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Chipping Norton Area Guide

Chipping Norton, Bliss Mill Image courtesy of Flickr user Sberla_

Chipping Norton is a market town at the gateway to the Cotswolds between Oxford and Banbury, in the middle of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Known locally as 'Chippy' the architecture of the area includes picturesque rows of 17th-century alms houses, Cotswold stone public buildings and the historic St Mary the Virgin Church. All are testament to the town's past as a prosperous trading post for wool and tweed and one of the wealthiest parts of England.

Growing outwards from the Market Square, Chipping Norton began as a few houses with a church and a castle at the bottom of the hill. These days only the earthworks of the castle remain. Many of the medieval structures built in the town at the peak of its success still survive, as do the Georgian facades that were added to buildings surrounding the market place.

The town is a rural hub for 40 surrounding villages and is increasingly attracting the interest of London commuters including politicians and media professionals looking for retreat away from city life or a second home for weekends. There are several industrial estates in the town which are home to a number of hi-tech industries as well as a quantity of professional and financial services companies.

Demographics

The population of Chipping Norton is in excess of 6,000 and the area is considered to have an ageing population. 80% of houses in the town are owner occupied.

There is a working population of nearly 3,000 and around a quarter of these are employed in public administration, education and health sectors. While half of the working population commutes out to work, 50% of the workforce commutes in from outside. Approximately 30% of the population is retired and unemployment is very low compared to the national average.

Education

There are ten religious and non-denominational Primary Schools serving the catchment area for Chipping Norton, including Charlbury Primary School, St Mary's C of E Primary School and Holy Trinity RC School.

Chipping Norton School is a rural comprehensive school specialising in Performing Arts. It currently serves more than 1,150 pupils aged from 11 to 18 years of age and is also a training school for teachers. In addition to offering provision for students in the town, it is also within catchment for the nearby town of Charlbury and surrounding villages including Chadlington, Enstone and Great Tew, Hook Norton, Kingham, Middle Barton and the Rollrights. 

Penhurst School offers provision for up to 24 children with profound and multiple learning difficulties. Kingham Hill School offers independent coeducational day and boarding facilities for local pupils as well as children of HM Forces families and international students.

Further education is accessible at Abingdon and Witney College as well as Oxford and Cherwell Valley Colllege. The University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University both offer access to higher education.

Transport

Chipping Norton is well connected to the south of England via the M40 motorway which provides access to the Midlands and to London.

Bus services run regularly around the town and out to surrounding villages as well as farther afield to Stratford Upon Avon, Banbury, parts of Oxford and London.

The nearest railway connections are accessible at Kingham Station and Charlbury Station, offering routes north and to the south into London Paddington.

Air travel links are available at Birmingham International Airport and Coventry Airport, with London airports also accessible to the south.

Amenities and Shopping

The town centre in Chipping Norton has a quintessentially English offering with a wealth of independent stores including a local butcher, greengrocers, independent book store, clothing stores and more, alongside national retailers. Local food and drink are of good quality, and many of the town's restaurants and pubs are highly regarded. Cafés and coffee shops are also available.

The Lido is heated for year round use, and Chipping Norton Sports Centre offers a variety of health and fitness facilities and exercise classes, as well as a gymnasium and squash courts.

The town has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with Chipping Norton Theatre playing host to a mix of live drama, music and film. The annual Chipping Norton Music Festival is just one event on the town's calendar which also includes a Folk day and Jazz weekend in autumn.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.