Boater cruising along the River Thames through Oxfordshire and walkers following the Thames Path which runs alongside it can add an extra element to their rural experience. They could choose to stop for the night at The May Bush Inn at Newbridge, near the village of Standlake, where there is accommodation in a shepherd’s hut which is sited on its main lawn. This hut is equipped with a double bed, and a camp bed on which a child could sleep can be added. At present there is just the one shepherd’s hut, but a second is nearing completion, and should be ready for occupation in the near future.
Newbridge is one of the oldest bridges on the Thames, with a history that includes it being the site of a battle during the English Civil War. And The May Bush has had its own dramatic times; after the severe floods of 2007 it had to be closed for a while. It reopened, only to suffer for a second time in the 2011 floods. Following a second closure it was sold by its brewery owners and bought and duly reopened and restored. Now it is run by tenants.
There are temporary moorings at a jetty, available for people stopping just for a meal; details can be provided of others nearby which can be booked for guests on overnight stays. The shepherd’s hut is available on a bed-and-breakfast basis, with breakfast in the dining room included. Other meals are booked separately. Coffee and cakes are served from 10am, lunchtime service is from noon, and evening meals can be booked for 6.30pm onwards.
The shepherd’s hut has proved very popular. It is booked on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays of most weeks, said Sean. As well as being of interest to boating folk, it is much in use by people such as businessmen, staying while on appointments in the area, and anybody who enjoys sampling this rural experience. Overseas visitors have included an American who has booked for a return stay. Washing facilities are adjoining, and the second but will have an en-suite.