After first visiting the charming village of Castle Combe 3 years ago, we had the chance to return with friends on a very frigid weekend in March.
The guys had been plotting a golf weekend at the Manor Hotel in Castle Combe on the edge of the Cotswolds, staying
at this magnificent 14th luxury country house attached to its own golf course.
So do you think that we gals were going to let them go off on their own and miss all this loveliness?
Not a chance!
Built on the site of an old Norman castle, this country house is situated in 365 acres of beauty, including the hotel, golf course, and a Michelin starred restaurant.
Their brochure claims that the hotel is a "labyrinth of quirky hidey holes" which is indeed true, and we enjoyed exploring all the levels,
and alcoves where we uncovered all sorts of treasures such as this antique cradle on a landing beneath a tiny stained glass window.
Every room was unique with its own charm, and both the bedroom
and bath were huge. Luxury awaited in the form of a long soak in the claw footed tub with a rubber duckie supplied for fun.
Our room was graced with this bell--in the style of Downton Abbey!
Time for a stroll while the boys golfed, and wellies were supplied at the front door just for such an occasion.
A short walk through the village reminded us that this was a town that has literally been untouched since the 17th century. No new homes have been built there since 1617.
The oldest aspect of the village is the centrally located market cross seen above, which was serving as a center of trade as early as 1000 years ago. Some of this trade has been with the military through the years, and the market cross still shows the grooves where English longbowmen are said to have sharpened their arrows as they passed through.
The village was once a thriving woolen town due to the access of the Bybrook river and the cloth trade flourished there between the 11th and 18th centuries.
Today the town is a popular spot for tourists and movie makers. Many TV shows and movies have been situated there, including most recently Dr. Doolittle, The Wolfman and War Horse.
Doorways were inviting
and made us wonder what treasures lay behind the ancient doors.
In addition to staying in the hotel, some of the old weavers' cottages are available for guests as well.
We were amused to find cakes offered for sale at one door way,
where Mr. Yummy runs his business on a trust basis. Notice he is a "supplier" to the film and T.V, industry too.
The boys enjoyed playing golf (even in the rain), the gals enjoyed a spa day in nearby Bath, and everyone took home another memory of the good life in Britain.