Take a break from a hectic journey along the A40 and spend some time exploring the charming Cotswold market...
Chipping Campden is widely considered one of the prettiest towns in the Cotswolds, not least due to the fact that almost every single building on the high street and on the square is built in Cotswold stone. Now, all the buildings are different shapes and sizes, but the common denominator is the beautiful golden limestone and this is what makes Chipping Campden one of the most picturesque and beautiful towns you will ever come across.
The heart of Chipping Campden is the High Street that spans about a half mile, with shops, restaurants, cafes as well as beautiful holiday cottages on either side. Towards the centre of the town the street widens and in the middle is the famous Market Hall, a beautiful open structure where, hundreds of years ago when the town was one of the Cotswolds’ most prominent market towns, wool was bought and sold.
Chipping Campden is a must on your list of places to go when in the Cotswolds, for its’ beauty as well as for the many wonderful places to shop, play, eat, drink and create wonderful memories.
Famous among ramblers and walkers, The Cotswold Way is a 102-mile walk in some of the most wonderful natural beauty the Cotswolds has to offer. This walk finishes in Bath, the most southern point of the Cotswolds, and begins in the centre of Chipping Campden. In November 2014 a limestone disc was placed just near the Market Hall in Chipping Campden as a marker for the start of The Cotswold Way. The disc has the National Trails acorn symbol in the middle, surrounded by place names from along the walk and a quote by T. S. Eliot.
In winter the open fire keeps you warm, in summer the sun of the terrace does the job, whatever the time of year, the wonderful food, the perfect cup of coffee and the top-class service in Huxley’s is an incredibly cosy café right in the centre of Chipping Campden, one that needs to be experienced for sure.
A mile or so outside of the centre of Chipping Campden is a destination shopping experience if ever there was one. In a field with ample parking is Lapstone, a shop and café not to be missed. Well, we say shop, that’s really rather a large understatement, to call Lapstone “a shop” would be like referring to London’s Big Ben as “just a town clock”. It is much, much more than that. If you love the finer things in life and you’re looking for nice clothes, home wares, kitchen- and dinner party accessories, gentlemen’s gifts, jewellery, children’s designer toys and beautiful garden furniture you need to visit Lapstone.
Next door to Lapstone is what is arguably the best hairdressing salon in all of the Cotswolds, MODE. Owner Martin Crean was voted Hairdresser of the Year 2 years running in 2014 and 2015, and people travel from far away to get the MODE experience by either Martin or one of his team. MODE really is where anyone who’s anyone go to have their hair done in the Cotswolds.
For lunch, for dinner, for drinks, for Afternoon Tea, for coffee, tea and cake whatever you’re in the mood for, have a meal or drink at The King’s on the square in Chipping Campden.
Mette says, “The King’s is one of my favourite hang-outs in the Cotswolds. For lunch, for dinner, for Afternoon Tea or for a quick coffee, I love it there”.
Chipping Campden is home to many a wonderful shop. A deli, a wine merchant, home wares and gift shops, clothing shops and gift shops. So if you’re looking to shop your heart out, Chipping Campden is really the place for you, not least for a visit to a fantastic “boutiquey” women’s shoe shop right in the centre of town, Molemi. Here you will find some of the most stylish footwear brands not found in your High Street stores, incredible service and a great selection. If you are a woman, or if you know a woman, you need to visit Molemi in Chipping Campden.
When you’re looking for a culinary experience that is above and beyond any other, Chipping Campden is the place to go. The Chef’s Dozen has, since the opening in 2014, gone from strength to strength, receiving praise from near and far. A definite must for the foodies out there.
Behind the High Street, a few hundred meters up a little path, is one of the most wonderful playgrounds. This amazing space for kids of all ages won Playground of the Year in 2011 and we can really see why. With several different play areas, all with natural play features created for different age groups, a teen meeting area with equipment and shelter, football pitches and goals, a gazebo, picnic table and BBQ area, boules pitch and much more, this playground will provide hours of fun and is not to be missed when in Chipping Campden with kids.
Jenny says, “I take the kids here all the time, for a quick play when we haven’t got a lot of time, or for a picnic when we have several hours. The kids absolutely love it and I do too”.