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Pocket Guide: Chippenham

Information about Chippenham

Chippenham is a historic town in Wiltshire, located on the banks of river Avon, 13 miles east of Bath and 96 miles west of London. It is now a commuter town with a population exceeding 40,000 and a thriving shopping scene and nightlife.

The origins of Chippenham are believed to be pre-Roman, and remains of Roman settlements are claimed to be in the wall behind the town’s former magistrates’ court.

If you visit the town in March, you’ll be able to experience the Chippenham Food Festival. If you come on the last weekend of May, you’ll catch its biggest annual event, the Chippenham Folk Festival – four days of celebration of folk song, music, dance and Wiltshire traditions.

Where to stay in Chippenham

There is a wide variety of hotels in Chippenham on offer, from well-known chains, such as Travelodge and Premier Inn, to independent establishments. There are plenty of choices in the centre of town, but some may have a restricted number of rooms, which could be a problem especially during the high season. Try searching in a wider area, as daily rates outside the centre may be lower and room availability higher.

If you can’t find a hotel in Chippenham that suits your needs, consider booking one of the Tetbury hotels, or one in Bath, both 15 miles away.

Different types of hotel

When visiting a historic market town, staying at a small hotel with character feels right. The Angel Hotel, in Market Place, is a 17th century coaching inn featuring contemporary rooms, a gym, an indoor pool and a brasserie that serves food all day. It even accepts pets as long as they’re not left unattended in the bedrooms.

Bed and breakfasts are a good alternative for visitors who prefer accommodation with a more homely feel but with all modern amenities also available in the rooms. In Pickwick, Corsham, the 4 star Pickwick Lodge Farm, set on 350 acres of pristine Wiltshire countryside, occupies a Grade II-listed building built in 1650. Rumour has it that Charles Dickens was so inspired by this village that he named his first successful novel, The Pickwick Papers, after it. It is located six miles from Chippenham and 10 miles from Bath, making it an ideal location for sightseeing in both towns.

For stays of a week or longer, especially if families or friends are travelling together, it can make economic sense to book a self-catering holiday cottage. Barn Cottages at Lacock, three miles away from Chippenham, consist of three self-contained cottages, each sleeping four, in the countryside near the village of Lacock. The cottages are converted barns with exposed beams and are furnished tastefully. High-speed Wi-Fi is also provided in addition to all modern equipment you would expect to find in an average home.

What to do during your stay in Chippenham

To learn a little about the local history, pop into the Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre in Market Place, which tells the story of the town from its prehistoric origins to the present day. A couple of minutes from the museum you’ll find an iconic building, the medieval Yelde Hall, one of few remaining timber buildings in town. Built in the 15th century as the town’s meeting place, it has since been used as a council meeting room and as a fire station.

Only four miles from Chippenham, you can visit the former home of the British scientist and inventor Henry Fox Talbot, Lacock Abbey. Talbot created the earliest surviving photographic negative in 1835, taken of a small window at this house. It is now a museum that celebrates Talbot’s pioneering work and the history of photography.

Motor racing fans will be pleased to find Castle Combe Racing Circuit is only six miles to the northwest of Chippenham and offers exciting driving experiences on its track. The circuit has been featured in popular motoring TV shows, such as Top Gear, to race or test cars on.

The medieval spa town of Bath, known for its baths built in Roman times, is only a 10-minute train journey away and well worth a day trip from Chippenham. The city is designated a Unesco World Heritage Site and contains samples of stunning Georgian architecture.

Feeling inspired to make your booking for a Chippenham hotel and start planning your holiday? Don’t forget you can save money on Expedia if you book your hotel in Chippenham and your flight together. Use the Expedia search tools to check out the best package deals to suit your needs.