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OVERVIEW

This characterful Grade II-listed public house, located on an island between two waterways, is perfect for messing about on and off the river. The Dundas Arms boasts great food, refurbished bedrooms with homely comforts - like espresso machines and vegan toiletries - and a large riverside garden, offering a restful stay. River rooms with private terraces provide yet more solitude.


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Your expert reviewer

Kathryn Liston
Travel Writer
A travel writer for more than 40 years, Kathryn has visited more than 100 countries - and has loved every minute of it. Whether she’s cycling down a volcano in Maui (Hawaii), dog sledding in Sweden or cycling along the Rhine, it’s been a fun ride! You’ll find her articles and hotel reviews in national newspapers, such as The Telegraph and Observer, national magazines, online (Silver Travel Advisor) and in the travel trade press.

OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

If you're a water lover, you've come to the right place. This public house is situated on an island between the River Avon and Kennet and Avon Canal. Fall out of bed and onto the towpath for a leisurely stroll or take a horse-drawn barge trip or a self-drive narrowboat. Kintbury station is close by. Downton Abbey lovers can head over to Highclere Castle, where the TV drama was filmed - it's eight miles away.

By car: around 1 hour 45 minutes from London, 1 hour from Bristol and 3 hours 30 minutes from Manchester. Free on-site parking.

By train: Newbury station is 15 minutes and Reading station is 40 minutes by taxi. Book trains to Newbury.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

Country-casual meets contemporary at this Grade II-listed inn which underwent a £500,000 makeover in 2018. The bar and lounges are all wingback chairs, fireplaces, nooks and crannies while the restaurant features wooden floorboards and table tops against a palette of greens and stylish lighting. A riverside garden is perfect for dining al fresco.

THE FACILITIES

A few niggles are ironed out quickly with humour - the manager even went out to buy coconut water especially for us. As far as facilities go, the riverside garden is perfect for sipping summer cocktails, while a log fire in the comfy lounge is welcoming during the cold winter months.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Garden
  • Pet-friendly
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

The five river rooms with a private terrace and three in the pub are incredibly peaceful despite the latter being above the bar. Décor in country greys and greens is contemporary chic, and all bedrooms come with a king-sized or super-king bed, vegan toiletries and an espresso machine. Pheasant and Kingfisher are the largest rooms.

Room types: Classic Room, Indulgent Room, Riverside Room

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, tea and coffee facilities, TV, free Wi-Fi

FOOD AND DRINK

Innovative dishes produced with flair punch way above their weight - think candied walnuts and pickled shallots. Seafood and fish are sublime, particularly the brown shrimps that accompany an asparagus and poached egg starter. Breakfast is outstanding consisting of yoghurt, cereals, juices, cold cuts, cheeses and eggs perfectly cooked all ways.

The Dundas Arms: traditional British pub. Local produce, seasonal ingredients. Open daily, for lunch and dinner. Mains from £14.

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