The 12 Best Cotswold Pubs near Cirencester & the Water Park

Renowned for its picturesque and enchanting ambiance, the Cotswolds are known to host some of the finest country pubs in the UK. Our team have carefully handpicked their best Cotswold pubs, conveniently located near the Cotswold Water Park and Cirencester too.

If you’re on holiday in the Cotswold Water Park and want an authentic taste of the region’s country pub culture, our curated list will be of help. There really is a pub to cater for every taste and budget.

Although we have included estimated driving times from the Gateway Centre in the Water Park, we strongly discourage anyone from drink driving. For a safe and enjoyable evening for everyone in your group, we highly recommend arranging a local Cirencester taxi service.

So read on below and don’t miss out on some genuine hospitality and local Cotswold charm!

1) The Red Lion, Cricklade

Looking for a charming and dog-friendly Cotswold pub that ticks all the boxes? Look no further than The Red Lion in Cricklade located just minutes from the Cotswold Water Park. This lovely old building boasts bags of character, and once you’re inside you’ll feel right at home.

Offering punters a great range of beers, including locally brewed options this pub is a real gem. If you’re feeling hungry, their hearty food portions won’t disappoint! It’s a great country pub to head out to for dinner, but even if you only want a drink, they’ll have you covered too.

One of the best things about The Red Lion is its inviting atmosphere, particularly in the winter months when you can snuggle up next to the log fire. But even in the summer, there’s plenty to enjoy, with a big pub garden that’s perfect for soaking up the sun whilst sipping some local brews.

If privacy is important to you then the Red Lion also has a designated private area that you can request, perfect for those special occasions. We’ve always found the staff behind the bar to be nice and friendly, in fact they always make the Orion Holidays team feel like part of the family!

But what really sets the pub apart is its great value for money. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how reasonably priced everything is, without sacrificing quality on the food being served.

Contact Details

Address: 74 High St, Cricklade, Swindon, SN6 6DD
Phone: 01793 750776

Distance from The Gateway Centre in the Water Park: 5 miles away, 8 minute drive


2) The Bakers Arms, Somerford Keynes

Some Cotswold pubs end up victims of their own success getting so busy it’s hard to park nearby, but not so with The Bakers Arms. Located in the small village of Somerford Keynes, they have a large car park as well as a lovely kid-friendly pub garden, where you can enjoy the great outdoors. The food here is incredible – it’s a Cotswold gastropub that sources local beer and produce, so you know you’re getting the freshest and most delicious options available.

But it’s not just the food that’s incredible! The pub also has a great selection of wine that goes beyond the standard variety so many others seem to offer. And with a lively bar atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to catch up with friends and enjoy a drink or two.

Despite its high-quality offerings, the Bakers Arms also delivers value for money, with an interesting menu that won’t break the bank. And with lovely ambiance and first-class service from the staff, you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic time.

Whether you’re looking for a couple’s only night out or a venue to host a large group of family or friends, the Bakers Arms is definitely a good choice. So why not come and see for yourself what makes this Cotswolds pub so special? You won’t be disappointed!

Contact Details

Website: http//
Address: Somerford Keynes, Cirencester, GL7 6DN
Phone: 01285 861298

Distance from The Gateway Centre in the Water Park: 5 miles away, 9 minute drive


3) The Masons Arms in Meysey Hampton

If you’re looking for fabulous attentive staff, reasonably priced yet amazing food with some good vegetarian options, then look no further than this quaint Cotswold village pub that some say is the best in the area.

Located off the beaten track in Meysey Hampton, a picturesque village close to the Cotswold Water Park (it’s north of us), the Mason’s Arms is worth checking out. Parking outside happens to be a little limited, there is a village car park close by, so don’t let that deter you.

Once inside, you’ll be truly enveloped inside a delightful atmosphere, perfect for a night out with friends or a romantic evening with a loved one. The staff here are truly outstanding – friendly, welcoming, and attentive to every detail. Whether you’re a regular or a first-time visitor, you’ll feel right at home.

