The Plough Pub with rooms in Kelmscott, Oxfordshire

Prices from:
£90 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Idyllic village close to the Thames
  • Picture-perfect 17th-century inn
  • Refurbished in cool, rustic style
  • Inventive, modern British carte
  • Stylishly simple rooms upstairs
  • Sister pub to the Five Alls – next village

Sticky FingersGood for WalkingCandlelitClose to WaterVisit a Stately Pile

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Real Time Booking Available

The Plough Kelmscott, Oxfordshire, GL7 3HG

The personal touch

Not far from the River Thames and a brief stroll from Kelmscott Manor, the former summer home of renowned Arts and Crafts designer, poet, novelist and social activist William Morris, the Plough, a pretty 17th-century inn, lies tucked away down single-track roads in the peaceful and truly unspoilt village of Kelmscott. It has long been a favourite among Thames path walkers and the boating fraternity, and now draws an appreciative lunch crowd en route to the impressive Manor along the road. Sympathetically refurbished and spruced up in true country style in 2015 the Plough was snapped up in 2018 by the Barkby Group, an ambitious new and niche pub group and they plan few changes. Expect quirky, vintage and antique finds, up-cycled and recycled timbers, and a décor palette of greens, greys and whites, which has given The Plough a cool, rustic style. The original features, including flagstone and oak flooring, have been beautifully restored, and the pub has green credentials with a ground source pump system providing under floor heating throughout, as there’s no gas supply to the property. The Hideaway Bar is housed in an old stable block in the garden, seats up to 10 people and is available for private parties.

Sticky fingers

Children are welcome in the pub and child’s size portions of fish & chips, sausages and mash, and a burger are available, as are mini roasts on Sunday.

Muddy paws

Dogs are made very welcome in the bar but not in the bedrooms.


Arrive early on warm summer days to bag a bench in the gorgeous front cottage garden. It’s a peaceful spot overlooking the village lane and boasts smart picnic tables and cream brollies.


What’s the Damage?

7 doubles £90-£130; 1 single £70-£90

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining in Hideaway Bar
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant
  • Limited roadside parking

The Plough Kelmscott, Oxfordshire, GL7 3HG

Do not disturb

Despite the constraints of the upstairs space the eight rooms are super stylish and comfortable, with sisal flooring, painted furniture, upholstered chairs, warm Farrow & Ball hues, and quality beds topped with crisp linen, thick duvets, cushions and colourful throws. Simple, fully tiled bathrooms boast indulgent walk-in rain showers or freestanding tubs, under flooring heating, fluffy towels and decent Ren smellies. Wake up to a first-class breakfast, don your boots and walk a section of the Thames Path.

What’s the Damage?

7 doubles £90-£130; 1 single £70-£90

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining in Hideaway Bar
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant
  • Limited roadside parking
Eat & Drink

The Plough Kelmscott, Oxfordshire, GL7 3HG

Mastering the menu

(Starters: £6-£8; Main Courses: £10.50-£24.50; Desserts £6-£8.50)

The kitchen is headed up by George Tauchmann who previously worked at Ellenborough Park in Cheltenham. He delivers some inspired modern British food, his changing carte showcasing the best locally sourced produce such as pork from Kelmscott and vegetables from the Vale of Evesham. If you just fancy a pint and a delicious plate of food in the bar, then try the cottage pie with red cabbage, or chicken, bacon and leek tart with fries and mixed leaves. From the carte, start with twice-baked Double Gloucester cheese souffle, follow with partridge with thyme-roasted new potatoes and creamy Savoy cabbage, and finish with sticky toffee and date pudding with vanilla ice cream. The bar counter may be small but it delivers a decent range of drinks – craft ales like Sharps Doombar, the Plough Pint (brewed by Hook Norton) and a guest beer like Butcombe Bitter, alongside a good bottled beers and ciders. On the back shelf there’s a short but select choice of malt whiskies and among the gins and vodkas you’ll find Two Birds Boutique Vodka. With the wines, discerning drinkers and casual quaffers will be spoilt for choice, the imaginative list featuring some heavy-duty French classics, served by the glass, carafe, bottle, and up to a magnum. Soft drinks are sourced from Cotswold producers, plus there’s homemade lemonade, own recipe smoothies, and seasonal cocktails.

