The Rock Inn

Pub with rooms in Waterrow, Somerset

From £85 per night

Curator's notes:

  • Half-timbered inn on fringes of Exmoor
  • Rustic traditional bar with a laidback feel
  • Comfortable bedrooms with country charm
  • Top-notch modern pub food
Book a room

Speak to us on +44 (0)203 868 4999


Set in a stunning green valley beside the River Tone between Bampton and Wiveliscombe on the southern fringe of Exmoor, the inn dates back over 450 years and has been comfortably upgraded over by Ruth & Daren Barclay.

As its name suggests, this picturesque former coaching inn was originally carved from rock, and parts of the original stonework are visible in the bar next to the fireplace. Expect a laid back feel in the rustic-comfortable bar with rug-strewn wood floors, thick beams, log burners, scrubbed dining tables and locals enjoying pints of Otter Ale at the bar. For those wanting to dine alfresco, there are a number of tables on the small front terrace.

Steps lead to the small dining room, a cosy space with cool grey panelled walls and a handful of chunky tables topped with church candles. Add Daren's imaginative, freshly prepared pub food and eight comfortably refurbished upstairs rooms, and you have a relaxing and peaceful rural bolthole for exploring Exmoor, the Quantock Hills and the glorious Somerset and North Devon coast.

Rooms from

Doubles/twins: £85

Good to know

  • All major credit cards accepted
  • Disabled access
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking available
  • Dog stay: £15

Family favourite
Children are very welcome at the inn with a family-sized room and children-friendly portions on the menu.

Outdoor adventures
Explore some great walking routes across Exmoor, the Quantock Hills and the glorious Somerset and North Devon coast - all within easy reach.

Water and waves
The River Tones flows past the inn (walks) and you're within an easy half hour drive from the beaches of the north and south Devon coasts.


Eight traditional and very comfortable rooms ramble across two floors of the old timbered pub, each individually decorated in modern country style.

Some are kitted out with antique pine whilst others have big brass beds - all have Smart TVs, upholstered easy chairs, bold statement wallpapers, unusual small clock tables, hot water bottle, bathrobes, and a decent tea tray with fresh milk, cafetiere coffee and a homemade muffin on arrival.

Due the age and configuration of the building, some bathrooms are compact but all are smartly tiled and either have good walk-in powers showers or shower over baths. Spacious room 8 boasts stone walls, quirky animal wallpaper, a working wood-burning stove and a big old pine bed with a super-comfortable mattress, crisp linen and feather down quilt and pillows, so expect a restful night's sleep.

Restaurant & bar

Daren's inventive cooking makes sound use of top-notch produce sourced from local farms, Exmoor shoots and select suppliers, notably duck and chicken from Beech Ridge Farm up the road, steaks from Stillmans Butchers in Taunton, and locally grown seasonal soft fruits.

Having spent time in the kitchens at the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath and the Goodwood Estate in Sussex. Daren's menus and the chalkboard specials evolve with the seasons, combining pub favourites with more imaginative dishes.

Start with Orkney scallops or Porlock Bay oysters, before moving onto cannon of lamb, feather blade of beef or Torbay sole pan-fried in garlic butter. Leave room for delectable homemade ice creams, firm favourites with visitors and locals alike, or sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream, best washed down with a decent house wine or a pint of Otter Bitter.

Things to do

Take a nostalgic journey on a steam train through stunning countryside on the West Somerset Railway - the longest heritage railway in England. Explore gently rolling Quantock hills, unspoilt Exmoor villages and farms, and enjoy glimpses of the cliffs of the Bristol channel.

There's excellent fossil hunting on Somerset, and the picturesque harbour town of Watchet is a delightful place to start. Start the search between Watchet and Warren Bay, before enjoying fish and chips on the beach for a well-earned lunch.

History buffs can fall in love with Dunster Castle, a picture book romantic castle with turrets and tower that sits on a dramatic hilltop location with sweeping views over the Bristol Channel and Exmoor. The gardens are terraced with sub-tropical plants and you'll find the National collection of strawberry trees here, alongside a lovely Mediterranean garden. Don't miss the amazing oak staircase and ornate Gothic plasterwork inside.

Getting here


Nearest train station: Taunton
Taxi from station: 28min
Drive: Exeter 49min, Barnstaple 1hr


The Rock Inn, Waterrow, Taunton, Somerset TA4 2AX

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