And the food? Well, we found it simply amazing. With a wide selection on the menu, there’s something for everyone here. But what really sets this pub apart from others in the Cotswolds, we think, is their risotto – it’s simply divine. And for vegetarians, there are plenty of great options to choose from, so they won’t feel left out.

What’s even better is that the prices here are pretty reasonable, even in the cost-of-living crisis we’re all currently all facing.

Just keep in mind that dogs are only allowed in the smallish bar area, which tends to limit if you can bring your dog or not. It’s usually a case of first come, first serve so it might be worth a call to see if you can get a table.

Overall, if you’re looking for a great night out with amazing food, a decent atmosphere then this pub should be at the top of your list. It’s no wonder some say it’s the best Cotswold pub in the area – you’ll have to try it for yourself to find out!

Contact Details

Address: 28 High St, Meysey Hampton, Cirencester GL7 5JT
Phone: 01285 850164

Distance from The Gateway Centre in the Water Park: 4 miles away, 9 minutes drive


4) The Old Spotted Cow, Marston Meysey

The Spotted Cow is the perfect rural retreat for anyone looking for some diverse food choices. Located just outside the Cotswold village of Marston Meysey, this quaint pub is very popular with locals but can get very busy very quickly. It’s also situated close to RAF Fairford, so you might get lucky and see some amazing US Air Force bombers flying overhead (note they can be REALLY noisy).

The pub is also very dog-friendly, so if you’re a pet lover, you’ll love the fact that you can bring your pooch along. However, at times it can feel like it gets a little bit overrun with dogs, so keep that in mind (certainly if you’re not much of a dog lover).

The Spotted Cow makes absolutely spot-on food, from huge portion sizes (for those with BIG appetites) to tasty well-presented meals, the pub has something for everyone. And the best part? Their prices are very reasonable, so you won’t have to break the bank to enjoy a great meal out.

Inside, it’s all very quaint and charming, perfect for a decent night out. And if you’re lucky enough to visit during the warmer months, there’s plenty of outdoor seating too where you can enjoy the beautiful countryside.

Overall, if you’re looking for a great pub with amazing food, the Spotted Cow is definitely worth a visit. Just keep in mind that it can get very busy very quickly, so make sure you plan ahead. And if you’re a dog lover, this pub is a must-visit – just be prepared for some furry friends to join you!

It’s only a “stones throw” from us, so we’d say it really is worth a visit.

Contact Details

Address: The St, Marston Meysey, Swindon, SN6 6LQ
Phone: 01285 810264

Distance from The Gateway Centre in the Water Park: 5.5 miles away, 11 minute drive


5) The Potting Shed, in Crudwell near Malmesbury

Looking for a great dining experience in a country pub with a modern twist? Look no further than the Potting Shed pub in Crudwell. This easily found pub between Malmesbury and Kemble airfield offers absolutely delicious meals with a modern British menu that focuses on the freshest ingredients.

The beautiful décor of the Potting Shed respects the building’s heritage, making for a charming atmosphere that’s perfect for celebratory dinners. The staff are lovely and give you a welcome that will make you feel right at home. With a few different rooms to choose to eat or drink in, you can enjoy your meal in a space that suits your preferences. Private dining rooms are also available (bookable in advance), perfect for special occasions or intimate gatherings.

The well-priced wine list complements the pub’s extensive menu perfectly and the hospitality is second to none. There’s a large car park to the rear so parking should never be a problem. If it is warm and sunny outside they have a nice pub garden to sit in though it does face the main road, so it can get a little noisy!

Don’t miss out on this awesome pub in the Cotswolds, it’s a perfect retreat for those looking for a great meal. Check out their website and book a table in advance to avoid disappointment!

Contact Details

Address: The Potting Shed Pub, Crudwell, Wiltshire, SN16 9EW
Phone: 01666 577833

Distance from The Gateway Centre in the Water Park: 9 miles away, 17 minute drive


6) The Bell at Sapperton

The Bell is an absolute must-visit for anyone exploring the Cotswolds. Nestled in the picturesque village of Sapperton, this beautiful pub offers impeccable service and top-notch food. While it may be a bit pricey, the experience, in our experience, is worth every penny.

