there’s ample parking and plenty of tables outside to take in the country air.
Room rates in April at the Horse & Groom Village Inn start from £109 per night for a Standard Double room, or from £119 per night for a Dog-Friendly Double or Twin room.
The beautiful village of Upper Oddington is close to the historic market town of Stow-on-the-Wold. It makes a perfect base to explore this wonderful English landscape on foot and maps and guides are provided. 20 miles away is Shakespeare’s Stratford on Avon as is the historic town of Cheltenham. Further afield is the spa town of Bath, 50 miles distant.
The Horse and Groom proves that historic doesn’t mean basic. Rooms and facilities are bang up to date yet you still can dream you’re back in the 16th century as you soak up the atmosphere in the bar. Even better you can leave your car behind and explore the adjoining villages on foot.
GO: Kingham station is on the direct line from London Paddington and from there the inn is a short taxi ride away.
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