The Killingworth Castle Pub with rooms in Wootton, Oxfordshire

Prices from:
£120 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Community focused dining pub
  • Innovative menus – great value
  • Local legend Sonia Kidney is cooking
  • Tip-top Yubby Ales – own brewed
  • Rustic-smart interior
  • Stable rooms ooze style and comfort

Outdoor PursuitsCandlelitVisit a Stately Pile15 Minutes from the Motorway

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Overview

The Killingworth Castle Wootton, Oxfordshire, OX20 1EJ

THE PERSONAL TOUCH

Having put the Ebrington Arms near Chipping Campden firmly on the Cotswold pub map for food, rooms and atmosphere, young Jim & Claire Alexander (with two kids in tow) decided to do it all again and rescue another Cotswold pub in 2012, this time near Woodstock. Fuelled with boundless energy and passion (and a midas touch) they transformed the 17th-century Killingworth Castle Wootton, which had been closed for a year when they bought it, into a thriving community local and dining destination within a few months. The look and feel of the place is simple, rustic and unpretentious, with acres of wood floors, cushioned pew benches, flickering candles on old pine tables, stools at the bar, wood-burning stoves or crackling fires in stone fireplaces, and local artwork on the walls. Eight bedrooms in the restored old stables were opened in May 2015 – the icing on the cake for Jim & Claire and this cracking Cotswold inn.

MUDDY PAWS

Dogs are only allowed in the bar area or in the garden.

STICKY FINGERS

No children under 16 are allowed to stay overnight. Smaller portions are available for children.

ALFRESCO

The garden is tucked away to the side of the inn, well away from road, and has wooden benches and a traditional (& rare) garden pub game – Aunt Sally.

WHAT’S ON?

Outreach Quiz second Sunday of the month.

What’s the Damage?
8 doubles: from £120; 2 night stay at weekends; Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday. Great winter deal – B&B from £99.

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to bar and dining room

Gongs
AA 2 Rosettes; Michelin Bib Gourmand; North Oxfordshire Camra Pub of the Year

Sleep

The Killingworth Castle Wootton, Oxfordshire, OX20 1EJ

Do not disturb

Eight rooms in former ramshackle stable block adjacent to the pub were revealed in mid May 2015 following a four-month restoration project and the result is stunning. Fronted by new lawn and stone paths, the old Cotswold stone building has been brought back to life with style and panache by local builders and Claire, who has relished overseeing the room design and sourcing furniture and fittings, and the overall attention to detail is impressive. Upstairs rooms, which include the two suites, have high ceilings and exposed beams, with Room 8 having space for a roll-top bath in the room. All have rugs on wood floors, an easy chair or a small sofa (larger rooms), individual artwork, big, chunky wooden beds, topped with comfortable mattresses, quality linen, feather and down, while bespoke hand-made furniture create a cosy, rustic-chic look. Bathrooms make clever use of space; some have unusual tiled floors, roll-top baths and walk-in rain showers, or shower over baths.

Creature comforts

Bathrobes & shaving mirrors; Little Soap Company Eco-Boutique bathroom products; complimentary sherry; Cotswold Coffee Company coffee; homemade shortbread.

Gadgets

HD TV; clock; free wi-fi.

What’s for Breakfast?

Freshly squeezed orange juice or fruit smoothie; porridge & honey; natural yoghurt with berry compote; croissants & Danish pastries, homemade jam & marmalade; smoked salmon Benedict; grilled kipper, poached egg & grilled tomato; full English breakfast.

What’s the Damage?
8 doubles: from £120; 2 night stay at weekends; Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday. Great winter deal – B&B from £99.

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to bar and dining room

Gongs
AA 2 Rosettes; Michelin Bib Gourmand; North Oxfordshire Camra Pub of the Year

Eat & Drink

The Killingworth Castle Wootton, Oxfordshire, OX20 1EJ

Mastering the menu

Sonia Kidney heads up the kitchen and her passion for using ingredients grown and reared locally, combined with her attention to detail and flair with flavour combinations and dish presentation has seen the her innovative cooking achieve two AA Rosettes and a Michelin Bib Gourmand for quality and value. Sonia offers a sensibly short daily carte, which brims with interest and local produce, but both he, Jim and Claire are passionate about keeping the KC a pub, welcoming local drinkers and walkers, so chalkboards list sandwiches, bar snacks and pub classics like beer battered haddock and home-cut chips. In addition, there’s an excellent early bird evening menu (Monday – Thursday & Sunday 6pm-7pm) is a steal at £29 for two courses and a bottle of house wine.

