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Oxford Arms
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Reviews (57)
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All reviewsthe pubone nightpielook no furthera great eveningwarm welcomebiscuitshergest ridgefull english breakfasta lovely stayhay on wyelandlordfredcidercharacterpubslocals
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Reviewed 19 June 2017

We were making our way by slow degrees from Shropshire to Anglesey and wanted to break our journey at Kington so that we could walk Hergest Ridge. Although I had walked it many times before and knew Kington, I did not know The Oxford Arms where we decided to spend the night. So, on arrival we had no idea what to expect. We opened the door, looked at the wooden interior, the feeling of worn time and thought, “This is our sort of place”. It is a coaching inn with history in every creak of the stairs and slope of the floor. The Oxford Arms is a place full of character with the friendliest of welcomes. Our room was nearly as big as the three rooms of our flat added together, the bed comfortable, excellent beer in the bar and food of the very best. We ate on the Sunday evening to the accompaniment of the soft thud of ‘arrers’ and the smack of pool balls.
Our only regret was that we had only booked for one night. On our return here later in the year we will not make that mistake again. If only Hergest Ridge had been as accommodating: a biting wind and horizontal rain!

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank absalomLucca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2017 via mobile

We had a lovely stay here for a nearby wedding. They were really accommodating, friendly and relaxed with good beer and an excellent breakfast. Would definitely come back to The Oxford Arms when we're next in the area.

Stayed: June 2017
Thank mattdhet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2017

I stayed here while walking from Knighton to Hay-on-Wye at the end of March. After a hard day on the hills, I'd have been happy anywhere offering beer and a bed but the Oxford Arms excelled in every department.

The building is lovely: historic, characterful and creaky in all the right places, it's as far as it's possible to be from the bland and charmless uniformity of too many hostelries these days. A word of warning to fusspots - you will not get Egyptian cotton sheets, expensive toiletries or obsequious service from people who probably hate you. What you will get is a clean and comfortable room and the sadly rare experience of actually being somewhere.

A piping hot shower saw to my aching muscles and the dirt of the trail (sorry if I left any specks Fred), and I was ready for a drink. I selected a local cider, much to the approval of one of the locals, taking it and my copy of Kilivert’s diaries to a comfortable armchair by the dartboard – the existence of the dartboard an indicator, of course, that I was in a proper pub.

Like all good pubs, it caters for more than one clientele: locals at the bar, a couple of casual diners, some young lads playing pool and one tired walker gradually working the feeling back into his feet. This does not happen by chance: atmosphere, a good selection of drinks and attractive surroundings with facilities for different patrons come from a landlord who actually cares about his business. Chains and breweries who run their tied houses to the fly-by-night model in which landlords scarcely get to know the regulars’ names before they’re off again, take note.

Looking at the diners’ generously sized surf and turf, I soon realised I was ravenous and ordered the shepherd’s pie. This was excellent – very good quality meat, packed with flavour. Again, those of a fussy inclination would, I am sure, have turned their noses up at it and the side of (delicious) chips it came with. It wasn’t what my mum calls “cheffy” food, done up to the nines and presented to within an inch of its life. But it was good, honest, top-quality, traditional pub fare made from local ingredients. Exactly what I needed.

Not having been to Kington in drinking mode before, I sallied forth to a couple of the other pubs. I had a warm welcome at both but the Oxford Arms was clearly the pick of the bunch so I was back well before closing. Ordering another cider, I got chatting to the locals at the bar and a friendlier, warmer bunch of people you couldn’t hope to meet. Jeff, Mike and Woody – not forgetting Maureen behind the bar – thank you for making me so welcome. The pain the next day was well worth it.

As I retired I was asked when I wanted breakfast – I may have been the only guest that particular Thursday night, but that was a nice touch. After a very good night’s sleep, I was a little too hungover to do justice to a Full English but it was no trouble for Fred to procure a couple of excellent local sausages and poached eggs. I’ve eaten a lot of pub breakfasts and this was up there with the best of them – generous quantities of everything and all of it very good. Thank you as well, Fred, for the tips for the second leg of my walk.

Breakfast concluded, it was time for me to settle my bar tab (less than £20 for a round or two – a revelation for someone used to London prices) and be on my way. The walk over Hergest Ridge and south towards Hay is beautiful, but when I settled into the next place that evening I was sad not to be returning to the Oxford Arms.

If you want an identikit pub by numbers, this isn’t for you (actually Kington and this part of Herefordshire in general probably aren’t for you in that case). But if you want a warm welcome, great quality local food and drink, a bit of character and a landlord who really knows his trade, look no further.

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank matthyee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2016 via mobile

Absolutely fantastic friendly place very comfortable rooms . Extremely quiet And clean. Lovely breakfast. The bar is agreeable mix of old and young locals and visitors. Would be back like a shot. Kington should be proud to have such a jewel.

Stayed: September 2016, travelled with family
Thank monaughtymill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2016 via mobile

Don't let the outside - or the inside - put you off! This was a great little pub fantastic host and really good food. We had the Oxford burger and the ribs - massive portions! Would highly recommend here if you're in Kington

Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank Donna W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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