Winchcombe is a market town set above the River Isbourne and on the Cotswold edge. The town was an important centre in Saxon times and later became the site of one of the largest Benedictine monasteries in England, from which it became prosperous (based on its wool trade and as a producer of tobacco).
Although the abbey has now gone, the town thrives. The stone Church of St Peter displays an altar cloth worked by Catherine of Aragon. Outside the church there are 40 gargoyles, said to represent local town characters from the 1460s. Dent’s Terrace is a row of almshouses and another is located on Vineyard Street. Winchcombe borders Sudeley Castle which is renowned for its 1,000 year Royal history and beautiful gardens. The town is a great base for walkers with the Cotswold Way, Gloucestershire Way and Winchcombe Way all passing through. The Wardens Way & Windrush Way both start and finish here. Nearby Belas Knap is a Neolithic barrow in a spectacular location above Humblebee Woods (beloved of Tolkien). The town has also been awarded “Walkers Are Welcome” status and hosts an annual walking festival in May.