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Winchcombe Tourist Information & Travel Guide

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Ashchurch Railway Station near Tewkesbury - 9 miles Access - M5 junction 9 Access - from london M40 junction 9 Nearest Airport - Birmingham 35 miles

Medieval Saxon Town - Capital of Mercia

Winchcombe Town

The ancient Anglo Saxon town of Winchcombe is situated in a beautiful Cotswold valley mid-way between Broadway and Cheltenham (approx each 15 minutes away by car).

The name Winchcombe means 'valley with a bend', and today the town still retains street which curve gracefully along the 'combe'.

The inns, restaurants, tea rooms, and shops set among Winchcombe's three main streets are full of the character of times past.

In the early 1600's the Winchcombe area was know for tobacco growing and was banned in 1619 due to the vested interest of the industry in America and other colonies.

Local Attractions

Sudeley Castle with beautiful gardens. Queen Katherine Parr is entombed here.

Cheltenham racecourse at Prestbury Park is a big attraction for National Hunt fans, and the Prescott Hillclimb Course hold motoring events at various times throughout the year.

The ancient abbey at Hailes is a few miles out towards Broadway and the the stone age 'long barrow' burial ground at Belas Knap is located on the hill overlooking Corndean a few miles out on the road to Andoversford. A short walk from the road and worth it for the magnificent views.

Cotswolds cottages in WinchcombeBeautiful cottages in Vineyard streetancient shopping street in Winchcombe
View of Hailes streetSt. Peters Church at Winchcombe
St. Peters church built 1465

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Ascending Cleeve Hil from the Cheltenham direction, you will arrive at Winchcombe. St. Peters church is guarded by forty of the country's finest grotesque gargoyles.

The church has an unusually fine weather cock measuring nearly 6 feet from beak to tail. Originally at the Church of St. Mary, Redcliffe in Bristol, it came to Winchcombe in 1872.

Did you know

Christopher Merret FRS (16 February 1614/5 – 19 August 1695), born and raised in Gloucester Street in Winchcombe, was an English physician and scientist. He was the first to document the deliberate addition of sugar for the production of sparkling wine, and produced the first lists of British birds and butterflies.

The discovery of adding sugar was 20 years before the Benedictine monk, Dom Perignon famously introduced champagne to the world in Espernay, France.


Guided Walking Tours

Walks start at the Tourist Information Office on Winchcombe High Street at 11.00am and 2.30pm on Sundays from Easter to October. Walking is kept to footpaths and suitable for all ages. You can apply in person or phone 01242 602925 or 07754 776508. The tour is free of charge (discretionary donations are welcome).

Walking Route 5 Miles approx 2.5 hours

Stride past Sudeley Castle then up and around the valley for elevated views across to Cleeve
Common and Charlton Abbots. Walk through tranquil countryside full of wildlife and flowers. For comprehensive guide see - http://www.escapetothecotswolds.org.uk/userfiles/file/walks/jubilee/winchcombe-and-sudeley-valley-final2.pdf.

Sudeley Castle

Set against the backdrop of the Cotswolds hills in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sudeley Castle & Gardens has played an important role in England’s history, boasting royal connections that stretch back over 1,000 years.

Inside, the castle contains many fascinating treasures from ancient Roman times to the present day. Outside, the castle is surrounded by award-winning gardens and a breathtaking 1,200 acre estate.

Sudeley Castle at Winchcombe

Located only eight miles from the picturesque Broadway, Sudeley Castle & Gardens is the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within the grounds. The last of Henry VIII’s six wives, Katherine Parr lived and died in the castle. She is now entombed in a beautiful 15th Century church found within the award-winning gardens.

For the 2014 season the castle has opened even more of the family’s private rooms, some of which have never been open to the public before.

The additional rooms now open include the Major’s Dressing Room, the Morning Room, the Sewing Room, and the Haunted Staircase, as well as private bedrooms.

These rooms form part of an extended and revamped route around the castle, which includes the highly anticipated ‘20 Treasures of Sudeley’. A collection of artefacts and works of art of great historical importance which include Katherine Parr’s love letters, lacework reputedly made by Anne Boleyn, bed hangings made for Marie Antoinette and Charles I’s personal beer jugs.

Sudeley Castle’s magnificent gardens are world-renowned, providing variety and colour from spring through to autumn. The centrepiece is the Queens Garden, so named because four of England’s queens – Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I – once admired the hundreds of varieties of roses found in the garden.

An owlery, pheasantry, adventure playground with picnic area, gift shop and café in the banqueting hall complete the perfect day out.

Open daily from Monday 17th March to Sunday 2nd November 2014, 10am to 5pm. A full calendar of events is planned, visit www.sudeleycastle.co.uk for more information.

Sudeley Castle & Gardens, Winchcombe, Nr Cheltenham GL54 5JD
Tel: 01242 604 244

2014 admission prices at Sudeley Castle & Gardens
Adults: £14
Concessions: £13
Children (5-15 years): £5 Under 5’s: FREE

Ink sketch of Sudeley Castle by Richard Grassi
Ink Sketch of Sudeley Castle at Winchcombe by Richard Grassi
Click for full list of Hotels, Guest Houses and B&B's, Cottages, Inns and Pubs, Wedding Venues, Camping and Caravanning and Conference Centres in the Cotswolds and the six counties of Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Warwickshire and Oxfordshire:-
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Winchcombe - one of the oldest
towns in the Cotswolds

 
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