Welcoming service, satisfying food, impressive rooms and topped off with a central location

A walk down the high street in Burford can make you laugh, so sheer is its olde worlde perfection. The Bay Tree Hotel keeps to the script perfectly. There are coats of arms and heraldry hangings on the walls, nooks and crannies at every turn, and many a log fire when the season demands it. Some of the rooms require their occupants to climb higgeldy piggeldy staircases, rewarding their endeavours with spectacular suites. Service is attentive and children are welcome, although there's no children's menu – just half-size adult offerings – so the parents of epicurean children may feel right at home. Steeped in history, the hotel has been welcoming visitors through its sturdy oak doors, since 1565, and was once the country home to Sir Lawrence Tanfield, Chief Baron of the Exchequer to Queen Elizabeth I. The Bay Tree is a great base, whether your Cotswold trip is of the hearty walking variety, or you just want to mooch around tea-rooms and gift-shops.

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