Castle Combe

One of the prettiest Cotswold villages close to Lacock & Bath

Castle Combe Village

Set in a river valley: Castle Combe village

Castle Combe is one of the prettiest of the Cotswold villages at the southern tip of the Cotswolds, well away from the Cotswold villages on the tourist map.


Very few tourist coaches reach here but its conveniently situated for motorists about 20 minutes from Lacock, Bath and the M4 motorway. Lacock and Castle Combe are two very different English villages, but both are relatively undiscovered gems.

Castle Combe village is set deep in a combe, (steep sided river valley) and you have a 10 minute walk from the car park down into the village.


It's pretty much a one street village with a small spur to a country hotel in the old manor house. The village houses are all of typical Cotswold type, constructed in stone with thick walls and roofs made from split natural stone tiles. The properties are many hundreds of years old and are listed as ancient monuments.

The site of the castle linked with the name of Castle Combe is above today's village, but is little other than earthworks now mark its one time presence.

Like Lacock, in Medieval times Castle Combe had become an important centre for the wool industry. The spinners and weavers lived in the cottages and the river, still known as By Brook, provided the power to run the mills.

The earliest reference to the village church is found in a document dating 1291. The Market Cross is the centrepiece of the village. It is believed to date from the 14th century when the privilege to hold a weekly market was first granted.

Castle Combe Village

Just below this there is also a structure sometimes referred to as the 'buttercross', which was in fact for tethering and mounting horses.

Castle Combe is one of the least un-commercialised of the Cotswold villages without the tour coach crowds of some other villages further north. The properties are many hundreds of years old and are listed as ancient monuments.

There is a choice of tea rooms and traditional pubs with some craft shops to potter around in. There is a small village museum as well.

The area is a popular walking base from where you can walk to neighbouring villages. Red Deer are often seen in the countryside around.


A couple of miles away from Castle Combe the village is a car racing circuit of the same name, one of the main such circuits in England.

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