North Cotswolds - Chipping Norton
Chipping Norton, the "Gateway to the Cotswolds" on the north-eastern edge, is the highest town in Oxfordshire (700 feet). This is not a tour bus destination and feels more like a "real town".
Rollright Stones - King's Men
Walk the High Street: The long Market Square in the center of town is lined with lots of shops, restaurants and pubs and the 19th century Town Hall.
Church: St Mary's Parish Church, Perpendicular "Wool" church with good looking exterior, but the interior was restored during the Victorian era, so is not original. There is a row of almshouses (1640) near the church.
Historic Buildings: Bliss Mill, a large Victorian tweed mill (now converted into apartments) sits across the valley from the town.
Chipping Norton has a great selection of restaurants, tea rooms and pubs with at least eight pubs in the center of town, two Chinese restaurants, a Thai restaurant and an Indian restaurant, several cafe/tea rooms and more.
The Blue Boar (pub), Goddards Lane, just off the High Street. Real ale and food. website
The Chequers (pub), Goddards Lane, just off the High Street. website
There is a Coop and a small Sainsburys in the center of town, plus many small food shops.
The nearest supermarkets are in Witney or Stow-on-the-Wold (see our list of supermarkets in the Cotswolds).
There are lots of interesting shops, including a good book shop and several antiques shops.
Great Rollright: Village with an interesting Norman church with a Perpendicular tower, grotesque gargoyles, Norman doorway with carvings.
Hook Norton: Historic village with the remains of dismantled railway viaduct and a Victorian brewery. Church with Perpendicular tower and a Norman font.
Little Rollright: Church has two 17th century monuments.
Hawk Stone: Single standing stone (8 feet high) in a field near the hamlet of Dean.
Hoar Stone: Three stones, remains of prehistoric burial chamber, in bushes south of Enstone.
Rollright Stones: Pre-historic stone circle and standing stones on the road from Little Rollright to Great Rollright (west of A3400 - the road north from Chipping Norton). The stone circle, called the King's Men, is on the south side of the road. When we were there in September 2004, there was a booth and a small fee was required. The King Stone is across the road and the Whispering Knights are down the road and out into a field, the same side as the stone circle. This is the best stone circle in the Cotswolds, but not as good as the ones at Avebury and Stonehenge.
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.
Great Tew (Goldeneye - 1 - 2hrs): Walk around the village of Great Tew and the Great Park (19th century Arboretum). We have not done this hike.
Wychwood Forest (Pathfinder - 4hrs): Forest walk in the Evenlode Valley. We have not done this walk yet.
The Rollright Stones (Pathfinder - 4.5hrs): I love the Rollright Stones but I did not like this walk. Too much walking on lanes (one of our group was almost hit by a car whizzing by). Drive to the Rollright Stones, but do your walk somewhere else.
- chippingnorton.net: There are forums on the site - well worth reading.
- The Theatre - Chipping Norton