Chippenham is a market town in Wiltshire that has become a commuter town, with residents travelling to workplaces in Bath, Bristol, Swindon and even London (almost 100 miles to the east).

St Andrew's church, view from the Market place

Understand edit

Chippenham is a market town in the south west of England, midway between the cities of Bath and Swindon. Its population has grown rapidly in the 21st century, and become Wiltshire's third largest town with 40,000 inhabitants.

The rapid expansion can be attributed to the development of the South West regional economy, and to the new housing estates developed in Chippenham such as the Cepen Park North and South areas to the west of the town and the earlier Pewsham estate to the east.

The town lies in the Avon Vale, the broad valley of the River Avon in the low lying claylands of north west Wiltshire. Chippenham is located at a convenient crossing point of the River Avon, within close proximity of the nearby towns of Corsham, Calne, Melksham and Malmesbury. Higher ground lies to the east of the town at the Marlborough Downs, to the north at the Cotswolds and to the south at Salisbury Plain.

History edit

The origins of Chippenham are believed to be from before Roman times, with remains of settlements from this time claimed to be in the wall behind the former magistrates court in the town today.

During Saxon times it emerged as an early settlement around 600 AD. There may also have been a royal forest and hunting lodge here that was used by Alfred the Great.

The name Chippenham may have been originated from Cyppa's Hamme, perhaps a Saxon chief called Cyppa, or from the word ce-ap meaning market, and Hamme meaning enclosed by the river or an enclosed water meadow. In its early years this was an area of small family farms, perhaps concentrating on dairy farming and cheese making.

The name is also claimed to be recorded as Cippanhamm, Cepen, Cheppeham, Shippenham and Chippyngham. The Domesday Book listed Chippenham as Cepen, with a population of 600-700 people in 1086. The town received a charter of incorporation in May 1554 by Queen Mary.

Get in edit

By road edit

Chippenham town centre is approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) from Junction 17 of the M4, linking to Swindon, Reading and London to the East and Bristol and South Wales to the West. It lies on the A4 (linking to Bath in the West) and the A350 (linking to Warminster and the South coast).

By railway edit

The station buildings, seen from the south west. Front of the station.
  • 1 Chippenham Railway Station, Cocklebury Rd, Chippenham SN15 3QE. On the Great Western mainline from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, served by a half-hourly Intercity service (operated by First Great Western). The main station building (on the South side of the station) contains a staffed ticket office, 3 ticket machines and an independent café (serving food, drinks and newspapers). Car parks on the north and south sides of the station and bicycle parking, a taxi rank and bus stops on the South side. Trains serve both sides of an island platform, accessed by steps from the north or south sides of the station. Step-free access requires assistance from station staff to cross at track level.    

By bus edit

First Group operates the 231/232 route to Bath (via Corsham) and 234 to Frome.

Stagecoach operates the 55 to Swindon (via Calne and Royal Wootton Bassett).

AD Rains, Andybus, APL Travel, Badgerline, Coachstyle and Faresaver operate services to surrounding towns and villages. Details can be found on Travel Search (Chippenham)[dead link] and Wiltshire Council.

National Express coach services call at Chippenham: Northampton to Bristol (302), Bath to London (403) and Penzance to London (404).

By bicycle edit

Get around edit

The town is small enough to get around on foot.

See edit

The Cause - Music and Craft Centre

Surrounding the town are many ancient villages, including Lacock, Castle Combe, Langley Burrell, Kington Langley, Derry Hill, Kington St Michael, Colerne, Yatton Keynell and Biddestone.

There are also several manor houses and gardens nearby including Bowood Estate, Lacock Abbey, Sheldon Manor and Corsham Court, and the Castle Combe Circuit

World Heritage Site of Bath, Stonehenge and Longleat are popular day trips.

  • 1 Corsham Court, Corsham, +44 1249 712214, . The stately home can also be found in the town centre. Standing on a former Saxon Royal Manor, it is based on an Elizabethan manor home from 1582. Since 1745, it has been part of the Methuen estate. The house has an extensive collection of Old Masters, rooms furnished by Robert Adam and Thomas Chippendale, and parks landscaped by Capability Brown and Humphry Repton. The house is open to the public January-November, and is famed locally for its peacocks, which freely wander about the streets. Adult £10, child £5.    
  • 2 Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock, near Chippenham SN15 2LG (4 miles S of Chippenham), +44 1249 730459, .    
  • 3 Chippenham Museum, 9-10 Market Place, Chippenham SN15 3HF, +44 1249 705020, . M-Sa 10AM-4PM. Free.
  • 4 Bowood House (Stately Home & Gardens), Calne SN11 0LZ (5½ miles E of Chippenham), +44 1249 812102, . 11AM-6PM, last admission 5PM. House & gardens: adult £12.50, child £9.50, senior £10.50.    
  • 5 The Cause (Venue & Community Arts Centre), 42 The Causeway, Chippenham SN15 3DD, +44 1249 446893, .
  • 6 Biddestone. Quaint and rather picturesque Cotswold village with dozens of historic houses. It was a filming location of the 2013 film The Christmas Candle and the comedy-drama TV series Agatha Raisin as the main setting of Carsley. A duck pond in the centre of the village has some of the best duck feedings in Wiltshire.    

