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The Killingworth Castle, Woodstock

Muddy says: A stylish, buzzy, superior gastropub with rooms and a lovely enclosed garden out the back, a stone’s throw from Woodstock and Bicester Village.

blue skies newly curt lawn in front of beige pub

I’ve had a couple of meals at The Killingworth Castle in Wootton and it’s high on my list of best local pubs in the area. It’s a handsome stone and brick 17th century inn just off the A44, and when you step inside it has the kind of feeling that relaxes the shoulders – log burners, wooden floors, exposed brickwork, old wooden settles and that buzzy hum that comes with regular locals at the bar.

The food is high quality gastropub fare – good enough for a romantic meal, but also relaxed for Sunday lunches too. For kids there’s a large garden out the back (avoid the road at the front clearly!) and there are also 8 elegantly refurbished bedrooms that I’ve had a good look around too.

The Killingworth Castle is a stone’s throw from Woodstock, 11 miles from Bicester Village and 14 miles from central Oxford and, in my opinion, worth the journey every time.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Bucks & Oxon