15 Best Pubs in Cirencester in 2023 (Drinks, Food, and Music)
Cirencester is a charming market town in the heart of the Cotswolds. There are lots of wonderful things to do such as exploring the town’s Roman heritage, taking country walks, and checking out the local restaurant scene. There are also lots of pubs in Cirencester; perfect for a few pints or a bite to eat.
There are lots of good pubs in Cirencester from historic inns and coaching houses to lively bars offering live music, pub quizzes, and traditional pub food. There are plenty of options in the town for a great night out, with picturesque views, outside seating, and cozy fireside pubs for the winter.
I’ve been stopping by the Cotswolds and Cirencester for years and love to pop into one (or many) of the great pubs and bars around the town each time I visit. One thing’s for sure, you’ll not go thirsty (or hungry) on a trip to Cirencester.
After living in and drinking my way around Cirencester for over a month, I compiled this list of my favorite pubs in the town based on the atmosphere, quality of the food and drinks, service, location, my personal opinion, and customer reviews (so that it’s not based solely on my opinion).
Best Pubs in Cirencester
Quick Look: Best Pubs in Cirencester
1. The Bear Inn: Top Pub in Cirencester Overall
The 18th Century Bear Inn is one of the best pubs in Cirencester – it really has it all. It was the winner of the 2021 Good Pub Guide Awards for its excellent selection of local and guest cask ales and this traditional Cotswold pub retains many original features from its solid wooden beams to a roaring fireplace.
There’s a pleasant beer garden to enjoy a pint of something cold on a sunny day (complete with outside heating and cover if the weather turns). The menu includes classic pub grub as well as British cooking with a contemporary twist (the smoked haddock fishcakes are excellent).
The pub features beers from the local Butcombe Brewing Co in nearby Bristol as well as a wide selection of bottled import beers, ciders, and wines. This lively pub has a country feel with the benefits of a location right in the center of town. This is definitely one of my favorite places for a pint in Cirencester.
The Bear Inn Information
Address: 12 Dyer St, Cirencester GL7 2PF, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1285 653472
Operating Hours: 11 am-10 pm, Mon-Thu, 11 am-11 pm, Fri-Sat, 12 pm-9 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Stateside Session IPA, Rare Breed Pale Ale, Severn and Wye smoked haddock fishcakes
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £14.95-£23.95 per main
2. The Black Horse
If you’re looking for a pub with character, cheap beers, and a hearty menu with daily special offers on drinks and food, then your best bet is to head to the Black Horse. The pub is located on Castle Street and is built in local honey-colored Cotswold stone.
Food is served all day so you can pop in for a lunchtime sandwich or something more substantial in the evening. There’s a large selection of burgers, all for under £10, and on Tuesdays, you can get a burger and a drink for just £11.95. It’s by far one of the best Cirencester pubs for cheap eats and a fun atmosphere.
The Black Horse Information
Address: Castle St, Cirencester GL7 1QD, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1285 653187
Operating Hours: 12 pm-10 pm, Sun-Mon
Must-Try Items: Shipyard IPA, Old Mout Cider, hand-battered cod and chips
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £9.95-£15.50 per main
3. The Bees Knees
The Bees Knees is a popular hangout for locals with reasonably priced drinks and live Sky Sports footage played across large, flat-screen TVs throughout the pub. There’s a real log fire for cozy winter evenings and well-behaved dogs are welcome inside.
There’s a pool table and darts board (I always love to play pool with a few pints, though I’m not so good at darts), and there’s even a skittle alley for bowling. The Bees Knees isn’t currently serving food, but consider calling in advance of your visit as they hope to change this soon.
