With the River Avon snaking through its heart, Chippenham is a vibrant market town near the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is believed to have been settled since at least the Roman period but flourished with the arrival of the Great Western Railway in 1841.
Things to do in Chippenham
Occupying an 18th-century townhouse in the centre of town is the Chippenham Museum, which tells the story of Chippenham from its Saxon origins to the modern day. Historical artefacts and old images detail its railroad past, as well as the town’s links to Alfred the Great. Temporary exhibitions and children’s activities are regularly held at the museum while the on-site store sells books and gifts inspired by its collection.
Sprawling along the River Avon is Monkton Park, where you can stretch your legs along one of the waterfront trails or take advantage of the children’s playground. On its eastern edge lies the Monkton Park Golf Course and the Tenth Hole Tea Room, which offers a cosy environment for light snacks and traditional cream tea.
A short drive south of Chippenham is Lacock Abbey, a historic landmark founded in the 13th century as an Augustinian nunnery. In the 16th century, it was converted into a residence by Sir William Sharington, with the house built atop the historic cloisters. Lacock Abbey now houses a museum celebrating the life and work of photographer William Henry Fox Talbot and the Fenton Collection of the British Film Institute.
Getting around Chippenham
Chippenham is around 25 minutes’ drive from Bath and 40 minutes from Bristol. Bristol Airport is an hour away and has flights to destinations across Europe. Regular trains connect from central London to the Chippenham railway station and buses travel throughout the town. The centre of Chippenham can easily be explored on foot.