Castle Combe, a sleepy chocolate box village that’s often referred to as England’s prettiest. If you’re looking to visit The Cotswolds for the day then this little gem in Wiltshire is a wonderful starting point.
A brief history of Castle Combe
The village was named after a nearby Norman Fortress and much of what we see today began in the Middle Ages with a booming cloth industry and market square. If this street seems familiar you may have seen it in the cinema, it’s been used as a backdrop for films like Stardust, War Horse and Doctor Dolittle.
The best time of year to visit Castle Combe
The prettiness of Castle Combe is perhaps at its peak in the height of summer when the honey coloured cottages are graced with colourful climbing plants and overflowing window baskets.
A chilly afternoon in January however does have a magical quality to it with chimney smoke lacing the damp and misty air. The upside of visiting The Cotswolds in the winter is that it tends to be much quieter, however it’s more likely you’ll get rained or snowed on – like me!
Further reading: 5 Lesser-Known Cotswold Locations Loved By Locals
The Manor House
On the edge of the village is The Manor House, a 5-star hotel resort with a golf course and Michelin starred restaurant. It’s a beautiful property to visit for afternoon tea, or to extend your visit in The Cotswolds with an overnight stay.
How to get to Castle Combe in The Cotswolds
The village is just a few miles off the M4 motorway via junction 18 or 17 and is 1 hour from Cardiff and 2 hours from London by car. If you’re cruising to Bristol or Southampton, Castle Combe may be an ideal excursion outside of the city, similarly if you’re visiting Bath and have an additional afternoon to spare. I parked, like most other visitors, just the north of the village on the roadside.
Further reading: Visiting Bibury, The Quintessential Cotswold Village
Top things to do in Castle Combe
- Visit The Manor House for a round of golf or Afternoon Tea
- Stop off in a traditional English Pub like The Castle Inn or White Hart
- Watch an event or take your wheels for a spin at Castle Combe’s Racing Circuit
- Enjoy a scenic 5-mile walk through the river valley
- Take your own classic photo from the river bridge
On a dry and sunny day you may like the idea of lazing by the river and picking up drinks and snacks from a honesty stall, an unmanned tuck shop on the door steps of the cottages. If, however, you visit on a rainy day then warming up next to a log fire with a bowl of homemade soup is as cosy as it gets.
Further reading: 10 Picture Postcard Places To Visit In The Cotswolds
The sun did show its face in time for me to take that classic photo over the arched river bridge…
Have you been to Castle Combe or The Cotswolds? Do you think there’s a place that’s just or perhaps even more pretty? Let me know!