Castle Combe, an unexpected experience in a 14th century village
If you want to travel through time and go back to the 14th Century, in England is possible. Last summer I was driving from London to Bath (a stunning Roman thermal baths town in South-East of England not far from Bristol and the Bristol Channel and from there to the Celtic Sea and the open Ocean) and after having turned right to the A350 from Free Way M4 I entered in the Wiltshire (a beautiful county famous for pre-Roman Archaeology, especially for Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age and Land of Stonehenge) excited to reach the spa town built by Romans in AD 60.
From people coming from Rome like me, visiting roman places around the world is a thing to do, not because it reminds us places like Home, but it can make us understand how they built the empire and what they did for inhabitants when they conquered foreign countries.
So I stayed in Bath for three days and visited the spa town carefully (in the age of Romans there was a huge and bath complex, with three baths; calidarium (hot bath), tepidarium (warm bath) and frigidarium (cold bath) I walked through Romans ruins, admired Georgian Architecture and eating pasties on the street. Bath is a touristic place where you can find people on the street anytime so it’s much European and less English.
What is very English just outside to Bath is the countryside, visiting places and villages around the town is a unique experience you will never forget. I can say that what impressed me more visiting Wiltshire and Somerset county (Bath is on the border) were villages and one of this, the most beautiful and stunning was Castle Combe. Castle Combe is village totally immersed in the centre of two woods (Parsonage Wood and Becker’s Wood) following the A420 to East in the heart of Wiltshire. What makes you realise that you are in front of a different place is that you can’t reach it by car but you have to park 5-600 meters before and proceed by foots. After crossing over on a beautiful small bridge (that’s explain why you cant go by car) you are suddenly catapulted back in the time.
You are not in 21 Century anymore but you are in the 14 Century. You can walk and see Cotswold houses, constructed in stone with thick walls and roofs made from stone tiles. Properties are hundred years old. Castle Combe is know as “The Prettiest village in England” and after visiting it, you can truly understand why. In the origin it was a British hill fort occupied by Romans due to its proximity to The Fosse Way, then came the Normans and in the middle age it was an important centre of wool industry. The beauty of nature at its very best, the picturesque houses and streets, its charm you can deeply enjoy make this place stop over you can’t absolutely miss in South-East of England. Due to its beauty and its state of conservation that make the village the most picturesque village in England, Castle Combe has been a filming location for many movies like Wolfman, Stardust and many others.
Visiting Castle Combe at it’s best
Take the M4 to Bristol and take the exit 17 from M4 Continue to A350 and take right onto B4039 for 2 miles and turn left for 0.5 miles
Follow indications (you are very close)
Best time: Spring-Summer You can only go by car and by foots Stay there for two-three hours to enjoy most