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Lost down lanes south of Stow and set beside the green in picture-postcard Cold Aston, the mellow stone Plough exudes 17th-century character and charm. Having managed some top British inns, including the Cary Arms in Devon, Tom Hughes returned home to the Cotswolds and snapped up the Plough in 2018.

With wife Josie they have gently refurbished the place, sprucing up the old pub, all exposed beams, flagged floors, cottagey windows and cosy nooks, and creating an intimate dining space in the airy extension beyond the bar. Arrive early to bag a seat in front the warming wood-burner and expect a relaxed, laid-back vibe, with locals and walkers mingling with diners. Doors open out onto a super summer patio for alfresco drinking and dining.

With three cosy rooms it makes the perfect base from which to savour the delights of the Cotswolds - footpaths radiate from the front door, the famous Slaughter villages are close, and Cheltenham is a short drive away.

Rooms from

3 doubles: £80

Good to know

  • Amex not accepted; Mastercard and Visa accepted
  • Alfresco dining
  • Limited parking: village lane
  • Dog stay £10

Scenic & serene

Single-track lanes lead to the pretty Cold Aston deep in the Cotswolds and the Plough overlooks the green and mellow stone cottages.


Dogs are allowed in all three rooms (£10 - max two dogs). The separate entrance to the rooms allows easy access to the green and surrounding footpaths for morning walkies.

A touch of culture

Visit nearby Snowshill Manor (National Trust),; explore the Roman Villa at Chedworth; or spend time in Cheltenham, famous for its literary festival.


The three cosy and charmingly simple bedrooms are tucked under the eaves of the old pub and they have their own separate entrance, so you can come and go as you please.

Named after local villages, each room varies in size and feature original beams, exposed stone, and quaint stone windows. Notgrove overlooks the village green; Aylworth enjoys village views and has roll-top bath and walk-in shower; cosy and cottagey Turkdean is the smallest room with shower only.

All have comfortable king-size beds topped with crisp linen and feather duvets, good lighting, coffee machines, retro radios, and luxury, locally produced 100 Acres toiletries.

Restaurant & bar

Menus evolve with the seasons and the focus is on quality and making sound use of local ingredients, including game from surrounding shoots and Longhorn beef, locally reared lamb and rare breed pork from Toddington based Martins Meats.

As a result the food is drawing a loyal dining crowd to this deeply rural pub with rooms. You can tuck into a pub classic like beer-battered haddock or a venison burger with mustard mayonnaise, or perhaps try rump of Cold Aston lamb with redcurrant jus, or a 30-day aged Ruby Red steak. Don't miss the delicious Sunday roasts.

Enjoy tasty bar snacks (black pudding scotch egg) with a pint of Plough Bitter, Cotswold Lager (brewed two miles away), or one of the craft beers on tap. The raft of drinks on offer includes 20 gins that favour South West distilleries, interesting cocktails, rums and whiskies, and natural wines from small producers on the short, select wine list (12 by the glass).

Things to do

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.

Events and Festivals in the area include the Cheltenham Folk Festival in February; there's the famous Cotswold tradition of cheese rolling in May; the Cotswold Show and Food Festival at Cirencester in July; Blenheim Horse Trials and Stroud Food Festival in September; and the Cheltenham Literary Festival in October.

One of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds, Lower Slaughter is famous for its Old Mill Museum, detailing the history of this former flour mill, a key industrial landmark in Gloucestershire.

Getting here


Nearest train station: Kingham or Cheltenham

Taxi from station: 22min from Kingham; 28min from Cheltenham;

Drive: Stow-on-the-Wold 13min; Cirencester 27min; Oxford 55min


Chapel Lane, Cold Aston, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL54 3BN

Prices & availability