Time to Eat

Lunch: 12 noon – 2.30pm (3pm Saturday)
Dinner: 6pm – 9.30pm (10pm Saturday)

Sunday 12 noon – 7pm. No food Sunday evenings

Time at the bar

12 noon – 11pm (9pm Sunday)

What’s the Damage?

7 doubles £90-£130; 1 single £70-£90

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining in Hideaway Bar
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant
  • Limited roadside parking
Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know –

1 Inn Location - The Plough


Upton Smokery, Upton Downs Farm, Burford OX18 4LY

Located in the rolling Cotswold countryside outside of Burford, this family business smokes just about everything from game to fish. They also stock fresh game, paté, potted terrines, charcuterie and olives.


The Chequers, Churchill OX7 6NJ

Excellent gastropub where you can enjoy some fantastic modern British food from regularly changing blackboard menus. The beers are good, too, but you can also try a glass of wine from the very good menu or maybe a cocktail. The steak and chips is first class.


The Rose and Crown, Shilton OX18 4AB

Cracking foodie pub run by chef-Patron Martin Coldicott. The 16th-century Cotswold-stone pub has low beams, stone floors and a menu that keeps things suitably simple.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Plough



Indoor Climbing, Northleach GL54 3AP

Enjoy a great climbing experience at this excellent venue where you’ll find indoor climbing and bouldering for all ages and abilities. This really is the place to reach new heights.


Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway, Toddington GL54 5DT

This is the perfect destination for anyone who still savours the unique thrill of steam travel. Though no longer part of the national rail network, these wonderful old trains have made a welcome comeback and area great way to discover the delights of the beautiful Cotswolds.


Daylesford Cookery School, near Kingham GL56 0YG

This is a must for anyone with a passion for real food. At Daylesford, south of Moreton-in-Marsh, you’ll find an excellent choice – from classic courses such as quick and simple suppers and seasonal dinner parties to something niche and specialized – for example, nose-to-tail butchery and artisan bread making.



The Borzoi Bookshop, Stow on the Wold GL54 1BB

Based in Stow-on-the-Wold, this well-established independent bookseller stocks a vast range of books, including many of the classics. Out-of-print books, attractively designed greeting cards and wrapping paper are also available.


The Christmas Shop, Lechlade GL7 3AD

Established in 1985, the Christmas Shop in Lechlade is the oldest retailer in the UK specialising in all things festive. Open all year, this is the place to hunt out those elusive Christmas presents well ahead of the predictable December rush.


Teddy Bears of Witney, 99 High Street, Witney OX28 6HY

If you love teddy bears, a visit to this charming shop is a must. Established in 1985, Teddy Bears of Witney has the finest and most collectable teddy bears in the world. On permanent display, among other familiar old friends, is Aloysius, featured in the 1980s television series, Brideshead Revisited.


The Old Pill Factory, 53 High Street, Witney OX28 6JA

Spread over two floors, the Old Pill Factory in Witney is the place to visit for furniture, glass, toys, clothes and garden pieces. You’ll find a group of dedicated antiques experts who are passionate about antiques and vintage homeware.


Tickitty Boo, 6 Middle Row, Chipping Norton OX7 5NH

A children’s boutique with its own brand of clothing, designed by its award-winning owner, Julia Cook. There’s a wide selection of other labels, too, such as Hatley, Frugi and Toby Tiger. This is a treasure trove for children up to the age of eight.


The Apple Store, Batsford GL56 9QB

The Applestore, just a short drive from Moreton-in-Marsh, is just the place for beautiful, shabby chic interiors. Before leaving, you’ll be filled with ideas and within the store you’ll find antiques, quirky ephemera, candlesticks, soft furnishings, a range of gifts and plenty more besides.


Jungle Boutique, Cirencester GL7 1JH

Among a host of prominent retailers in the historic town of Cirencester is the Jungle Boutique, offering a range of unique clothes and accessories. French, Spanish and Italian designer ranges,with an eclectic mix of striking jewellery and bags reflect the latest fashions and trends.


