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Exploring the village at Lacock

A visitor takes a photo of a half-timbered house in Lacock village, Wiltshire on a summer day
Visitor taking a photograph of a traditional half-timbered house in Lacock village. | © National Trust Images / James Dobson

Explore the historic streets of Lacock, a quintessential English village with timber-framed cottages and local shops. With its central grid of four streets, Lacock today looks much as it did 200 years ago.

Lacock village history

The name Lacock dates from Saxon times when the earliest permanent settlers lived by the Bide Brook, which runs through the middle of the village. They called it lacuc or 'little stream'.

Medieval Lacock

The medieval landscape was dominated by Melksham Forest, which came right up to the village and stretched for 33 miles to the south and east.

Settlement began around the church, reflected in the irregular line of Church Street. However, the rest is a medieval planned town, deliberately laid out on a grid of the other streets which can be seen today.

A bike parked in front of the bakery in Lacock village, Wiltshire
The bakery at Lacock Abbey and village | © National Trust Images / John Millar

Explore Lacock village

There's lots to discover in Lacock village: quaint traditional stone cottages, the medieval tithe barn, and the village church.

History on the high street

Why not start your trip to Lacock by pausing at the window of the old shop at 2 High Street? In the late 19th century the building was used as a coffee tavern, then after the First World War it became a stationers and in 1966, incorporated the Post Office.

It remained in the same family until it closed in the early 1980s. Miss Butler, the last resident, arranged the shop window in the style of early 20th-century displays and it has been untouched ever since.

Two people walking through a field in Lacock village in Wiltshire
People walking in a field in the village at Lacock | © National Trust Images / Arnhel de Serra

Lacock village on film and TV

Lacock village is a firm favourite for film and TV producers, most notably for its picturesque streets and historic cottages, untouched by modern alterations.

The village’s most famous appearances include Downton Abbey, the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice and Cranford. The films Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Wolfman were also filmed here.

To find out more about the filming locations in Lacock village, download the locations map below before your visit.

Your visit

Village leaflets, books and maps are available from visitor reception, when open, to help guide you around.

Row of cottages in the village at Lacock, Wiltshire

Discover more at Lacock Abbey and the Fox Talbot Museum

Find out when Lacock Abbey and the Fox Talbot Museum are open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Filming locations in Lacock village 

Discover where famous TV shows and movies have been filmed around the village of Lacock.

An adult and child explore the medieval cloisters at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

History of Lacock Abbey 

In its 800 years of history, Lacock has been an Augustinian abbey, a Tudor family home, a birthplace of photography, and a film and TV location.

Close-up of a girl holding a sandwich close to her mouth

Eating and shopping at Lacock Abbey 

The Stables café is ready to welcome you for refreshments, while the High Street Shop stocks a wide range of gifts and souvenirs.

Visitors walking through the Botanic Garden at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

Visiting the garden at Lacock Abbey 

Lacock Abbey's peaceful garden is a place to relax. Discover the Botanic Garden, greenhouse, orchard and woodland along with the sounds of nature at this green natural setting.

A close up of handwritten text from the manuscript of William Brito's Expositiones Vocabulorum Bibliae held at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

Treasures to see at Lacock Abbey 

Three prized items in the collection at Lacock have been included in a special National Trust publication. Discover why they are so unique and where you can find them.

A small dog on a lead on the grass

Visiting Lacock Abbey with your dog 

Lacock Abbey is a two pawprint rated place. Discover where you can go with your dog, what facilities are available for them and how to get the most from your visit.

A family explore the parkland at Lacock, two adults look on as two children play at the base of an old tree, a willow sculpture representing the sun in its branches.

Family-friendly things to do at Lacock 

Seasonal blooms, activity trails, medieval architecture and photographic discovery: have a fun-filled adventure at Lacock Abbey. Watch the gardens come to life, explore the nature and wildlife of the season and have a day of play in the parkland during the summer holidays. Explore the abbey rooms and discover the window with a unique link to the invention of photography, find out more in the Fox Talbot Museum and feel inspired by the latest exhibition.