Why you should move to Chipping Campden

Thatched Cotswold cottages in Chipping Campden, The Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, UK

Thatched Cotswold cottages in Chipping Campden, The Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, UK - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

.The charming unspoilt Cotswold town of Chipping Campden is a dream location to live

Population: 2,300

Move here for...

And get: A character-packed four-bed home that is Grade II listed. It is conveniently located on an extension of the High Street called Leysbourne, but enjoys peace and privacy thanks to its beautiful walled garden.

Eat at: Noel Arms Hotel (01386 840317)

Why? Come for the traditional fare or head chef Indunil Upatissa’s award-winning, unforgettable curries.

Drink at: The Eight Bells (01386 840371)

Why? From stonemasons’ hostel in the 14th century, to a store for eight church bells, this pub has been rebuilt and extended over the centuries, but retains the stone walls, beams and charm of its origins.

READ MORE: A visitor’s guide to Chipping Campden

Chipping Campden has some particularly unusual architectural features and more than a few fine houses. It’s a town where it’s best to look up, rather than down, so pick up the treasure trail and you won’t miss a thing.

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The oldest properties in town date back to the 14th century and were paid for with wool money. William Grevel commissioned Grevel House, which has gargoyles, fine 16th-century bay windows and 17th-century mullions. The Market Hall, which dates back to the 1600s, has cobbled stone floors and sturdy arches that have provided shelter for stallholders ever since.

Chipping Campden’s 18th-century three-storey mill was used for silk spinning, rather than wool weaving. Pioneer of the Arts and Crafts Movement, Charles Robert Ashbee, lived locally and set up the Guild of Handicrafts in the mill in the early 1900s. It is still used as a base for artists and makers, who run it as a co-operative and gallery.

Most noted for... Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpicks, which date back to 1612. Every May, participants compete in traditional events on Dover’s Hill. Proceedings conclude with a torchlight procession and fireworks. olimpickgames.co.uk

While you’re here… Spot Chipping Campden’s seven sundials, unique even for the Cotswolds. Local folk considered them more accurate than clocks!

But try not to… Miss Chipping Campden in May. The town hosts a series of events throughout the month, including a literature festival, Scuttlebrook Wake and an international music festival.

Who’s who

Booker prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature 2017, has a house in the town, and cellists Julian Lloyd Webber and Jiaxin Cheng live locally.

Author Graham Greene was a resident in the 1930s and a blue plaque now adorns his home, Little Orchard. Rural writer HJ Massingham also settled near Chipping Campden. FL Griggs, the etcher, who built Dover’s House, an Arts and Crafts property, set up the Campden Trust with Norman Jewson to stop development of Dover’s Hill and internationally acclaimed metalwork designer Robert Welch set up his first studio in the town in 1955. His business is still run from Chipping Campden today. 

Good gardening

Besides Ernest Wilson’s memorial garden, make an effort to visit Hidcote (nationaltrust.org.uk/hidcote), one of the world’s most celebrated gardens, designed by international plant hunter Major Lawrence Johnston. Kiftsgate Court (kiftsgate.co.uk) is another worthwhile jaunt. The stunning gardens were created by three extraordinary women.

READ MORE: What is the Campden Wonder?