The Bees Knees Information
Address: Watermoor Rd, Cirencester GL7 1LF, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1285 652112
Operating Hours: 5 pm-10 pm, Mon-Thu, 5 pm-11 pm, Fri, 3 pm-10 pm, Sat, 12 pm-7 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Arkell’s Pilot, Hurricane Amber Ale, Hoperation IPA
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £12-£18 per main
4. The Twelve Bells
The Twelve Bells is one of the most historic pubs in Cirencester. Once a 17th Century coaching inn, it’s now been serving punters for over 300 years. There’s a beautiful beer garden out the back full of colorful flowerbeds, and the pub even has its own microbrewery on site.
This is one of the best pubs in the Cirencester area for real ales (craft beer) and is one of my favorite drinking dens when I’m in town. The Twelve Bells is a traditional British pub run by a husband and wife team who always greet guests with warm welcomes when popping in.
There’s an ever-changing menu of real ales from local and countrywide breweries big and small. The food menu includes pub classics from beer-battered fish and chips to sausages and mash, Wiltshire ham, and more, all using the freshest local ingredients from around the Westcuntry.
The Twelve Bells Information
Address: 12 Lewis Ln, Cirencester GL7 1EA, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1285 652230
Operating Hours: 5:30 pm-11 pm, Mon-Wed, 12 pm-11 pm, Thu, 12 pm-12 am, Fri-Sat, 12 pm-11 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Local guest ales (frequently changing), local cider, scampi and chips
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £5.50 per cocktail, £10-£15 per main
5. The Crown
The Crown is a lively pub located in the Market Place with stunning views of St John the Baptist Church and the town center. The pub attracts people of all ages thanks to a great selection of drinks, a pleasant courtyard beer garden, and its cheap food menu. It’s a traditional pub with a great atmosphere.
Pop in for a light bite at lunchtime or try one of the great burgers or other mains (the chargrilled tuna steak is excellent). The Crown is a vibrant pub in the heart of Cirencester and should not be missed when visiting, particularly in the summer months as it has arguably the best beer garden in town.
The Crown Information
Address: 17 W Market Pl, Cirencester GL7 2NH, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1285 653206
Operating Hours: 12 pm-10:30 pm, Mon-Thu, 12 pm-11 pm, Fri-Sat, 12 pm-9 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Local cask ales, local cider, chargrilled tuna steak
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £8-£16 per main
6. Porters Bar
The trendy Porters Bar in the town center is one of the best bars in Cirencester to watch sports and grab a bite to eat (they serve an awesome Sunday roast with all the trimmings). Sky Sports is played throughout the pub and all major sporting events and weekly football games can be seen here.
The food menu is reasonably priced and there’s a great selection of bottled beers from across the globe. There’s also an extensive wine list, and you can get a decent cocktail here too.
Porters Bar Information
Address: 34 Castle St, Cirencester GL7 1QH, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1285 658222
Operating Hours: 12 pm-12 am, Sun-Thu, 12 pm-1 am, Fri, 12 pm-2 am, Sat
Must-Try Items: Punk IPA, Somersby, Sunday roast
Average Cost: £5-£6 per pint, £8 per cocktail, £12-£18 per main
7. The Fleece
The Fleece is another of my favorite pubs in Cirencester for pub food within a gorgeous Grade II listed building that dates back over 300 years. The fine folks at The Fleece promise “pub classics that are a cut above the rest” and I don’t disagree. Pop in for a coffee, brunch, or evening meal, all washed down with plenty of Thwaites’s best ales.
There’s both indoor and outdoor seating available, so on warmer days you can enjoy a pint in the sun, and the Fleece also has guest rooms; making it a great place to stay when visiting Cirencester. Click here to find out prices.
The food menus include brunch classics like Eggs Benedict and heartier meals from local beer-battered fish and chips to burgers, seafood tagliatelle (my favorite), and a lot more tasty dishes besides. Prices are a little higher than average, but then so is the quality and service.