The pub’s traditional Cotswold stone exterior is just the beginning of its “olde worlde” delightful charm. Inside, you’ll find roaring open fires that are perfect for those cold winter days. The décor is a blend of classic and modern, with plenty of comfortable seating and beautiful touches throughout.

One unique feature is the still-used hitching rail in the car park, a nod to the pub’s history as a stopping point for travellers and their horses. There’s plenty of parking available behind the pub if you’re a driver, making it easy to stop by and enjoy the Bell Inn’s hospitality and outstanding food.

If you’re looking for privacy, the Bell Inn has a separate dining room that is perfect for intimate gatherings. The covered courtyard at the rear and the lavender filled beer garden out front offer additional seating options during the warmer months. Both are ideal for relaxing with friends and family whilst you’re on your Cotswold holiday.

When it comes to the food, the Bell Inn truly delivers. The menu offers a wide selection of nibbles, starters, mains, and desserts, with something for everyone. The ingredients are fresh and locally sourced whenever possible, and the chefs work hard to create dishes that are both delicious and beautifully presented. The service at the Bell Inn is truly impeccable, with friendly and knowledgeable staff who are always ready to offer advice on the top-notch food and drink available.

Staff are always on hand to help with anything you need though it is worth noting that a 25% service charge is applied for parties of six or more.

Overall, the Bell Inn is a quintessential Cotswold pub that should not be missed. With its beautiful setting, top-notch food, and impeccable service, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring the stunning countryside.

Contact Details

Address: Sapperton, Cirencester GL7 6LE
Phone: 01285 760298

Distance from The Gateway Centre in the Water Park: 9.9 miles, 16 minute drive


7) The Daneway at Sapperton

The Daneway Pub is a hidden gem of a pub that’s charming and completely welcoming – definitely worth a detour if you’re out and about in Cirencester. You’ll find it secluded away in a lovely quiet valley, sitting alongside the river Frome.

Dating back to the late 17th century, the Daneway is steeped in history and was originally three cottages built to house local bricklayers. Its white-washed stone walls and beautiful location make it the perfect stop for those looking for a peaceful rural retreat.

Visitors to the pub will find it spotlessly clean and the friendly and chatty pub owners – Lindsay and Jackie – will put you at ease as soon as you step over the threshold. We were made to feel right at home. Do note the parking area can get busy as it is popular with hikers so you may want to get there early to grab a space.

While the menu may be classically simple, we found all of our meals to be cooked extremely well, with ingredients sourced from handpicked local suppliers, minimising food miles. The Daneway works closely with all their suppliers to ensure that the freshest and highest quality ingredients are only used in their dishes.

The pub also boasts a well-maintained beer garden, perfect for relaxing in the sun with an ice cold drink. And for those chillier days, there are plenty of nooks and crannies inside to curl up in front of a roaring fire.

The Daneway may not have the grandeur like some of the other best Cotswold pubs, but it has an authentic charm and warmth of its own that is hard to beat. It is the perfect spot for a peaceful retreat, a place to enjoy a pint and a bite to eat after a long walk. So don’t let it play second fiddle to the other pubs in the area – make sure you stop by and experience it for yourself.

Contact Details

Address: Dane Lane, Sapperton, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 6LN
Phone: 01285 760297

Distance from The Gateway Centre in the Water Park: 10 miles away, 17 minute drive


8) The Crown Inn at Frampton Mansell

After a day out exploring Stroud and you find yourselves returning to the Cotswold Water Park, you might find it’s worth popping into the Crown Inn, set in the lovely Cotswold village of Frampton Mansell. Tucked away on a narrow country lane, this traditional 17th century pub is an absolute rustic gem.

When we visited, we found a pub with friendly locals gathered around the bar as well as welcoming and attentive staff.

