A traveller's guide to Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

This is the gateway to the Cotswolds — a thriving market town of historic pubs and lively local theatre.

By Millie Kerr
Published 10 May 2019, 11:11 BST
Chipping Norton, a market town not too far from Oxford, is a pretty Cotswolds market town ...

Chipping Norton, a market town not too far from Oxford, is a pretty Cotswolds market town that's loved for its scenic walks, cosy cafes and traditional pubs.

Photograph by Alamy

Why go

With its medieval buildings, antique shops and cosy cafes, Chipping Norton has plenty to keep visitors entertained during an escape to the Cotswolds. But its location in the heart of the rolling green countryside also means it’s a perfect jumping-off point for exploring. There’s ample opportunity for scenic walks, and within a 20-minute drive, there’s award-winning produce at Daylesford Organic Farm; historic, 15th-century pubs like The Falkland Arms; and those iconic, honey-coloured Cotswold villages.

What to do

Catch a play (and more) at The Theatre. Famous for its pantomimes, the venue also puts on home-grown plays twice a year, as well as movie screenings and art exhibits.

Where to stay

Commanding a prime spot on the marketplace, The Fox has been welcoming weary travellers since the 16th century. Rooms are popular at the weekends, so book well in advance.

Dish at Wild Thyme restaurant.
Photograph by Wild Thyme

Where to eat

Wild Thyme serves Mediterranean-inspired British fare using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Menus change, but don’t skip the decadent cheese souffle if it’s available.

We like

Afternoon tea at The Tea Set is a relaxed affair, far from the stuffy traditions of high tea. It’s the perfect pit-stop after a hike in the hills, but if you don’t have time for the homemade scones, grab a freshly brewed coffee to take away.

Don’t miss

The Rollright Stones are one of Britain’s most famous stone circles. Just a 10-minute drive away, some of the Neolithic and Bronze Age megaliths are more than 5,500 years old and have inspired folklore and rituals.

Published in the June 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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