Often dubbed the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ thanks to the five low, arched stone bridges built over the water, Bourton-on-the-Water is a small town made up of stunning architecture, history and culture. It’s a wonderful place to walk around and explore.
It’s not all bridges and buildings though, and for those who love a bit of nature, there’s the incredible Birdland to check out (they’ve got penguins!). There’s also the Cotswold Motoring Museum and the Cotswold Brewing Company to visit.
Regardless of what you choose to do with your time in Bourton-on-the-Water, if you’re like us then after a day of adventuring you’ll be up for some top quality food and a delicious pint.
Luckily we know this charming town well, so we’ve put together a list of our favourite pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water.
As you’ll see, there’s plenty of seats in the sun as well as cozy fireplaces for those cold days. So sit back and relax as we guide you through Bourton-on-the-Water pub culture.
Recommended: The Eight Best Restaurants In Bourton-on-the-Water
The Best Pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water for Beer, Food and Views!
1. Kingsbridge Inn
Perfectly located next to the River Windrush, the photogenic Kingsbridge Inn provides a warm, friendly atmosphere with that classic country pub feel.
On those warm summers days there’s an ideal seating area outside where you can watch the water flow by, but come winter there’s an irresistible fireplace to settle down beside. And as this is a dog friendly pub, you can always take your furry friend.
Open everyday from 11am to 11pm, everyone appears welcome here, whether they need somewhere to rest for 20 minutes and just have a drink or if they’re just wanting to eat so much food that they will then struggle to move after!
The menu offers plenty of classic British dishes with the likes of Fish & Chips, Burgers and Pies (veggie options too) available. If it’s lunch you’re in for then take advantage of adding a starter or desert to your meal for just £2. There’s deals on particular days of the week too, and every Wednesday you can get meals for £8 and on Thursdays you can grab a steak for a tenner.
As for what to drink, there’s a fine selection of ale at the Kingsbridge Inn, including Marston’s, Ringwood Boondoggle and Hobgoblin.
If ale isn’t your thing then no problem, there’s plenty more beer, cider, wine, spirits and a fine selection of gin to try. Plus you can even double up your spirits for £1.75!
Pub quizzes happen occasionally here too, and there is sometimes live sport shown as well. So be sure to check out their Facebook page in advance of your visit to see if there’s any events going on when you plan on popping in.
This family friendly pub is exactly what you want to see out for on your ventures, and with the cosy interior and remarkable outside seating area right beside the river, the Kingsbridge Inn is easily one of the best pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water.
Address: Victoria Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, GL54 2BT
2. The Old New Inn
If there’s one thing you’ll spot in Bourton-on-the-Water it’s magnificent buildings everywhere, and The Old New Inn is no exception.
While mostly a location to stay overnight, their Tap Room (bar and restaurant) is open to the public for food and drink every day of the week. This place is beautifully decorated and you’ll be made to feel right at home by the wonderful staff.
There’s a fantastic menu to choose from so settle in and order a bottle of wine, then take your time with some tapas. Try the Garlic Chilli Tiger Prawns or Padron Peppers to set your tastebuds alight.
If you want to share, there are a few different platters to choose from depending on your preferences. Or for a more filling main you can’t go wrong with their Slow Cooked Pork or Fish of the Day. For those who like to push the boat out there’s some indulgent deserts too.
If you don’t want to indulge in fine wine then there’s some very moreish pints to choose from at The Old New Inn, with Lagunitas Daytime IPA and Hook Norton Bitter two of our favourites on offer. There’s also a very good single malt selection too.
A visit to this quiet, family friendly, upmarket bar and restaurant will be a real experience, and is well worth it when in town.
Address: High Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, GL54 2AF
3. The Mousetrap Inn
If you have spent the morning exploring Greystones Farm Nature Reserve then The Mousetrap Inn may just be the perfect pub in Bourton-on-the-Water to stop in for lunch and recharge your batteries.
Choose to sit outside in their beer garden if the weather is kind, or settle in the rustic dining room complete with exposed brick walls. This place is photogenic, cosy and gives off that country pub feel.
