Welcome to Uffculme
Uffculme is a village and civil parish situated in the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Set on the B3440, close to the M5 motorway and main railway line, Uffculme is on the upper reaches of the River Culm.
The Coldharbour Mill working wool museum is a popular tourist attraction, as are the scenic old railway and riverside walks.
- The village has featured in literature and works of art. In RD Blackmore’s novel Perlycross, the fiction village of Perliton is based on Uffculme. In 1982/83, the artist Robert Organ painted a portrait of four children from Uffculme School (suitably titled ‘The Uffculme Children’).
- Snooker player Sam Baird comes from the village and the singer Joss Stone lived in Uffculme parish in Rull hamlet. Children’s author J T Scott, who writes fantasy books about dragons and castles, also comes from Uffculme.
- During 2008, the village’s Langlands Business Park featured in the Channel 4 fly-on-the-wall documentary ‘Wonky Willie’s Chocolate Factory’. Being the location of Willie Harcourt-Cooze’s chocolate factory, Uffculme is one of the first places to make cocoa in the UK since the Cadbury family.
- Many of the historic artefacts that Captain Cook brought back to England from his travels were at one time on display at Uffculme’s Bridwell Park in the purpose-built, Gothic-style chapel.
- The unusual 3-storey Victorian red-brick dwelling at the lower end of Ashill village, has an interesting tale. Legend has it that it began life as a 2-storey building, but during its construction the owner’s fiancée left him. To win her back, the man tried to impress her by commissioning an extra storey to his new home. Alas, he was unsuccessful in this, and the woman never returned to him.
What’s On in Uffculme?
Uffculme parish has an active community with many regular and special events throughout the year at its pubs, churches and attractions. Some of particular note include:
- Uffculme Farmers’ Market is held on the fourth Saturday of every month, from 10am – 12noon in the village hall. A pop-up Artisans Growers and Makers Market takes place monthly at Bridwell Park until the end of October.
- Heritage Open Day events at Coldharbour Mill and Spiceland Quaker House (which has links to the chocolatiers Cadbury family).
- The local pubs The Ostler and The George Inn offer regular live music events and Gordon’s Jazz Club takes place at Magelake Pavilion every third Wednesday evening of the month.
- There are two annual beer and music festivals: Ashill Beer and Music Festival on the first weekend in June and Uffculme Music and Real Ale Festival taking place the first weekend in July.
- Uffculme Show is an annual country fair taking place on the early May Bank Holiday. The event includes musical entertainment, craft tents, trade stands, dog shows, classic cars and arena events.
Places to See
- A herd of fallow deer and a herd of red deer roam free at Bridwell Park’s spacious estates. They can be seen from many of the viewing points near the country wedding venue.
- Coldharbour Mill is one of the oldest woollen mills in the UK, having been in continuous production since 1797. Today the rich heritage lives on as one of the finest working wool museums where visitors are not just able to relive the sights and sounds of the industrial revolution but also see craftsmen and women making traditional textiles, beautiful knitting yarn and hand woven rugs. Please note: the mill closes over the winter period, reopening at Easter.
- Woodland is a key feature of the parish with several copses and hedgerow trees. Visitors can enjoy walking in Hunkin Wood (A Woodland Trust Wood) – a Millennium Project community woodland. It includes new tree planting with wild flower meadows and is popular with locals. There are also three commons in the parish: Gadden Down, Hackpen Hill (which offers stunning views over the Culm Valley) and Uffculme Down. There are various walks around these commons; Gadden Down being popular with locals for its woodland and wildlife.
- A disused railway runs through the Parish, mainly along the Culm Valley, parts of which are now public footpath (between Coldharbour Mill and Uffculme Church). This provides good opportunities for walkers to enjoy local wildlife. Walks can be continued along public footpaths through fields which run alongside the River Culm.
- If you are visiting over the Christmas period, then Uffculme village is a must-see for its stunning Christmas lights. Each year, a community of volunteers set up strings of multi-coloured lights throughout the village all leading to a web-like canopy over the village square.
Places to Eat
- Pub meals are available at either of the two pubs in Uffculme’s village or at Ashill. A Marston’s Inn is just down the road near Junction 27 with The Old Well Garden Centre offering cream teas and baked goods opposite the road.
- The Orangery Pop-up Café at Bridwell Park is open every day for visitors.
- Uffculme has a bakery and takeaway where you can purchase food for a summer’s picnic or a cosy night in. Eat in at the village coffee shop or visit the diner down the road.
Towns and Villages
- Towns and Villages