Do edit

  • Chippenham Folk Festival, The Cause Music and Arts Centre, 42, The Causeway SN15 3DD, +44 1249 657190, . Over 200 events taking place within the town centre. The main ceilidh and concert events take place in the beautiful park alongside the river. The annual festival takes place in late May.
  • 1 Baydons Wood (OS Grid ref: ST 925 730). 1 ha woodland (parking not easy).
  • 2 M4 Karting (Indoor Karting), Hangar 88 Hullavington Airfield, Chippenham SN14 6GU (6 miles N of Chippenham), +44 1666 838234, . Daily. From £10/10 min.
  • 3 Drive-Tech (Driving Experiences), Castle Combe Circuit, Chippenham SN14 7BW (4½ miles NW of Chippenham), +44 1249 783010, . Skid pan, 4x4, karting.
  • 4 Kids Combat Adventures (Laser tag combat), The Croft Startley, Chippenham SN15 5HG (7 miles N of Chippenham), +44 1249 721196, .
  • 5 Chippenham Town FC, Hardenhuish Park, Bristol Rd, SN14 6LR, +44 1249 650400. Chippenham Town are a semi-professional football club who play in the sixth tier of English football, the National League South. Fixtures are generally on Saturday afternoons and Tuesday evenings. You can check the fixture list to see whether they're playing at home. For virtually all games, you don't need to pre-book and can just pay at the gate. Adults £13, concessions £9, under 18s £3, under 16s free with a paying adult.  

Buy edit

  • 1 Friday & Saturday Market, High St, Chippenham, +44 300 456 0100, . F Sa 8AM-4PM. Street markets take place every Friday and Saturday around Market Place and along the High Street. A Farmers' Market for the sale of fresh, locally produced foodstuffs is also held here once a fortnight.

Supermarkets edit

  • 2 Morrisons (Supermarket), Cepen Park North, Chippenham SN14 6UZ, +44 1249 656992. M-Sa 7AM-10PM, Su 10AM-4PM. Petrol station, pharmacy & cafe (different hours), ATMs.
  • 3 Sainsbury's (Supermarket), Bath Rd, Chippenham SN14 0BJ, +44 1249 444781. M-Sa 7AM-10PM, Su 10AM-4PM.

Cyclists edit

Eat edit

Restaurants edit

Chippenham has a small selection of fine local restaurants:

  • 1 Ashoka, 62 Market Place, Chippenham, SN15 3HG, +44 1249 461234, fax: +44 1249 657700. Simple or spicy Indian food freshly prepared every day.
  • 2 Cafe India, 5a New Rd, Chippenham SN15 1EL, +44 1249 660330. M-Th noon-2PM & 5:30-11PM, F 5:30-11:30PM, Sa Su noon-2PM & 5:30-11PM. Indian restaurant & take-away. Simple or spicy Indian food freshly prepared every day (order online).

There is a selection of Indian and Chinese restaurants around the town, very few chain restaurants, with a Pizza Express in the town centre, Pizza Hut further out of town and McDonald's and Burger King around the town's bypass.

Pub food edit

  • 7 The Gladstone Arms, 34 Gladstone Rd, Chippenham SN15 3BW, +44 1249 660535. Pub: Tu-Th 11:30AM-2:30PM & 5-11PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-11PM, Bank Hol noon-10PM; food: Tu-Th noon-2PM & 5:30-9PM, F Sa noon-2PM & 5:30-9:30PM, Su noon-4PM. Gastro-pub with dedicated restaurant area serving high quality classic dishes.

