From £179.10
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On a sunny day the courtyard garden at the Head of the River is packed, its waterfront setting and central location drawing locals and visitors young and old. It's a convenient and convivial place to stay with easy access to the city sights as well as plenty of rustic-chic character.

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Rooms available from £179.10 per night

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Conveniently located in the heart of Oxford, the hotel wraps around a large courtyard next to a bridge over the Thames. Despite the constant traffic, good soundproofing offers a buffer from the street noise, and the central location means all the sights, colleges, shops and theatres are within a ten-minute walk. The hotel sits right next to Christ Church Meadow and is an easy walk from Pembroke, Merton, Oriel and the Botanic Gardens.

By car: the journey takes around 1 hour 30 minutes from London or Bristol and just over 3 hours from Manchester. There is no parking on-site but the Westgate shopping centre car park is around a 10-minute walk away.

By train: 50 minutes from London Paddington, 1 hour 20 minutes from Bristol Temple Meads and 2 hours 45 minutes from Manchester Piccadilly. Oxford Station is a five-minute taxi ride from the hotel. Book trains to Oxford.

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Deftly retaining the character of the 18th-century warehouses it occupies but bringing the décor right up to date, the pub and hotel have an intrinsic charm without pandering to nostalgia. Expect open fires, brick walls and slate floors in the pub and restaurant, while the rooms are more contemporary.


The staff here are capable, efficient and friendly but at times overtaxed by large groups in the restaurant. Soundproofing is good enough to ensure a decent night's kip even with the traffic and noise of student revellers downstairs, but there's no parking, spa or additional services to speak of.

  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Breakfast included
  • Family-friendly
  • Riverside beer garden
  • Free Wi-Fi


The rooms are named and styled after famous Oxford alumni. The Edmund Haley features a planetary theme, Evelyn Waugh a literary bent and William Webb Ellis a sporting line. All are different in size, shape and décor but each has a king-size bed and Nespresso machine.

Room types: Cosy Room, Comfy Room, Indulgence Room

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom, toiletries, TV, king-size bed, tea and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi


The menu is a step above the classic British pub grub on offer elsewhere, with staples such as Bolognese made with venison rather than beef, a dry-aged beef carpaccio and a sticky toffee pudding made with vintage ale and served with buffalo milk ice cream.

The Kitchen: relaxed, refined British pub food and hearty breakfasts. Open 11am-10pm. Mains from £11.

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