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Home | Guidebooks | Winchcombe

A visitor’s guide to Winchcombe in the Cotswolds

Sudeley Castle, Bolthole Retreats

About Winchcombe

Winchcombe is an elegant and timeless Cotswold town, with the magnificent Sudeley Castle & Gardens being the main draw. But venture down the narrow side streets and you’ll also find a mix of fascinating and beautiful Cotswold stone cottages and ancient black and white half-timbered buildings.

Winchcombe is a walker’s haven, with the figure of eight Winchcombe Way centred on the town and the Isbourne Way passing through it – no wonder that it holds Walkers are Welcome status, one of only 100 towns in the UK to do so. The town is also a foodie destination with a choice of eating out options that range from traditional pubs to gourmet dining and local cafes, plus excellent delis to stock up the kitchen and create picnics. Winchcombe has a superb range of galleries, boutiques, interior design and antique shops. More recently, Winchcombe was put on the map by the arrival of the Winchcombe Meteorite, one of the oldest meteorites to land on Earth and thought to date to the formation of our Solar System 4.6 billion years ago. The meteorite, and the chunk of driveway that it fell on, are now both safely on display at the Natural History Museum in London.

  1. Sudeley Castle & Gardens
  2. Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway
  3. Hailes Abbey
  4. Cotswold Farm Park
  5. Cotswold Lavender
  6. Walk the Winchcombe or Isbourne Way
  7. Snowshill Manor
  8. Belas Knapp & Cleeve Hill
  9. Cheltenham Racecourse
  10. Prescott Hill Climb
  1. Sudeley Castle
  2. Winchcombe Museum
  3. Winchcombe Antiques Centre & Tearoom
  4. Shopping in Regent’s Parade, Cheltenham
  5. Indoor golf and bowling at Cheltenham’s Brewery Quarter
  6. Cotswold Distillery
  7. Gloucester Cathedral & Quays
  8. Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway
  9. Everyman Theatre
  10. Visit a local spa

Hailes Abbey Museum
10-minute drive from Winchcombe

The medieval Abbey was once one of the most important pilgrimage sites in England, with visitors flocking to see the Holy Blood of Hailes, believed to be the blood of Christ. The holy relic was destroyed during Henry VIII’s dissolution. Today you can visit the Abbey and the museum, which tells the tale of the history of this historically significant site.

Holst Birthplace Museum
20-minute drive from Winchcombe

Home and birthplace of composer Gustav Holst, the Holst Victoria House Museum was founded by Holst’s daughter Imogen in 1974. Discover more about his life and see many of his treasured possessions including the piano on which he composed The Planets. Hear stories of its eclectic residents and experience life in Victorian times.

Jet Age Museum
30-minute drive from Winchcombe

Gloucestershire has a rich aviation history, and the Jet Age Museum preserves a unique collection of artefacts and aircraft charting the region’s aeronautical heritage. There are 22 aircraft across the site plus engines in various stages of restoration. Many of the museums’ volunteers were pilots of the aircraft on display and so the experience you have is truly personal. 

Sudeley Castle & Gardens
3-minute drive from the centre of Winchcombe

Steeped in one thousand years of history, and the resting place of Henry VIII’s sixth wife Katherine Parr, Sudeley Castle makes for a fascinating day out, with 10 award-winning gardens set in the 1,200-acre estate, a pheasantry (housing one of the largest collections in the world of rare and endangered pheasants), and a huge adventure playground, not to mention the vast number of events including the ever-popular Spectacle of Lights, also taking place throughout the year.

The Everyman
22-minute drive from Winchcombe

The Everyman Theatre was designed by famed architect Frank Matcham, who was responsible for the London Palladium, Coliseum and Hippodrome amongst others, and has been entertaining audiences since 1891. The theatre showcases a wide range of productions encompassing ballet, opera, music, comedy, musicals and a hugely popular Christmas pantomime.

The Wilson
21-minute drive from Winchcombe

Housing an internationally significant collection of displays from the Arts & Crafts Movement and fine art collection, The Wilson is Gloucestershire’s pre-eminent art gallery and museum. It’s also home to the Open Archive where you can discover more about the life of Antarctic explorer Edward Wilson.

