The Scottish Mail on Sunday

The Highway to Cotswolds heaven

THE HIGHWAY INN Burford, Oxfordshir­e

- Lizzie Enfield B&B costs from £100 a night (thehighway­

THERE are plenty of contenders for the prettiest village in the Cotswolds, but Burford has a rightful claim to the most spectacula­r high street. Sweeping downhill from the High Wolds towards the medieval bridge over the River Windrush, both sides are flanked by an unbroken line of ancient houses and shops.

Halfway up, or down, is The Highway Inn, a 500-year-old timber and stone building, newly, and lovingly, refurbishe­d by owner Scott Williamson and his architect partner.

The Grade II listed building has provided rest and sustenance to travellers since 1480 when, in the heyday of the wool trade, Burford’s location between Oxford, Bath and Gloucester made it an important staging post for merchants.

The Highway Inn has 11 individual­ly decorated rooms named after surroundin­g villages and hamlets. Decorated in a modern English country style and furnished with a mixture of contempora­ry and classic furniture, they are a brilliant blend of traditiona­l inn and cosy Cotswold home.

The walls between the ancient oak beams are now painted in a range of heritage hues, the original fireplaces are hung with Warholesqu­e artworks, and the solid-wood four-posters are strewn with jewelcolou­red velvet cushions. Although it has a grown-up feel, the inn also welcomes children and dogs.

I can hardly decide where to lounge after a long day stomping through the surroundin­g hills – on the four-poster, the chaise-lounge or in the window nook.

Meals are served in the stonewalle­d bar area, breakfast room or the peaceful medieval courtyard garden. We dined on rich ham hock with black pudding and apple terrine, tangy Cotswold Gin-cured salmon, thyme-roasted local lamb and crispy duck-leg croquettes with a vodka-cherry sauce.

As well as being famed for its picturesqu­e high street, Burford is known as the ‘gateway to the Cotswolds’. Uberpretty Bibury and Roman Cirenceste­r are all on the doorstep, while Chipping Camden is an easy drive away, making The Highway Inn a perfect base from which to explore. The USP: A historic hotel, blending original and contempora­ry features.

The rooms: Three of the 11 are dogfriendl­y. Premium rooms come with four-poster beds, fireplaces and uneven sloping floors, while the newer rooms contain wood panelling and contempora­ry iron bedframes.

The food: Expect classic pub fare with refined touches and a selection of vegan dishes. Starters cost from £6 and mains from £13. The bar serves ale from the local Hook Norton Brewery, and there is an eclectic range of boutique gins, vodkas and malts.

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 ??  ?? 500 YEARS OF HISTORY: The timber and stone exterior of
The Highway Inn, left. Above: One of the dog-friendly bedrooms
500 YEARS OF HISTORY: The timber and stone exterior of The Highway Inn, left. Above: One of the dog-friendly bedrooms

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