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58km (36 miles) NW of Oxford; 19km (12 miles) S of Stratford-upon-Avon; 150km (93 miles) NW of London

The wool merchants have long departed, but the architectural legacy of honey-colored stone cottages -- financed by their fleecy "white gold" -- remains to delight the visitor today. Try to tie in a stopover here as you rush from Oxford to Stratford-upon-Avon.

On the northern edge of the Cotswolds, it opens onto the dreamy Vale of Evesham that you've seen depicted in a thousand postcards. Except for the heavy traffic in summer, the main street still looks as it did centuries ago -- in fact, the noted British historian G. M. Trevelyan called it "the most beautiful village street now left in the island." And so it is, even today. You can tie in a stop here on the same day you visit Broadway, lying 6.5km (4 miles) to the west.

Arriving through beautiful Cotswold landscapes, you come upon this country town, whose landmark is the soaring tower of the Church of St. James. You'll see it for miles around. Constructed in the Perpendicular style by the town's wool merchants in the 15th century, it is one of the finest churches in the Cotswolds.

The town's long High Street is curved like Oxford's, and it's lined with stone houses dating from the 16th century. A hundred years later, Chipping Campden was one of the richest wool towns of England. The Campden Trust, a determined group of dedicated conservationists, has preserved the town the way it should be.

Of special interest is the Silk Mill, Sheep Street, open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to noon. The Guild of Handicrafts was established here in 1902, practicing such skills as bookbinding and cabinetmaking. It folded in 1920 but has been revived today with a series of craft workshops.