Although we felt the menu was a little bit limited, we were pleased to find some really nice vegan options alongside the home-cooked food. We were amazed at the massive portions served, which allowed us to easily share our dishes. Each meal was exquisitely presented and clearly cooked to perfection. We felt we got incredible value for money, just perfect for those on a budget.

If it’s warm and sunny then you can also sit out on the pub’s stunning terrace with its breath-taking Cotswold views. It was the perfect spot to soak up the last rays of evening sunshine and enjoy a leisurely drink.

Overall, we felt our experience at the Crown Inn was really nice and we say this is one pub worth visiting.

Contact Details

Address: Frampton Mansell, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL6 8JG
Phone: 01285 760601

Distance from The Gateway Centre in the Water Park: 12 miles away, 19 minute drive


9) The Green Dragon Inn, Cockleford near Cowley

The Green Dragon Inn in Cockleford near Cowley is a sophisticated dog-friendly Cotswold pub that shouldn’t be missed by anyone visiting the Cheltenham area. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by welcoming staff and gorgeous decor that oozes with Cotswold charm.

The pub was bustling with people, which is usually a positive sign that the food being served must be good. We had heard that the Green Dragon Inn was well regarded and we were not disappointed. We started with some of the veggie and gluten-free options on the menu and have to say we were certainly impressed by the quality of the dishes.

The atmosphere of the pub was great, and we loved the beautiful low ceilings that added to the character of the building.

For those who are beer enthusiasts, the Green Dragon Inn won’t disappoint either. The pub had a decent selection of beers, including some decent alcohol-free options (perfect for drivers).

One of the highlights for us was finding the well-stocked farm shop next door. We spent some time browsing through their local produce and picked up some goodies to take home. It was nice to see a pub supporting local producers!

We highly recommend visiting the Green Dragon Inn, it’s the perfect setting for a decent meal with family and friends. Be sure to book in advance as the pub does get very busy, especially during peak times.

Overall, we had a fantastic experience here and highly recommend it to anyone in the area. The freshly prepared food, great atmosphere, and welcoming staff all made for a memorable visit.

Contact Details

Address: Cockleford, Nr Cowley, Cheltenham GL53 9NW
Phone: 01242 870271

Distance from The Gateway Centre in the Water Park: 15 miles away, 19 minute drive


10) The Victoria Inn at Eastleach

The Victoria Inn was kindly reviewed by Natalie, one of our valued team members, following a visit she made with a friend during late November 2022.

As my friend and I walked into the Victoria Inn in the village of Eastleach on a cold winter’s day, we were immediately taken in by the warm and inviting atmosphere of this picturesque pub in the North Cotswolds. Nothing was too much trouble.

We grabbed a table and as we went through their menu, we were pleased to see that there were gluten-free options. This was great for my friend who suffers from a gluten intolerance. We also appreciated the laid-back approach of the staff, who didn’t rush us to order and allowed us to take our time.

After we placed our orders, we took a look around and admired the beautiful low ceilings and historical charm of the pub. It was clear to both of us that it’s a well-run pub and the staff take pride in their surroundings.

We noticed the pub getting pretty packed as the evening went on, so we’s recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment. Luckily for us, we were able to snag a table near the roaring fire, which added to our experience.

When our meals arrived, we were blown away by their gorgeous presentation. My friend’s gluten-free dish was just as good as mine, and we both thoroughly enjoyed our meals. We particularly recommend trying their locally-sourced Sunday roast – the succulent beef was a definite highlight!

The Victoria Inn sits in the middle of the stunning village of Eastleach surrounded by idyllic rural settings, and there are other nearby towns such as Burford and Lechlade we think you should check out.

In summary, the Victoria Inn is a lovely pub with loads of gluten-free options, friendly staff, and a charming atmosphere. It’s a great place to go after a country walk in the area and walkers with muddy boots are more than welcome. For people out exploring the Cotswolds it’s definitely a pub we say is well worth seeking out.

