The Cotswolds boast the most picturesque villages and chief among them is Castle Combe. With its plethora of quaint Cotswold cottages and honey-coloured hues, Castle Combe is one of the best places to visit in the Cotswolds and the perfect day trip from Bath, Bristol and beyond. Located in the South Cotswolds, this picturesque village embodies British quaintness.
Comprising only a few charming streets and lanes, Castle Combe captivates with its honey-coloured hues and chocolate-box perfection. Said to be the prettiest village in England, Castle Combe’s main street, aptly named ‘The Street’, boasts rows upon rows of quaint Cotswold cottages. Unsurprisingly, this picturesque village is the location of many films, such as War Horse and the Wolfman.
The Market Cross & St Andrew’s Church
Located in the heart of Castle Combe, the village square features a delightful market cross, a medieval water pump and a typical Norman church. The market cross dates back to the 14th century and was once the marketplace for fresh produce and cloth. Built in the 13th century and restored in the 19th century, St Andrew’s Church overlooks the whole village. Its tower boasts a fan vaulted ceiling and a 14th century faceless clock believed to be the oldest working clock in the country.
Further down the Cotswold village, By Brook is a peaceful river that completes Castle Combe’s picture-perfect scene. Near the charming stream, you can spot the weavers’ cottages, although none of the mill wheels remain. Castle Combe prospered as a wool town in the Middle Ages. Walking through this serene and enchanting village, you’ll be transported back to its prosperous time, even though visitors, instead of merchants and weavers, now fill its streets.
The Manor House
Hidden behind St Andrew’s Church, the Manor House is a stately home turned hotel. Surrounded by parkland, woodland and the By Brook river, the Manor House was built in the 14th century to replace a ruined Norman castle and was rebuilt in the 17th century. Many lords have resided at the mansion over the centuries, but the most famous is Sir John Fastolf who was the inspiration behind Shakespeare’s character Falstaff in Henry IV. Unfortunately, you can only visit the Manor House if you’re a guest there.
How to get to Castle Combe
Castle Combe is located 30 minutes from Bath and Chippenham. You can reach this Cotswold village by bus from Chippenham. Buses 35, 35A and 75 run between Castle Combe and Chippenham approximately every hour. If driving to Castle Combe, you can park in the Castle Combe visitor car park for free. From the car park, it’s a short stroll to the heart of the village.
Explore more villages in the Cotswolds
The South Cotswolds feature a plethora of picturesque villages, quaint streets and charming cottages, and offer the ideal escape to British quintessence. Perfect for a day trip or a weekend away, the picture-perfect villages of the South Cotswolds are a delight to explore. From Malmesbury to Badminton and Tetbury, check out these picturesque South Cotswold villages.