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Top places to live in Oxfordshire Chipping Norton

If sitting plum in the centre of the Cotswolds doesn't impress you, the excellent gastropubs and cultural scene in pretty 'Chippy' certainly will. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

WHY?

The influx of celebs and media types (Jeremy Clarkson and blur bassist Alex James both live in the area) put this quintessentially Cotswolds market town on the map, but there’s much more to it than ‘the Chipping Norton set’. Chippy with its thriving local culture – a brilliant theatre and annual literary festival – pulls off picturesque without being twee.

EAT

Chipping Norton and surrounds are riddled with brilliant modern gastropubs. Muddy favourites include The Boxing HareThe Wild Rabbit and The Chequers in nearby Churchill. Wild Thyme restaurant is perfect for a date night (currently only doing take away as it’s teeny tiny – fingers crossed it reopens) and The Tea Set‘s local outpost is a dead cert for a gorgeous afternoon tea with the girls. 

SHOP 

Smaller, independent shops rule here (although there is a decent-sized M&S food hall). For hidden vintage gems head to Station Mill Antiques – 80 quality retailers under one roof, or for more modern interiors and fashion try Mash Lifestyle on the high street, or Wild at Heart for gifts. 

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

The highest town in the region and ideally positioned to explore the north Cotswolds and Oxfordshire, including the county’s answer to Stone Henge – the Rollright Stones, a collection of neolithic monuments. The National Trust’s Jacobean Chastleton House and Gardens is close by (it’s a stunner you’ll have seen it on the TV adaptaion of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall), as is Batsford ArboretumSoho Farmhouse and the Cowshed Spa is on the doorstep, plus Daylesford – with another amazing spa and wellness centre, Bamford– is just a 13 minute drive. Nearby Heythrop Park with its 18-hole Bainbridge golf course is open to both members and non-members and has incredible Cotswold views. Chippy’s local theatre punches well above it’s weight (the panto sells out every year), and there’s a gorgeous lido in the town. 

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

Not as expensive as you might think at £327,356 (2019). Terraced houses average £271,316, semi-detached average £319,000 and detached houses fetch £467,063. Local estate agents include Tayler & Fletcher and Cotswold Lettings

HOT PROPERTY

SCHOOLS

There’s a ‘Good’ Oftsed rated primary and also secondary school in the town, or plenty of independent options, including the gentle prep Carrdus, rural girls senior school Tudor Hall, Christian-led Kingham Hill with its 100 acre site (truly, they need buggies to get around!), plus the well-respected co-ed day and boarding options Bloxham School and Quaker led Sibford School with its excellent SEN provision.

BEST KEPT SECRET

The area’s rock’n’roll history. Creepby Radiohead, (I Just) Died in Your Armsby Cutting Crew and, erm, I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)by the Proclaimers were all recorded in Chipping Norton Recording Studio. The studio closed in the late Nineties but you can still see the round Blue Plaque to celebrate its heritage outside.

COMMUTE

74 miles. You have two options to get to London – it’s an 11-minute drive to Kingham station and then 1 hour 16 minutes on the train. Or an 18 minute drive to Charlbury station and then 1 hour 7 minutes on the train. A season ticket from Charlbury is a steep £7,096, slightly less expensive compared to Kingham’s £7,556. Driving will take just under 1 hour 45 minutes on a good day. Warwick is just a 41 minute drive, Cheltenham is 48 minutes. 

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live

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