Winchcombe Museum
Centre of Winchcombe

Dedicated to all things Winchcombe, the Winchcombe Museum takes visitors through the historical heritage of the town and surrounding area. Displays include pieces from the Winchcombe Pottery, drawings from the excavation of Neolithic burial site Belas Knap, and curious relics including an Iron Age cup and a WWII field telephone found in the tower of St Peter’s church. 

Winchcombe Pottery
4-minute drive from the centre of Winchcombe

The much-acclaimed pottery is actually made in Winchcombe and has been since at least 1800. Each item is thrown by hand following the classic slipware style, using Winchcombe clay to make bowls, plates, dishes, jars and more.

Cheltenham Festivals
May – October

Cheltenham Festivals is a charity that runs outreach programmes throughout the year, culminating with the town’s internationally acclaimed Jazz (May), Science (June), Music (July), and Literature (October) festivals over a total of 36 days. The four festivals feature nearly 1,000 events, with 25 percent of their programme free to enter and world-famous acts, performers, experts and authors appearing year-on-year.

Giffords Circus
May – October

The most magical circus in the UK is based in the Cotswolds, and tours around the region from May to October, usually paying a visit to Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe. Giffords Circus is a fabulously eclectic mix of clowns, horses, dancers and performers of every type doing what they do best under a big top tent. It was recently described as “the nation’s most glamourous troupe” by The Daily Telegraph.

Prescott Speed Hill Climb
Year-round events

Established in 1938 by the Bugatti Owners’ Club, the Prescott Speed Hill Climb is set in a 69-acre location surrounded by stunning Cotswold countryside where weekend-long classic car and bike events are held as well as the British and Midland Hill Climb Championships. Learn to drive the historic hill climb alongside an expert instructor following in the tyre tracks of the greatest drivers including Stirling Moss, Peter Collins and Graham Hill.

The Big Feastival
August

This fabulous three-day festival just outside Kingham brings together Michelin star chefs, award-winning food producers with street food, supper clubs and unique pop ups, plus fabulous family activities and some of the biggest music artists in the UK. Set on Alex James’ farm in the heart of the Cotswolds, enjoy the best food and music against a memorable backdrop. 

The Cotswold Olimpicks
June

The Cotswold Olimpick Games on Dover’s Hill near Chipping Campden are a celebration of early rural sporting events for amateurs. Events include King of the Hill, Championship of the Hill and the crowd favourite, Shin Kicking. The sound of the band and the glow of the flaming torch procession will linger in your mind long after the last shin has been kicked.  

Winchcombe Country Show
August Bank Holiday

A popular, annual country show with a procession, competitions, dog show, circus skills, Morris dancers, a 5K fun run, art exhibition and a marquee full of local produce.

Winchcombe Walking Festival
May

Each year, the town of Winchcombe organises a festival to celebrate its Walkers are Welcome status, with guided walks led by knowledgeable locals who are passionate about showcasing the natural environment and the area’s history.

Prescott Hill Climb

Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park
16-minute drive from Winchcombe

Sitting in the heart of the Cotswolds, overlooking the Windrush Valley, this is a fabulous day out for the whole family. See rare breeds, spot new arrivals in the animal barn, follow the wildlife trails, and spend time in the glorious countryside. There’s plenty to do whatever the weather, with an adventure playground, Farm Safari, Maze, Tractor School, Sandpits and Jumping pillows. Adam’s kitchen café-restaurant and the Farm Park shop are both open to visitors and the public.

All Things Wild
23-minute drive from Winchcombe

With a myriad of indoor and outdoor activities, there is plenty to keep your little ones entertained. Meet the farm animals, go bug hunting, and ride the Dino Land Train back to a land that time forgot where you can see Diplodocus, Triceratops, T-Rex, Stegosaurus and more in the Dino Field.

Broadway Activity Park
14-minute drive from Winchcombe

A three-acre recreation ground that has been turned into the state-of-the-art activity park to be used and enjoyed by the whole community. The Park is divided into four specific areas for different age groups and the distance between these areas is open grassland. There is lots of great play equipment including a seesaw, climbing poles, twin fly spinners, climbing towers, a skate ride simulation and more.

Cotswold Falconry Centre
28-minute drive from Winchcombe

Next door to Batsford you’ll find the Cotswold Falconry Centre. Home to over 130 birds of 60 different species including vultures, falcons, eagles and owls, it’s also common to see the native birds in flight and there is always something different to see. There are daily flying displays and aviaries to explore. 

