Like I said yesterday, we rented a car for the first time on Saturday to head to the village town of Chipping Campden on the edge of the Cotswolds. Because it was our first time driving in the UK, just getting there was half the adventure but once we successfully navigated to our destination, we had a few hours to explore the town before the sun set.
According to the Chipping Campden website:
As the name suggests (“Chipping” means market or market place from the old English “Ceping”). Chipping Campden was one of the most important of the medieval wool towns and famous throughout Europe. This legacy of fame and prosperity is everything that give the town its character.
Campden was already established in the 7th century and derives its name from the Saxon “Campa-denu” or “Campadene”, meaning a valley with fields or enclosures of cultivated land.
Chipping Campden’s church, St. James, at the north end of the town, is perhaps, the finest ‘wool’ church in the Cotswolds, with a magnificent 120ft (36 metre) tower and a very spacious interior. The church is famed for having one of the oldest altar tapestries (pre-reformation) and largest brass in England.
We only did a little bit of research before we left so we really just wandered around to see the streets, local church (read above), and lots of the cute shops. We also stopped in the Lygon Arms Hotel for lunch pretty much as soon as we got there (stressful driving makes you hungry!). I had the tomato and courgette (zucchini) soup with granary bread and Jeff had a stilton, steak, and ale pie, which he devoured before I could get a picture! It was one of our first times eating out at a truly British establishment and the food was amazing.
After more wandering around, we decided to grab tea + cake at another hotel restaurant – the Noel Arms Hotel. We shared a vegan lemon drizzle cake by the fire – pretty much the perfect way to spend a chilly afternoon!