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Go easy on the gin! Wonky timber-framed walls and sloping floors could fool you into thinking you've had one tipple too many at this 18th-century riverside inn. One of 10 Surrey and Hampshire-based pubs owned by Red Mist Leisure, the inn bulges with character. Huge stag antlers and quirky antler-themed lamps adorn the bar while fascinating newspaper cuttings and originals of the 1771 and 1798 leases document its history on the walls. The rooms are top-notch too, sumptuous linens and fragrant ESPA toiletries adding a touch of luxury to your stay. In winter, curl up by a roaring log fire with mulled cider; in summer, the riverside terrace is perfect for al fresco dining.

Your expert reviewer

Kathryn Liston
Travel Writer
A travel writer for more than 40 years, Kathryn has visited more than 100 countries - and has loved every minute of it. Whether she’s cycling down a volcano in Maui (Hawaii), dog sledding in Sweden or cycling along the Rhine, it’s been a fun ride! You’ll find her articles and hotel reviews in national newspapers, such as The Telegraph and Observer, national magazines, online (Silver Travel Advisor) and in the travel trade press.



An off-the-beaten-track circular walk is provided by the pub which takes you over fields and through sleepy villages and glorious woods.

The hotel is in the Surrey Hills which are great for walking and the Watts Artist Gallery is a seven-minute drive away.
By car: Just over an hour from London, 2 hours 15 minutes from Birmingham, around 4 hours from Manchester There is free parking on site.
By train: the direct train to Godalming from London Waterloo takes around 40 minutes. The hotel is a 10-minute taxi ride from Godalming station.

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Style & Character

The Stag on the River will suit anyone wanting a relaxing stay in countryside surroundings. It's not particularly suited to families but there is an interconnecting room. We love the bulging timber-framed walls and sloping, creaky floors in the characterful old part of the building.

Service & Facilities

We love sipping hot mulled cider by the fireside - it's so delicious, we go back for more.

  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Garden
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi


We love the delicious citrusy aroma of the gorgeous ESPA bergamot and jasmine lotions and potions. Shackleford with its timber-framed walls, king-sized bed, stylish square rain shower and fluffy bathrobes is a particular favourite of ours.

Double or King-size room
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, luxury ESPA toiletries, king-size or double bed, tea and coffee-making facilities, TV, free Wi-Fi

Food & Drink

We love the company's sustainability commitment. Waste from its Red Mist ale brewed in Tilford feeds pigs at a local farm which supplies their pork. The Scottish John Ross Jr. smoked salmon starter with a sharp gribiche sauce and a perfectly cooked duck egg is a highlight.

Restaurant: informal, modern British cuisine using local, seasonal ingredients. Serving food Mon-Fri 12-3pm / 5.30-8.30pm & Sat-Sunday: 12-8.30pm. Mains from £12.95.

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