The Trout at Tadpole Bridge – Buckland Marsh, Oxfordshire
What a delightful spot. It’s here that the infant Thames is at its most peaceful, slipping past miles of understated countryside, rich in wildlife. Downstream from Tadpole Bridge are the wildflower meadows and wading birds of the Chimney Nature Reserve; across the fields is Bampton, one of the prettiest villages in the county. Kelmscott Manor lies farther along the river, while Blenheim Palace and Cotswold Water Park are within easy reach. It’s hard to think of a better base for a weekend away. Many customers arrive by boat: The Trout’s spacious garden runs down to the water, where there are moorings for patrons. The neat, old brick inn has all the hallmarks of a carefully modernised pub with rooms, one that adds up to an appealing, unpretentious, family-friendly whole. Winning ingredients include lovely bedrooms that make you stop in surprise; a clutch of faithful regulars propping up the bar; hearty classics on the dinner menu in an elegant room; and cheerful local staff.
Like most Cotswold retreats, you can expect to find plenty of country walks to enjoy here at The Trout but with the Thames drifting past our garden you’ll also have fantastic riverside strolls when you step out of your door. Grab your walking boots and choose between absorbing the rolling green vistas and medieval architecture that set the local villages apart along the picturesque pathways or head to the water and follow the the iconic Thames Path National Trail which stretches all the way to the Thames Barrier, perfect for waterside hikes and long bike rides.
The best of forest and stream. With the river Thames on our doorstep, naturally the menus are brimming with fresh fish dishes. From trout rarebit or fish of the day to crayfish from their very own river pots, the hotel take them straight from the river and nearby chalkstreams to your plate in the award-winning AA Rosette Cotswolds pub & restaurant. But it’s still a true country inn as much about forests and fields as rivers and streams, so you’ll always find plenty of hearty classics, steaks and more creative plates of local game to tuck into – washed down nicely with a pint of real ale or a bottle from the carefully chosen wine list.
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