From £103.20
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OVERVIEW

Sitting in the centre of pretty, golden-hued Woodstock and harbouring around 800 years of history, this handsome coaching inn is a solid choice for a break in the Cotswolds. Nearby Blenheim Palace and its grounds offer ample opportunity for walking, while the onsite restaurant and bar will help you refuel.


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Rooms available from £103.20 per night

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OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Sitting right at the junction where the High Street meets the Market Place, the Bear's location couldn't get any better in Woodstock. You've got cafés and pubs aplenty on your doorstep, plus some excellent shopping in the town's independent boutiques. Blenheim Palace in all its Baroque glory is the highlight in town, with endless walks on its vast estate and a chance to peek inside the private home of the Duke of Marlborough.

By car: around 1 hour 30 minutes from Bristol, 2 hours from London and 3 hours from Manchester. Parking costs £10 per day.

By train: there are direct trains to Oxford from London Paddington, Birmingham and Manchester. The hotel is a 20-minute drive from the station. Book trains to Oxford.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

The exterior of The Bear is rather beguiling, all golden Cotswold stone and heavy ivy, with the original 13th-century coaching passage in its centre. Inside, it's a fairly plain hotel and it lets the building itself tell its story, with vaulted ceilings and wooden beams in some rooms. Antique furniture and exposed brick fireplaces add a country house vibe, too.

THE FACILITIES

The reception and bar staff were friendly if a little inexperienced, but it was the groundsman who stole the show, fussing the dog and offering ideas on where to walk. The hotel has excellent meeting room facilities and events suites, ideal for special occasions in a special location.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Terrace
  • Pet-friendly
  • On-site parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

Bedrooms vary in décor throughout The Bear, some with attractive antiques and original features, others with more modern furniture. It doesn't always feel like the décor has been meticulously planned, but overall there's a cosy vibe that makes for an enjoyable stay.

Room types: Standard, Deluxe, Super Deluxe, Suite

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

FOOD AND DRINK

Food and drink at The Bear are a little disappointing, so don't book if you're a foodie. Cocktails were slow to arrive, though well executed, and the wine list wasn't exactly extensive. The food was good, but nothing to really rave about, and lots of the starters seemed to be deep-fried and in breadcrumbs.

The Restaurant: fine dining restaurant, modern British cuisine. Seasonal ingredients. Open daily; all day menu. Mains from £17.

Churchill Lounge: bar snacks and afternoon tea daily.

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