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Europe > Britain and Ireland > United Kingdom > England > South East England > Oxfordshire > Chipping Norton

Chipping Norton

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Chipping Norton is a small English town in the county of Oxfordshire and one of the most attractive towns in the Cotswolds region.

Bliss Mill

Understand[edit]

"Chipping" means 'market', revealing the town's past importance as the main commercial centre for the Evenlode valley. The surrounding Cotswolds were one of the wealthiest parts of England in the Middle Ages, owing to their production of wool; Chipping Norton was one of the beneficiaries of this trade. Many of the medieval buildings built as a result remain in the town centre, adding to its unique character. Many buildings also date from the 18th century.

Through the turmoil of the Middle Ages and the reformation, the industrial revolution right up to the modern association with 'The Chipping Norton Set', Chippy (as it is affectionally known by its residents) has seen its fair share of history, and is an essential place to visit while in the Cotswolds, and is an idyllic and peaceful location to stay in while also being close to Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon.

The town has also been voted one of the UK's "top ten country towns" by the 200,000 readers of Period Living and Traditional Homes magazine.

Get in[edit]

For those living close by, there are several bus services that meet at Chipping Norton, most notably the S3 (that travels to Oxford, stopping off at Woodstock, Enstone and other places) and the number 50 to Stratford. For those coming from further afield, coming into Chippy by car is best advised.

Get around[edit]

Map of Chipping Norton

For such a small town, the best way to get around Chippy is by foot. The town is not very wheelchair-friendly and in some places steep hills may cause potential problems for the semi infirm or people with baby buggies.

A footpath leading to a farm in Chippy

With the help of a map, phone, or friendly resident, navigating the town is fairly easy.

See[edit]

  • 1 The Chipping Norton Museum, 4 High St, OX7 5AD, +44 1608 641712. This museum is not the most impressive in size (it is essentially just a large room), but it does house a selection of interesting artefacts chronicling the town's history. Chipping Norton Museum (Q39047814) on Wikidata Chipping Norton Museum on Wikipedia

Landmarks[edit]

17th century almshouses in Chipping Norton
  • 2 Parish Church of St Mary, 6 Church St, OX7 5NT, +44 1608 646202. The Gothic nave, rebuilt circa 1485, retains one of the finest 15th-century interiors amongst English churches. The chancel and aisles retain elements of 13th- and 14th-century architecture.
  • 3 Town Hall. Built in 1842. Has a neo-classical architectural style.
  • 4 Almhouses. Built in 1640.
  • 5 Guildhall, OX7 5NJ. The medieval guildhall is one of the oldest buildings in the town and now functions as a tourist information office.

Further afield[edit]

Rollright Stones neolithic stone circle near Chippy
  • 6 Rollright Stones. A late Neolithic ceremonial stone circle dating from 2500 to 2000 BC about 2 miles north of Chipping Norton Rollright Stones (Q7361310) on Wikidata Rollright Stones on Wikipedia
  • 7 Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1PP (bus: Stagecoach Gold S3 bus from Oxford (about 30 minutes); car: A44 from Oxford, signposted from Junction 9 of the M40 and from the A34), +44 1993 811091, . A stately home open to the public. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country on account of its sheer size and opulence, and its strong associations with Sir Winston Churchill, Britain's wartime prime minister (who is buried in the nearby village of Bladon). The Palace has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. £22 for adults (upgradable free of charge to an annual pass); concessions available. Blenheim Palace (Q208181) on Wikidata Blenheim Palace on Wikipedia
  • 8 Chastleton House, Chastleton, near Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 0SU, +44 1494 755560, . An early 17th-century mansion house now owned by the National Trust, one of the finest and most complete Jacobean buildings in the land Chastleton House (Q5087457) on Wikidata Chastleton House on Wikipedia
  • 9 Bliss Valley Tweed Mill. The former wool mill, Bliss Mill, is a symbol of Chipping Norton but now is a set of luxury flats. Bliss Tweed Mill (Q17531909) on Wikidata Bliss Tweed Mill on Wikipedia

Do[edit]

  • 1 The Theatre, 2 Spring St, OX7 5NL, +44 1608 642350. M-F 10AM-6PM; Sa 10AM-2PM. Spring Street. The Theatre has a fantastic show case of home made productions, touring shows and recordings for radio programmes of all genres, as well as nationally renowned (and invariably ridiculous) panto.
  • 2 The Lido, Fox Close, OX7 5BZ, +44 1608 643188. An outdoor heated swimming pool open in the summer months.
  • 3 Chipping Norton Leisure Centre, Burford Rd, OX7 5DY, +44 1608 644412. A health and sports centre including a gym, squash courts and an indoor heated swimming pool.

Buy[edit]

Neo-classical 17th century Town Hall in Chipping North

For shopping, it is advised to visit nearby Banbury or Oxford. That said, Chipping Norton does host a number of small shops including women's boutique shops, a shoe shop, a very good deli, newsagents, supermarkets, gift shops, cafés, a bakery, a clothes shop and even a small department store.

Chipping Norton also holds host to very nice bookshop, Jaffe & Neale, and a well run Oxfam bookshop for bookworms and record collectors alike.

  • 1 Jaffe & Neale, 1 Middle Row, OX7 5NH, +44 1608 641033. Considered prestigious by the community. Has a café with a good selection of coffee and cakes.
  • 2 Oxfam, 6A Market St, OX7 5NA, +44 1608 644850.

Eat[edit]

  • 1 The Old Mill, 7 West St, OX7 5LH, +44 1608 646005. M-Sa 8AM-5:30PM, Su 9AM-5PM. A bistro that serves basic sausage and chips type food, but is by no means a bad café. mains £4-10.
  • 2 Spice of India, 6 West St, OX7 5AA, +44 1608 642785. An Indian restaurant.
  • 3 Whistlers, 9 Middle Row, OX7 5NH, +44 1608 643363. A restaurant that serves dinner and lunch.
  • 4 Bitter and Twisted, 1 Middle Row, OX7 5NH, +44 1608 644466. A wine bar and restaurant.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Chipping Norton includes multiple places offering accommodation, including:

It may be worth considering many quality hotels and B&Bs in the area surrounding the town, including:

The town has a tourist office housed in the medieval guildhall shown above.

Cope[edit]

Places of worship[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Chipping Norton is not the most dangerous place, but sensible precautions should always be taken. Chipping Norton does have a Hospital (but with no Accident and Emergency or ambulances, the nearest being in Banbury), Fire station and Police station if anything does go wrong though.

Go next[edit]

Map of places with Wikivoyage articles nearby

Any of these places can be reached from Chipping Norton via bus. Oxford and Woodstock via the S3, Stratford by the number 50 bus and Banbury by the 488.

Routes through Chipping Norton
EveshamMoreton-in-Marsh  W UK road A44.svg E  WoodstockOxford
Banbury ← Bloxham ←  N UK road A361.PNG S  BurfordSwindon


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