You could drive or walk there but there are two much better ways to arrive at the Cross Guns. One is via narrowboat along the canal or, best of all, by taking a train straight to the pub’s own railway station.
There are regular trains from Bristol Temple Meads directly to Avoncliff station, a journey that takes just 29 minutes - that’s quicker than most journeys to cross traffic-choked central Bristol.
Climb a few steps and you find yourself on the Grade II-listed Avoncliff Aqueduct and then it’s a two-minute walk to the pub.
The actual building where the pub is dates back to the 1490s but it became an inn around 1610, firstly as the Carpenter’s Arms when the clientele would have been drovers, quarrymen, travellers and workers from the nearby mills.
The arrival of the Kennet and Avon Canal directly behind the pub was a turning point for the inn, which gained its Cross Guns name in the 18th Century when the 9th (Bradford on Avon) Battalion of the Wiltshire Rifle Volunteers was formed and a rifle range established alongside the canal.
These days, the clientele is more likely to be narrowboat dwellers, walkers, cyclists and tourists drawn to what must rank as one of the most idyllic pub locations for miles.
And staff are well prepared for whoever walks through the door. There are even jars of dog treats in the bar and a dog water station outside for thirsty pooches.
‘Don’t worry about being muddy, we’re used to it,’ laughed the barman as another mud-caked walker stepped nervously into the bar, dirty boots squelching on the wooden boarded floor.
The tiered, lawned riverside garden at the front is a real draw when the weather allows. In the shadows of the vast aqueduct and with the roar of the water flowing over the nearby weir, it makes for a unique setting to enjoy a pint in the sun.
There were two real ales on tap, Butcombe Original and the Otter Ale I plumped for. For cider drinkers, the choice was between Cheddar Valley, Thatchers Haze and Ashton Press Cider.
The pub’s food menu is slightly limited until the clocks change and longer days bring more people to Avoncliff, which being so remote doesn’t rely on passing trade. It’s very much a destination and if you’re planning to visit in the evening, phone ahead to check if they’re even open.
On the weekday lunchtime I visited, there was choice of filled baguettes (£6), steak and ale casserole (£12), cider-battered fish and chips (£15), spicy five-bean casserole (£9) and a range of hot dogs priced at £8 or £8.50.
I went for the Korean hot dog - a generous frankfurter in a small baguette smothered with a fiery kimchi gochujang mayonnaise and topped with crisp onions.
The spicy hot dog brought a warm glow to my cheeks, which redenned further when the barman lit the real log fire next to me.
Cosy, warm and with a foaming pint of ale in front of me, it was tempting to stay all afternoon next to the crackling fire but I had to dash.
I could see the next train to Bristol was wending its way to Avoncliff station. Now, that’s what I call a door-to-door service.
Cross Guns, Avoncliff, Bradford-on-Avon, BA15 2HB. Tel: 01225 862335.