After watching a few seasons of Inspector Barnaby here the other day, it appeared to me that I am actually in England, and that London is not the only city in this country. So, in this moment of enlightenment I booked train tickets to South-West England and the small village of Castle Combe. It is said to be the prettiest town in England, so I thought it was a good place to start.
At 6 am I took the train to London, got to Paddington station and then continued to Chippenham. Waited for the bus to pick me up, and arrived in Castle Combe before most of the tourists started to appear.
Castle Combe was once a British hill fort occupied by the Romans, and later the Normans, who built the fort up into a castle. The site of the castle is on a hill above the today’s village, but there is not much left of it. In the Middle Ages the little village became a significant industrial center for production of wool, and the town’s river, called By Brook, was providing power to run the mills. The buildings in Castle Combe are several hundred years old and have been listed as ancient monuments because of their historical importance.
In modern times the town has been frequently used as site for film productions. Films like Doctor Doolittle, Warhorse, Stardust, The Wolf Man and some episodes of Poirot were partly filmed there.
This is a golf resort luxury hotel with a Michelin starred restaurant. The hotel building is quite powerful in the landscape, which actually is a golf course on the left side in the picture and a picturesque garden to the right.
How to get to Castle Combe:
Book train tickets from Paddington to Chippenham. I payed £34, quite expensive but worth it! Get off at Chippenham, and take bus 35 from Chippenham train station to Castle Combe Village. The bus is £2.50 return. No service on Sundays.
All photos by Robin Sondergaard