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Tucked down narrow lanes in a hidden valley just 10 minutes south of Bath and perched on a hillside overlooking the village, the 16th-century Wheatsheaf Inn is as pretty as a picture.

Admire its cream painted façade adorned in flowers, step inside and be surprised to find a very contemporary-smart interior with whitewashed beams, painted stone walls, statement wallpaper and high-backed Lloyd Loom wicker dining chairs in the stripped-back bar area.

The raised log fire in the old stone fireplace hints at the inn's age, so bag one of the squashy sofas and peruse the papers with a pint. There are jugs of garden flowers, guidebooks and foodie magazines to read, all adding to a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Art is taken seriously and the walls in the bar and dining areas regularly become a gallery space for local artists, with regular solo exhibitions.

Outdoors, big benches and cream brollies draw the crowds on sunny days - it's the perfect spot for summer eating (pizza oven), drinking and unwinding. Cool rooms complete the pleasing picture.

Rooms from

4 doubles £120

Good to know

  • Amex not accepted, Visa / Mastercard / Maestro all accepted

  • Disabled access
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking available
  • Dogs welcome overnight

Dogs are welcome throughout the inn and can expect a friendly greeting from the owner's five cocker spaniels, too!

A touch of culture
Close to the historic city of Bath, full of art galleries, stunning architecture and history, there's plenty to keep culture buffs occupied in this part of the world.

Alfresco heaven
Set on two lush grassy terraces, replete with bright flower borders, veg plots and chickens and a wood-fired pizza oven, the stunning south-facing garden makes the most of the tranquil valley view.


Descend the stone steps from the garden to find the three cosy rooms housed in 'The Shed', the former cow shed, or book the 'Wendy House, a cool cabin room with views.

Furnished in contemporary-rustic style, Daisy, Bluebell and Buttercup rooms in The Shed all have a soothing heritage hues, super comfortable beds with Egyptian linen and goose down duvets, simple, modern wooden furnishings, and swish tiled bathrooms with storm showers, bathrobes and White Company soaps and lotions. If you're thirsty and peckish on arrival, there's a good choice of tea, fresh coffee and goodies in the 'tuckbox', plus the all-important corkscrew should you wish to explore the stocked mini-bar.

Equally enticing is the Wendy House, a secluded and rustic-cool cabin room or superior king suite, offering fabulous valley views over Combe Hay.

Restaurant & bar

With its own distinctive style and identity showcased through its monthly-changing à la carte The Wheatsheaf has earned an excellent reputation for its food.

Produce is locally sourced, vegetables and herbs grow in the garden, and eggs and honey comes from the inn's hens and bees. Bold, well-defined flavours can be seen across a range of dishes - some sophisticated and refined (lamb rump, braised shoulder pie, glazed turnips, cavolo nero, soubise sauce), others classic and comforting - maple-glazed Wiltshire ham, fried duck eggs, homemade skinny chips and brown sauce. Don't miss the great value Sunday lunch menu and the imaginative pizzas from the wood-fired oven.

Scour the wine-laden shelves for a glass of something European - owner James Barton is passionate about French wines, so expect some interesting vintages among the Bordeaux and Burgundy selections. Ale aficionados will find Otter Ale and local Butcombe on tap and there's local Honey's Midford for the cider drinker.
Things to do

Bath is a fabulous city for walking, with a compact centre and some hills if you want more of a challenge. There's the canal path for the Kennet & Avon Canal which quickly takes you out ion to rolling fields and pretty countryside. For those looking to enjoy the valley views, don't miss The Bath Skyline Walk - six miles of way-marked footpaths, beech woodlands and limestone-rich valleys full of flowers, interspersed with extensive views over Bath and towards the Blackdown Hills.

Or, head to the pretty town of Frome and potter around the Frome Independent Market - a justly famous and very fashionable weekly market celebrating local, independent producers, designers and craftspeople. Or explore Frome's 'artisan quarter', St Catherine's, where you'll find designer-makers, vintage specialists, and people selling arts and craft supplies.

Getting here


Nearest train station: Bath Spa
Taxi from station: 9min
Drive: Bristol 36min; Salisbury 55min


Combe Hay, Bath, Somerset, BA2 7EG

Prices & availability