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Second Day in Chipping Campden

Explored Chipping Campden. First walking day tomorrow.

semi-overcast 14 °C
View Cotswold Way, England on Laura Walking's travel map.

This was my second day in Chipping Campden. I don’t usually have this much time between arriving and starting a walk, however my planning circumstances were a bit different this time. Actually it’s been nice staying put for an extra day.

At the Inn I stayed at last night, guests were to circle what they wanted for Breakfast on a form (which was explained on arrival), and then clip it to one’s door before retiring for the night. You also needed to indicate what time you would be appearing for breakfast. At the designated time I ventured down to the dining room, where several people were already seated. There was a lot of friendly chatter going on. Eventually the six of us discovered that we were all at various stages of walking, or driving, the Cotswold Way. A woman from Australia was going to be finishing today. A couple from California were just walking for a few days. A mother and daughter from Philadelphia had just arrived three days ago and were driving part of it, and then venturing on up to Scotland and were thinking about the Isle of Skye. And then there was me, who would be starting to walk the path tomorrow. I quizzed the woman from Australia about various aspects of the walk… mostly weather and terrain. She said she’d had no rain at all, and that it had been a really beautiful walk. That sounded very encouraging! After breakfast we all said our goodbyes and went our separate ways (I almost blurted out “Buen Camino!” but that was for a different time, different place!).

After gathering up all my stuff (why do I bring so much?!?!), I was to switch accommodations today, which was the plan. I checked out of the first place and would eventually check into the second one, just down the “High Street” - otherwise known as Main Street in many parts of the world. I had about five (5) hours to kill between those two events, so I walked around town. First, of course, I dropped off my big backpack, which the second place was happy to receive and hold onto until check-in time.

In this town there are several historical things to see, however, it’s really not that big a place, so I was pretty sure I couldn’t fill up five hours worth of walking around! “Walking around” was basically walking up and down the High Street several times, and looking in to various shops.
I looked into a Crafting Guild, and saw some beautiful Silversmith-made jewellery: bracelets, brooches and earrings. There were also mugs, napkin rings, plates, platters and so on. Absolutely beautiful items… it is indeed very fortunate that these would certainly be too heavy to add to my load!!
There were also paintings and prints and silk scarves in the same gallery… all beautifully handcrafted.

After consulting my guidebook, I walked to the end of town to see St James’s Church. A bit of background here… Chipping Campden was founded on the Wool Industry in the 14th and 15th centuries. Many of the towns in the Cotswolds area have a similar history. My guidebook says: This was largely through the efforts of one of the country’s most successful wool merchants, William Grevel. His home, Grevel House still stands on the High Street, and to him and other wealthy benefactors the town owes the outstanding, and revered, St James Church.
Fast forward through many centuries, and the Arts and Crafts Movement (founded in this area by John Ruskin and William Morris, and later CR Ashbee in 1888 - too much information to write here), played an instrumental role in reversing the town’s decline following the agricultural bust. Now, of course, tourism is the major economic driver in this area.

St James’s Church is a large and rather stern-looking building. It is showing it’s age on the outside, but had a surprisingly warm and inviting atmosphere inside. There were many beautiful stained-glass windows and explanations to go with the depictions. There are three services on Sundays, and several different groups gather there at various times through the week. There was a lovely and very knowledgeable woman inside, greeting visitors and explaining all that there was to see, and much of the history as well. (I need to learn how to add pictures to these pages!)

After my very productive day of walking around, I needed to sit and rest, and have coffee! It was just about time to check in.
Fortunately my room was ready. I thought it might be an early night tonight… however it’s getting late!

Tomorrow is Day One of the walk, and is quite an easy day of 6 miles.
Chipping Campden to Broadway.

Posted by Laura Walking 20:36 Archived in England

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