On the menu

Crab, prawn & smoked salmon terrine, leeks vinaigrette
Rabbit & bacon ballotine, tarragon mayonnaise, crispy polenta
Pan-fried stone bass, salt baked carrots, spinach, red wine sauce
Roast venison haunch, black pudding, colcannon croquette, sprouting broccoli
Rhubarb & custard
Lemon meringue tart, pickled fennel
Sandwiches; smoked salmon, cucumber & crème fraiche; ham & mustard mayonnaise

Sunday Roasts

(2 courses £20; 3 courses £25)
Roast Longhorn beef sirloin, Yorkshire pudding, all the trimmings
Gloucester Old Spot pork loin, crackling, apple sauce, all the trimmings
Cotswold pulled lamb shoulder, Yorkshire pudding, all the trimmings

Foodie Extras

Fish & chip Friday (£10; 6pm – 7pm)

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 8am – 9am (9am – 9.30am Saturday & Sunday)
Lunch: 12 noon – 2.30pm (3.30pm Sunday)Dinner: 6pm – 9pm (9.30pm Friday & Saturday; 8.30pm Sunday)

Local, local, local

Martin’s Meats, Toddington (www.martinsmeats.com)
Daylesford Organic Farm, Kingham (www.daylesford.com)
Cheese – Fromage to Age, Ebrington (www.fromagetoage.co.uk)
Free range eggs – Stow-on-the-Wold
New Wave Seafood, Fairford (www.new-wave.co.uk)
Cotswold Coffee Company, Moreton-in-Marsh (www.cotswoldcoffee.com)
Yubberton Brewing Company (www.yubbertonbrewingco.com)
The Grape Store, Long Marston, Warwickshire (www.thegrapestore.com)
The Little Soap Company, Ebrington (www.littlesoapcompany.co.uk)

Behind the bar

Three gleaming hand pumps on the bar proudly dispense Yubby Ales (Yubby Ale, Yawnie & YAP), the tip-top ales brewed by North Cotswold Brewery for Claire & Jim’s Yubberton Brewing Company using recipes devised by Claire & Jim. Yubby Ales are served at the Ebrington Arms and at a select number of pubs across the Cotswolds, with Jim often escaping to help brew the beers and deliver the odd barrel or two. Also on tap are a local guest ale, perhaps from Goffs, Uley or Stroud breweries, Cotswold cider & lagers, also brewed by the Cotswold Brewing Company, a good range of wines (13 by the glass) from The Grape Store, and a selection of boutique gins from Bathtub, William Chase, Sipsmith.

Bar snacks

Confit pork & black pudding sausage roll; deep-fried gherkins

Time at the bar

9am – 11pm

What’s the Damage?
8 doubles: from £120; 2 night stay at weekends; Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday. Great winter deal – B&B from £99.

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to bar and dining room

Gongs
AA 2 Rosettes; Michelin Bib Gourmand; North Oxfordshire Camra Pub of the Year

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 – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Killingworth Castle

2

The Cotswold Cheese Company, Moreton in Marsh GL56 0AH

A purveyor of an incredible selection of the finest cheeses with a good selection from local producers. They also sell other artisan and local produce such as local breads, biscuits and crackers, chutneys and local potted meats.

3

North Cotswold Brewery, Stretton-on-Fosse GL56 9RD

A quality brewery specialising in champion real ales such as Windrush, Cotswold Best, Shagweaver or Hung, Drawn 'N' Portered. Time a visit with one of the monthly brewery tours and gain an insight into the art of making traditional ale and sample a few straight from the cask.

4

Daylesford Farm Shop and Cafe, Daylesford, Kingham GL56 0YG

Known locally as 'Fortnams in the field' Daylesford Organic is so much more than an award-winning farm shop, with a cookery school, cafe, clothes shop and spa. The farm shop offers the best in organic and food produced with the best environmental and livestock husbandry credentials. They have their own bakery and serve up vegetables from their own market garden.

5

The Big Feastival, Kingham OX7 6UJ

An annual party on the farm owned by local pop star turned farmer/cheese maker Alex James of Blur. This August Bank Holiday weekend event is co-hosted by Jamie Oliver and is a festival of food and music, with famous chefs demonstrating their cooking skills while you listen to live music from some of the best musicians in the country. A cracking day out for all the family.

8

The Cotswold Brewing Company, College Farm, Bourton on the Water GL54 2HN

This award-winning independent brewery retains a hand-crafted approach to making beer and is also well-known for its lager and stout, as well as its cider, gin and vodka. You can pop into the brewery to buy bottles and polypins of beer and there are twice-daily brewhouse tours by prior arrangement.

10

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.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Killingworth Castle

Activities

3

Heythrop Park Golf Club, Enstone, Chipping Norton OX7 5UE OX7 5UF

Make sure your SatNav takes you via the Drive, Church Enstone, or you’ll find you can’t get in. Weaving through the 440-acre Heythrop Estate, this 18-hole features ancient woodland, lakes and streams – it’s a quintessentially English setting. Visitors are welcome and there are all kinds of other facilities, including a spa.

4

Shooting, Enstone OX7 4NS

This comprehensive clay shooting school, situated amid the pastoral scenery of the Cotswolds, at Enstone, near Chipping Norton, offers great facilities and caters for beginners right through to experienced shots.

5

Rally Driving Days, Tracey Farm, Great Tew OX7 4JS

Family-run and welcoming rally, performance car and off-road driving centre situated near Chipping Norton. Here, you can try your hand at rally driving in authentic conditions and in the safe hands of trained professionals.

24

Cotswold Archery, Batsford Arboretum GL56 9AD

Deep in the Cotswolds, at Batsford Arboretum, near Moreton-in-Marsh, you’ll find this dedicated archery range. There is a wide choice of bows to use and expert tutors are always on hand.

