A review of The Highway Inn, Burford, Oxfordshire

Great British boltholes: The historic hotel in beautiful Burford that offers a brilliant blend of traditional inn and cosy Cotswold home

  • The Highway Inn is located in Burford known as the ‘gateway to the Cotswolds’
  • There are 11 individually decorated rooms – some have four-poster beds
  • Expect classic pub fare with refined touches and a selection of vegan dishes

There are plenty of contenders for the prettiest village in the Cotswolds, but Burford has a rightful claim to the most spectacular high street. Sweeping downhill from the High Wolds towards the medieval bridge over the River Windrush, both sides are flanked by an unbroken line of ancient houses and shops.

Halfway up, or down, is The Highway Inn, a 500-year-old timber and stone building, newly, and lovingly, refurbished by owner Scott Williamson and his architect partner.

The Grade II listed building has provided rest and sustenance to travellers since 1480 when, in the heyday of the wool trade, Burford’s location between Oxford, Bath and Gloucester made it an important staging post for merchants.

500 years of history: The timber and stone exterior of The Highway Inn

The Highway Inn has 11 individually decorated rooms named after surrounding villages and hamlets. Decorated in a modern English country style and furnished with a mixture of contemporary and classic furniture, they are a brilliant blend of traditional inn and cosy Cotswold home.

The walls between the ancient oak beams are now painted in a range of heritage hues, the original fireplaces are hung with Warhol-esque artworks, and the solid-wood four-posters are strewn with jewel-coloured velvet cushions. Although it has a grown-up feel, the inn also welcomes children and dogs.

I can hardly decide where to lounge after a long day stomping through the surrounding hills – on the four-poster, the chaise-lounge or in the window nook.

Meals are served in the stone-walled bar area, breakfast room or the peaceful medieval courtyard garden. We dined on rich ham hock with black pudding and apple terrine, tangy Cotswold Gin-cured salmon, thyme-roasted local lamb and crispy duck-leg croquettes with a vodka-cherry sauce.

One of the dog-friendly bedrooms, which features a mix of contemporary and classic furniture

One of the dog-friendly bedrooms, which features a mix of contemporary and classic furniture

TRAVEL FACTS 

The Highway Inn, Burford, Oxfordshire. B&B costs from £100 a night. For more information visit thehighwayinn.co.uk.

As well as being famed for its picturesque high street, Burford is known as the ‘gateway to the Cotswolds’. Uber-pretty Bibury and Roman Cirencester are all on the doorstep, while Chipping Camden is an easy drive away, making The Highway Inn a perfect base from which to explore.

The USP: A historic hotel, blending original and contemporary features.

The rooms: Three of the 11 are dog-friendly. Premium rooms come with four-poster beds, fireplaces and uneven sloping floors, while the newer rooms contain wood panelling and contemporary iron bedframes.

The food: Expect classic pub fare with refined touches and a selection of vegan dishes. Starters cost from £6 and mains from £13. The bar serves ale from the local Hook Norton Brewery, and there is an eclectic range of boutique gins, vodkas and malts. 

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