Castle Combe is a small village in Wiltshire, England, on the edge of the Cotswolds AONB. Some may know it as home to the Castle Combe Circuit, a car and bike racetrack, but in sharp contrast to the high-octane activities undertaken nearby, the village itself is beautiful. Many of its buildings are hundreds of years old, constructed in traditional yellow Cotswold stone, and the surrounding countryside is stunning. We decided to spend our Bank Holiday Monday completing a circular walk devised by us that morning taking us through Castle Combe and its surrounding villages. The first section of the walk up to Slaughterford follows the Macmillan Way National Trail and is clearly marked by its characteristic symbol on various posts and gates along the way. This manageable circular is just over 8 miles is total.
There is a free car park at Upper Castle Combe, well signposted, in which we left the car. The walk began by walking down a steep hill, along the road, into the picturesque village centre. Being a sunny day it was bustling with people who were congregating in the square. There are 2 pubs and patrons may purchase drinks and sit on the market cross.
Carrying on along the road we reached the river, called the By Brook. The scenes here made it clear why Castle Combe is one of the most popular Cotswold towns.
We crossed the bridge, carried on along the road for a while and then turned left over a stone footbridge and onto a public footpath. The path took us through shaded woodland before bringing us out into a field.
After crossing the field it disappeared into the forest again. Our path was then obstructed by cows. Luckily they were indifferent to our presence and we snuck past them into the tiny hamlet of Long Dean.
Here we followed the bridleway up a hill, across an open field, and then down the road into the village of Ford, which has a delightful riverside pub, The White Hart.
After leaving the White Hart (which made into our Top 10 favourite pubs of all time), we turned left up the road to follow the footpath along the banks of the By Brook towards Slaughterford.
Continue our walk on the next page;