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 recent years, and it is currently Wiltshire's third larest town with 40,000 inhabitants.
The rapid expansion in the last 10 years can be attributed to the development of the South West regional economy as a whole, and specifically to the new housing estates developed in Chippenham such as the recent 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.
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.
Chippenham town centre is approximately 4 miles 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).
Chippenham railway station (a little way out of the town centre) lies 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). There are 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.
The town is served by a number of bus companies. 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 a large number of services to surrounding towns and villages. Details can be found on Travel Search (Chippenham) and Wiltshire Council (North Wiltshire bus timetables).
National Express coach services call at Chippenham: Northampton to Bristol (302), Bath to London (403) and Penzance to London (404).
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.
- Chippenham Folk Festival, The Cause Music and Arts Centre, 42, The Causeway SN15 3DD, ☎ +44 1249 657190, e-mail: email@example.com. 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 43rd annual festival will take place from Friday 23rd to Monday 26th May 2014.
Chippenham has a small selection of fine local restaurants:
- The Bridge Brasserie, 29 New Road, Chippenham SN15 1HZ, ☎ +44 1249 444552. Casual fine dining and great cocktails, a seasonal à la carte menu, and free WiFi
- Revolutions, 66 New Road, Chippenham SN15 1ES, ☎ +44 1249 447500. A friendly local restaurant serving a range of dishes using produce from the surrounding area where possible. Typical main courses include sirloin and fillet steak, duck, a fish of the day and pasta of the day. Dishes are served with a selection of seasonal vegetables and potatoes. All evening meals are served as part of a 2 or 3 course deal that includes half a bottle of wine per person
- Ashoka, 62 Market Place, Chippenham, SN15 3HG, ☎ +44 1249 461234, fax: +44 1249 657700. Simple or spicy Indian food freshly prepared every day
- Cafe India, 5a New Road, Chippenham SN15 1EL. Simple or spicy Indian food freshly prepared every day (Order online)
There are 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.
- The Gladstone Arms: a gastro-pub with dedicated restaurant area serving high quality classic dishes.
There are several hotels in the town centre, with more nearby.
- Angel Hotel (Best Western Plus Angel Hotel), Market Place, Chippenham, SN15 3HD (Exit M4 at Junction 17 and head southwest on dual carriageway(A350) for 2.5 mi. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit continuing straight onto Malmesbury Road(B4158) for 1.2 mi. At the roundabout take the 3rd exit, turning around the The Bridge Brasserie onto the B4069 for 282 ft. Continue onto the New Road(A420) (joining one way system) for 0.1 mi, get in the right hand lane. At lights, follow sign for Town Centre (under furthest railway arch) for 0.2 mi. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit [follow sign to Calne A4] onto Avenue La Fleche(A4) for 0.2 mi. Turn left onto Gladstone Road for 430 ft. The drive in entrance to the hotel is on the left), ☎ +44 1249 652615, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 WiFi 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).
Elsewhere in town
Nearby you can find:
- Premier Inn (Premier Inn Chippenham), Cepen Park, West Cepen Way, Chippenham, SN14 6UZ (Exit M4 at Junction 17 and head southwest on dual carriageway(A350) for 2.5 mi.At the roundabout take 2nd exit onto West Cepen Way(A350) for 0.2 mi. At roundabout take 3rd exit), ☎ +44 8715 278244 (high cost), fax: 08715 278245. Chippenham Premier Inn has comfortable beds in every room, and an onsite Brewers Fayre restaurant serving pub food in a family friendly environment Rooms from £65 (£29 Deals available).
- Red Box Guest House (B&B), 35 Buckingham Road, Pewsham, Chippenham, SN15 3TE (Exit M4 at Junction 17 and head southwest on dual carriageway(A350) for 2.5 mi; At the roundabout, take the 1st exit continuing straight onto Malmesbury Road(B4158) for 1.2 mi; At the roundabout take the 3rd exit, turning around the The Bridge Brasserie onto the B4069 for 282 ft. Continue onto the New Road(A420) (joining one way system) for 0.1 mi, get in the right hand lane. At lights, follow sign for Town Centre (under furthest railway arch) for 0.2 mi. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit [follow sign to Calne A4] onto Avenue La Fleche(A4) for 0.7 mi; At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Pewsham Way(A4), go through 1 roundabout for 0.7 mi. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Canal Road for 0.4 mi. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Lodge Road for 0.2 mi. Turn left onto Buckingham Road for 0.1 mi; Turn left to stay on Buckingham Road. Guest House will be on the right), ☎ +44 1249 444988, +44 7796 616647, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 3pm - 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 Rooms from £40 third night half price, for longer stays flexible arrangements are available, includes full English Breakfast, (Book Online).
- Number 35 (B&B), 35 Marshfield Road, Chippenham, SN15 1JT (Exit M4 at Junction 17 and head southwest on dual carriageway(A350) for 2.5 mi. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit continuing straight onto Malmesbury Road(B4158) for 0.2 mi. Turn right onto Hardenhuish Lane(B4528) for 0.8 mi. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit left onto Bristol Road(A420), B&B will be on the left after 0.5 mi. Turn right opposite into Audley Road, and immediately left into West End Social Club car park (please ask at reception for a permit to display in your car)), ☎ +44 1249 660691, +44 7968 374763, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 5.15pm weekdays, 4pm weekend. Number 35 is an elegant, late Victorian house. The recent refurbishment has made the most of the period features but has given a 21st Century feel, with free WiFi throughout the house. All of the rooms are equipped with a flat screen digital TV, DVD player, hairdryer and hospitality tray with tea, instant and decaffeinated coffee, hot chocolate, mineral water, biscuits and chocolate. En-suite shower rooms with electric showers, under floor heating, heated towel rails and a range of complimentary quality toiletries. Bathrobes, slippers and extra towels available Rooms from £75 per night with a £15 reduction for single occupancy, includes full English Breakfast.