Contact Details

Address: Eastleach, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 3NQ
Phone: 01367 850277

Distance from the Gateway Centre in the Water Park: 11 miles away, 21 minute drive



11) The Boot (previously The Village Pub), Barnsley near Cirencester

The Boot, in Barnsley, a village just north of Cirencester, might just be one of the most exclusive pubs you’ll find in the Cotswolds. The pub was recently renovated under new ownership and has quickly established itself as a go-to destination for those looking for a very special night out.

From the moment you step through the door, you’ll feel like a VIP. The service at The Boot is truly exceptional and nothing is ever too much trouble for the staff. The pub has a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, with tasteful décor that strikes a balance between modern and traditional. You can sink into the plush seats and enjoy the ambiance or head to the bar to sample some of the local beers, which are served in good old-fashioned tankards.

We definitely found the food at The Boot to be unpretentious yet absolutely outstanding. The menu is full of classic pub dishes you know (and some you don’t!), but everything is executed to perfection.

The pub champions local suppliers, so you know you’re getting the freshest ingredients. Whether you opt for a hearty steak and ale pie or a light salad, you won’t be disappointed. And don’t skip dessert – the puddings at The Boot are huge and really delicious.

Due to its location and reputation, this Cotswold pub attracts a particularly well-heeled clientele and possibly some local celebrities, so you’ll feel like you’re part of an exclusive club. If you’re planning to visit, it’s best to book in advance as the pub can get very busy, especially on weekends.

The pub also offers exclusive private dining options for those looking for a more special experience. The private dining room is perfect for intimate gatherings or business meetings, and the menu can be tailored to your preferences. Whether you’re celebrating a milestone birthday or want privacy with friends, The Boot’s private dining is sure to impress.

Overall, The Boot is one of the best pubs you’ll find in the Cotswolds. With its exceptional service, outstanding food, and exclusive atmosphere, it’s the perfect destination for a special occasion or a memorable night out. If you’re looking for a pub that’s a cut above the rest, make sure to give this one a look-in.

Contact Details

Address: The Boot, Barnsley, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 5EF
Phone: 01285 740421

Distance from The Gateway Centre in the Water Park: 8 miles away, 12 minute drive


12) The Rose and Crown at Lea

Situated in the charming village of Lea near Malmesbury, the Rose and Crown pub is an easy drive from the Cotswold Water Park. Built as a country pub in 1891 to this day it still retains much of its charm.

As soon as you find yourself inside, you’ll be greeted by friendly staff and in winter the warm glow of a crackling log fire. The Rose and Crown is dog-friendly, so it’s ok to bring your canine friend along too. If you head right as you enter you’ll find a lovely snug with comfy sofas to enjoy.

An Arkells Brewery pub, it offers a wide selection of real ales, so why not try a pint of Arkells’ finest? With free Wi-Fi, loads of car parking and a large pub garden, the Rose and Crown is a great spot to meet friends or enjoy a relaxing meal. You’ll also find a skittle alley, which is popular with locals as well as a large function room for parties.

One of the things that makes the Rose and Crown stand out for us is the sumptuous sofas to fall into, be that tipsy or sober! Hic, hic! The service is always excellent and very welcoming, and the pub has well-spaced tables to ensure everyone has a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

The menu at the Rose and Crown features delightful “comfort food”, with a range of dishes to suit all tastes. From classic pub grub like fish and chips and burgers to more sophisticated options like pan-fried sea bass and roasted vegetables, there’s something for everyone. Vegetarians and those with gluten-free requirements are also catered for.

If you’re in the area, the Rose and Crown is a must-visit pub, so why not visit and enjoy a relaxing night out.

Contact Details

Address: The St, Lea, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 9PA
Phone: 01666 822053

Distance from Orion Holidays HQ:
13 miles away, 23 minute drive

We hope our recommendations will give you the inspiration to get out and sample some of the best country pubs in the Cotswolds AONB. If you think of another Cotswold pub near Cirencester or the Cotswold Water Park and it’s worthy of being listed here then please do let us know!

Dining out with friends in a Cotswold Pub