A friend once told me that she called The Cotswold Way, House Envy Way, and if you’ve spent any time at all travelling in the Cotswolds then you’ll know why! You can’t have missed the rose-covered buttery coloured stone cottages, or grander expansive stately type homes that are dotted almost its entire length.
To make ourselves even more envious we’ve let our blogger @sarahfrombath pick her fave Wiltshire villages, inspired by walking in the Cotswolds, where Wiltshire is one of five counties represented. All have long been destinations for both home-owners and tourists, and now Instagram just can’t get enough of them!
Owned almost entirely by the National Trust, Lacock may be small in size but this Wiltshire village is home to so much! The Telegraph called it ‘England’s most famous village in 2020’, and they well might be right! It has also been the home to many a film and TV set including Harry Potter, Cranford and Fantastic Beasts, amongst a long and impressive list of other credits. Its NT status means that no TV aerials or overhead cables are allowed.
Lacock is as unspoilt a ‘chocolate box’ village as you can get. Not only is it home to the birth of photography and the Fox Talbot Museum and Lacock Abbey, it manages to pack in four pubs in its diminutive space, The Sign of The Angel being a foodie mecca.
And if it’s your home, too, then I hear residents can easily and profitably rent their homes and clear their cars for the next incoming film crew.
For the gram: plenty of idyllic wonky cottages on cobbled lanes with mullioned windows to tease you.
Castle Combe, which is also home to a motor racing circuit has a similar pedigree to Lacock; unspoilt and location to many a period drama. The racing circuit is based on the perimeter track of a former World War II airfield when it was RAF Castle Combe, but it’s some way out of the city so its contrast in no way diminishes the beauty of the village life.
The village gets its name from a now demolished castle built in the 1100s with only earthworks remaining.
The 14th century market-cross remains and is very much the centre of village as it was back when it was first erected when villagers were granted privilege to hold a weekly market.
Castle Combe can be spotted in Doctor Dolittle, Downton Abbey and most famously, right across Steven Speilberg’s War Horse, making it a regular on the West Country tourist rounds.
With nearly every rose covered door-way being the entrance to a Grade II listed property you can see why property is hot, hot, hot and rarely on the market.
For the gram: Balance along the cute bridge atop the brook that winds through the village.
Avebury has a most unique offering, none less than a Neolithic stone circle! In fact, google tells me it’s the largest ‘megalithic stone circle in the world’, making it an international tourist attraction and an incredibly important religious place for contemporary pagans.
If your Instagram grid needs livening-up then this would do it! The village itself is tiny and is also home to an old Benedictine Priory now known as Avebury Manor and Gardens owned and looked after by the National Trust - worth a potter and will take in St. James Church. The Red Lion pub claims that it is the only pub in the world to be enclosed by a stone circle which is the same for nearly every Avebury village resident too. A unique listing for an estate agent to share!
Sherston might be the most understated of all the villages on this listing but with Anglo Saxon history, Roman history and a pub called the Rattlebone Inn it is deserving of some serious interest!
Sherston has the wide broad high street typically associated with English country villages and its geography means that it’s sure to see quite a convoy of royals given its proximity to the Gloucestershire border and neighbouring Highgrove (where Prince Charles resides most of the time). In fact, the country set are well and truly at home enjoying annual events like the Sherston Boules Tournament where the entire main road is covered in sand and the village enjoys some friendly sporting competition and much revelry too, we hear; locally famed as a must attend event that visitors from outside the village scramble to attend.
Biddestone is a dreamy setting with an idyllic village duck pond that you can view from the pubs outside seating, yep, this is one pretty village! From this same vantage point you can also gaze longingly at the Manor House and Manor Farmhouse and wonder how the other half live.
A short drive into neighbouring Chippenham or Corsham affords Biddestone all the amenities it needs, keeping the village stopped in time it would seem, although those house prices have most certainly moved with the times as this postcode is on Wiltshire’s ‘most wanted’ list.
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