For more than 500 years this old inn remained in the same family, all descendants of an early 15th-century farmer called Byrd, who built himself this former longhouse. His last direct descendant was the Fleece’s long-serving landlady, Lola Taplin, who on her death in 1977 bequeathed it to the National Trust, making it the first pub among a fair few it now owns or lets. Not licensed until 1848, this beautiful timbered building remains largely unchanged, thanks in particular to skilful restoration following a devastating fire in 2004. Two special things to look out for are a Jacobean pewter dinner service, reputedly Oliver Cromwell’s, and big chalk-drawn ‘witch circles’ on the floor in front of each hearth, supposedly to prevent witches entering through the chimneys, a practice that Lola insisted should continue after her death. Ales change frequently and cider drinkers have a choice of home-brewed Ark or locally-produced ciders. Families will enjoy sunshine in the apple orchard, while children let off steam in the play area. Folk music, Morris dancing, an annual asparagus festival and a beer and cider festival in the second half of October are events to catch.
- Children welcome
- Children's portions
- Free Wifi
- Coach parties accepted
- Open all year
- Wide selection of Ales
- Wide selection of ciders
Also in the area
About the area
Worcestershire is a county of rolling hills, save for the flat Vale of Evesham in the east and the prominent spine of the Malverns in the west. Nearly all of the land is worked in some way; arable farming predominates – oilseed rape, cereals and potatoes – but there are concentrated areas of specific land uses, such as market gardening and plum growing.
Worcester is the county town, and home to Worcestershire County Cricket Club, which has what some regard as the most attractive grounds in the country, in a delightful setting with views of Worcester Cathedral. The Malverns, Great and Little, set on the slopes of the Malvern Hills, are renowned for their refinement. Great Malvern, terraced on its hillside site, came to prominence as a genteel spa for well-to-do Victorians, rivalling the likes of Bath, Buxton and Cheltenham with its glorious surroundings.
Sir Edward Elgar was a Worcester man, and his statue stands on the High Street, facing the cathedral. The cottage where he was born is now a museum and he is commemorated on the £20 note. Other notable Worcestershire figures include poet A E Housman, chocolate magnate George Cadbury; and Lea and Perrins, inventors of Worcestershire sauce.
Places to Stay
Recommended things to do
Why choose Rated Trips?
Your trusted guide to rated places across the UK
The best coverage
Discover more than 15,000 professionally rated places to stay, eat and visit from across the UK and Ireland.
Choose a place to stay safe in the knowledge that it has been expertly assessed by trained assessors.
Plan your next trip
Search by location or the type of place you're visiting to find your next ideal holiday experience.
Read our articles, city guides and recommended things to do for inspiration. We're here to help you explore the UK.