Chipping Norton is a bustling market town perched atop the Oxford Cotswolds hills and was once the epicentre for the Cotswold thriving wool trade. Many of the original houses around the market place were rebuilt in the 18th century with fashionable Georgian frontages and today the town is established as the go-to destination for antique and boutique shopping, delectable eateries and quality entertainment with its theatre, famous for the annual Christmas pantomime!
Image credit: Cotswolds.com
“Chipping Norton has a fabulous vibe with an array of gorgeous boutiques and attractions nearby. The Christmas panto is one of the highlights of the year for our boys!" Francesca Sharvell.
Nearby you can find the mysterious Rollright Stones, a megalithic stone circle. Legend says that it’s impossible to count how many stones are in the circle, and that whoever can count them three times and reach the same number will have their heart’s desire fulfilled.
As a market town, Chipping Norton has beautiful honey stone terrace townhouses at its centre and as it sprawls into the countryside you have converted farmhouses, cottages and countryside homes that are pretty without being twee.
As a thriving market town, Chipping Norton has an amazing mixture of independent shops, high-street names and of course, farmers’ markets for every shopper. Independent retailers thrive here and it’s a great location to explore new brands and find unique, quality products. One of our favourites is Osborn Interiors with its natural materials and calm colour palette from interior designer Bee Osborn. To stay on top of all her amazing interiors, follow Bee on Instagram.
Chipping Norton is also a destination for antiques shoppers and the Station Mill Antiques Centre is superb with its thoughtfully curated antiques and interiors. Home to 80 high quality, reputable antiques dealers, the antiques centre have a huge selection of constantly changing stock to suit all tastes.
For those that want to take their food shopping experience to the next level, there’s a weekly market and monthly farmer’s market to pick up delicious, local treats. Or you can head to the nearby famous Daylesford Organic Farm shop to shop local, organic, sustainable produce.
From intimate cafés to traditional pubs, Chipping Norton has something lined up for every foodie. Whistlers, a family run restaurant and café is a local and personal favourite. In the morning, enjoy coffee and cake in their beautiful restaurant and throughout the rest of the day, indulge in delicious fine dining. We’re a sucker for their posh proper chips, with truffle and parmesan!
For those looking for the perfect ‘local’, The Kingham Plough is a delightful village pub serving up all the British pub classics. Their head chef uses local artisan products and sources the very best fresh, local, seasonal ingredients for his daily-changing modern British menu with Mediterranean influences. Not to mention there are plenty of walking trails nearby to walk off your tasty meal afterwards.
A final mention is The Wild Rabbit in Kingham, part of the local Daylesford estate - one of the most sustainable organic farms in the UK. It’s a modern British inn serving up eclectic cocktails and locally sourced, seasonal food in a relaxed and welcoming setting.
For those visiting the area, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are plenty of beautiful places to stay, from B&Bs focussed on countryside charm and comfort, serving up the tastiest breakfasts in the morning to the mind-blowing luxurious.
The ultimate English countryside retreat, Soho Farmhouse is spread across 100 acres and is a stone’s throw from Chipping Norton. A members-only stay, Soho Farmhouse is a boutique hotel meets luxury wilderness retreat, with gorgeous timber cabins surrounding a lake and large 18th-century farmhouse. Guests here can relax in the outdoor pool, row on the lake or try their hand at clay-pigeon shooting before trying to choose which onsite eatery to visit. From Japanese grill dishes at Pen Yen to Hay Barn's wood-oven pizzas, there are lots of places to eat and drink!
Most visitors to Chipping Norton come here to shop. However there's so much more to explore in this beautiful, lively town. Affectionately known as ‘Chippy’ by locals, Chipping Norton grew to wealth with the wool trade and even up to today, its Bliss Tweed Mill is a major landmark worth visiting alongside the historic alms houses, churches and Town Hall for a sense of the area’s roots.
For culture vultures, the town also plays host to a variety of festivals throughout the year such as the famous Chipping Norton Literary Festival and has a thriving theatre scene, a rare addition to a town of this size. The theatre is famous for its annual winter pantomime and eclectic programme of music, theatre, dance and comedy throughout the rest of the year.
Chipping Norton boasts arguably the most beautiful high street in the country. With plenty of pubs, restaurants and hotels as well as two popular primary schools and an Ofsted-rated Outstanding comprehensive, lots of families are being drawn to the town. Also, it's perfectly positioned to explore the surrounding countryside and culture. Take day trips to any of the nearby pretty Cotswold villages or take a cultural day trip to the nearby cities of Oxford or Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Enjoy countryside living but with easy access to the city from Chipping Norton. The nearest of which is Oxford, accessible by road via the A44 or by rail from the nearby Kingham station. A trip to Oxford only takes 25 minutes journey by train. There are great links to London Paddington and Worcester too, both under 90 minutes away by train.