The Lion, Winchcombe

The best pubs in the Cotswolds with fires

There’s nothing quite like it - a bracing walk on a crisp winter day, followed by lunch, dinner or just a drink in a welcoming pub beside a roaring fire. And we think the Cotswolds deliver some of the best experiences of this type around - thanks to our gorgeous scenery, charming towns and villages and cracking pubs. To help you make the most of your warming, post-walk experience, we’ve put together this Cotswold Grange guide to the best pubs in the Cotswolds with fires.


Montpellier Villas, Cheltenham

While the villages offer a fine array of hearth-side venues, some of the best pubs in the Cotswolds with fires can be found in the towns - Cheltenham being a case in point. One of our favourites is the Beehive - handily just a 20 minute walk away from our home, the Cotswold Grange.

The Beehive feels just as a pub should - friendly, busy and reassuringly traditional. It draws a great mix of regulars, thanks to superb real ales, cracking food and, in winter, a blazing log fire. It’s great to settle down beside and sample one of the local brews - perhaps one from Cheltenham’s own Prescott Brewery or Cotswold Lion. 


Railway Inn

New St, Cheltenham

We stay in Cheltenham for our second fire-side pint. This time, it’s the Railway - a fabulously traditional pub with a twist. Independently-run, and home to oodles of atmosphere, the Railway delivers superb local ciders, organic wines and a fine line in craft beers from Gloucestershire and beyond. In the winter you’ll also find a log burner blazing away.

The twist we mentioned is the food, because this candle-lit cosy, traditional pub is also home to Smokey Phi Phi’s Thai street BBQ. This rustles up spicy, authentic, meat, fish and vegan Thai delights straight from the wood-fired BBQ. All in all, the Railway is another one of those great pubs in the Cotswolds with fires, and is also within a 20 minute walk of the Cotswold Grange.


The Boot

Barnsley, B4425 

Next in our tour of the best pubs in the Cotswolds with fires we head out into the countryside. The Boot at Barnsley is the perfect pitstop after a rural winter walk - perhaps one that takes in the historic cottages of Arlington Row at the nearby pretty village of Bibury.

The Boot is a beautiful, stylish blend of traditional meets modern - a historic, honey-coloured village pub set right on the main street. Inside you’ll find wooden floorboards, rustic furnishings and a wealth of heritage artefacts on display. You’ll also be treated to top-notch gastropub food, superb service, a genuinely warm welcome and a roaring open fire.

The Lion

North St, Winchcombe

In winter, one of the most striking things about the Lion at Winchcombe is the vast fire. It crackles in a huge stone fireplace, framed by lion fireguards and a deep red rug. In fact, the Lion is every inch the 15th century coaching inn. The weathered stone walls shelter well-worn floorboards, and tables that have propped up many a pint. 

The food is fantastic: very well executed pub food dishes ranging from hot-smoked trout or pumpkin gnocchi, to field-to-fork Sunday roasts. And there’s even a range of treats for your four legged friend - choose from salmon, venison or boar doggy chews. All of which makes the Lion the perfect pub in the Cotswolds to head to after a bracing walk taking in the panoramic views from nearby Cleeve Hill.

The Woolpack Inn

Slad Rd, Slad

Pubs in the Cotswolds are among the best in the country at providing a fabulous contemporary experience and bucket loads of history and literary links. The Woolpack at Slad is one such pub - and it boasts a toasty wood-burner too. This is because the Woolpack is famously the much-loved local of Cider With Rosie author Laurie Lee (1914-1997). Lee was a regular at the Woolpack and it features in his writings.

Walk into the Woolpack today and you’ll encounter a delightful rustic pub complete with a dining room with panoramic Cotswold valley views and a beguiling bar. Here, warmed by a wood burner, you can tuck into snacks which might include a cheese and chutney toastie, sardines on toast, cold roast beef or just a pickled egg. It’s the perfect place to retire to after a winter walk around the beautiful architecture of Painswick - including the historic St Mary’s Church, which is famously framed by 99 yew trees, just a few miles away 

Sandford Park Alehouse

20 High St, Cheltenham

It’s back to Cheltenham for the last of our featured pubs in the Cotswolds with fires. Sandford Park Alehouse is a warming award-winner. Named National Pub of the Year in 2015 by the Campaign for Real Ale, it was named Cheltenham Pub of the Year in 2023 by CAMERA too. It gets onto our pubs-with-fires list thanks to a log burner and a winningly warm welcome.

The range of beers is, as you’d expect, impressive, with 10 cask lines and 16 keg lines, plus a fine selection of wines and spirits and a strong vegan and alcohol free drinks range as well. 

It’s firmly dog-friendly and is famous for competitive pub quizzes and acclaimed food. Expect everything from charcuterie, stout rarebit and spicy squash soup, to epic Sunday roasts. Sandford Park stages mini-food & drink festivals and hosts regular guest kitchen pop-ups. It’s also just a 15 minute walk from our home, the Cotswold Grange.

Enjoy them all from the Cotswold Grange

In fact that’s one of the best things about these perfect pubs in the Cotswolds. They’re all within easy reach the Cotswold Grange, one of the best boutique hotels in Cheltenham. Built out of honey-coloured Cotswold stone in 1855, it’s been transformed into a deeply luxurious oasis of exquisite bedrooms. Here heritage features meet supremely comfortable fixtures and fittings and stylish designs.

You’ll find us tucked into a tranquil street in the history-rich Pittville area. We’re surrounded by Regency architecture and just a short stroll from ornamental Pittville Park and the thriving shops, restaurants and - of course - pubs (many with fires) of central Cheltenham.

Why not book a stay with us today?