Top places to live in Gloucestershire Winchcombe
Looking for a Cotswold town with history, style and charm? With Cheltenham one way, an AONB the other and a friendly community vibe, this market town is hot property. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
Winchcombe is a buzzing and beautiful town. Think 17th century honey-hued lanes and black and white timbered houses filled with characterful pubs, dainty tearooms, great restaurants and indie shops. It’s located 15 minutes north east of the spa town of Cheltenham, yet is very much a market town with an identity of its own. Still quite under the radar, it sits high on an escarpment overlooking the Severn Valley so amazing views are guaranteed with your pint of local Hook Norton or glass of Cotswold wine. Treat yourself to afternoon tea in one of Winchcombe’s bijou cafes then lose yourself in the historic narrow alleyways, browsing gorgeous galleries and little antique shops.
Want your lunch whipped up by a Michelin-acclaimed chef? Owner Gus at 5 North Street trained under gastro-legend Michael Roux Senior and serves up tantalising anglo-french dishes. Wine & Sausage at The White Hart Inn is a welcome stop for hearty and rustic pub food, and the Lion Inn is popular with families too. Head for The Old Bakery Cafe on the high street for the best homemade coffee and cake for miles around in a gorgeously rustic setting.
Winchcombe Antiques Centre has great antiques to browse and a fabulous tea room serving up more than 15 different tea blends, sip and scoff with a stunning view of Winchcombe from the windows. The high street is home to Lavender Blue, a finalist in the Muddy Awards 2021 for Best Women’s Store, and Barnbury is a gem of an interiors store for picking up homewares and art. Pick up a hand-restored unique piece of furniture at Archway Barn and browse around Newsum Antiques which is a treasure trove of vintage finds. Just Gems is the place for bespoke jewellery and gemstones. And a big local fave is Winchcombe Flowers, an emporium of all things floral.
Cheltenham is 15 minutes away with its bars, cafes and eateries (as well as epic shopping opps). Have brunch at The Ivy in Montpellier, then sit in the pretty Imperial Gardens and watch the world go by. Cheltenham Racecourse is a must-visit and Prestbury Park is a big attraction every year, as are the Music, Literary, Jazz and Science Festivals. Not many towns have their own castle – visit Sudeley Castle with it’s glorious gardens and yearly exhibitions. Pop over to Hayles Fruit Farm on the outskirts of Winchcombe for great coffee and to pick your own punnet of fresh fruit.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
Quite high, but you pay for a location like this. Properties in Winchcombe have an average price of £406,074. The majority of sales in Winchcombe during 2021 were detached properties, selling for an average price of £529,991. Terraced properties sold for an average of £302,778, with semi-detached properties fetching £304,838.
For the littlies, Winchcombe Abbey Primary School is rated Outstanding by Ofsted. The state secondary here, Winchcombe School, is rated ‘Good’. Want to go the independent route? Give them world-famous tuition at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, one of the top performing schools for the International Baccalaureate. Cheltenham College, St Edwards and co-ed Dean Close School are also great options. There are four highly rated grammar schools nearby including Pates (Sunday Times State Secondary School of the Year 2020) and Sir Thomas Rich’s boys school. For ages 3-11 there is the highly regarded co-ed prep Richard Pate school.
BEST KEPT SECRET
The fantastic Sudeley Castle has a royal claim to fame. Queen Katherine Parr is entombed here at the chapel (you can see her actual tomb), and is the only English queen to be buried in a private home.
Very well connected. 20 minutes hop from the M5 so you’re close to Bristol and Birmingham, and nine miles from Cheltenham Spa station, which although not super-fast (yet, we live in hope), will get you back to London in little over two hours.
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