Drink edit

The Three Crowns

Sleep edit

Town edit

The Angel Hotel
  • 1 Angel Hotel (Best Western Plus), Market Place, Chippenham SN15 3HD, +44 1249 652615, . A 17th-century coaching inn, extensively refurbished with a blend of traditional and contemporary style. 50 en-suite bedrooms, including: 4 four-poster bedrooms, 2 bedrooms equipped for guests with a disability, 32" LCD TV with Freeview and Sky Sports 1 in all rooms, complementary Wi-Fi in all bedrooms and public areas, private dining rooms, brasserie, 2 bars, 4 conference rooms, wedding receptions, heated indoor swimming pool and gymnasium and free parking. Rooms from £86.35 (book using a discount site for best deals).
  • 2 Premier Inn, Cepen Park, West Cepen Way, SN14 6UZ, +44 871 527 8244 (premium), fax: +44 1249 461359. Comfortable beds in every room & onsite Brewers Fayre restaurant serving pub food in a family friendly environment. Rooms from £64.
  • 3 Red Box Guest House B&B, 35 Buckingham Rd, Pewsham, Chippenham SN15 3TE, +44 1249 444988, +44 7796 616647, . Check-in: 3-9PM, check-out: 10:30AM. A modern Bradstone home with a landscaped garden, patio and summer house, in a quiet cul-de-sac. Off-road parking and a restored 1936 red telephone box on the drive. Centrally heated throughout, en-suite bedrooms, digital TV with Freeview, DVD player, clock radio/alarm, hospitality tray, Wi-Fi, iron and hairdryer. Single occupancy from £40, double from £70 (discounts available for weekday or weekly guests).
  • 4 [dead link] New Road Guest House B&B, 31 New Rd, Chippenham SN15 1HP, +44 1249 657259, . This friendly, family-run B&B in the heart of Chippenham has ten bedrooms, five in the Main House and five in the Coach House in the garden, with a mixture of singles, doubles, twins and family rooms, all of which have Freeview TV and a hospitality tray. Single occupancy from £50, double from £65.
  • 5 The Pines B&B, 81-82 Marshfield Rd, Chippenham SN15 1JR, +44 1249 461212, fax: +44 1249 443579, . Bar daily 5-11PM; restaurant: daily 6-10PM. The Pines Hotel is fully licensed and prides itself on its home cooking and friendly atmosphere. Over 20 rooms, free wireless internet, private car park and wheel chair access. There are facilities for small conferences, wedding receptions and private functions. A beer/patio garden open all year. Restaurant serving Greek and Cypriot cuisine; the chef is a Greek national. Single from £45, double from £78.
  • 6 The Bear Hotel, 12 Market Place, Chippenham SN15 3HJ, +44 1249 650647, . Check-in: 2-9PM, check-out: 10AM. Bar, free Internet access (wireless) in public areas, pool, non-smoking (throughout), lock-up facility for bicycles. from £50/night..

Out of town edit

  • 7 Stanton Manor Hotel and Gallery Restaurant, Stanton Saint Quintin, Near Chippenham, SN14 6DQ, +44 1666 837552, fax: +44 1666 837022, . Combining heritage with a modern approach, set in private grounds. Enjoying a relaxed meal or for longer visits whilst exploring the local area. Private, AA Rosette award-winning cuisine, with local, seasonal produce and an experienced chef, menus can be fully tailored to suit requirements. The entire house can be reserved to ensure a private dining experience. Placed at the gateway to the Cotswolds, with a range of private rooms and corporate facilities, inviting accommodation and a welcoming restaurant open to non-residents. Rooms from £99.
  • 8 Lucknam Park, Colerne, Chippenham SN14 8AZ, +44 1225 742777. Upscale hotel and spa in a grand 18th-century country mansion. There's an equestrian centre and an acclaimed restaurant. B&B double from £380.  
  • 9 Sign of the Angel, 6 Church St, Lacock SN15 2LB, +44 1249 730230. Excellent small hotel in 15th-century coaching inn in this bijou village, great cuisine. B&B double £110.
  • 10 Methuen Arms, 2 High St, Corsham SN13 0HB, +44 1249 717060. Pub with rooms in a Georgian coaching inn, great cuisine. B&B double £120.

Connect edit

  • 1 Post Office, 24 New Rd, Chippenham SN15 1HS. M-Th 8:30AM-5:30PM, F 9AM-5:30PM, Sa 9AM-12:30PM.
  • 2 Chippenham Library, Timber St, Chippenham SN15 3EJ, +44 1249 650536. M 10AM-PM, Tu 9AM-5PM, W 9AM-1PM, Th F 9AM-7PM, Sa 9AM-5PM. Free WiltsOnline public Wi-Fi available.

Go next edit

  • Swindon - Known for its history as the heart of the Great Western Railway, 15 minutes by train (or 30 minutes by car on the A350 dual carriageway and M4 motorway)
  • Bath - Easily accessible, this beautiful Roman City boasts magnificent architecture, parks and shopping as well as its world-famous Roman Baths. 15 miles WSW
  • Chipping Sodbury 20 miles to W.
  • Melksham 8 miles to S.
  • Avebury famous for its neolithic stone circle 14 miles to E.
  • Devizes 12 miles to SE.
  • Malmesbury southern Cotswold town, 11 miles to N.
Routes through Chippenham
BristolYate  W   E  SwindonLondon
BathCorsham  W   E  AveburyMarlborough
merges with   and   (Cirencester)  N   S  TrowbridgeWarminster

This city travel guide to Chippenham is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.