Discover The Bear
HISTORIC MARKET TOWN CHARM
An enviable location on the fringes of the Cotswolds in the Oxfordshire countryside sees The Bear Hotel sit firmly at the heart of the Georgian-enthused town of Woodstock and its illuminating past.
With its inviting ivy cladded façade, original archway and iconic bear image adorned on the sign outside, our hotel has evolved from a 13th century coaching inn that has seen all manner of famous faces, royals and travellers set foot inside - into a relaxing retreat combining history and culture with exceptional facilities.
From wide-eyed ghost stories to close connections with neighbouring Blenheim Palace as the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough and descendants including Sir Winston Churchill and family, visiting here is to step back in time.
Glove Making Legacy
Walk through the archway and through to our reception area on the left and you will be greeted by our friendly team and a wall-mounted display of differing coloured gloves and styles.
This is testament to the part of our hotel building which used to be a glove workshop, forming a wider network of glove makers and factories within the town of Woodstock - many of which were established in homes in the area - with lots of original equipment also observed elsewhere in the hotel as you enjoy your stay.
With the industry booming in the 16th century, sheep and deer hide gloves became the town’s trademark and primary export and were often sewn by women working at home. The factory continued operation in some form until as recently as 1974.
Characterful Rooms & Suites
While the hotel has expanded upon old stable houses and its industrious past, the distinctive atmosphere and sense of days of days gone by has been emphatically retained, with original exposed beams and stone walls complementing additional creature comforts.
Many guests like to visit us to feel part of a regal past, perhaps most evident in our Newbold Suite, where the entrance to a secret passageway leading to the palace was discovered.
We are also proud to offer guests the opportunity to sleep in a beautifully ornate four-poster bed that we are reliably informed belonged to Winston Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph Churchill - and was reconstructed to its original state for use in the hotel.
Soak up the tradition
The attention to detail in recreating the hive of exciting activity the hotel has enjoyed throughout its lifespan extends across all aspects of our facilities.
From beehives installed in the back of the grounds from which a resident beekeeper collects it fresh for serving in the restaurant to a thriving courtyard space putting you at the centre of the action - no stone has been left unturned when it comes to making the most of this gloriously traditional setting.
Sit back and relax in the summer as you enjoy breakfast, dinner or drinks outside on open-air sofas and chairs echoing a distinctive continental café vibe, while you can still embrace its upbeat ambiance in cooler seasons with domed coverings.
Head inside to the classic stylings of our bar and restaurant space, inclusive of a roaring fire and wooden tables and chairs - reflecting the perfect environment from which to ponder the folklore emanating from all corners of the room.