The Fleece Information
Address: Market Pl, Cirencester GL7 2NZ, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 1285 658507
Operating Hours: 11 am-10 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: Thwaites ales, local cider, seafood linguine
Average Cost: £4-£6 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £15-£22 per main
8. The Golden Inn Cross
This 18th Century coaching inn is hidden down an old medieval side street in the heart of Cirencester close to the Market Place. The pub specializes in real ales, craft beers, and local ciders but also offers a comprehensive wine list and some nifty cocktails. The pub has Sky and BT Sports on show so you can catch all major sporting events here.
Be sure to pop in for Happy Hour deals after “work” from Monday to Friday where all Arkell’s beers are just £3.30 per pint. You can grab a bar snack or something more substantial and the pub will even offer to cook something if you can’t find it on the menu. Come here for the best pub food in Cirencester at surprisingly reasonable prices.
The Golden Cross Inn Information
Address: 20 Black Jack St, Cirencester GL7 2AA, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1285 652137
Operating Hours: 11:30 am-11 pm, Wed-Sat, 11 am-7 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Arkell’s Ales, local cider, GX burger
Average Cost: £3.30-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £9-£14 per main
9. The Marlborough Arms
Beer lovers definitely need to visit the Marlborough Arms as it boasts the biggest selection of real ales, Belgian craft beers (who doesn’t love a good Trappist?), and local ciders. This is one of my favorite joints in town as there’s always something new and interesting to try.
You can check out the current options on tap by clicking here (the Midas Touch and Windrush ales are excellent and well worth a try). This is the place for real aficionados looking to sample some interesting beers. There isn’t a kitchen but a range of bar snacks are available to curb any appetite.
The Marlborough Arms Information
Address: 15 Sheep St, Cirencester GL7 1QW, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1285 651474
Operating Hours: 12 pm-10 pm, Mon-Thu, 12 pm-11 pm, Fri-Sat, 12 pm-9 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Windrush Ale, Stock Porter, Midas Touch
Average Cost: £4.30-£5.95 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £12-£18 per main
10. 17 Black Bar and Restaurant
17 Black is a wine bar, restaurant, and nightclub all in one, so if you’re looking for a fun night out on the town this is the place to come. This place is hugely popular with local students and has some of the best prices (and deals) in town. It’s also a proud winner of the 2022 Travellers Choice Awards.
The bar is stocked with a wide range of craft beers, quirky cocktails, and some excellent wines. They have an extensive gin menu for lovers of a good G&T like myself, with everything from fruity to floral, spiced, and citrus choices to choose from. The menu includes classics like fish and chips, burgers, and pies.
17 Black Information
Address: 4 Castle St, Cirencester GL7 1QA, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1285 646340
Operating Hours: 12 pm-9 pm, Mon-Thu, 12 pm-9:30 pm, Fri-Sat
Must-Try Items: Electric Margarita, Queens Garden, tempura battered prawns
Average Cost: £4-£6 per pint, £8-£12 per cocktail, £15-£18 per main
11. The Golden Farm
The lively Golden Farm is one of the top pubs in Cirencester with a wide variety of craft beers on tap and very cheap, but delicious, meals for under £8 and Sunday roasts for under £11; making it one of the cheapest places in town.
The pub hosts lots of regular charity events like poker nights, and you’ll find live music here most weekends. The Golden Farm has a country pub vibe but is located close to all the major attractions and amenities in Cirencester. This is definitely one of the best pubs in town for an entertaining night out.
The Golden Farm Information
Address: Upper Churnside, Cirencester GL7 1AR, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1285 701160
Operating Hours: 11 am-11 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: Local cask ales, local ciders, Sunday roast
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £6 per cocktail, £7.95-£10.95 per main
12. The Plough Inn
The picturesque Plough Inn is located in the small village of Stratton, just over a mile out of town, and is one of the best pubs near Cirencester. This charming country pub is made of the local Cotswold stone giving it a rustic attractiveness. There’s an outside beer garden to enjoy in the summer months and an open log fire inside for chilly winter evenings.
