Castle Combe has been called "The prettiest village in England." Though you could argue that there are many other contenders for that accolade, this delightfully secluded spot must at least be worthy of consideration for the title.
The village is located in a dell, or valley, just a mile off the busy M4 motorway, yet no sound of traffic intrudes in the village. Indeed, there are more artists than autos in Castle Combe, as the village is a favourite spot for painters to set up their easels. Castle Combe is located very close to the racing circuit of the same name, and the approaches to the village can be difficult to navigate due to traffic headed for the racecourse.
The medieval market cross
The setting for the original film version of Doctor Dolittle, (the one with Rex Harrison as the eccentric doctor, not the Eddie Murphy remake) Castle Combe maintains an air of timeless calm, in part because visitors must park at the top of the hill and walk down into the centre of the village. The walk is moderately steep, and long enough that you begin to wonder if there is a village at the bottom of the road at all, but in due course you arrive in Castle Combe itself.
The village, in some ways, a victim of its own repuration, for visitors can, on occasion, outnumber the residents, and coach-loads of tourists descending all at once do not make for a peaceful environment. That said, Castle Combe is deliciously free of the worst bits of popularity, and apart from the obligatory shops selling postcards and antiques, the village is a rewarding place to visit. Do be aware, though, that it is a village, and thus it does not take long to wander through Castle Combe, but if you are not in a rush, sit beside the By Brook, take in a meal at one of the two pubs, or watch the artists at work.
Castle Combe Photo Gallery
About Castle Combe
Address: Castle Combe,
Attraction Type: Town
Location: Northwest of Chippenham just off the B4039
Photo Credit: David Ross
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