Chipping Campden is a small market town with a population of just over 2,000. It has an impressive, long, curved high street with terraced Cotswold stone buildings on each side. The oldest of these – Grevel House, was built around 1380, by wealthy wool merchant William Grevel. He was a citizen of London and financier to King Richard II. Just beyond the main high street there are picturesque thatched cottages and large country homes.
You will find a beautiful cobbled market hall in the town centre, built in 1627 by benefactor Baptist Hicks. It was built to shelter those selling produce including cheese, butter and poultry. It is still used on Sundays for the sale of sheep skins and cattle hides.
Chipping Campden has 3 churches and St James’s Church is considered one of the finest wool churches in the Cotswolds. The Baptist Church sits in the high street (but meets at the High School on Sunday mornings) and St Catherine’s catholic church is at the far end of the town.
There are also 3 schools in Campden – 2 primary schools each linked to St James’ and St Catherine’s Church, and a High School with over 1,000 students.
Warden led walks are a fantastic way to see the key places in Campden and learn about its heritage. A volunteer warden will take you around the town pointing out important buildings and events and explaining their history. At present these walks are free and meet at the market hall on Tuesday 2pm and Thursday 10am. Donations are appreciated to fund conservation and improvement work.
The Tourist Information Centre is opposite the market hall and has many maps and leaflets with information about the local area.
One of the first things you may notice as you walk along the beautiful high street may be the number of places to get food or drink. There are 7 pub/hotels, 7 tearooms/bistros /restaurant/coffeeshops, 2 delicatessens and 1 chinese/fish’n’chip shop (eat in or take away Indian food also available from the Maharaja Restaurant at the Volunteer pub). Most of these are child and dog friendly in the bar areas and gardens, but room for buggies may be limited.
Campden offers a range of independent shops which are a delight to visit. These shops offer gifts, shoes, clothes, bespoke hats, country attire, art, stylish home-wares and more. The Co-op and One stop are convenience stores selling groceries, essentials and alcohol. They are open until 10pm.
If you are looking for something special for your home, or as a gift, then Robert Welch on Sheep Street are known for their beautiful silver ware, and the Gallery at the Guild has work from local artists ranging from furniture to photography, art and jewelry. Upstairs you can visit Harts Gold & Silversmiths and see the skilled craftsmen at work. Sam Wilson is a local designer and her shop is packed full of beautiful items from lampshades to t-towels and more.
Children can be let loose to enjoy the playground along George’s Lane. With swings, climbing frame, play house and zip wire and plenty of room to kick a ball around too. There are no toilet facilities here though, the nearest are in the town! Dogs are not allowed in the recreation ground.
There are two sets of public toilets in Campden – along Sheep Street (free) and through the entrance archway to the Tourist Information Centre (paid).
During the main holiday seasons and weekends, parking is available at the High School, Cider Mill Lane. This is free for cars, minibuses and campervans, with a donation box on site. In the town, there is free parking along the high street, and parallel roads of Back Ends and Calf Lane. It is pay and display parking in the main square however and there are time restrictions.
If you feel the need for some self-care and indulgence, visit the Spa at the Cotswold House Hotel. Pre-booking is essential as the spa is small and has limited treatment rooms. A short drive away is the Dormy House Spa with spa days available Monday – Thursday or visit the Spa at the Lygon Arms Hotel in Broadway.
The Eight Bells Inn (01386 840371) – “Dogs are welcome to join you if you’re eating in the main bar area”
The Lygon Arms (01386 840318) – “Dogs are very welcome in the bar and courtyard”
The Noel Arms Hotel (01386 840317) – Dogs welcome in the bar and coffee shop
The Red Lion Tavern (01386 840760)
The Volunteer Inn (01386 840688)
The Kings Hotel (01386 840256)
The Cotswold House Hotel (01386 840330)
The Bantam Tearooms (01386 840386)
Campden Coffee Company (01386 849251)
The Ebrington Arms (01386 593 223)
Morris & Brown cafe, Broadway Tower (01386 852945)