Monday, 10 October 2016

Day Trip to The Cotswolds: Chipping Campden, Broadway Tower & Burford

A British Vintage Car on Chipping Campden High Street

Following my trip to The Cotswolds last month, I wasted no time in returning to this beautiful part of Britain to explore some more. On my second visit I journeyed up to Chipping Campden before working my way back south towards Wales. Here's my itinerary for a day trip excursion that takes approximately twelve hours.

09:00AM: Depart South East Wales for Chipping Campden

Chipping Campden Holiday Cottages

My trip from South Wales crosses the Severn Bridge and north up the M5 towards Gloucester, before cutting through the scenic countryside along the A-roads. Chipping Campden is around 1 hour away from Birmingham and 2 hours from London by road.

10:45AM: Arrive In Chipping Campden

Chipping Campden Sign
Old School House in Chipping Campden

Chipping Campden lies at the top of The Cotswolds, just south of William Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-Upon-Avon. Parking is available on the High Street, alongside the characterful Cotswold stone buildings with 14th and 16th century origins. Many parts appear untouched by any modern influence, like the Medieval market hall, a listed National Trust building that is still in use today.

Chipping Campden Old Market Hall, National Trust Buildings in The Cotswolds

11:30AM: Cotswolds Cream Tea In Badgers Hall Tearoom

Badgers Hall Tearooms Cotswolds Cream Tea
Badgers Hall in Chipping Campden

After a stroll along the High Street soaking up the remarkable architecture, I headed into The Badgers Hall Tearoom for a Cotswold Cream Tea and sandwich. It's a quintessential English tearoom with exposed beams, vintage crockery and a courtyard - the scones are pretty great too!

12:30PM: Explore the Gift Shops and Antique Stores

Shops in Chipping Campden
Beautiful buildings in the Cotswolds

There's a variety of gift shops along Chipping Campden's High Street that are not short of quirky homeware and signage inscribed with typically British quips like "On this site in 1782, nothing happened" and, "I don't skinny dip I chunky dunk". I also found a shop selling unique locally grown lavender products, a pet boutique and delicatessen.

01:30PM: Visit St. James Church and The Court Barn Museum

St James Church in Chipping Campden
Chipping Campden countryside

Around the corner from the High Street is the town's impressive church and gatehouse, surrounded by rolling hills and a gothic looking Banqueting House. There's also the Court Barn Museum that details the arts and crafts movement of years gone by.

East Banqueting House in Chipping Campden

02:00PM: Leave Chipping Campden for Broadway Tower

Thatched Cottage in Chipping Campden

Heading south from Chipping Campden I passed picture perfect thatched cottages before crossing into Worcestershire.

02:15PM: Enjoy the views at Broadway Tower

Broadway Tower

Less than ten minutes by car from Chipping Campden, Broadway Tower is the highest castle in the Cotswolds. At 1024 feet, the hill overlooks miles upon miles of English countryside, and according to their website you can see up to sixteen counties - absolutely breathtaking!

View from Broadway Tower in Worcestershire
Broadway Tower up close

Surprisingly the hill also has a Nuclear Bunker that you can go down and explore. I didn't account for this during my visit, but if you're a history buff I expect this'll be very worthwhile.

03:00PM: Depart Broadway Tower for Burford

The Barn Café near Broadway Tower

Once I pulled myself away from the spectacular views, I headed 30 minutes south to my final stop, Burford.

03:30PM: Explore Burford High Street

Burford High Street, Huffkins Tea Rooms

The slopping High Street is full of character like Chipping Campden with plenty of cafés, pubs and craft shops to get lost in. I took a stroll to the top of the hill into the more residential area, picking out my house and thinking of the relaxed lifestyle I'd lead.
That said, Burford's main road seemed to be abuzz with commuters, but fortunately you're never too far away from a quiet side street or river trail.

Burford Church

05:00-07:00PM: Depart Burford for South East Wales

Title image featuring Burford High Street

I headed back to Wales in the early evening, but if you're in no hurry and want to skip rush hour, there's quite a healthy selection of pubs and restaurants to try around here, such as; The Mermaid Pub, The Angel and The Royal Oak.

If you're looking to explore more areas of The Cotswolds or visiting for the first time, view my previous blog by clicking here.
For those desiring a weekend break, consider staying in Stratford-Upon-Avon and enjoy the sights of Shakespeare's birthplace: click here for more information.
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