Sandford Park Lido
20-minute drive from Winchcombe

Open from March to October each year, the Sandford Parks Lido is a Grade II listed, heated outdoor swimming pool that encompasses a 50m main pool, a children’s pool, and a paddling pool. The lido dates back to 1935 and has been a Cheltenham institution ever since.

Sudeley Castle Adventure Park
3-minute drive from the centre of Winchcombe

The Castle’s enclosed adventure playground provides a chance for children to burn off some energy. The park features a huge, multi-level wooden fort with towers, bridges and plenty of hiding places to explore. Nearby is an adventure trail, obstacle course, zip wire, swings and picnic area. Entry to the park is with a Sudeley Castle General Admission ticket available during the Castle’s opening times only.

Corner Cupboard Inn
Centre of Winchcombe
Perfect for: breakfast, lunch and dinner

A local pub serving classic British dishes, sandwiches, baked potatoes, and Indian dishes.

Food Fanatics
Centre of Winchcombe
Perfect for: breakfast, light lunches and takeaway deli food

A delicatessen and coffee shop selling a wide range of local, regional and international deli foods, sandwiches, frozen foods, and gifts and hampers.

Honey Bea’s Café
Centre of Winchcombe
Perfect for: cakes, lunches, drinks

A family-run café welcoming dogs and their walkers (boot covers available), serving homemade cakes and light lunches.

Layton’s Fish & Chips
Centre of Winchcombe
Perfect for: tea and dinner

Classic and popular fish and chip takeaway.

Number 5, North Street
Centre of Winchcombe
Perfect for: lunch and dinner

An informal dining room with Michelin-star chef Gus Ashenford at its helm, serving a variety of menus inspired by seasonal and local foods.

The Lion Inn
Centre of Winchcombe
Perfect for: lunch and dinner

A 15th century coaching inn with a garden serving British cuisine using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, even using locals’ spare home-grown fruit and veg.

The Plaisterers Arms
Centre of Winchcombe
Perfect for: lunch and dinner

A traditional Cotswold pub with a garden serving local dishes using fresh local ingredients. 

The Royal Oak, Gretton
4-minute drive from Winchcombe
Perfect for: lunch and dinner

A family friendly pub serving classic pub food with a local twist. Sit in the garden and watch the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam train chugging by.

The White Hart Inn
Centre of Winchcombe
Perfect for: breakfast, lunch and dinner

A local pub and restaurant serving ‘simple, rustic food with a focus on flavour and generosity’.

Wesley House Restaurant & Wine Bar
Centre of Winchcombe
Perfect for: lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and private parties

A town-centre stalwart in a beautiful Anglo-Saxon building, with an elegant restaurant serving a wide range of haute cuisine dishes using locally sourced produce.

Broadway Golf Club
20-minute drive from Winchcombe

Set high on the Cotswold Escarpment, with fabulous views over the Vale of Evesham, the Broadway Golf Club undulates over the natural lay of the land, punctuated by Cotswold stone walls and the odd sheep. When the weather is breezy this course can be a challenge, but it’s one of the best in the Cotswolds.

Broadway Tower Country Park
21-minute drive from Winchcombe

This iconic landmark can be spotted from miles around. It’s the highest point in the Cotswolds, and on a clear day you can see as far as Wales and the views are truly spectacular. E-bikes are available for hire or simply take your time exploring the 50-acre estate including a resident herd of red deer. 

Cleeve Hill
15-minute drive from Cheltenham

On the north-eastern edge of Cheltenham, Cleeve Hill is the highest point in Gloucestershire and the highest peak in the Cotswolds. Criss-crossed by countless footpaths, including the Cotswold Way National Trail, the breath-taking views take in the Malvern Hills and on a clear day the Black Mountains in Wales. There are oodles of open space, quite a few sheep, a golf course and Neolithic long barrow – Belas Knap. This English Heritage scheduled ancient monument has been described as an ‘outstanding example representing a group of long barrows commonly referred to as the Cotswold-Severn group’. 

Cotswold Lavender
19-minute drive from Winchcombe

Cotswold Lavender is home to a patchwork of purple-hued fields that burst into life every summer. For a brief eight-week period the farm is open for you to stroll through the fragrant fields. Learn how it’s used and then pick up lavender-scented goodies in the on-site shop before you leave.

