Castle Combe is one of the tiniest and cutest villages in The Cotswolds. It has nothing particularly special, but illustrates how these towns in the area seem to have come from a fairytale.
It seems frozen in time, and actually, no new houses nor buildings have been built since the 1600s, so the stone cottages remained intact. Its population has also been stable at around 350.
How to get there?
Car is the most appropriate option in this case. Normally the recommendation to visit de Costwolds is to drive so you can see a few towns.
Tours from London do not include Castle Combe. They do include other towns such as Burford, Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Stow-on-the-Wold. However; there is another tour from Bath that includes it.
Alternatively, the closest train station is Chippenham, and from there you can take a taxi which should take 15 minutes to the village.
What to see
There is a free public parking for visitors uphill. From there you can walk downhill to reach the market cross monument, which is in the centre of the town.
There are two local pubs opposite the market cross. One is The White Hart, and the other is the pub of one of the best hotels/inns in town, The Castle Inn.
You will also find the house that sells pastries and cakes with an auto-service system, where you pay by a cash deposit through the letterbox (see picture above).
Another popular attraction is St Andrew’s Church, as shown in the picture above, also opposite the cross monument.
For an afternoon tea, you can visit The Old Rectory Tearoom, which only admits pre-booked guests. Or for a more relaxed coffee shop, you can visit The Old Stable.
There was also a small museum, which you may find in some maps still, but it closed in 2012.
Which is also popular and worth visiting is Castle Combe’s luxury hotel, The Manor House Hotel and Golf Club. It’s a stunning 14th-century building set in 365 acres, with 50 individually designed bedrooms. Moreover, the hotel hosts a Michelin-starred restaurant called The Bybrook and a 18-hole golf course.
There are many things to do at the hotel including putting, tennis, croquet and fly fishing in season.
Where to stay?
Besides its luxury hotel, The Manor House Hotel and Golf Club, the second-best hotel is The Castle Inn, which dates from the 12th century and has a traditional British pub downstairs.
For a cheaper option, you can find The Old Museum holiday home. It has 1 bedroom, a flat-screen TV and a fully equipped kitchenette.
For other alternatives, you will need to drive out of the village, where you can find places such as Keepers Lodge.
In the movies
The village was a location for a number of movies starting dating from 1967. Some of them are:
- Doctor Dolittle
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, an episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot
- The Wolfman
- Steven Spielberg‘s production of War Horse
- Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box
- Downton Abbey
The Castle Combe Circuit is a motor racing circuit based on the perimeter track of a former World War II airfield and was opened for racing in 1950.
Races include a home-circuit championship with classes for Saloon cars, Sports & GTs, and Formula Ford. Racing clubs from around the UK include the track in the events for their championships, including the 750 Motor Club, and BRSCC.
Once a year motorcycle racing takes place over two days during the summer. The weekend includes a sidecar championship and a historic race, as well as the more modern supersport races.