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The trail-blazing Cotswold 'gastropub' back in 2001, the 300-year-old Bell continues to wow walkers, drinkers and diners under the guidance of top publican and foodie Peter Austen.

Built of mellow Cotswold stone and set in an idyllic hillside village close to Cirencester Park, the Bell is civilised in every way, attracting discerning folk from miles around for innovative pub food served throughout three cosy dining areas, where exposed stone walls, polished flagstones, bare boards, open log fires and individual tables and chairs set the informal style.

Added touches include tasteful wine prints, daily newspapers to peruse, fresh flowers and the eye-catching 'wine wall', a self-serve wine shop showcasing dozens of Peter's carefully sourced wines to take away or drink in. There's a secluded Mediterranean-style courtyard and garden dining room with rusitic furnishings, bar and pizza overn at the rear, and a landscaped front garden for summer drinking and dining, the latter replete with horse-tethering rail. Three charming rooms added in 2021 complete the bucolic picture.

Rooms from:

2 doubles £150; family suite £250

Good to know

Major credit cards accepted (not Amex)

Disabled access (not rooms)

Alfresco & private dining

Wood-fired pizzas


Parking available (Horses too!)

Dogs welcome overnight


The village is famous for its connection with the Cotswold Arts and Crafts movement. Many of the buildings were built or rebuilt under the patronage of the Bathurst family in the Cotswold Arts & Crafts style. Picturesque St Kenelm's Church is well worth viewing for the setting and historical interest.

Walk to Cirencester

For a fabulous local walk, look no further than walking to Cirencester from the Bell (4 miles) - much of the route passes through Cirencester Park (open 8am-5pm) and you can return by taxi.


Adding rooms upstairs in 2021 was the icing on the cake for Peter Austen and The Bell - one of best foodie pubs in the Cotswolds is now a cracking country inn in a glorious village setting.

Having sound-proofed the floors to ensure a cosy and restful stay, Peter completed two spacious suites in the summer, one a king-sized double room, the other an inspired two-bedroomed suite (twin & double), perfect for a family or friends travelling together. Summer 2022 saw the completion of a third luxury suite on the first floor with an vaulted ceiling into the loft space.

Designed to be flexible spaces for Cotswolds travellers, all have a unique mini-kitchen replete with fridge, microwave, toaster, kettle and space to store food, allowing guests to be self-contained and independent, should they wish, for breakfast or other meals, which is ideal for a young family staying overnight. A relaxed cooked breakfast is served downstairs in the dining room between 9am and 10am.

Expect calming heritage colours, large wooden or brass beds, table and chairs, Smart TV, Roberts radio, cafetiere coffee, teas and fresh milk, and contemporary bathrooms with bathrobes, organic Bramley toiletries, and walk-in showers. Front rooms enjoy serene views across the garden and village.

Restaurant & bar

Use of top-notch local produce is key to the popularity of the monthly menu that evolves with the seasons and includes homemade bread and beef from the Cirencester Park herd of cattle.

From a typical December menu, follow chicken and duck liver parfait, toasted brioche and Madeira onions, or Serrano ham with pickles and rocket, with roast breast of pheasant with braised leg, cauliflower puree and sauce Forestiere, or cider-battered haddock and chips with tartare sauce. Regular favourites include double cheeseburger, bacon and chips, and local Longhorn sirloin steak with pepper sauce. Leave room for the likes of parkin cake, rhubarb ripple ice cream and cider syrup. Book for Sunday lunch - leg of Cotswolds lamb, roast potatoes, Gloucestershire pudding, curly kale, braised carrots, and cauliflower cheese.

Walkers calling in for a late afternoon snack can tuck into a handmade pizza from the wood oven (5pm-7pm), best washed down by a pint of local ale, perhaps Uley Old Spot or Wickwar Cotswold Way. The wine list has 24 by the glass and is strong on single-supplier wines.

Private dining

Private dining is available in the Garden Room (maximum 14 guests) and the Courtyard has its own bar and pizza oven and is ideal for larger events (maximum 50-60 guests).

Things to do

Cirencester is the most historic of the Cotswold market towns and comes with an outstanding church and town houses dating from the 15th century onwards. From the extensive park (good gentle walking) on the west side of the town, there is a classic view of the church and town from Broad Ride.

Near Stroud, Owlpen Manor is a romantic Tudor manor house set in a picturesque valley and surrounded by formal terraced gardens dominated by magnificent yew trees dating from the 17th-century.

The Cotswold region is synonymous with walking. Criss-crossing these magnificent hills are numerous footpaths, bridleways and byways. Some are linked to form long-distance trails offering the walker breathtaking views - the Macmillan Way, the Cotswold Way and the Monarch's Way are prime examples. The region also offer an impressive choice of off-road cycle routes, taking cyclists to the heart of the region via some of the country's prettiest countryside.

In the heart of the beautiful Slad Valley, the timeless 16th century Woolpack is one of the most iconic Cotswold pubs and has long-enjoyed its association with Cider With Rosie author Laurie Lee, who was a regular here and is buried in the churchyard opposite. The pub is still packed with Lee memorabilia but the excellent food and local ales are reason enough to pop in.

Getting here


Nearest train station: Kemble

Taxi from station: 13 min

Drive: Cirencester 11min; Cheltenham 29min; Bath 58min


Sapperton, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 6LE

Enquire to book

To make a booking enquiry, please use the form below or you can call our reservations team on 020 8161 0100. Our phone lines are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 11am - 3pm.

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