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Are you heading to the Cotswolds soon and wondering what are the best things to do in Castle Combe? Perfect!
Castle Combe is by far the most famous village in the Cotswolds and that’s because it has this perfect fairytale feel. It was also used as a filming location for numerous movies.
I’ve been in the UK for almost a decade and exploring our beautiful country is one of the things I love the most, especially when it comes to super cute spots like this.
In this article, I tell you everything you need to know about the best things to do in Castle Combe and how to make the best of your visit.
1. Take Photos at Water Lane
Castle Combe is one of the most Instagrammable places in the UK and if you want to take beautiful pictures, then head straight to Water Lake.
It’s the most photographed street in this enchanting village!
It’s located all the way down (which means you have to walk through the village to get there), on the edge of the Bybrook river.
Water Lane offers an idyllic backdrop with its stone cottages adorned with flowers and its beautiful bridge.
This spot encapsulates the quintessential English charm and makes for the perfect photo spot.
I particularly recommend going to go on the other side of the river and ask someone to take a photo of you sitting on the edge of the bridge.
PRO TIP: This can get a bit busy so try to go early and avoid weekends.
2. Stroll Around the Village
Wandering through Castle Combe is like stepping into a storybook. You’ll start from the carpark (at the top of the hill) and head down to the village.
You’ll be greeted by picturesque and colourful houses before getting to the main square.
From there, there are different narrow streets that you can take.
Don’t be scared to get lost, it’s quite small so you will always be able to get back to the main street easily.
You’ll find loads of cute houses and that’s what truly makes the charm of the place!
3. Visit St. Andrew’s Church
St. Andrew’s Church is located near the market place which is very practical.
Dating back to the 13th century, it’s one of the oldest buildings in the area.
The tower is particularly pretty as well as the inside. There you’ll find a lot of medieval art and can learn plenty about the history of the church and the village.
They even offer a free smartphone tour (where you scan QR codes and it gives you information about the sights).
The churchyard itself is a graveyard but with a very peaceful feel. You can walk around it.
The church is open every day and they have services on Sundays.
FUN FACT: St. Andrew’s Church is one of the filming locations of the movie Warhorse.
4. Grab a Coffee from a Local’s House
This is one of the most unique things to do in Castle Combe and my actual fave!
When you get to Market Square, you’ll notice a corner with a local house (on the left hand side of the entrance of the church).
They have homemade cakes that you can buy. There is a honesty box on the side where you can put the coins.
This is truly a gem of a place. Firstly the cakes were so good and secondly, how welcoming does that all make us feel?
On certain days, you can also knock on the door and the couple who live there can make you coffee (for a fee of course but that’s quite nice).
5. Check Out the Market Cross and the Old Water Pump
The Market Cross is located in the middle of Market Square and is a symbol of Castle Combe’s market town heritage.
Next to it, you’ll find the old water pump which was installed in the 14th century when the village was granted the right to hold a weekly market (effectively making it a market town).
6. Walk Along the Bybrook River
The Bybrook River, winding its way through Castle Combe, adds to the village’s enchanting atmosphere.
When you are at Water Lane, you can keep walking along the river.
This is perfect if you want to have a serene stroll. The water flows very gently which is quite relaxing and if you have a dog, it can go in the water, it’s no problem at all.
You can follow ‘the street’ until it ends and come back, meaning that this walk can be as short as a couple of minutes or a couple of hours.
7. Discover Dower House (A Dr. Dolittle Filming Location)
Dower House is located just before the entrance of the village (between Market Square and the carpark) which means it will be the first landmark you walk past.
With its beautiful yellow facade, you can’t miss it!
The reason why I mention it is that it’s a key filming location for the original movie Dr Dolittle (the one from 1967 with Rex Harrison and Samantha Eggar).
This house was featured as the house of Dr. Dolittle. As a matter of fact, the entire village of Castle Combe was used to represent the fictional village of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh.
8. Stay or eat at The Manor House
The Manor House is a 5-star country house hotel in Castle Combe. It’s the perfect place to stay if you want a luxurious escape.
The experience is incredible but if that’s not exactly in your budget, then you can still get to experience it in the afternoon.
You can book an afternoon tea and enjoy your meal in a stunning Cotswolds property.
9. Hike in the Surrounding Countryside
The Cotswolds are famed for their walking paths and Castle Combe is an excellent starting point for countryside hikes.
Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, the surrounding landscapes offer breathtaking views and a peaceful escape into nature.
Popular routes include the walk to the nearby village of Ford or Long Dean.
10. Castle Combe Circuit
For motor enthusiasts, the Castle Combe Circuit is a must-visit.
Located just outside the village, this race track hosts an array of events, from classic car races to modern motorsport days.
Whether you’re a spectator or looking to take part in a track day experience, the circuit offers an adrenaline-fueled diversion from the tranquillity of village life.
I hope this article has helped you plan your day trip to Castle Combe. This is an incredibly beautiful place and I know you’ll love it!
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