Fresh, Witney OX28 6GW

Well worth a visit, this independent, design-led, contemporary greetings cards and gift store was established by the residents of this charming old town at the heart of Oxfordshire.

Places to visit


Hidcote Manor Gardens, Chipping Campden GL55 6LR

Hidcote is one of the country's greatest gardens, full of rare shrubs and trees, herbaceous borders and unusual plants from all over the world. In addition, there are superb views across the Vale of Evesham from the garden.


Blenheim Palace, Woodstock OX20 1PP

One of Britain's largest and most famous stately homes, Blenheim Palace offers a host of treasures to discover. There are guided tours of the staterooms and a chance to explore the estate's sumptuous parkland. A new Winston Churchill Memorial Garden and Footsteps Trail opened in 2015, taking visitors on a journey through the key achievements in the great statesman's extraordinary life and his early years in this area. Churchill's grave can be seen in the churchyard at nearby Bladon.


Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe GL54 5JD

Sudeley Castle was home to Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's last wife. She's buried here, as well, so this is the only private castle that's the final resting place of a queen. It's played an important role in England's often turbulent history and has royal connections stretching back over 1,000 years. Inside you'll find an interesting collection of furniture, paintings and unique artefacts, and the gloriously restored gardens are absolutely beautiful.


Chedworth Roman Villa, Yanworth GL54 3LJ

Situated in a secluded part of the Coln valley, the Roman villa at Chedworth dates from around AD 120 and is open daily from mid-February to the end of November and was originally believed to have been a farmhouse.


Cogges Manor Farm, Witney OX28 3LA

Cogges Manor consists of a 13th-century house and 17th-century farm buildings. These days it's a popular heritage centre with a strong emphasis on horticulture, rural crafts and family-friendly entertainment. It's also just the place to help understand the origins of early rural life and put the past into perspective.


Chastleton House, Chastleton GL56 0SU

Chastleton House, near Chipping Norton, is a fine Jacobean mansion with a striking south front. Now managed by the National Trust, the interiors of the 17th-century house may be familiar to television viewers as the family home of the Seymours in the BBC drama Wolf Hall. The small stone courtyard doubles for Putney, where a young Cromwell is attacked by his father.


Pendon Museum, Long Wittenham OX14 4QD

This meticulously detailed model of the Vale of White Horse in Oxfordshire is a breathtaking spectacle. Everywhere you look there are quaint thatched cottages, olde-worlde pubs and exquisite churches. Pendon is where the English countryside comes to life under one roof.


Cotswold Wildlife Park, Burford OX18 4JP

A day out at this popular visitor attraction is always a memorable experience – not least for the 260 different species of animals to be found here. Covering 160 acres of parkland and garden, the Cotswold Wildlife Park represents the largest privately owned zoological collection in Britain. There’s also a narrow gauge railway.


One of the best ways to discover the delights of the Cotswolds and upper Thames is on foot. There are numerous picturesque walks to be enjoyed here, as well as scenic stretches of the Thames Path, which follows the river from its source all the way to the Thames Barrier in London.


Two local landscapes, the upper Thames Valley and the Vale of White Horse, are perfect for cycling. Here, you’ll find plenty of quiet lanes and off-road routes. Not far away is the popular Oxfordshire Cycle Way. For something a bit different, try a combination of bike and train, using the lovely Cotswold line, which has a string of country stations from which to choose.


This is a part of the country where there is always something happening. There are many modest, small-scale occasions but there are also plenty of bigger events to draw the crowds, including the spectacular Fairford International Air Tattoo, held annually in July. Elsewhere, there’s the Chipping Norton Music Festival in March, the National Mills Weekend in May and the Charlbury Street Fair in September. Other fixtures throughout the year include traditional festivals and theatrical performances at Cogges Manor Farm, Witney, the Blenheim Horse Trials, Stroud Food Festival and the prestigious Cheltenham Literary Festival.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: from A417 Faringdon road just east of Lechlade (before crossing the River Thames), take the B4449 and follow signs for Kelmscott (2 miles)

By Rail: the nearest station is Swindon, 25 minutes by taxi


, Kelmscott, Oxfordshire, GL7 3HG

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