The Castle Combe Classic Pub Walk

Featured Walks | Full Day Walks

This is not for the faint hearted – 15 miles, seven pubs and some classic Cotswold terrain to negotiate. It will take all your will and determination to drag yourself away from some of the cracking Cotswold pubs you’ll encounter on route. The incentive of the Vine Tree at Norton should just be enough to keep you motivated to complete this epic Cotswold Beer Adventure.

This seven pub walk starts in the South Cotswolds at the White Hart Inn at Ford, it takes in Castle Combe, a section of the Macmillan and Fosse way ending at the Excellent Vine Tree Inn at Norton
At Glance
  • Distance: 15 miles
  • Pub count: 7 including start
  • point(potential for 8)
  • Total ascent: 1100ft
  • Estimated completion time: 8 hours
  • Transport: Nearest station
  • Chippenham
  • Beer Adventure grade: Epic
Infographic
Map

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Locations
Itinerary

Please note the timings below for the Trouble House to The Stroud Brewery walk are suggestions only, times will vary depending on your walking, eating and drinking speed

The White Hart – Ford [09:30 – 10:00]

The White Hart sits on the the bank of the small By Brook river. Its an archetypal british pub which is good enough to open it’s doors to hungry Cotswold Beer Adventurer looking for breakfast. Make sure you call ahead and book and don’t forget to mention us. The White Hart also has good accommodation if your looking to make a weekend of it!

The Castle Inn Hotel – Castle Combe [10:45 – 11:15]

The walk from Ford to Castle Combe is classic Cotswold walking, you will wind your way along the banks of the river By Brook crossing a Roman footbridge (alleged to be haunted!). You emerge into the almost ‘film set’ beauty of Castle Combe (The village was actually used as the backdrop to the film Doctor Dolittle – 1967 version). The Castle Inn Hotel is located in the center of the village opposite another White Hart (closed when we passed through). The Castle Inn is pleasant with friendly staff. If you get decent weather sit outside and enjoy your pint while watching the tourists amble around the village.

 

The Old House at Home – Burton [12:15 – 12:45]

Another hours walking will bring you to The Old House at Home at Burton. You will need to deviate from the route into the center of the village prior to returning the way you came to rejoin the route. The pub is a traditional ivy-clad freehouse with a pleasant atmosphere with well kept guest ales and beers. If the sun is out enjoy the terrace at the rear of the pub

Lunch [13:15 – 13:45]

Half an hour on from Burton you will come to a secluded wooded valley grid reference ST 83342 78954, this is a perfect spot to sit on the banks of a small stream and enjoy a picnic. You can also be comforted that it’s only 20 minutes to the salutation Inn, your next stop

The Salutation Inn – The Gibb (nr Castle Combe) [14:10 – 14:30]

The Salutation Inn has recently been taken over (June 2016) and things look very promising. It’s a lovely looking pub and although very quiet when we arrived we were greeted by friendly staff who seemed genuinely pleased to see us. For those flagging and in need of a caffeine pick me up they have a very smart new coffee machine, sadly no one seemed to know how to use it when we were there. The beer alternative sufficed!

The Neeld Arms – Grittleton [15:30 – 16:30]

A stone’s throw away is the M4, you need to pass beneath it before picking up the Fosse Way. Grittleton and the Neeld Arms is your next stop. Their website states ‘Wiltshire’s premier pub’ and who are we to argue. On approaching the pub we were greeted with some banter from a couple of friendly locals sitting outside, always a good sign. Stepping into the pub, Charlie the Landlord was attentive and interested in our venture. This is a proper pub (also stated on the web site!) serving well kept real ale, in fact so well kept we struggled to drag ourselves away!

The Star Inn – Hullavington [18:00]

You’ll need to follow your gpx route carefully from Grittleton onwards. The walk follows paths that aren’t well used and some of the land crossed doesn’t have the clearest of signs. Your navigation skills will be tested! Once in Hullavington the Star Inn is easily found. Not opening until 18:00 you need to get your timing right.

The Vine Tree -Norton [19:30]

The quality of pubs is set high on this walk so the need to finish in a great venue is a must. The Vine tree tops of the day perfectly. Its a great spot to finish this epic Cotswold Beer Adventure. Unassuming from the outside but vibrant a friendly within. This is very definitely a dining pub but with no pretentions. The food was well beyond pub food standard but still remained sensibly priced. They have an excellent wine list and a gin bar you could get lost in.

Don’t forget to get to the Stroud Brewery early if you are planning on eating and always check opening times of all the pubs on the walk. Most pubs now stay open all day during the weekend, but please check if you are doing this during the week to avoid disappointment 

If you have completed this walk or would like to know more we would love to hear from you – please leave a comment bellow

Logistics

GETTING HERE

The closest train station to the start of the White Hart to the Vine Tree Inn pub walk is Chippenham, only 15 minutes taxi ride from the White Hart at Ford. Bristol is approximately half an hour away

TRANSPORT

Local taxis from Chippenham are available but may need booking in advance if you arriving late/early

Email: Chippenham@V-Cars.com
Phone: 01249 65 65 65
Taxis for pick up from the Vine Tree will need booking in advance

Email: Malmesbury Taxis
Phone:01666 823366

PACK LUNCHES

Catered pack lunches can be organised for delivery at your arrival or walk starting point.

BAGGAGE TRANSFER

For those beer adventurers who are travelling fully laden we offer a baggage transfer service. To find out more about the cost for this service please contact us for a quote.

ORGANISED BEER ADVENTURE:

If you’re in a large party, organising a stag or corporate event or simple want a local guide we can help to ensure you have a fantastic weekend or day out in the Cotswolds – from table bookings, accommodation and transport. Let us help you create your own true Cotswold Beer Adventure. please contact us for a quote.

Stay

Pub walk accommodation: The White Hart to The Vine Tree

This is a selection of accommodation in the area. They are convenient for this particular pub walk and we like them! Those listed provide a range to suit most pockets but if you don’t find what you’re looking for follow the link to browse tripadvisor reviews for accommodation in this area

 

Malmesbury is 10 minutes from The Vine Tree finish point and has a number of good accommodation options.

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Maps & GPX

White Hart to The Vine Tree, Norton - Route GPX

You can navigate this pub walk using our .gpx file. It can be viewed on most smartphones using an appropriate ‘app’. We use OS Maps, It’s accurate, easy to use and available on both Apple and Android

Download the pub walk .gpx file of the route by clicking on the link below from your smartphone. If you have OS maps installed just follow the onscreen instructions (or import the route into your own app) and you’re ready to go!

Download gpx file here – White Hart to The Vine Tree

Prefer a map?

If you’d prefer a traditional map rather than rely on technology visit the OS shop. They provide Ordnance Survey maps for all parts of the UK including detailed maps of the Cotswolds. To find the right map for your Beer Adventure pub walk just search ‘Cotswolds’ below

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Booking.com

NAVIGATE WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE

You can navigate our pub walks using the .gpx files provided. They can be viewed on most smartphones using an appropriate ‘app’. We use OS Maps, It’s accurate, easy to use and available for both Apple and Android devices

Download the pub walk .gpx file of the route by clicking on the link from your smartphone. If you have OS maps installed just follow the onscreen instructions (or import the route into your own app) and you’re ready to go!

PREFER PAPER MAPS?

Prefer to keep things old school? Then Ordinance Surveys paper maps would be our first choice. The following maps cover the Cotswold area:

 

Spotted:

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– Victor Novak, Califor Agro Ltd.

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– Victor Novak, Califor Agro Ltd.

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