Where to find Oxford’s cosiest pubs

Why not combine a walk with a pint and perhaps a meal at one of the city’s snug hostelries.

There are lots of pubs in the city but some are cosier than others.

READ MORE: College plans to replace building which burnt down

Here’s our shortlist of pubs that will definitely give you a warm glow, even before you start enjoying a drink.

First of all you could try The White Horse in Broad Street, next to Blackwell’s Bookshop.

This tiny pub is a Grade II listed building and was owned by Exeter College until 1980, when it was taken over by a brewery.

It has an intimate feel and there is limited seating so you may be lucky to get a table.

You could also try The Bear Inn in Alfred Street, off High Street.

Oxford Mail: The marquee outside The Bear Inn Picture: Dave RichardsonThe Bear added additional outdoor seating during the pandemic, but it is famous for its bijou bar, with donated ties on the walls.

The Fuller’s pub claims to have been serving customers since 1242, so it is one of the city’s most historic – and smallest hostelries.

Also try The Crown off Cornmarket, and The Chequers off High Street.

The Chequers, like The Crown, is a Nicholson’s pub.

Oxford Mail: The Chequers in OxfordThe Chequers was given a £400,000 revamp in recent years but has not lost its cosy atmosphere.

And The Crown has lots of different cosy sections where you can get warm and enjoy a pint.

North Parade Avenue is a little way outside the city centre but it contains two cosy gems – The Gardeners Arms, and the Rose & Crown.

Last year The Gardeners Arms was reopened following refurbishment by the Morgan pub company and is a relaxing and comfortable pub to spend the evening in.

Oxford Mail: The Gardeners Arms in OxfordAnd the Hall family has been providing a warm welcome at the Rose & Crown on the other side of the street for the past 40 years.

Don’t forget the Lamb & Flag in St Giles. 

It’s a large pub but it does have plenty of secluded spaces and quiet corners inside.

Oxford Mail: The pub, owned by St John’s College, shut during the pandemic but reopened after a community interest group called the Inklings came forward to run it.

Dylan Dudbridge-Hay and wife Alice are managing the pub on behalf of the Inklings and were delighted to reopen it in October, 2022.

A year later Mr Dudbridge-Hay estimated that in 12 months the pub had sold 144,172 pints of local beer, which roughly equates to one pint every 1.7 minutes of opening time.

It also sold 5,891 gin and tonics, and over 2,000 sausage rolls – which are now one of the main snacks available.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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