About 35 miles northwest of Oxford is a charming Cotswold town of Great Tew. In fact, there are three Tew villages: Great Tew, Duns Tew, and Little Dew. All are charming but Great Tew is my favorite. The village, the landscape and the local 500-year-old pub could not be more picturesque.
Great Tew is centered around a grand country Estate surrounded by archtypal thatched roof cottages. Spring lambs playing in rolling grassland, horses in the fields, woods with a carpet of bluebells, thatch cottages, a charming pub -- Great Tew is all this and much more. It's one of my favorite places for a country walk and a pub lunch.
The history of Great Tew goes back to the Roman times. Click here or a brief historical time-line. SInce the 1960's, the Estate has been owned and managed by the Johnston Family. The Estate enterprises include the in-hand farming operation, an ironstone quarry, the village, the grand estate grounds, and surrounding woods.
The landscape around Great Tew is stunning. Like so many landscapes in England, it looks absolutely perfectly with every tree perfectly in place. And, like such landscapes, it was deliberately designed and constructed by a landscape architect. In this case it was 19th century landscape gardener, John Loudon, who designed this area as part of an extensive park overlooking the Worton Valley.
Great Tew is often referred to as a ‘picture book’ Cotswold village because of its thatched cottages and gabled roofs, mullioned windows and colorful gardens and farmland. However, it isn't crowded with tourists like so many other Cotswold villages. In part, that is why I like it so much.
Great Tew is also home to one of my all-time favorite pubs -- The Falkland Arms. It's a beautiful 16th Century building which has been a traditional, local pub in some form for over 500 years.
The Pub has flagstone floors, oak beams, ceilings covered with a enormous collection of beer steins, and an inglenook fireplace that has a fire burning in winter. In warmer weather there is seating in a beautiful garden where you can enjoy the stunning surroundings.
If you are looking for a quintessentially charming English village with one of the most delightful pubs around, you won't won't be disappointed with the village of Great Tew and the Falkland Arms.