There is no better way to discover the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty than by cycling through the...
Chipping Norton – famous for the 'Chipping Norton set', yet the individuals involved don't live in the town. Well fortunately, there is more to “Chippy”, as in is affectionately known, with more than enough sights, and places to eat and drink to last you a long weekend (or make that a week) away!
Being the highest town in commands beautiful views of the┬áCotswold's┬ácountryside. As can be expected from towns found high up, there was once a Norman castle, but unfortunately only the earthworks remain.
Jeremy Clarkson?┬áRebekah Brooks? They can move aside for Chipping Norton has already done better. The hotel found centrally on the high street, The Crown and Cushion, used to be owned by the drummer of the rock group, The Who, who is said to have held “lavish parties” there.
While it can't said the hotel is notorious for holding lavish parties these days, it's still a lovely place to go for a drink or a Sunday meal.
Situated on┬áNew Street used to be the location of Chipping Norton Recording Studios. The studio boasts a truly impressive roster of clients, including: ┬áJeff Beck,┬áBarbara Dickson,┬áDuran Duran,┬áMarianne Faithfull,┬áAlison Moyet,┬áNektar,┬áRadiohead,┬áThe Supernaturals,┬áWet Wet Wet, XTC, Gerry Rafferty, the Status Quo, Kagagoogoo, Jim Diamond, Bay City Rollers, and before my hand falls off extending this list, it is suffice to say that Chipping Norton has seen its fair share of famous musicians.
If you're not interested in celebrity culture then perhaps this will be more to your liking. Between 1745-1769 there lived a man named (Reverend) Edward Stone, and if you walk down to the site of the Hitchman Brewery on West Street, you will find a blue plaque erected in his honor.
The reason for this┬áprivilege┬áis that Stone was the man who gave the first scientific description of the effects of willow bark. The story goes, while nibbling on a sample of willow bark, he was struck by its bitter taste. Knowing that similar barks with bitter tastes had therapeutic properties, his further experiments resulting in him discovering salicylic acid, the active ingredient in┬áaspirin.