Chipping Campden is an ideal base for walking in the Cotswolds.
Chipping is from an olde English word meaning market or market place. Chipping Campden is known for its honey-colored limestone buildings. The limestone, known as Cotswold Stone, is quarried locally. The Market Hall, built in 1627, is a focal point at the center of High Street.
The town is an inviting respite at the end of a day of walking in the English countryside. The lobby of the Noel Arms Hotel has a coffee and tea bar with an irresistible assortment of pastries and candies. I ended each day of my stay with a stroll to the Noel Arms and a pot of tea.
The Information Centre across from the Market Hall is small but full of useful information and helpful local staff. They have guide books, local maps, ordinance maps, and information on busses. There is interesting history to explore in Chipping Campden. The information centre offers a map for a self-guided walk with information about the sites that you will see along the way.
Chipping Campden was once the center of the Cotswolds Arts and Crafts movement. The Old Silk Mill was the home of the Guild of Handicrafts. The Old Silk Mill houses a gift shop and some studios for working artists.
The Court Barn Museum honors the artisans through the ages that have contributed to the Arts and Crafts movement in Chipping Campden.
Walking in and around Chipping Campden
Campden Town Stroll – 30 to 60 minutes
Chipping Campden to Broadway Tower – 4 miles one way
Map and Info Chipping Campden, Dover’s Hill and The Dingle – 5.2 miles
For a change of pace try a walk through town solving a mystery as you go. 2 ½ hours
The 100 mile Cotswold Way walk starts in Chipping Campden and ends in Bath.
The 104 mile Heart of England Way passes through Chipping Campden.
Additional articles in Miles Geek feature more detailed information and photos about walks that you can reach by bus from Chipping Campden.
Michael’s Mediterranean restaurant in Chipping Campden is a must do. The aroma of the meats on their outdoor grill will help you find the way to their spot in the center of town on High Street. I went for lunch and had the Mini-Mezedakia. You can choose a combination of any three; Homemade Hoummos, Taramasalata, Tzatziki ,cous-cous salad, Black eyed beans, Minted broad beans, Olives served with warm pitta bread. One of the three on my plate was the minted broad beans. Definitely my favorite.
Simon’s Take Away on Sheep Street has a unique offering of Chinese food or Fish and Chips. It is take away only. I had the fish and chips, served in newspaper with vinegar. It was some of the best fish and chips I have had in England. There are many other good restaurants and tea shops to choose from in Chipping Campden.
Located just off of the main street is the charming Honeypot, featured in a previous article. I found it the perfect location for my stay in Chipping Campden.
Local Transportation Options
A car can be helpful to explore this area. However, I stayed here for a week exploring areas within walking distance and using the local bus (#22) for transport to many other sites and walking paths and did not feel limited by lack of a car.
From London you can take a train or bus to Stratford Upon Avon or Moreton in Marsh. Johnson 22 bus route makes several round trips a day between Stratford and Moreton with stops in Chipping Campden (about five stops per day in both directions).
Resources for Planning
There are many books about the Cotswolds. I found the three below to be especially helpful when planning which walks to take and what sites to see taking into account available time, location and budget.
A Guide to the Cotswolds by Richard Sales
Snapshop The Cotswolds by Rick Steves
Miles Geek reports on other Walks in the UK