Header Image for Winscombe and Sandford Parish Council


Parish Life in the Villages.

Parish Villages.  The parish has a population of about 4500 and covers approximately six square miles of `countryside on the western edge of Somerset's Mendip Hills. While walking in the parish you may see small, circular, blue plaques. These record some of the more notable buildings in the parish. There is a free guide, available at the Parish Office, which describes local walks  that link and pass near most of these plaques.

Education. Winscombe and Sandford have a primary school Click Here. Churchill School, a state comprehensive just outside the parish, is under three miles away. Sidcot, just across the A38 from Winscombe, has an independent school for children aged 3-18 years. There are several pre-school groups.

The Church of St. James the Great, dedicated in 1236, is the Parish Church of Winscombe. A Meeting House of The Society of Friends is just to the north of Oakridge Lane: there are records of Quakers meeting in that area since

about 1669. Winscombe's Lynch Chapel, a United Reform Church, is on land bought in 1827. Sandford has the Church of All Saints (1881) and a Methodist Church (1890). Roman Catholics may worship at ‘Our Lady Queen of Apostles’ in Cheddar.The present Civil Parish of Winscombe and Sandford is a combination of the ancient ecclesiastical Parish of Winscombe and areas surrounding the former hamlets of Barton, Oakridge, Sandford, Sidcot and Woodborough.



Leisure. Details of parish clubs and societies can be found elsewhere.


Health. While hospital treatment necessitates travelling, perhaps to Weston-super-Mare or Bristol, the parish has a medical surgery, with several doctors and nurses, two dental surgeries, an optometrist and a pharmacy. In addition there are chiropodists, physiotherapists, osteopaths and several practitioners of alternative medicines. For support there are Contact Schemes which take people in need to local hospitals safely and in comfort. For sick animals there is a veterinary surgery.

This is a comfortably safe parish. Our police are seen, sometimes on a bicycle,  in the parish, being happy to pass the time-of-day with parishioners and, when needed, to visit to provide advice and comfort. They hold a regular ‘clinic’ near the parish office in the Community Centre. Neighbourhood Watch schemes abound and burglaries are relatively few. In Winscombe there is a fire station staffed by retained fire officers and firemen.
Shopping - Who said ‘Use them or lose them’? The parish still has a bank, two small supermarkets and  a fine Post Office. On a parish ‘shopping spree’ your shopping list could include: fresh local meat; confectioneries; tax advice; bread; groceries; local vegetables, lingerie; delicious cider; having keys cut; pot plants; jewellery; watches; trophies; pet food; journals; wines; to borrow books; having suits cleaned; flowers of all descriptions; passport photographs; cakes; a new hairstyle; servicing  lawn mowers, a range of presents for all ages; booking holidays; tasty tit-bits; spices; having shirts ironed; home nursing; pharmaceuticals; stamps; videos; petrol; carpets, beauty treatment; beer; new and used cars; take-aways of all sorts (including chips with just about anything); Indian meals; Chinese meals; though probably not on every spree, a house; and, on a Thursday, market wares of all sorts. Why go elsewhere but what is nearby? Bath, Bridgwater, Bristol, Taunton, Wells and Weston-s-Mare are within easy travelling distance, though public 
transport is by no means comprehensive. So, while it is possible to shop in large, and, perhaps impersonal, super-stores, there is the attraction of supporting local traders, buying from people you know and, in doing so, spending less time putting even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. 

Walking. Several local walks are described on this website. These pages include maps that show most footpaths. There is also good walking on the Award Land and along the celebrated Strawberry Line Footpath.