North Cotswolds - Chipping Campden
Chipping Campden, on the northern edge of the Cotswolds, is a perfect Cotswold market town. It is situated away from the main highways and is quiet: only occasional tour buses and no fast traffic on the High Street. The Jarrold Guide - The Complete Cotswolds says Chipping Campden is "without doubt the finest of the Cotswold Wool Towns". I agree.
Gateway beside St. James
Walk the High Street: The long High Street is lined with beautiful historic buildings made from the golden Cotswold stone.
Market Hall: The Market Hall (1627) is on the High Street, just past the parking area.
Church: St James Church, off the High Street and at the edge of town bordering on the countryside, is spectacular. During the tourist season there are people in the church to answer any questions. Originally a Norman church, it was transformed in the 15th century to a magnificent wool church. See the 15th century west tower and embroideries. website
Historic Buildings: On the High Street - Grevel House (medieval, 1400), The Martins (1714) and Little Martins (earlier), Woolstaplers' Hall (medieval), Dovers House (Georgian), Cotswold House Hotel (Regency). Historic almshouses (1612) are across from the church. The gateway beside the church was built in 1613 for a manor house, but the house was destroyed not long after it was built.
Badgers Hall (tea rooms), High Street. This is my favorite tea room in Chipping Campden with good lunches, cakes and an excellent cream tea. website
There are several good bakeries, delis, butchers, and fruit and vegetable shops, so you can do all your grocery shopping in town.
The nearest supermarkets are in Evesham or Stow-on-the-Wold (see our list of supermarkets in the Cotswolds).
There are a number of good looking clothing shops along the High Street.
Robert Welch: Beautiful stainless steel flatware in Chipping Campden on the High Street. You can find some of his designs in the US and they may be less expensive versions than you find at his store, but the quality is not as good. website
Blockley: Small village with a pub and a tea room. Beautiful main street and church. In the early 19th century there were several silk mills in Blockley.
Ilmington: A pretty village, north of Chipping Campden, with a good pub, The Howard Arms. Beautiful open countryside in this area.
Bourton House: Near Moreton-in-Marsh. website
Batsford Arboretum: Near Moreton-in-Marsh. website
Hidcote Manor Garden: National Trust. Large manor house and gardens. We spent a lovely afternoon here in May 2006. There is a good "ha-ha" at Hidcote (a ditch constructed in such a way that it keeps the animals in their field, but you do not see a fence or wall, so it does not spoil the view in the garden). There are walking/hiking trails that start from the car park. Have a picnic on the grounds - there is a pretty picnic area near the car park - or go to the tea room. Close to Kiftsgate. website
Kiftsgate Court Garden: Kiftsgate gets fewer tourists than the nearby Hidcote Manor Garden. The garden is very different from Hidcote even though they are only a few miles apart. In the second week of May 2006, the Bluebell Walk was in full bloom. There is a good tea room. website
Mill Dene Garden: Blockley, near Chipping Campden. website
Walking in the Cotswolds: Recommended guidebooks and maps for walking in the Cotswolds. We use these guides: Cotswold Classic Walks (Goldeneye), Cotswold Short Walks (Pathfinder Guide), The Cotswolds Walks and More Cotswolds Walks (Pathfinder Guides). Using those books, I listed our favorite hikes in this area below. All are circular walks - begin and end at the same spot.
Chipping Campden and Dover's Hill (Pathfinder - 2.5hrs): From Chipping Campden up to Dovers Hill is nice but too much of the rest of this walk is along roads. Same hike is in Goldeneye - Chipping Campden/Dover's Hill.
Chipping Campden and Broad Campden (Pathfinder - 2hrs): An easy walk through farm fields to the pretty village of Broad Campden.
Batsford from Blockley (Jarrold Short Walks - 2.5hrs): South from Blockley to the village of Batsford. We loved this hike.
Blockley and Norcombe Wood (Pathfinder - 2.5hrs): West of Blockley and through the Norcombe Wood. We have not done this hike, but this is a lovely area.
- Chipping Campden: Photos of Chipping Campden.
- Slow Europe - Hidcote Manor Gardens: Photos
- Slow Europe - Kiftsgate Court Garden: Photos