Visiting the “Prettiest Village in England”

LOCATION:  Bath, Somerset, England
WEATHER:  Mostly overcast all day.  Mild.  High 66

Today’s destination was Castle Combe, “The Prettiest Village in England”.  The village won this distinction in some contest a few years ago.  One of the reasons it is so quaint is that they do not allow any changes on the outsides of buildings, like TV antennas, telephone poles, etc.  This keeps the town looking like it did in the 1600s, and creates a draw for movie filming.  The original “Dr. Doolittle” movie with Rex Harrison was filmed here.  More recently the town was a movie set for one of the Steven Spielberg’s movies and some Poirot TV shows.

Another reason it remains “quaint” is that it is a bit challenging to get there.  We took a train from Bath to a nearby town, then caught a bus that goes to Castle Combe.  It only goes there every 3-4 hours, so timing is important.

It is named Castle Combe from a castle built above the town in the 1500s.  It became a prosperous cloth weaving town in the 1600s.  Not much has changed since.  The houses are all stone.  Everywhere I looked, I wanted to take a photo….

The church dominates the center of the village, with  an ancient-looking cemetery.

The manor house, where a wealthy cloth merchant once lived is now a beautiful hotel.

The old doors and windows of the houses are fascinating…

I love this photo….it shows that “real” people live here.  These 2 neighbor ladies stopped to chat with the homeowner while she was sweeping her doorstop…

We took a hike on a footpath that goes up and around the village.  Later I read a note saying that one must wear wellies on this hike.  Yes – it was muddy!

All of the roofs are slate, many with moss on the slates.  One house has my favorite roof – a tratched roof.  This is part of the Cotswolds, but the thatched roofs are more popular farther north.

The town has a pub (of course) and a hotel that has a restaurant.  We didn’t have time to eat there as the bus came at 12:30.  If we missed it, we would have to wait until 5:00 for the next one.

DINNER:  Another penne pasta dish.  We will be leaving a partial bag for the AirB&B host.  I made a sauce with dibs and dabs of food in the refrigerator from previous meals – onion, green onion, mushrooms, butter beans, bacon, and pasta sauce.  A lettuce and tomato salad was the side.  Tomorrow night will be our last night here, and I will hopefully use up most everything else. 

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