Shopping

15

Burford Woodcraft, Burford OX18 4QU

Promoting contemporary British craftsmanship for over 30 years, the shop sells an extensive selection of creative wooden objects, furniture, sculpture, bowls, kitchenware, jewellery boxes, games and toys.

16

Bicester Village, Bicester OX26 6WD

One of the south of England's best-known and most popular retail centres, Bicester Village is where you can explore a wide range of chic boutiques stocking stylish lifestyle brands that are at the heart of world-class fashion.

17

Vintage & Paint, Stow-on-the-Wold GL54 1AQ

Nice interiors shop selling furniture, kitchenware, lighting, objet d'art and collectables They also sell Annie Sloan paint so you can have a go at creating this ‘look’ yourself.

19

Maybury, 4 Market Street, Woodstock OX20 1SX

Expect beautiful bedcovers, cushions and jackets and discover a striking collection of colourful furniture covered in vintage textiles and an assortment of rare and authentic rugs at this eclectic emporium in Woodstock, characterised by the irresistible, heady atmosphere of India and Central Asia.

20

Rosie B Home & Interiors, Horsefair, Chipping Norton OX7 5AL

All the items in this eclectic shop are personally sourced and chosen by Rosie herself. Situated in Horsefair in Chipping Norton, it’s a good place to get ideas and buy special gifts; you’ll find vintage and antique pieces for the home, mirrors, kitchenalia, glass and ceramics.

21

Iona House Gallery, 4 High Street, Woodstock OX20 1TF

Founded in 2002, this highly respected Woodstock-based art gallery exhibits paintings, sculpture, ceramics, glass, craft and jewellery from established artists and burgeoning talents. More than 100 English, Scottish and Russian artists are represented.

22

Aston Pottery, Aston, Witney OX18 2BT

Expect a varied choice of hand-stenciled pottery at Aston, near Witney - all of it manufactured and decorated on the premises. This is just the place to browse and buy, and there's a good and popular cafe, too.

23

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.

Places to visit

6

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.

7

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.

8

Rollright Stones, Chipping Norton OX7 5QB

An unusual circle of 77 heavily weathered, closely-set slabs of local Neolithic limestone, known as the King's Men, traditionally a monarch and his courtiers petrified by a witch. The Rollright Stones also include the Whispering Knights burial chamber, and single King Stone, which is on the other side of the road. They span nearly 2,000 years of Neolithic and Bronze Age development.

9

Rousham House & Garden, Rousham OX25 4QU

With the pretty River Cherwell flowing through the grounds, Rousham is one of Oxfordshire's loveliest mansions. Dating back to 1635, the house was remodelled over 100 years later and there is more than a hint of the Italianate about the garden with its cascades and ponds, groves, the Temple of Echo and the seven-arched portico known as Praeneste. A peaceful stroll along the tree-shaded Long Walk is a must.

10

The Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock OX20 1SN

Based in Woodstock, the Oxfordshire Museum celebrates the delights of this varied county by focusing on local history, art, archaeology and landscape. There are events and activities for children and adults, four galleries of changing exhibitions and attractive gardens to explore.

11

Kelmscott Manor, Kelmscott GL7 3HJ

This beautiful house, built from lovely mellow golden stone, was the Cotswold retreat of William Morris and his family, friends and colleagues. Kelmscott is home to fascinating and important collections of textiles, furniture and paintings, spanning more than 300 years and reflecting the ideas and creative legacy of those who lived and worked here.

12

Minster Lovell Hall, Minster Lovell OX29 0RR

Shrouded in mystery and with a haunting, tangible air of the distant past, the romantic ruins of Minster Lovell Hall stand on the banks of the River Windrush. The village of Minster Lovell captures the essence of sublime Cotswolds' architecture.

13

North Leigh Roman Villa, Witney OX29 6QE

This English Heritage site at North Leigh, near Witney, consists of a large, well-constructed Roman courtyard villa with a historically important, near complete mosaic floor, which can be seen through a viewing window.

14

Bampton OX18 2NE

Located on the edge of the Cotswolds, Bampton is a bustling village with many fine buildings and a good range of amenities, including the West Ox Arts Gallery, based in the town hall. Renowned for its Morris Dancing traditions, Bampton is also regularly used for village scenes in the hugely popular television drama Downton Abbey.

Cycling

www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com
www.in-gloucestershire.co.uk
www.aboutthecotswolds.co.uk
www.escapetothecotswolds.org.uk
Not too hilly, not too flat – Oxfordshire’s a good place to cycle, with lots of lovely scenery and a variety of routes for all abilities. There are several long distance routes, plus lots of bridleways. The Hanson Way starts in Oxford itself and follows the Thames Path to Abingdon and Didcot. The Cotswolds are particularly good for off-roading, with a network of tracks, but road cyclists won’t be disappointed either, as there are some spectacular hills and very tricky climbs.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Set beside the B4027 on the edge of Wootton, 1 mile north of A44 and 2 miles north of Woodstock.

Address:

Glympton Road,, Wootton, Oxfordshire, OX20 1EJ

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