Castle Combe is undoubtedly a picture perfect chocolate box village in the beautiful Cotswolds in county of Wiltshire. One of the most instagrammed villages, home to several movies, a luxury hotel, honey colored cottages and timeless streets, its easy to get lost in this postcard village.
We were on a 3 day weekend trip to South Cotswolds staying in Potterne. It was late November and the weather was unexpectedly snowy. We were treated with snow showers when we visited Lacock.
After Lacock we headed to Castle Combe, about 20 min drive from Lacock. I had read so much about this village and seen so many pictures on Instagram, I was totally sold out even before visiting. And I must say this cute hamlet did not disappoint at all.
Castle Combe is a medieval 14th century village. Known to have flourished for cloth trade, this was one of the hubs for wool merchants. The cottages here are centuries old. There is a market square, an old mill and a water pump from the times when it was a thriving cloth center. Well preserved architecture, bakeries, mills can be even seen today.
How to reach Castle Combe?
Castle Combe can be visited most conveniently by car. There is no railway station, it’s really a small village. The nearest train station is Chippenham. Trains from London and Bath stop here. From Chippenham taxis operate to Castle Combe. If you take a car there is a large parking lot about 7-8 min walking distance from the village.
What to see and do in Castle Combe?
The village is really tiny, so you need practically few hours to go all around and absorb its serenity. However its not enough, just not enough, you would want to stay here and wake up to his scenery every day.
I spent few hours here. So here are some suggestions
Market Cross : Starting from the car park till walked to the center of the village where you will see the market cross more than 700 years old. This is where the village market used to be in the days when Castle Combe was a wool village.
Water Lane : If you walk further you will see the most photographed street with lovely honey colored cottages. If you are lucky you can get a pic without photo bombing. Its usually streaming with people and Insta wannabes. Cant say if you can find any peaceful time here. But this is a must visit and what makes this village so attractive.
Stare, Ogle, Admire the Cottages : This is one is hard to articulate but if you are there you will exactly understand what i mean. These honey colored cottages are so pretty, you dont know how long to stand in front of each and admire, how many pics to click to preserve their memories. They are just so pretty. This is the only one thing I have loved doing the most here.
The Manor House : A 14th century luxury hotel and golf club just by the river. Beautiful well manicured and landscaped gardens with honey colored retro exteriors. Even if you are not staying here, it worth walking around the gardens which are open to everyone.
Local pubs and Tea Rooms There are couple of pubs where you can catch a bite. We had some stew and bread and a pint of the local brew at White Hart pub. Very friendly locals, low beams, timber decor, we snuggled beside a fireplace, warm and cosy. Another option is Castle Inn.
Old Stables is a lovely tea room where you can savour scones and cream tea.
Just stroll around : This is the best thing to do. Walk around everywhere. I walked around market square, the water lane and then to manor house gardens, inside the woods and just let the paths unfurl the way. You can spend an hour or two and then wind up with a tea or a brunch here. If you are staying then certainly you can explore lots around as well.
Further from here?
You can head to Lacock and visit this quaint village protected by National Trust. Read about it here
There are lots of small villages like the Slaughters within 30-40 min drive. You can also visit Bradford upon Avon which is another beautiful town nearby. You can also head to Bath and visit its many UNESCO heritage sites.