Castle Combe Circular Walk
Our First Walk In The Cotswolds!!
As we walked from the car park into Castle Combe early on a Saturday morning, I turned to Taido and said:
This is the exact moment I have been anticipating since we decided we were moving back to England.
I’ve been stalking photos of the Cotswolds for a long time. Even while we lived in Scotland, I had a Cotswold trip on my list that I never got around to.
I ordered a book about walking the Cotswold Way last fall when we were preparing for this move, and I read it in between packing boxes.
The entire region of the Cotswolds is protected as an area of natural beauty in England. The pretty golden stone villages pop up in between quiet wood walks and trails that criss cross over farmland. Just a look at the names of the towns is enough to make you want to visit: Bourton-on-the-Water, Bradford-on-Avon, Chipping Campden, Edge Hill. Come on!
So for our first taste of the Cotswolds, we drove about 30 minutes over from Bristol to do a walk from Castle Combe. The Castle Combe Circular Walk, which is a loop that begins and ends in Castle Combe and goes for just under 6 miles.
As you walk south on the road that runs through Castle Combe, you quickly leave the buildings and come to a little bridge that leads over By Brook (that’s the name of the brook) and into the woods.
As usual, Simon popped his headphones in and quickly got ahead of us. He only moans a little bit about coming on a walk these days as he knows he will enjoy it once he’s busted out ahead of us on the trail.
There was no part of the Castle Combe Circular Walk that wasn’t lovely.
The loop was a fun variety of fantasy book woodlands and wide pastures.
It’s been a little while since I had to climb a stile over a fence that protects the animals from getting out of their allotted land. I have so many memories of climbing over these on long walks across England and Scotland. So fun!
The walk also takes you along some unspoiled old weavers’ cottages in the hamlet of Long Dean.
There’s a mill nearby and clues in both this village and Castle Combe that this area was an important center for a thriving cloth industry in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries.
Sheep can still be found wandering the local pastures.
It doesn’t matter how many times we see them, I don’t think I will ever stop calling out, Look y’all!! SHEEP!!
After we walked by all the sheep, we crossed more farm lanes and bridges.
We even saw a golf course, which the path runs right over, so there are signs to watch for golf balls.
And before we knew it, we were walking back down into Castle Combe.
It’s adorable from every possible angle.
And St Andrew’s church is towering over from the center.
I went for a look inside the church when we got back while Taido and Simon sat outside.
There’s a giant old faceless clock from the 15th century inside, which is kind of wild and I don’t quite understand, but it still somehow strikes a bell in the tower.
The whole building was constructed from the wealth of the cloth merchants who included a carving of a shuttle and scissors inside the church.
After drinking our thermos of tea by the church, we loaded up and headed to a pub called The Old House At Home for a hearty post-hike lunch.
So obviously, it was a great first day out into the Cotswolds. I’m sure we will find ourselves back there very soon. I’m making plans to walk all 102 miles of the Cotswold Way soon, so stay tuned for more of the charming Cotswolds.
If you want to go for this Castle Combe Circular Walk, you can download a map over at ViewRanger.