M4, Junction 17; 14 mins
Weds-Sun 10am-4pm (Thurs-Sun in winter)
Free WiFi for visitors
Vegetarian or vegan options
Castle Combe is criminally pretty, which is why it’s awash with tour groups and selfie sticks. Don’t be deterred; the beautiful sandstone village with appealing gabled houses (notice that TV aerials are banned) and an arched bridge spanning a river is worth the hype.
Few places are more welcoming for a recharge than the Old Stables Coffee Shop, just off the main street. It’s a relaxed home from home: stone walls painted cream are hung with bright local art. Loaf around by the log burner, relax on the sofa with a paper or play with Twiglet and Bumble, the often-resident dogs.
Owners Philippa and Yasmin are laid back and hospitable – muddy boots, mucky dogs, sweaty cyclists, even ponies are ushered in. Food is flavourful and most of it comes from within a few miles of the door. Bacon rolls and excellent coffee for breakfast, paninis and freshly made sandwiches for lunch. Tempting cakes are freshly baked each day – maybe a bakewell slice, orange, honey and rosemary loaf or gingerbread muffin.
Buy The Extra Mile Guide
The Extra Mile: Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services is your essential glovebox guide to good food on the move. The guidebook is a great gift for motorists and foodies who prefer to avoid motorway services and boring, big-brand food. Find independent cafes, pubs, local coffee and tea shops and lovely farm shops near motorway junctions and main roads. To improve your journey, support small businesses and discover real local flavours, order your copy today (Glovebox Guides edition refreshed for 2022).