Far Peak Climbing
30-minute drive from Winchcombe

An indoor and outdoor climbing and bouldering centre for beginners, intermediate and competent climbers of all ages. Courses, workshops and training awards are all available.

Sandford Park Lido
20-minute drive from Winchcombe

Open from March to October each year, the Sandford Parks Lido is a Grade II listed, heated outdoor swimming pool that encompasses a 50m main pool, a children’s pool, and a paddling pool. The lido dates to 1935 and has been a Cheltenham institution ever since.

Sandford Park Lido, Bolthole Retreats

Food Fanatics
Centre of Winchcombe

A delicatessen and coffee shop selling a wide range of local, regional and international deli foods, sandwiches, frozen foods, and gifts and hampers.

Just Gems
Centre of Winchcombe

A jeweller that uses either customer’s own gemstones or certified diamonds and coloured gemstones from the Just Gems collection to create unique pieces.

Just in Case
Centre of Winchcombe

An independent gift shop selling a wide range of gifts for all ages and occasions.

Lavender Blue
Centre of Winchcombe

Boutique store stocking a wide range of women’s clothing labels, including Cove, Part Two, Pom Pom, Oui, Sahara, Sandwich, Toupy and Wyse.

Pritchard Antiques
Centre of Winchcombe

Six showrooms within one location filled with antiques, from furniture to clocks and globes to toys and games.

Winchcombe Antiques Centre & Tearoom
Centre of Winchcombe

Browse hundreds of antiques over two floors and then relax under the same roof with a cup of tea and a slice of cake at the teashop or in the garden.

Cleeve Hill
24-minute drive from Winchcombe

On the north-eastern edge of Cheltenham, Cleeve Hill is the highest point in Gloucestershire and the highest peak in the Cotswolds. Criss-crossed by countless footpaths, including the Cotswold Way National Trail, the breath-taking views take in the Malvern Hills and on a clear day the Black Mountains in Wales. There’s also the Neolithic long barrow – Belas Knap.

Cotswold Distillery
16-minute drive from Winchcombe

Set within the natural beauty of the Cotswolds, the Cotswolds Distillery reflects its wonderful location and heritage by using local ingredients and traditional methods for both their flagship whisky and aromatic gin. Visit for tours, tastings and to pick up a bottle… or two!

Lodge Park and Sherborne Estate
33-minute drive from Winchcombe

Spend time in a peaceful Cotswold estate filled with wildlife including fallow and roe deer, badgers, and foxes. This is also the home of England’s last surviving 17th century grandstand along with 18th century water meadows.

Snowshill Manor and Garden
21-minute drive from Winchcombe

Managed by the National Trust, Snowshill is the eclectic home of Charles Wade. He was an architect and artist with a passion for the unusual. His collections are quirky and avant-garde and as you wander through the atmospheric rooms, you’ll find thousands of objects from the tiniest of toys to genuine Samurai armour.

Sudeley Castle & Gardens
Centre of Winchcombe

Steeped in one thousand years of history, and the resting place of Henry VIII’s sixth wife Katherine Parr, Sudeley Castle makes for a fascinating day out. There are 10 award-winning gardens set in the 1,200-acre estate, a Pheasantry (housing one of the largest collections in the world of rare and endangered pheasants), and a huge adventure playground.  

Sudeley Castle and gardens

Winchcombe is a Walkers are Welcome town, a special status awarded to towns and villages which go above and beyond with their walking amenities, making it a fantastic destination for groups in search of a walking break whether they are casual, seasoned or hardy walkers. The Winchcombe Way, a 42-mile figure-of-eight trail is centred around the town, while the 14-mile Isbourne Way follows the River Isbourne from Cleeve Hill to Evesham, passing through Winchcombe on its way. Plus, there are plenty of options for those looking for a more casual, leisurely pace within a close radius of the town.

For more information about walking and cycling, take a look at our Walking and Cycling Guides online.

Bamford Wellness Spa
37-minute drive from Winchcombe

The ultra-luxurious and elegant Bamford Wellness Spa is part of the Daylesford group and is located at the Daylesford Organic Farm site in Kingham. The spa offers a nourishing space for rejuvenation through their treatments, mind and movement classes, including a programme of yoga, Pilates, meditation classes and workshops hosted by visiting experts. In addition, there is a herbal steam room, crystal sauna and wellness pool available for day guests only.

