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The handsome Falcon Inn stands opposite the parish church in the charming village of Painswick, just yards from ramblers' favourite walk the Cotswold Way, which passes through the churchyard, famous for its 99 stunning clipped yews.

The stone-built 16th-century coaching inn's colourful history takes in the site of the first Masonic ceremony in Gloucestershire in 1794, and a period as the village courthouse. It is also the unlikely setting in which to find the world's oldest bowling green.

Kent winery Balfour Hospitality revived the inn's fortunes in late 2021 following a period of closure, lovingly restoring the Georgian townhouse, refurbishing the 11 bedrooms, introducing a modern British menu and showcasing their award-winning British wines. Cosy bar/dining areas are full of traditional charm - expect rugs on stone and wood floors, wood panelling, log fires, warm hues and an eclectic mix of furnishings.

A very comfortable base for exploring the Cotswold Way, Cheltenham, Bath and the south-west Cotswolds.

Rooms from:

11 doubles/twin: £135; Suite £189

Good to know

Major credit cards accepted (not Amex)

Disabled access (bar & ground floor bedroom)

Alfresco dining

The Shires - dining/event space

Parking available

Dogs weclome overnight

Bowling Green

The beautiful bowling green behind the inn is recorded as being in place as far back as 1554 and legend has it that King Charles I had a game on the green during the siege of Gloucester.

Stroud Farmers Market

Buy some local goodies to take home at this renowned market (50 food and drink stalls) held every Saturday at the Cornhill Square and surrounding streets.

Cotswold Way

Criss-crossing the Cotswold hills are numerous footpaths, bridleways and byways offering the walker breathtaking views - the Cotswold Way is a stunning long-distance trail stretching 102 miles from Chipping Campden to Bath.


Full of original features and each with its own unique charm, the 11 beautifully refurbished rooms are split between the inn (8) and the converted Coach House (3), with feature front rooms overlooking Painswick's magnificent churchyard.

They are simply decorated in soothing blues, greys and creams, and come in all shapes and sizes - the smallest is spacious enough for a desk and an easy chair, while the huge Balfour Rose suite boasts a fabulous four-poster bed, a chaise longue, two upholstered chairs by the picture window, and a modern bathroom with storm shower over a bath.

Each room is furnished with an eclectic mix of antiques and original artwork and come with stylish bathrooms. Some have exposed stone walls, period beams and fireplaces, others have bold statement prints and big mirrors - all have super-comfortable Sealy mattresses, quality linen and down and bright throws, Smart TVs, Nespresso machines, Joe's tea, homemade biscuits, and a flowering orchid. There are two family rooms in the Coach House, while front rooms at the inn may suffer some traffic noise.

With the Cotswold Way passing through the churchyard opposite, the inn is a popular stop-off for walkers, so dogs are welcome overnight in some of the rooms - beds, blankets and treats are provided.

Restaurant & bar

Using quality local ingredients, the kitchen team take a traditional approach to food, delivering well-cooked pub classics alongside more creative dishes on eclectic seasonal menus.

A typical menu may highlight heritage tomatoes with feta cheese, capers, olive tapenade and prosciutto, followed by Jake's lager beer battered fish and chips with Avruga caviar, tartare sauce and triple-cooked chips, Barnsley lamb chop, roasted potato and peppers and a red wine sauce, or whole baked camembert to share with orange chutney and sourdough. Puddings may include a classic créme brûlee with raspberries and lemon.

Balfour pioneers both English traditional sparkling wines and world class red, white and rose wines and a good selection are available by the glass and bottle at The Falcon - do try one of the wine tasting flights (3 fizz & 3 still) to get a real flavour of the Balfour Collection. There are over 20 wines by the glass, in addition to Jake's Session IPA and Kentish Cider, also made at the winery in Kent.

Private dining

Occupying one of the former coach houses, The Shires is a versatile private dining/event space with its own bar, servery kitchen and toilets - perfect for small parties, weddings, family celebrations, and as a business meeting venue.

Things to do

Rococo Gardens is an enchanting 6-acre garden, nestling in a hidden valley, and the only complete surviving example of the flamboyant English Rococo Garden movement. Originally laid out in the 18th century, it has magnificent views of the surrounding countryside - stroll round the grounds, and discover the extraordinary rococo buildings - The Red House, Kitchen Garden, Gothic Alcove and magical Exedra.

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.

A handsome Tudor building with later additions standing in glorious terraced gardens, Snowshill Manor includes an impressive collection of items amassed by Charles Wade, its former owner, who gave the house to the National Trust in 1951.

Getting here


Nearest train station: Stroud

Taxi from station: 10min

Drive: Cheltenham 22min; Cirencester 26min; Bristol 49min


New Street, Painswick, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL6 6UN

Prices & availability