Castle Combe Circular Walk
This walking route starts from Castle Combe in the Cotswolds, often called the prettiest village in England. The circular route takes in quiet country lanes and footpaths, wooded combes, ancient bridges and a pretty brook.
Distance: 2.7 Miles (4.3 km)OS Map: Landranger 173; Explorer 156Elevation: 83mDog Friendly: YesStart/Finish Grid Ref: ST84199 77188Accessibility: Not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairsParking: Car park on Dunns Lane (charges apply)What3Words: ///waged.owner.above (parking)Points of Interest: Stream for paddling, bridges for playing pooh sticks, ducks to feed, tea rooms and play park in Castle Combe
Things to Note
Castle Combe is a small village and can become very busy on weekends. There is no parking in the village itself but there is a car park in Upper Castle Combe (which is up a steep hill).
This walk can be combined with a pub lunch, there are two pubs in the village: The Castle Inn and The White Hart.
Level of Difficulty
I would rate this Castle Combe walk as easy. The ascents and descents are quite short. Parts of the route can be over-grown, muddy and slippery after rain.
Castle Combe Circular Walk Directions
Our 2.7-mile circular walk start in the centre of Castle Combe village.
🥾 From the Market Cross, walk down through the village towards the stone bridge which crosses By Brook.
🥾 Continue over the bridge and walk alongside the river which is on your left. Pass the public toilets, and then two bridges over the brook. You are now leaving the village. A few minutes past the second bridge, the road starts to ascend. Here, a small path forks up on the right.
🥾 Walk along the path which goes steeply up through a wooded conservation area (Becker’s Wood). This path may be overgrown at times. Continue until you reach a road at the top.
🥾 Turn right along the road and continue for about ten minutes. As the road descends through woodland and bends left, you’ll see a stone track on your right-hand side.
🥾 Follow the track into the woods (not on the track at the side through the stone pillars).
🥾 After about ten minutes you’ll spot a large gate ahead with a lovely view across the valley.
🥾 Continue on the path to the right of this gate downhill until you reach the brook. The kids may want to paddle here!
🥾 Cross the clapper bridge over the brook and through a kissing gate. Turn right here and follow the path through the woodland. The stream will be on your right.
🥾 Go through a gate and continue until you reach some houses.
🥾 Turn right on the track and go through a large kissing gate set into the wall to the right of the iron gate. Cross a little bridge over the stream and bear left on the track, keeping the stream on your left.
🥾 Walk through the wooded area until you reach Castle Combe golf course, which is clearly marked.
🥾 Turn right on the track and cross the golf course, following the marked footpath until you reach a lovely stone bridge across By Brook.
🥾 Over the bridge, turn right and follow the path back towards Castle Combe. The site of the old castle is on your left-hand side up on the hill.
🥾 Continue along the path until you see Castle Combe Church on your right. Follow the path as it curves left alongside a stone wall, and turn right through a gate.
🥾 Head down the steps, under a little bridge and past some pretty cottages on Park Lane.
🥾 Follow this lane back to Castle Combe village.
You will come out by The Castle Inn. Turn left at the Market Square and up the hill to get back to the car park.
Facilities in Castle Combe
Castle Combe is a small village but has a few options for buying food and drink. There are two pubs: The Castle Inn and The White Hart. There is usually a cake stall with an honesty box outside a cottage near the church. The Little Picnic Shop takes orders for a take away picnic box. There is also a tea room and coffee shop. You can find public toilets over the bridge on the way out of the village.
Always follow the Leave No Trace principle and take all your rubbish home with you. Take nothing away and leave only footprints!
The best time to hike the Castle Combe Loop
You can hike the Castle Combe Loop at any time of the year. We visited in September. I think it’s better to avoid the school holidays when Castle Combe Village can get very busy and the car park fills up quickly.
Other things to do around Castle Combe
- Explore Cirencester, a market town known as the capital of the Cotswolds and dates back to Roman times.
- Explore Bowood House and Gardens including a large adventure playground, activity barn woodland walk and lake.
- Lacock , nine miles from Castle Combe, is a village owned almost entirely by the National Trust and is home to Lacock Abbey. Parts of the village and abbey cloisters were used as a film location for the Harry potter films.
The Georgian city of Bath is 12 miles away. The city is a World Heritage Site and home to the historic Roman Baths, Royal Crescent and Bath Abbey.
- Bourton on the water– known as Venice of the Cotswolds due to the many bridges that criss-cross the river. It’s worth visiting for the lovely high street with its arched stone bridges over the River Windrush and the quaintest model village.
- Stow on the Wold – a pretty market town in the north of the Cotswolds. Visit St Edwards Church famous North Door which is said to have inspired Tolkien’s Doors of Durin in Lord of the Rings.
- Westonbirt Arboretum is one of the most beautiful and important plant collections in the world. Ten miles from Castle Combe, it’s a beautiful place for a walk amongst the 2500 species of tree from all over the world.
- Dyrham Park is a 17th Century House, garden and ancient parkland owned by The National Trust, ten miles from Castle Combe.
- Upper and Lower Slaughter – worth a stop-off to see the Old Mill Museum, walk the cobbled streets, visit a tearoom for a cream tea and see the unspoiled Cotswold villages which have remained unchanged for over 100 years.
- Badminton Horse Trials is held at the Badminton Estate every May, and only five miles from Castle Combe.
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