The Plough Inn Information
Address: Gloucester Rd, Stratton, Cirencester GL7 2LB, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1285 655788
Operating Hours: 12 pm-10 pm, Sun-Thu, 12 pm-12 am, Fri-Sat
Must-Try Items: Spring Hopper, Voyager, fish and chips
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £12-£18 per main
13. The Old George Inn
The Old George is a traditional 17th Century coaching inn home to a top selection of beers and local ciders. The pub is located in the charming village of South Cerney, a few miles from town and close to the Cotswolds Water Park. You can grab a wood-fired pizza, burger, or wrap from the extensive menu to enjoy with your pint as you while away an afternoon or evening.
This is one of the best country pubs near Cirencester thanks to its cozy bar with an open fireplace, a restaurant split over two floors, and a large enclosed garden and play area perfect for families.
The Old George Inn Information
Address: Clarks Hay, South Cerney, Cirencester GL7 5UA, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1285 860222
Operating Hours: 11 am-11 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: local cask ales, local cider, handmade pizza
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £11.50-£16.95 per main
14. The White Hart Inn
The White Hart Inn is a proper country pub in the village of Ashton Keynes close to Cirencester. With an excellent selection of cask ales and local ciders, and a menu of cheap, homely food, this is a great spot for a pleasant afternoon. The pub is located on the Thames Path so also makes a great pit stop for walkers.
The White Hart Inn Information
Address: High St, Winchcombe, Cheltenham GL54 5LJ, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1242 602359
Operating Hours: 11 am-11 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Items: Ramsbury Gold, St Austell Tribute, item 3
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £11-£15 per main
15. The Greyhound
This traditional Cotswold village pub near Cirencester is one of the most picturesque places for a pint. It’s built out of the local Cotswold stone and has a pleasant beer garden overlooking the village.
The pub prides itself on its large selection of local beers and ciders and has a great menu using local ingredients.
The Greyhound Information
Address: Ashton Rd, Cirencester GL7 6HR, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1285 653573
Operating Hours: 12 pm-10 pm, Tue-Thu, 12 pm-11 pm, Fri-Sat, 12 pm-6 pm, Sun
Must-Try Items: Wadworth Ale, local cider, Sunday roast
Average Cost: £4-£5 per pint, £7 per cocktail, £12.50-£16.25 per main
Cirencester Pubs: FAQs
Here are some answers to popular questions about the best pubs in Cirencester:
There are lots of amazing pubs in Cirencester; from the lively Golden Farm and The Bear Inn to traditional pubs selling real ales like The Twelve Bells and The Fleece. Some of the best pubs for food include The Crown and The Fleece.
Tipping for drinks isn’t necessary or expected in Cirencester, but if you have a tasty meal and the service was good then it’s customary to tip between 10 and 15 percent.
Most of the Cirencester pubs are located within the town center with some nice country pubs in the surrounding villages. Cirencester is a small town and it’s easy to walk between the top pubs (like a good old-fashioned pub crawl).
The average cost of a pint of beer in Cirencester is between £4 and £5 which is a lot cheaper than in London and the southeast. There are some excellent budget-friendly pubs in the town such as The Bees Knees, 17 Black, and the Golden Farm.
The Bear Inn is one of the most famous pubs in Cirencester, and one of the most popular. This 18th Century Inn is one of the top places to come for good beer, food, and a lively night of entertainment.
The 17th Century Twelve Bells pub is thought to be the oldest in the town. This old coaching inn has been serving punters for well over 300 years.
As it’s a small town, there isn’t a main bar street in Cirencester. Most of the pubs can be found in the town center.
Now you know about the best pubs in Cirencester, the only question is which to try first (hint, it should be The Bear Inn). With such an excellent choice and some of the cheapest establishments in the Cotswolds, these Cirencester pubs and bars are a must-visit when in the town.
Whether you’re looking for country pubs near Cirencester with great views like The Plough or Greyhound, or something a little more lively in the town center like The Bees Knees or Golden Farm, there’s something to suit all tastes and appetites. So, what are you waiting for? Step into one of these great establishments today.