Southern Cotswold Pub Walk

From the White Heart in Ford to the Vine Tree in Norton

This is not for the faint-hearted – 15 miles, seven pubs and some classic Cotswold terrain to negotiate. It will take all your will and determination to drag yourself away from some of the cracking Cotswold pubs you’ll encounter on route. The incentive of the Vine Tree at Norton should just be enough to keep you motivated to complete this epic Cotswold Beer Adventure.

Route Map
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At Glance
THIS SEVEN PUB WALK STARTS IN THE SOUTH COTSWOLDS AT THE WHITE HART INN AT FORD, IT TAKES IN CASTLE COMBE, A SECTION OF THE MACMILLAN AND FOSSE WAY ENDING AT THE EXCELLENT VINE TREE INN AT NORTON

Distance

15 miles

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Time [approx]

8 Hours

Pub Count

7

CBA Grade

Epic

Total Ascent

1100 ft

Start Point

Ford [Wilts]

Highlights
The Itinerary

Please note the timings below for the walk from Ford to Norton are suggestions only, times will vary depending on your walking, eating and drinking speed

The White Hart – Ford [09:30 – 10:00]

The White Hart sits on the the bank of the small By Brook river. Its an archetypal british pub which is good enough to open it’s doors to hungry Cotswold Beer Adventurer looking for breakfast. Make sure you call ahead and book and don’t forget to mention us. The White Hart also has good accommodation if your looking to make a weekend of it!

The Castle Inn Hotel – Castle Combe [10:45 – 11:15]

The walk from Ford to Castle Combe is classic Cotswold walking, you will wind your way along the banks of the river By Brook crossing a Roman footbridge (alleged to be haunted!). You emerge into the almost ‘film set’ beauty of Castle Combe (The village was actually used as the backdrop to the film Doctor Dolittle – 1967 version). The Castle Inn Hotel is located in the center of the village opposite another White Hart (closed when we passed through). The Castle Inn is pleasant with friendly staff. If you get decent weather sit outside and enjoy your pint while watching the tourists amble around the village.

The Old House at Home – Burton [12:15 – 12:45]

Another hours walking will bring you to The Old House at Home at Burton. You will need to deviate from the route into the center of the village prior to returning the way you came to rejoin the route. The pub is a traditional ivy-clad freehouse with a pleasant atmosphere with well kept guest ales and beers. If the sun is out enjoy the terrace at the rear of the pub

Lunch [13:15 – 13:45]

Half an hour on from Burton you will come to a secluded wooded valley grid reference ST 83342 78954, this is a perfect spot to sit on the banks of a small stream and enjoy a picnic. You can also be comforted that it’s only 20 minutes to the salutation Inn, your next stop

The Salutation Inn – The Gibb (nr Castle Combe) [14:10 – 14:30]

The Salutation Inn has recently been taken over (June 2016) and things look very promising. It’s a lovely looking pub and although very quiet when we arrived we were greeted by friendly staff who seemed genuinely pleased to see us. For those flagging and in need of a caffeine pick me up they have a very smart new coffee machine, sadly no one seemed to know how to use it when we were there. The beer alternative sufficed!

The Neeld Arms – Grittleton [15:30 – 16:30]

A stone’s throw away is the M4, you need to pass beneath it before picking up the Fosse Way. Grittleton and the Neeld Arms is your next stop. Their website states ‘Wiltshire’s premier pub’ and who are we to argue. On approaching the pub we were greeted with some banter from a couple of friendly locals sitting outside, always a good sign. Stepping into the pub, Charlie the Landlord was attentive and interested in our venture. This is a proper pub (also stated on the web site!) serving well kept real ale, in fact so well kept we struggled to drag ourselves away!

ourish!

The Star Inn – Hullavington [18:00]

You’ll need to follow your gpx route carefully from Grittleton onwards. The walk follows paths that aren’t well used and some of the land crossed doesn’t have the clearest of signs. Your navigation skills will be tested! Once in Hullavington the Star Inn is easily found. Not opening until 18:00 you need to get your timing right.

The Vine Tree -Norton [19:30]

The quality of pubs is set high on this walk so the need to finish in a great venue is a must. The Vine tree tops of the day perfectly. Its a great spot to finish this epic Cotswold Beer Adventure. Unassuming from the outside but vibrant a friendly within. This is very definitely a dining pub but with no pretentions. The food was well beyond pub food standard but still remained sensibly priced. They have an excellent wine list and a gin bar you could get lost in.

The Logistics:

GETTING HERE

Local taxis from Chippenham are available but may need booking in advance if you arriving late/early

Email: Chippenham@V-Cars.com
Phone: 01249 65 65 65
Taxis for pick up from the Vine Tree will need booking in advance

Email: Malmesbury Taxis
Phone:01666 823366

ORGANISED BEER ADVENTURE:
If you’re in a large party, organising a stag or corporate event or simply want local insight we can help to ensure you have a fantastic weekend or day out in the Cotswolds – Let us help you create your own true Cotswold Beer Adventure. Please contact us with your enquiry.

STAYING:

This is a selection of accommodation in the area. They are convenient for this particular pub walk and we like them! Those listed provided a range to suit most pockets but if you don’t find what you’re looking for have a look at the map below to find the best deals on accommodation in the area in the area.

Cockleford is equidistant from Cirencester and Cheltenham either have a selection of good hotels. Search using the booking.com website below for best prices



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NAVIGATE WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE

You can navigate our pub walks using the .gpx files provided. They can be viewed on most smartphones using an appropriate ‘app’. We use OS Maps, It’s accurate, easy to use and available for both Apple and Android devices

Download the pub walk .gpx file of the route by clicking on the link from your smartphone. If you have OS maps installed just follow the onscreen instructions (or import the route into your own app) and you’re ready to go!

PREFER PAPER MAPS?

Prefer to keep things old school? Then Ordinance Surveys paper maps would be our first choice. The following maps cover the Cotswold area:

 

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Spotted on a pub walk

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