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The striking, stone-built Porch House, in the heart of Stow-on-the-Wold, is reputedly England's oldest inn, dating back to 947AD. In its time it has also been a hospice, a family residence and a sweet shop.

Now, transformed into an informal and stylish modern-day inn, the building still retains its ancient character and charm. You can feel the history as you walk in - all worn flagstones, wonky walls and ceilings, head-cracking beams, exposed stone, and blazing fires in period fireplaces. It's a thriving inn with the timeless stone porch and ancient entrance hall separating the main dining room (all beams, stone and wooden floors) from the bustling bar and light-flooded conservatory. The sheltered and secluded terrace is a great place for a pint or a summer alfresco meal away from the hubbub of the town.

The Porch House oozes history and tradition and provides the perfect contrast to Brakspear's vibrant and contemporary makeover of The Sheep (see entry) opposite - both appeal to a slightly different clientele as a place to stay but both feed off each other for food and drink.

Rooms from

Doubles and twin: £99

Good to know

  • All major credit cards accepted​
  • Disabled access
  • Alfresco and private dining
  • Parking available + town car park
  • Dog stay: £15

Family favourite
Children are welcome throughout the inn. They have their own menu and two of the rooms interconnect to create a spacious family suite.

Outdoor adventures
The nearby 102-mile Cotswold Way takes in some of the best scenery the region has to offer.

A touch of culture
From the Cheltenham Folk Festival, traditional Cotswold cheese rolling and the Cheltenham Literary Festival, there's plenty to keep culture vultures entertained all year round.


Rambling across the two floors of the building are 13 rooms of varying sizes and types, from standard and superior to feature rooms and the luxurious suite.

Most showcase period features - beams, stone walls, old fireplaces - and all sport a fresh, contemporary feel, neatly kitted out with quality fabrics and furnishings, including comfortable Feather & Black beds and mattresses, soothing heritage hues, big lamps, and bright cushions and throws add an additional splash of colour.

Home-from-home comforts come as standard, from Nespresso machine, retro-style phone and Roberts radio to glossy magazines and generous supplies of Temple Spa Aromatherapy bathroom products. The quirkiest room sits above the porch, while the suite is spread over two levels with a separate living area and a big bathroom with deep tub - perfect for relaxing in with a lovely glass of bubbly.

Restaurant & bar

The kitchen team deliver seasonal modern British menus to suit the informal atmosphere, the single menu being served in the beamed restaurant, the relaxing bar and conservatory and the summer terrace. It successfully combines comforting pub classics with a twist.

Don't miss their real showstopper: the quality Aberdeen Angus and South Devon steaks from cattle reared at Todenham Farm on the edge of the Cotswolds. Perhaps choose local chargrilled asparagus with poached egg and parmesan crisp to start, then follow ale battered sustainable haddock, thick chips, crushed peas and tartare sauce, or stone bass, saffron & lemon risotto. Round off with apple & honeycomb crumble, traditional vanilla ice cream and Bailey's custard.

Behind the bar you'll find a strong selection of Brakspear ales, a raft of boutique gins and a short list of wines (15 by the glass) which includes a few special and great value bottles of Bordeaux.

Private dining

A lengthy farmhouse table (seats 12) in the Governor's Room (& Snug with sofa & fireplace) provides a generous seating area for meetings, presentations, and dining parties.

Things to do

Nearby Moreton-in-Marsh, just a short drive away, has plenty of country houses and gardens to explore. Batsford Arboretum has over a thousand varieties of trees including cherries, azaleas and rhododendrons: the colours are especially striking in spring and autumn. Or, situated to the west of Moreton-in-March, Bourton House Garden is an award-winning visitor attraction with spectacular topiary, superb herbaceous borders and a unique shade house.

History lovers should visit Chastleton House, a fine Jacobean mansion with a striking south front. The house was built by a local wool merchant in the early 17th century, who purchased the estate from Robert Catesby, one of the conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

Horticulturalists shouldn't miss Hidcote Manor Gardens. Full of rare shrubs and trees, herbaceous borders and unusual plants from all over the world, it's one of the country's finest gardens boasting superb views across the Vale of Evesham from the garden

Getting here


Nearest train station: Kingham or Moreton-in-Marsh
Taxi from station: 15min
Drive: Cirencester 37min; Cheltenham 35min; Leamington Spa 1hr


Digbeth Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire GL54 1BN

Prices & availability