Towns don’t come much more British than the market town of Chipping Norton, near Oxfordshire. Quintessentially English and home to the kind of scenery that’s drawn visitors to the Cotswolds for many a century, this one’s perfect for those of you who fancy experiencing country life.
Known as the gateway to the Cotswolds, Chipping Norton (or ‘chippy’ as it’s affectionately known), was runner up in the market town category of the 2015 Great British High Street Awards, and it’s beautiful. Not only that, but its smattering of celebrity and high profile residents has seen the town hit the headlines over the years, and it’s got something of a reputation as a stylish hangout for the well to to do.
Places to eat in Chipping Norton
If the mention of country life had you wondering what the local foodie scene’s like then we’ll start with the places to eat in the area (well you’ll need plenty of energy for all those walks). One of the town’s best-loved spots for some fodder is Wild Thyme Restaurant. Set in a pretty cottage complete with open fires, this one has a reputation as being one of the best restaurants in the Cotswolds…and that’s no small claim.
Next on the list it’s the obligatory friendly pub…The Tite Inn. Known for its yummy Sunday roasts, this pub and restaurants seems to have the balance between hearty meals and food with flair just right, and the Trip Advisor reviewers love it.
The Thai Shire’s another firm favourite, and it’s something of a hidden gem on the area’s local foodie scene. Expect a warm welcome and impressive service…and we have it on very good authority that you should sample the salt prawns during your visit. Lastly, don’t overlook The Plough Inn. With fantastic reviews for its venison steak, this thatched pub has a Lilliput Lane look to it, and it’s every inch the traditional great British pub.
Things to do in Chipping Norton
One of the lovely things about a holiday in Chipping Norton is that there’s a day out to suit every kind of visitor, but if there’s one thing we’d advise each of you to go along to it’s this one…the Rollright Stones. Quirky, mystical and inspiring, they’re the perfect way to learn a little of the area’s folklore and to enjoy the landscape at the same time…and rumour has it that they’re magic.
This ancient site sits on the border between Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, and it’s home to the Kings Men stone circle, the King Stone and the Whispering Knights. The Kings Men comprise a stone circle that dates all the way back to the Neolithic period, and the story goes that the king, his men and his knights were turned to the stones we see today by a witch.
If ever there was a place that makes you feel like dressing up and going to the theatre for an evening it’s Chipping Norton. This quaint little theatre has the kind of classic features that make the night feel even more elegant, so make sure you look up and check out the paintings while you’re there.
Chipping Norton walks
With a setting in the heart of the Cotswolds, Chipping Norton’s always been popular with those of you who love nothing more than to grab your walking boots and explore the scenery on foot. So, because there are too many walks in the area for us to even start, we’ve picked out one that’s a great place to start.
The walk between Chipping Norton and Over Norton covers 2.5 miles there and back, and it’s an easy way to take in the countryside with an amble. Complete with kissing gates, winding lanes and gentle hills to showcase the views, this one passes a healthy number of pubs and cafes for those times when you fancy stopping for a quick pint of something cold…see, we’ve thought of everything. Look out for the Step into the Cotswolds markers along the way, as they waymark all local walks that belong to the visitor payback scheme.