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Old Swan & Minster Mill
The Cotswolds, United Kingdom
Why Stay At Old Swan & Minster Mill
The essence of old-time English elegance set in a historic, 600-year-old riverside inn brimming with character and restored by hospitality magnates, the de Savary family.
Two separate buildings comprise this dual property: the Old Swan and the Minster Mill. The older of the two, Old Swan, comes with the richest history—visible in the 16 wood-beamed guestrooms decked out in luxurious fabrics and Egyptian linens, and beeswax-polished furniture. In the Swan's dining areas, especially the Lovell Room, sparkling flagstones, hanging tapestries, oak-boarded floors, and roaring fires add to the ambiance. Next door, Minster Mill is the more down-to-earth country cousin, with 40 more modern rooms (albeit smaller), all of which overlook the gardens and meadows. Explore them further by horseback or on one of several guided hikes solo or led by inn staff. The grounds stretch along the River Windrush and across 65 acres landscaped to a pastoral English idyll.
Be sure to ask about the complimentary decanter of locally made sloe gin; however, it's quite potent so be mindful of your limits.
Try to stay on a Friday evening when the inn celebrates "Fish Friday," with trout and crayfish caught from the nearby river. Served with French fries and a glass of white wine, it costs $50 per person.
Arrive at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) which is approximately 60 miles from the hotel. Anticipate about 75 minutes of travel time.School Hill, Witney, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Hotel FeaturesBack to Top Property Amenities
- River Access
- Spa on Property
- 1 mile of Fly-Fishing
- Fitness Room
- Tennis Courts
- Bike Rentals
- 24-hour Front Desk
- Private Patios (some)
- Air Conditioning
- Wi-Fi Internet Access
- Flat-screen TVs
- En-Suite Bathrooms
- Luxury Bath Amenities
- Hair Dryers
- Irons + Ironing Boards
- Three Dining Rooms
- Terrace Dining (seasonal)
- Private Dining
- Rates are for two people. Up to 1 child under 16 may share accommodation for an additional £25.00 per night
Why We Love The Cotswolds
Composed of several picturesque towns, villages, and hamlets including the historic market towns of Burford, Chipping Norton, and Witney; it's a good base for exploring the wider region, which is replete with everything from Neolithic barrows to Victorian manors.
56 Market Square, Witney.
Where to Drink: Set in a former Georgian brewery in Witney, the Fleece's beer list includes real British ales on tap—Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, and two rotating guest ales as well as an impressive wine list.
11 Church Green, Witney.
Drinks for two $10.
Where to Shop: Although there's plenty of high-end retail at Bicester Designer Shopping Village, the area is popular for vintage and antique hunters, especially the Applestore inside the 55-acre Batsford Arboretum, 30 miles north, which repurposes and restores secondhand finds.
Batsford Park, Moreton-in-Marsh.
Day Trip: Play earl and countess at Highclere Castle, better known as Downton Abbey, a one-hour drive north of the hotel. The 17th-century castle is now one of the country's top tourist attractions and open for exclusive private tours. Highclere Park, Newbury.
Castle, exhibition, and gardens tour $27.
Why Go Now
July 5-7, 2013
Cornbury Music Festival
This three-day music festival kicks off its 10th year on the Great Tew Estate in Oxfordshire, 14 miles north, with an eclectic range of musical acts across four stages, including Van Morrison, Echo & the Bunnyman, and Squeeze.
Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire.
Tickets start at $120.
August 2-4, 2013
Blenheim Palace Jousting Tournament
Return to medieval times on the south lawn of Blenheim Palace with a jousting tournament and competition of horse-riding skills.
Park and gardens ticket $18.
August 8-11, 2013
A celebration of the arts and outdoors in ancient Wychwood Forest, seven miles north, with three days of theater, music, games, circus acts, talks, banquets, and late-night revelry.
Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire.
$222 for a weekend pass.
September 13-21, 2013
Jane Austen Festival
A two-hour drive away in Bath, this nine-day festival celebrates the world and works of the famous novelist, beginning with the Regency Costumed Promenade through the streets of Bath and continuing with concerts, etiquette lessons, and dancing lessons.
Multiple venues in Bath.