Population: 5,121

Eat at: Restaurant 5 North Street (01242 604566)

Why? Run by acclaimed chef Marcus (Gus) Ashenford and his wife Kate, this restaurant serves satisfying seasonal dishes.

Drink at: Hayles Fruit Farm (01242 602123)

Why? Afternoon tea, home-pressed fruit juice and locally made cider are all on offer, making it worth the two-mile walk from Winchcombe along the Cotswold Way.

Stay at: The White Hart Inn (01242 602359)

Why? Offering family suites as well as grander rooms, this is pet friendly, has parking, facilities for muddy bikes and boots, and its own restaurant.

Stretch your imagination, immerse yourself in history or get out and about and stretch your legs around Winchcombe. Once a walled wool town, Winchcombe features everything Cotswolds, boasting Neolithic origins, royal connections dating back to Saxon times, ale-brewing and craft making. Its honey-coloured stone shops are interspersed with half-timbered buildings, many of which are listed. Hike up Cleeve Hill to take in Winchcombe from above, with sights such Sudeley Castle to behold.

Most noted for... The gargoyles at St Peter’s church. Stonemasons reputedly based each face on a particular Winchcombe resident.

While you’re here... Head to Belas Knap, a long barrow where Neolithic humans were laid to rest. It’s one of the reasons the town is counted among the most ghostly in Britain.

But try not to... Miss a visit to the National Trust-owned Snowshill Manor and Gardens. It features the delightfully quirky collection of eccentric Charles Wade, among which you’ll fascinating items like suits of armour and mechanical doorbells.

Who’s who:

From Richard III to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn to Good Queen Bess, a catalogue of royalty boast Winchcombe connections. The renowned potter Michael Cardew, whose collectible work fetches hundreds of pounds, and the Dents of fine glovemaking fame, all found a home here.

Sudeley Castle

Once a Tudor favourite, Sudeley castle’s fortunes were revived by the Dent family in the 19th century. Katherine Parr, sixth and final wife of Henry VIII, is buried in the chapel. The castle and its collections are open to the public including the library, which has artworks by Turner and van Dyck on display. (sudeleycastle.co.uk)

Winchcombe museum

Recently refurbished, Winchcombe Museum in the old town hall features tools from local industries, uniforms, artefacts and a wealth of stories detailing the lives of the town’s luminaries and ordinary folk. (winchcombemuseum.org.uk)

Winchcombe’s ways

Winchcombe is a popular centre for people who love walking. It has an annual walking festival but, all year round, there is a variety of walks to suit all ages and abilities. Guided routes vary from easy to strenuous and take in sights such as Dunn’s Hill, Postlip Hall, Salt Way and Hailes Abbey. Or you can download a walking map, courtesy of Winchcombe Welcomes Walkers and make your own way. (winchcombewelcomeswalkers.com).

Winchcombe Pottery

With connections to the Finch family and some of the best-known English craft potters, Winchcombe has had its own pottery for more than 200 years. The old bottle kiln, though no longer in use, is still part of its charm. Shop online, or in person. (winchcombepottery.co.uk)