Castle Combe

Why is Castle Combe Famous?

May 25, 2024

Why is Castle Combe Famous?

What is Special About Castle Combe?

Castle Combe is a picturesque village nestled within a wooded valley in the Cotswolds, often hailed as the ‘prettiest village in England’. Its unique charm and historical significance make it a must-visit destination.

  • Medieval Preservation: With no new houses built since the 1600s, Castle Combe is a perfectly preserved slice of medieval history, showcasing traditional architecture and cobblestone streets.
  • Historical Monuments: The village is home to the medieval Market Cross monument, the old village water pump, and the faceless Castle Combe Clock, allegedly the oldest English medieval clock still in use.
  • Stunning Scenery: Surrounded by rolling hills and ancient woodlands, the village offers scenic views and picturesque landscapes ideal for photography and leisurely walks.
  • Cultural Heritage: Castle Combe’s history dates back to the 12th century, with a castle built on the hill to the north of the village, and a thriving wool industry during the Middle Ages.

Castle Combe's enchanting atmosphere and rich heritage make it a unique and special place to visit.

Is Castle Combe the Prettiest Village in England?

Many consider Castle Combe to be the prettiest village in England, and it's easy to see why. The village’s aesthetic appeal and timeless beauty draw visitors from all over the world.

  • Untouched Beauty: The village's lack of modern buildings and strict preservation laws ensure that its historical charm remains intact.
  • Iconic Views: The classic view of the weavers’ cottages by the river bridge, with the backdrop of the surrounding woodlands, is a favourite among photographers.
  • Quaint Cottages: The honey-hued stone cottages and well-kept gardens contribute to the village’s storybook appearance.
  • Atmospheric Ambiance: Walking through the village feels like stepping back in time, with each corner revealing a new picturesque scene.

Castle Combe's picturesque streets, historical buildings, and stunning natural setting make it a strong contender for the title of the prettiest village in England.

What Movies Were Filmed in Castle Combe?

Castle Combe's well-preserved historical appearance has made it a popular location for filmmakers seeking authentic and timeless settings.

  • Stardust: This fantasy film utilised Castle Combe’s charming streets and medieval architecture to create a magical backdrop.
  • The Wolf Man: The village’s atmospheric scenery was perfect for this horror film, enhancing its eerie and historical feel.
  • War Horse: Steven Spielberg's epic war film transformed Castle Combe into a 1914 setting, with meticulous efforts to maintain historical accuracy by altering the village's modern elements.
  • Doctor Dolittle: The 1967 musical was one of the first major films to be shot in Castle Combe, showcasing the village’s picturesque and enchanting environment.

The use of Castle Combe as a filming location highlights its timeless beauty and ability to transport viewers to different eras.


Castle Combe's fame stems from its unique combination of historical significance, breathtaking beauty, and cultural heritage. Whether you're exploring its medieval monuments, admiring its picturesque streets, or discovering its role in various film productions, Castle Combe offers an unforgettable experience for visitors. Its charm and well-preserved nature continue to captivate and inspire, making it a treasured gem in the heart of the Cotswolds.


Is Castle Combe worth it?

Castle Combe is absolutely worth visiting for its breathtaking beauty, rich history, and charming atmosphere. The village's well-preserved medieval architecture, idyllic countryside views, and picturesque streets create a magical ambience that captivates visitors.

Do people still live in Castle Combe?

Yes, people still live in Castle Combe. The residents are a mix of local families and second homeowners, many from London. The village also attracts younger families due to the nearby By Brook Valley C of E Primary School in Yatton Keynell.

How to spend a day in Castle Combe?

  • Visit The Manor House: Enjoy a round of golf or afternoon tea at this luxurious hotel.
  • Traditional Pubs: Stop off at The Castle Inn or The White Hart for a classic pub experience.
  • Castle Combe Race Circuit: Watch an event or take your own car for a spin on the historic track.
  • Scenic Walks: Embark on a 5-mile walk through the river valley for stunning views and fresh air.

What TV series filmed in Castle Combe?

Castle Combe has hosted numerous film productions, including:

  • Doctor Dolittle (1967)
  • Stardust
  • The Wolf Man
  • War Horse

These productions have utilised the village’s authentic and picturesque settings to enhance their storytelling.

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