Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A walk around picturesque Castle Coombe

While visiting Sarah's family in Bristol, in the South West of England, we spent a long morning in the picturesque village of Castle Combe.  The village has been used as the setting in a number of films and TV programmes, including Dr Dolittle, Poirot and more recently Warhorse.

For reasons that will be obvious, Castle Combe is regularly listed as one of the prettiest villages in England and is a well worth a visit.

A walk in the woods around the village
As ever with Sarah's family our visit didn't just involve having a short stroll around the village and a pub lunch. We had to earn that lunch first with a walk in the woods.

It was a lovely walk, particularly as we were there in autumn, as the leaves were changing. 

Below are instructions for following our route. The walk takes around 2 hours.

Step 1Walk through the town (in the direction of the second photo above) and out the other side. Walk a very short way up the hill and take the first footpath off to the right. 

Step 2: Walk up this footpath and take the second path off to the right, following the yellow arrows and walk along a flat path through the woods. 

Flat path through the woods

Step 3: After 10 minutes along the flat woody path, the path turns down the hill, slightly to the right. 
The path goes down slightly to the right

Step 4: You'll then come to a gate. Walk through the gate and you'll find yourself in a grassy area a bit out of the woods. Turn right, back on yourself and walk parallel to the path you have been walking on through the woods (in the opposite direction). 

Step 5: Keep walking down the hill and you'll come to a kissing gate. In Spring, you'll see snow drops in this area. Walk through the kissing gate. You'll see the river off to your left. You'll then come to a bridge on your left. 

Step 6: Cross the bridge and you'll reach the main road. The village is off to your right now - you'll be back there later!

Cross the bridge and turn left!

Step 7Turn left on the other side of the bridge onto the road. Around 100 metres on, there is a footpath on your right, going up. Walk up this path, which will eventually flatten out. Stay on this path until you reach a road and turn right.

The road

Step 8: After 10-15 minutes on the road, you'll come to a turn off on a corner onto a bridleway. Turn right down the bridleway.

Bad picture, but this the corner where you turn right

Step 9: Walk along the bridleway for around 10 minutes and you'll come to gate straight ahead on the left. 

Great view from the gate! Take the path to the right

Step 10: From here there is lovely view out over the meadows below. Admire the view and then continue on the path down to your right.

The path to the right

Step 11At the bottom of the hill, you'll come to a clapper bridge. Cross the bridge and turn right on the other side. Then turn right through a gate and follow the river, keeping it on your right.

Cross the bridge and turn right

Step 12: Keep following the path until you come out through some buildings. Turn right and go through a gate and into the trees again and with the river now on your left

Step 13: You'll come to a golf course. Make sure you ring the bell to let the golfers know there are walkers coming through!


Step 14: Follow the path to the right and walk over the bridge. On the other side of the bridge, follow the path on the right. It is marked as a footpath. Then turn left following the signs. Stay on this path through the grassy area.

Step 15: Staying on this path, you'll enter a slightly wooded area. Walk along the path with the wall to your right. 

Step 16: You'll come round a slightly left bend and then you'll see a gate to your right. Go through this gate, down the steps and follow the road back into the centre of the village!

Down the steps

Back in the village

Back in the village, make sure you spend some time admiring the stone buildings before heading to one of the pubs for a well earned lunch and drink. We went to the White Hart, right in the middle of the village.

However, there is also a quaint tea room, just down the street.

Or if you just want some cake, there is a house, selling home-made cake, right in the centre of town. Just pick your cake and leave your money!

How to get there
Its not particularly straightforward to get to Castle Combe by public transport, although you can get a bus from Chippenham. There are about 4 buses a day and the journey takes around 30 minutes. 

The village is about 15 miles from Bath and 20 miles from Bristol.

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