Dormy House Spa
21-minute drive from Winchcombe

Winning awards since day one, this blissful, ultra-luxurious spa boasts a spectacular setting in the North Cotswolds. Treat yourself to some serious pampering with a spa day taking in an impressive menu of treatments before indulging in the Scandi-style thermal suite, terrace hot tub and heavenly pool.

Elan Spa at the Greenway Hotel
28-minute drive from Winchcombe

At the Elan Spa, Greenway Hotel you’ll find a Cotswold spa designed with sheer bliss in mind and inspired by its wonderful Cotswold location. Exposed brickwork, historic beams and heavenly ESPA products create a memorable experience.

Lygon Arms Spa
26-minute drive from Winchcombe

Set within the historic Lygon Arms Hotel on the main street, the tranquil spa here enables you to organise specific treatments and therapies or treat yourself to a pampering spa day. The twilight spa evenings are particular popular and include a light supper in the Spa Kitchen & Bar.

The Spa at Cotswold House
26-minute drive from Winchcombe

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the Spa at Cotswold House. Using Decleor holistic treatments, the team of therapists create a truly personalised spa experience for every guest. Each treatment starts with a unique diagnostic massage, sending you into a state of sheer relaxation and allowing your therapist a wonderful insight into your state of wellbeing. 

Spa, Bolthole Retreats

Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park
18-minute drive from Winchcombe

Sitting in the heart of the Cotswolds overlooking the Windrush Valley, this is a fabulous day out for the whole family. See rare breeds, spot new arrivals in the animal barn, follow the wildlife trails and spend time in the glorious countryside. There’s plenty to do whatever the weather, with an adventure playground, Farm Safari, Maze, Tractor School, Sandpits and Jumping pillows. Adam’s kitchen café-restaurant and the Farm Park shop are both open to visitors and the public.

All Things Wild
26-minute drive from Winchcombe

With a myriad of indoor and outdoor activities, there is plenty to keep your little ones entertained. Meet the farm animals, go bug hunting, and ride the Dino Land Train, back to a land that time forgot where you can see Diplodocus, Triceratops, T-Rex, Stegosaurus and more in the Dino Field.

Cotswold Falconry Centre
31-minute drive from Winchcombe

Next door to the Batsford Arboretum you’ll find the Cotswold Falconry Centre. Home to over 130 birds of 60 different species including vultures, falcons, eagles, and owls, it’s also common to see the native birds in flight and there is always something different to see. There are daily flying displays and aviaries to explore. 

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens
44-minute drive from Winchcombe

Home to one of the UK’s largest zoological collections and diverse gardens, the park is home to more than 260 different species of animals, many of which are endangered in the wild. It sits in 160 acres of landscaped parklands and gardens and daily activities include penguin feeding and the Madagascar walkthrough.

Hidcote
33-minute drive from Winchcombe

This Arts and Craft Movement inspired garden offers plenty for children young and old. Explore the maze of narrow pathways, secret gardens, and wilderness areas. There are some tranquil spots too and you might spot woodpeckers and buzzards soaring high overhead.

Sezincote House & Garden
34-minute drive from Winchcombe

This traditional, family-run estate sits in 3,500 acres of beautiful Cotswold countryside but at its heart you’ll find a 200-year-old Mogul-inspired Indian palace topped with a Verdigris-hued onion dome. Romantic gardens are filled with temples, waterfalls, and grottos, evocative of a Moghul paradise garden.

Slimbridge
45-minute drive from Winchcombe

The WWT Slimbridge Wetlands Centre is a 100-acre wetland paradise of wide-open spaces and the birdlife at Slimbridge changes from one month to the next. Explore the different zones including Asia, Australia, Flamingo Lagoon, Back from the Brink, and the Tundra zone. Enjoy guided walks and talks, a land rover safari and welly boot land – an outdoor wet playground for all the family!

Sudeley Castle & Gardens
3-minutes from the centre of Winchcombe

Steeped in one thousand years of history, and the resting place of Henry VIII’s sixth wife Katherine Parr, Sudeley Castle makes for a fascinating day out, with 10 award-winning gardens set in the 1,200-acre estate, a pheasantry (housing one of the largest collections in the world of rare and endangered pheasants), and a huge adventure playground not to mention the vast number of events, including the ever-popular Spectacle of Lights, also taking place throughout the year.

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