THE picturesque village of Kelmscott lies midway between Lechlade and Faringdon and is adjacent to the River Thames.

Some people consider it to be in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps it is, but that is one of its charms.

It’s a magic place which owes much of its popularity to William Morris, the designer, poet, writer and socialist who fought to keep wondrous places such as this unspoiled.

The manor house in which Morris lived is a picturesque Tudor property built in 1600. It opens for visitors on Wednesdays and Saturdays from April to the end of October, so you have a couple of weeks left to visit it this year.

The 17th-century Plough Inn, which is but five minutes walk away, is one of several Oxfordshire pubs abutting the Thames that suffered dreadfully from the floods of 2007.

Indeed, it was closed for some considerable time while repairs were undertaken. Walking into the pub today, however, you would never realise it had been waterlogged for so long.

This lovely laid-back pub, with its low, gnarled beams and roaring log fires in the winter is a great place to visit. While it has a stylish restaurant, I go for the bar area every time as it’s cosy and atmospheric.

I like to think of William Morris once sitting in the corner by the fire, hugging a pint before returning to the Manor for dinner.

This is where dogs are welcome, unless, of course, they show a preference for the garden, as Barnaby did during this visit.

Local beer is the order of the day at this pub. There are usually at least three local real ales to choose from, though this time I enjoyed a glass of Tunnel Vision, brewed by Box Steam Brewing Company from the Midlands, as I had never tried it before.

This delightful amber bitter at 4.2% ABV, named after Brunel’s Box Tunnel on the rail line that links London to Bristol, proved a perfect choice.

Selecting from the lunch menu, I chose chicken salad, (£9.50) which was fine, if somewhat over-generous when it came to the amount of salad on the plate.

My friend Wanda went for a Cornish crab salad served in its shell (£11.50) and declared it simply delicious.

Barnaby enjoyed a nice bowl of tea, (which I noted we weren’t charged for - a mistake perhaps?) but his friend, Wanda’s lovely dog Jack, chose water instead.

I love this pub, particularly now winter is approaching and Kelmscott is becoming one of those enchanting places where silence is only broken by the rooks who nest in the trees close to the river.

The Plough at Kelmscott. Call 01367 253543 or see