The menu isn’t set to a specific cuisine, as it often changes due to a focus on using local and seasonal ingredients.
But through the afternoon you can expect to see the likes of Brisket Burgers, Fish and Chips or Miso-Glazed Cauliflower on the lunch menu. If your visit is a little later in the day, you may want to try dinner menu items like Roast Monkfish, Kohlrabi Pad Thai or the delicious Cotswold Lamb Rump.
To wash the food down there’s a rotation of ales from local brewers available on the three handpumps. North Cotswold, Stroud, Wye Valley, Goffs, Gloucester and Clavell & Hind are all breweries that may have ales featuring when you visit.
In fact showing this sort of support to good local brewers has landed The Mousetrap Inn a place in CAMRA’s ‘Good Beer Guide’ for several years in a row!
For those partial to gin, be sure to try some local Cotswold Gin. But there’s plenty of gins available in the well-stocked bar, alongside an impressive wine list and cocktail menu.
Pop in for lunch and you can easily spend a few hours here. And on top of that they are such a dog friendly establishment that if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, some of the bedrooms are also pet friendly!
Address: Lansdowne, Bourton-on-the-Water, GL54 2AR
4. The Duke of Wellington
Beams and exposed brick walls are some our favourite things about a pub as it adds such character to a building. While The Duke of Wellington has both, there’s something even better about this place – that’s the riverside beer garden!
We’ve all sat in a beer garden before, but have you sat in a beer garden with the sounds of a stream flowing right beside you? That’s what you get here, where you can relax to the sound of water with a pint in hand. Just don’t stumble into the stream on your way to the bar – that’s how close it is!
Inside, the gorgeous wooden bar is the place to sit if you’re looking to strike up a conversation with locals and regulars, but good luck getting one of the stools some evenings – this place is popular and can get busy!
If you’re visiting for food then you won’t be disappointed, as there’s a range of pub grub available with dishes that should suit everyone.
If you want something small to accompany your drink then try the Spicy Chicken Wings or Crab Cakes for starters. But for a full belly you’ll want to try the Teriyaki Beef, Half Roast Chicken or Thai Green Cauliflower & Spinach Curry.
Like all good English pubs, Sunday has a traditional carvery. But that’s not where the themed days end. Monday nights are all about burgers, Wednesday is reserved for steaks, and Friday is fish & fizz!
There’s plenty of drinks to choose from too of course, and for ale you can expect to see the likes of Bombardier and Courage Directors.
We know sometimes the weather isn’t always great, so if you don’t get the chance to sit and enjoy the great beer garden then be sure to take advantage of the lovely fireplace inside. After all, you can’t beat a drink while warming your toes.
This is easily one of the best pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water, and not just for that incredible beer garden.
Address: Sherbourne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, GL54 2BY
5. Coach and Horses
If you’ve been lucky enough to have a tour of the Cotswold Brewing Company during your time in Bourton-on-the-Water, then nearby is a great place to stop in – the Coach and Horses!
This fantastic pub has character in abundance, but is also a little different to other pubs in Bourton-on-the-Water as it also part Indian restaurant.
The pub sits in a 400 year old building which is situated in the scenic outskirts of the town centre. It’s cosy and traditional, with dogs as welcome as families.
Some Bourton-on-the-Water pubs can get a bit busy as the town is a popular tourist location, but as the Coach & Horses is a little away from the town center it can provide a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle.
Choose from any of your favourite Indian dishes on the large menu, and if enjoying a candle lit meal with a significant other, why not start off with the mixed starter of Lamb Tikka, Chicken Tikka and Seekh Kebab.
If Indian classics and curry isn’t your thing, there are some traditional British dishes to choose from too, with the Fish & Chips and Sunday Roast being very popular.
While Sharp’s Doom Bar was the only ale available when we visited, there’s plenty more beer available on tap.
A beautiful wine list has been created to go along with the food too, which you can enjoy al fresco while the kids play during those glorious summer days. And during the colder months, like all good Bourton-on-the-Water pubs, there’s a roaring fire to keep everyone warm inside.
Address: Fosse Way, Bourton-on-the-Water, GL54 2HN