- New Road Guest House (B&B), 31 New Road, Chippenham, SN15 1HP (Exit M4 at Junction 17 and head southwest on dual carriageway(A350) for 2.5 mi. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit continuing straight onto Malmesbury Road(B4158) 0.2 mi. Turn right onto Hardenhuish Lane(B4528) after 0.8 mi. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit left onto Bristol Road(A420), continue to follow A420, go through 1 roundabout bear left into Park Lane (joining one way system). Get into right lane, after 0.8 mi turn right into St. Paul Street. Guest House car park will be on the left after 68 ft. (Should you miss the turn for St Paul Street, stay in right hand lane all the way, follow one way system onto the New Road for 0.1 mi. At lights follow road around to the right [follow sign for M4] staying on New Road(A420), after 79 ft joining Marshfield Road(A420) for 0.2 mi [signposted Lyneham], turning sharp right back onto Park Lane)), ☎ +44 1249 657259, e-mail: email@example.com. 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
- The Pines (B&B), 81/82 Marshfield Road, Chippenham, SN15 1JR (Exit M4 at Junction 17 and head southwest on dual carriageway(A350) for 2.5 mi. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit continuing straight onto Malmesbury Road(B4158) for 1.2 mi. At the roundabout take the 3rd exit, turning around the The Bridge Brasserie onto the B4069 for 282 ft. Continue onto the New Road(A420) (joining one way system) for 0.1 mi, get into right hand lane. At lights follow road around to the right [follow sign for M4] staying on New Road(A420), after 79 ft joining Marshfield Road(A420). Another 700 ft hotel will be on the left), ☎ +44 1249 461212, fax: +44 1249 443579, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 7am - 9.30pm. The Pines Hotel is fully licensed and prides itself on its home cooking and friendly atmosphere. Over 20 rooms, 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. New restaurant serving Greek and Cypriot cuisine, the Chef is Greek national Rooms from £25, late bookings available, includes full English Breakfast.
Elsewhere out of town
- Stanton Manor Hotel (Stanton Manor Hotel & Gallery Restaurant), Stanton Saint Quintin, Near Chippenham, SN14 6DQ (Exit M4 at Junction 17 and head north on A429 [follow sign for Cirencester]. Take first left Stanton Saint Quintin turn off, follow for almost a mile until you see sign for hotel entrance on left), ☎ +44 1666 837552, fax: +44 1666 837022, e-mail: email@example.com. 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 (Book using a discount site for best deals).
- Home Farm Bed & Breakfast, Harts Lane, Biddestone SN14 7DQ (Exit M4 at Junction 17 and head southwest on dual carriageway(A350) for 2.5 mi. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto West Cepen Way(A350), continue to follow A350, go through 2 roundabouts for 1.0 mi. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto Bristol Road(A420), continue to follow A420 for 2.4 mi. Turn left onto Yatton Road for 0.6 mi. Slight left onto Cuttle Lane for 0.2 mi. Continue onto The Green for 449 ft. Turn left onto Harts Lane for 167 ft), ☎ +44 1249 714475, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 4.30pm - 7.30pm, check-out: 10.30am. A 17th century grade II listed Farmhouse situated on a working farm in the heart of the village, set in large gardens far from traffic noise, minutes away from two pubs on the village green. Self-catering accommodation is available with adequate off-road, secure parking. Accommodation comprises two Farmhouse rooms, and 'Harts', a luxury garden room, each with en suite shower rooms and complementary toiletries. There is also the self-catering Pear Tree Cottage, with 2 twin bedrooms sleeping 4, plus sofa-bed, opening onto a large level lawn with swings, trampoline and table tennis. Flat screen TV, DVD player, Freeview, hairdryer, ironing facilities, tea and coffee hospitality tray, WiFi access available in all public areas Rooms from £75 (Online booking).
- Lucknam Park Hotel (Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa), Colerne, Chippenham SN14 8AZ (Exit M4 at Junction 17 and head southwest on dual carriageway(A350) for 2.5 mi. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto West Cepen Way(A350), continue to follow A350, go through 2 roundabouts for 1.0 mile. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto Bristol Road(A420), continue to follow A420 for 4.9 mile. At Ford turn left toward Colerne for 1.5 mile. Sign for hotel entrance on right), ☎ +44 1225 742777. Check-in: 2pm, check-out: 10am. A 5 star hotel and spa set in the Wiltshire countryside near the city of Bath. The hotel offers numerous activities including an equestrian centre and has a Michelin Star restaurant Rooms from £275.00 (Cheapest online rate).
- Beechfield House Hotel, Beanacre SN12 7PU (Exit M4 at Junction 17 and head southwest on dual carriageway(A350) for 2.5 mi At the roundabout take 2nd exit onto West Cepen Way(A350). Continue to follow A350 for 7.4 mi. Go through 6 roundabouts (There is a McDonald's at the 5th, at which point you exit Chippenham). Sign for hotel entrance will be on the left), ☎ +44 1225 703700, fax: +44 1225 790118, e-mail: email@example.com. Accommodation comprises 24 bedrooms, which can accommodate families of up to five. Has a fine restaurant offering a private menu, with a selection of private dining rooms catering for special occasions. There are four fully-equipped meeting rooms, The Garden room, The Music room, The Library and The Card room, all of which can be set up as 'boardrooms' or as presentation 'theatres', the largest of which can accommodate up to 80 people standing or 70 dining. A beauty treatment room, outdoor heated swimming pool and its own small arboretum of rare trees in the grounds. Free Wifi available throughout the hotel Rooms from £125.00.
- 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.