Winchcombe's Wonders and Walking Trails

WinchcombeIf you want to visit some famous pilgrimage sites and do some exploring there is no better place than Gloucestershire. With many historical and ancient sites, the county is steeped in history and fascinating facts. With so many well- preserved monuments, you really will be spoilt for choice and Cooks Green Cottage is the ideal base for your voyages of exploration with our homely rooms, wood burning stoves, and pretty gardens.

Winchcombe has a population of around 4000 people and is an ancient village that dates back to Neolithic times, as indicated by Belas Knap Long Barrow that sits above the town. A popular tourist location, the visitor will find plenty to do, see, and be able to find welcome refreshments and shop for crafts. Winchcombe was one of three towns noted by King Coenwulf (796 – 821) in the Anglo Saxon Mercia Kingdom. It came to prominence again in the 11th century as a pilgrimage site.

In 798, a ruler of Mercia founded a Benedictine abbey. It was home to over three hundred monks. Thousands of pilgrims visited the abbey, which was the burial place of two Mercian princes. In particular, St. Kenelm’s tomb was one of the major pilgrimage centres. IN its day, the Abbey owned thousands of acres. Sadly, little remains to mark the location of this famous Benedictine abbey.

Nearby, Hails Abbey is a younger building than Winchcombe Abbey and more of the original structure remains. Hailes was a pilgrimage site for those who came to view a vial of the ‘Blood of Christ’, donated by Henry III of England to his younger brother Richard. Most of the buildings on the site were demolished under the rule of Henry VIII in 1539.

As a tourist attraction, Sudeley Castle is a great tourist centre for day trips and there are castle tours three days a week. The castle and grounds are well maintained and the inhabited portion of the castle dates from the Elizabethan era.

There are many walking trails that pass through Winchcombe, making it a great spot to visit or stay awhile when passing through while following one of these great long distance or shorter walks. The Cotswold Way stretches 102 miles through the mountains; Gloucestershire Way is 100 miles; Wychavon Way at 42 miles; St Kenelm’s Trail runs 62 miles; Warden’s Way and Windrush Way.

Visit this fascinating area and enjoy the great variety in this lovely village.

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