The Crown Inn

Woodstock, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom Book from Book from £175 per night

Inspired design and a relaxed vibe at this beautiful Cotswolds pub-with-rooms
If Woodstock is one of England's prettiest small towns, The Crown is hands-down the most beautiful place to stay there. Rescued from old-boozer mediocrity by owners Julian and Justine in 2014, its 9 boxy bedrooms were knocked into a spacious 5; the downstairs completely reconfigured to be light and airy. And then the real work began. Julian masterminded the overall transformation to top-end boutique pub while Justine, an interior designer, created the utterly unique decor. It says it all that recent guests have commissioned her to do their homes.

Each bedroom has a bold colour scheme and an inspired mix of styles that blend together brilliantly: retro sofas, antique drawers, modern art and vintage lighting. Succulents sit in tiny planters, ferns are suspended in copper pots, and bamboo towers up from wicker baskets. You'll covet everything you see - the attention to detail throughout is incredible. And then there's Woodstock itself; charming honey-hued Georgian buildings draped in ivy and wisteria, alongside independent delis and boutiques. Blenheim Palace is 5 minutes' walk away and you're just 15km from Oxford for easy day trips on the bus.

Highs

  • Just 5 stunning, spacious bedrooms; perfect for a romantic break
  • Top-quality everything: loose-leaf tea and freshly ground coffee; Apple TVs and Bose docks; Green & Spring toiletries, dream beds and super-cool lighting
  • Excellent staff: friendly and attentive
  • The beautiful, light-filled dining conservatory with its mosaic-tiled floor and plant-lined windowsills, plus a cosy pub area with real fires
  • Hearty gastro fare plus delicious breakfasts in the pretty courtyard

Lows

  • No twin rooms
  • No in-room fridges, though fresh milk and a carafe of iced water are left outside your door every morning
  • No private parking but there's a free long-stay car park a short walk away

Best time to go

Any time of year. Spring and autumn would be our top choices for clement weather, flowers or turning leaves, and fewer tourists. Often dusted with snow, the Cotswolds are an idyllic option for a winter getaway, and The Crown's rooms a beautiful place to hole up on a chilly day. Rooms can get hot in high summer, though fans are provided and there's a sweet alfresco courtyard.

Our top tips

A 15-minute drive away, the atmospherically crumbling ruins of Minster Lovell Hall are perfect for picnics, and you can go wild swimming in the nearby River Windrush.

Great for...

Foodie
Honeymoon
  • Pub with rooms
  • 5
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The Crown's 5 rooms are a serious cut above the norm; more boutique hotel than pub-with-rooms. The bed was the comfiest we have ever slept in and the pillows were like clouds. We had masses of space in the bedroom, living area and bathroom, and a wall of windows peeking onto the cobbled pavement.

But it was the little details that really impressed, making the rooms homely to hang out in, but seriously stylish, too. Succulents in hanging gold pots; fishing lanterns and Anglepoise lighting; retro sofas in front of Apple TVs. Soft throws, bold modern art, antique drawers, homemade cookies, handmade soap - basically an Instagrammer's dream.

Each room is unique, bold with colour. Room 3, where we stayed, was our favourite - a mix of greys and blues, livened by a burnt-orange throw, abstract art and sepia photographs on one wall. We also loved characterful Room 5, set in the eaves with a deep roll-top bath.

Gleaming bathrooms have claw-foot tubs or rain showers with retro hexagonal tiling, plus Green & Spring toiletries and the softest towels and robes. And do forget your toothbrush; there are disposable bamboo versions here, plus nostalgic old-fashioned toothpaste.

Features include:

  • Apple TV
  • Bathrobes
  • Bose speakers
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

You can dine in a beautiful light-filled conservatory, where green plants trail from macrame hanging baskets, or in the pub itself, a buzzy space with on-trend grey decor, exposed stone walls and crackling fires.

We kicked off with herby foccacia and dipping oils, then had a couple of shared plates: a chorizo and chilli pizzetta from the wood-fired oven, and a delicious pear and fennel salad, flavoured with caraway. Our mains (a braised rib of beef with watercress and horseradish, and a rump of lamb with chargrilled vegetables) unfortunately lacked a depth of flavour, but it was a new chef's first night so hopefully a one-off. A lemon posset for dessert was everything we'd hoped: creamy, sweet, moreish.

Breakfast the next day was a real delight - we piled our plates high with berries, homemade granola, thick yoghurt and flaky pastries, and sat in the sunny courtyard with perfectly balanced flat whites and the daily papers. Avocado and poached eggs on sourdough were a fitting follow-up.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating: Copyright?
Activity: Blenheim Palace

Activities

  • Explore Woodstock: a handsome Cotswolds market town with Georgian architecture, gorgeous delis, antique shops and independent clothing and gift boutiques
  • Unesco-listed Blenheim Palace is on your doorstep: the birthplace of Winston Churchill, it has gilded state halls, impressive artworks and 2,000 acres of 'Capability' Brown landscaped parkland
  • The quaint church in neighbouring Bladon is home to Churchill's grave
  • Downton Abbey fans can day trip to Highclere Castle and the pretty village of Bampton, the fictional settings for the TV show
  • You're also close to Charlbury and Burford, 2 quintessential Cotswolds towns packed with old-world charm; a little farther are the tiny idyllic 'Slaughter' hamlets
  • Spend a day in Oxford. We love the quirky Ashmolean Museum (Egyptian mummies, Islamic art and rare porcelain) and visiting the magnificent colleges: Christ Church was where Einstein and Lewis Carroll were educated, and was used as a setting for the Harry Potter films

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

Families are welcome at The Crown Inn and the restaurant makes dining with children easy - there's a kids' menu, and as soon as families sit down they are brought a plate of foccacia, hummus and crudities, plus a box of Lego and some crayons.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Rooms 2 and 5 can fit a baby cot; Rooms 1 and 3 can fit a baby cot or rollaway bed; Room 4 has a sofabed for 1 child and space for a rollaway bed.

Baby listening:

A baby monitor to borrow, which can stretch to all rooms except Room 5.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots and highchairs.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Kids' menu with pizettas, pasta with meatballs or tomato sauce, and yummy desserts including a chocolate brownie or cookie with a tiny bottle of milk.

Distances:

  • Airport: 1.5 hours' drive (London Heathrow)
  • Shop: Across the road
  • Hospital: 10 minutes' drive
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 5 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
9/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Lovely, stylish room (Room 1) - well laid out with large bathroom & sitting area. Staff & service were great, really busy & lively ambiance and fantastic value overall. Highly recommend. Dinner was so filling, perhaps too much food on one plate but really enjoyable and good drinks/ cocktail list. Afternoon tea here was a perfect cosy retreat, compared to the offer at Blenheim Palace!

10/10,

Amazing staff and a beautiful room (Room 3). Quite simply a wonderful experience and a great place from which to explore Oxford, whilst enjoying a small town feel but with a variety of lively pubs and restaurants, even on a Monday night. Could not recommend it more. Well done all of you at The Crown. (Great croissants, by the way)!

10/10,

We really enjoyed our stay at The Crown. Service was excellent and very friendly and attentive. The location was brilliant for Blenheim Palace, the food was fabulous and the room lovely. Some people may find the road noise a little intrusive as it is situated on a very busy road with heavy traffic. Only room 4 would be relatively quiet. We would happily stay here again (but I would take ear plugs or ask for room 4)!

10/10,

Great location for a taste of the English countryside and heritage, whilst staying in stylish comfortable rooms.

9/10,

Beautiful room, great food, really friendly and helpful staff.

10/10,

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Rates for The Crown Inn