For this walk we used: Pathfinder Guides – The Cotswolds (Published 2009) Walk 2: Castle Combe. Distance: 4 miles.
We don’t normally go for the short walks in guide books as we like to be outside for as long as possible, but we started out late and as the light now fades a lot earlier it provided the perfect solution.
The far south-eastern fringes of the Cotswolds overlap into Wiltshire, and this is where you will find the attractive village of Castle Combe. It is said to be the prettiest village in England, in the same league as Bibury and Broadway, and we could immediately see why. Golden coloured stone cottages and inns lie in a gentle wooded valley. Old stone bridges cross the river, and a medieval market place and church make Castle Combe a beautiful picture postcard village.
The walk began at a free visitor’s car park uphill from Castle Combe. It is not immediately obvious which way to walk to the village, but as we had the guide book we knew to head downhill and turn right at the t-junction.
There was a tempting looking display of cakes set up outside one of the cottages in the main street, with an honesty box. I love the idea of this, first having come across it on the roadside in Australia where we bought some “Lady finger” bananas from a little wooden hut – they’ve got to be the most delicious bananas in the world. We put £2 through the letterbox and shared a slice of homemade chocolate fudge cake. It was so good.
We walked along the side of the valley above By Brook river through attractive scenery, climbing stone stiles and passing through gates into more valleys and woodland. It was idyllic until we began to hear the sound of racing cars whizzing around the track at Castle Combe circuit, which for me slightly spoiled the last section of the walk – otherwise it would be 5/5.
Our Rating: 4/5