Chipping Campden pubs offer quality food, and beautiful gardens and many offer an excellent wine list. Some will offer accommodation and host event nights including corporate events too. With a welcoming atmosphere and some of the finest restaurants in the Cotswolds, Chipping Campden is the perfect spot for all the family.
Chipping Campden has a long history of pubs/inns and years ago if you tried to have a drink in each one on a night, you would not have made the full length of the High Street without falling over in a drunken stupor. Today the number is much lower and you will only find 7 pubs in the parish of Chipping Campden (5 in the High Street), each has its own historical context, but there are a few more within a 3 – 4 mile journey.
As well as being able to enjoy a variety of good local ales, ciders, wines and tots, etc. you will also find a satisfying meal and some very tempting tastes in a wonderful setting for a meal.
To avoid disappointment if you want a meal, we strongly advise that you book at least a day or two in advance because of any lingering Covid based restrictions and knock-ons (many opening hours have been reduced and they are closed on some days of the week). In the vast majority of cases, you will also be able to order your desired meal as a delicious takeaway.
- The Cotswold House is accessible via its drive from The Square to a ramped access into the Lounge Dining Room and the hotel’s Bistro.
- The Red Lion Tavern is accessible from Sheep Street via its car park/garden.
- The Noel Arms – go through the archway to the car park and as you turn and go back towards the archway you will find a ramped access on your left.
- Three Ways House Hotel – accessible via its drive/car park and ramped access.
- Dormy House Hotel – accessible from the sidecar park and access path
The Lygon Arms
There is no better place to start looking for a pub in Chipping Campden and its High Street than The Lygon Arms which dates back to the 16th century and has traded continuously through until today. It has been in the hands of the Potter family since 1942 with Ivor and Mary Potter taking over in the early 1950s and their daughter Sandra very much successful at the helm today.
If it is liquid refreshment that you are looking for, then The Lygon Arms will meet all of your requirements, be it for a morning coffee, afternoon tea (and do not forget the scones or cakes), a wide variety of ales or ciders, tasty wines to go with your meal or a short to end the day with.
If you have a really hearty appetite, then the Lygon Arms is undoubtedly the place where you will find an excellent meal that you will remember for all the right reasons. They are re-known for the excellent tender and tasty beef and lamb grew on their own farm which forms the basis of many meals including Mary’s famous steak and kidney pie.
In the summer (ice creams are a special attraction) you can dine within the courtyard with its vine-covered walls or indoors in the bar with its many rustic and original features which include an open fire in the winter.
This 16th-century coaching inn was originally called The White Hart and was later known as The Hare and Hands with Thomas White the landlord in 1830. The 1841 census shows publican Thomas Dunn living at the Lygon with his brother Charles and it was in the Dunn family until near the end of the century.
It has remained a favourite meeting place for farmers and locals over the years and hosts The North Cotswold Hunt on New Year’s Day.
The Eight Bells
The Eight Bells in Church Street is another pub in Chipping Campden that has a long history dating back to the 15th century when it was used by the masons working on St James’s Church tower and got its name by being used as a store for the eight bells that were hung in the tower. In the smaller room on the left of the door you will find a Priest’s Hole set in the floor, can you identify the second one?
It was rebuilt in the 17th century using most of the original stone and timbers which can be seen in the large bar today where you can dine and take in the character of the building as well as the good food and drink.
So, if you’re looking for that elusive ‘proper pint or a hearty, homemade meal in a traditional Cotswold pub, then you have found it with the Eight Bells where all food is freshly cooked using seasonal, locally sourced.
The menu offers an attractive range of everyday favourites, each with a special Eight Bells touch which along with their Xmas Menu, can be seen on their Facebook page.
Their beers include Hereford Pale Ale, North Cotswold Best Bitter, Old Hooky, North Cotswold Winter Solstice; ciders Stowford Press and Pearsons; and an excellent selection of wines and spirits.
Sold by the Compton Steam Brewery (Little Compton) in 1898, The Eight Bells has been traded continuously since the 19th century with James Sadler and his son Sam running if from 1921 right through until 1952 when the latter took over the helm. As with any pub in Chipping Campden, the tales are legendary and Sam’s green A35 van was a familiar sight parked on the roadside.
The Noel Arms Hotel
As a pub in Chipping Campden, the Noel Arms stands out not only as a picturesque building with its own archway and stylish entrance, but it has a long history, even since becoming the last hotel in Chipping Campden to brew its own beer.
Today, the log fire in its Dovers Bar offers any customer a warm welcoming sight in the winter months, the terrace is a beautiful spot during the summer and a sunlit lounge is a favourite place throughout the year, as is the coffee shop where you can have a chat over a warming cup.
The Noel Arms offers a complete range of menus including bar snacks, fine dining options and Indunil Sanchi’s award-winning Sri Lankan curries (Thursday nights are Curry Nights), etc.
Dover’s Bar offers a place to sit and enjoy a snack, meal and/or a pint of your favourite ale Old Hooky Ale, Cotswold Best, Coachman; lagers: Starapranen, Cobra; cider: Aspel; Guinness; a range of good quality wines and spirits.
Previously known as The George, The Noel Arms has traded continuously since the 18th century and you can still see the steps in the courtyard from its days as an important coaching inn, today’s car park housed the town’s historic bowling green until its sad demise in 1989 and towards George Lane was the site of the cattle market.
Many years earlier, Charles II rested there after his defeat by Cromwell at the battle of Worcester and before setting off along the winding Monarch’s Way.
The Red Lion Tavern
The Red Lion Tavern is based on an ancient coaching inn, steeped in history and character. It is the quintessential traditional Cotswold inn, with its mellow stone, flagstone floors and old beams dating back to the 16th century, plus a wonderful courtyard and outdoor eating/drinking area.
Sadly there were times when the food served left a bit to be desired, but happily, those days are past that is definitely not the case today. The excellent traditional Cotswold Sunday Fare deserves an award and it is also the Home of Scoff Kitchen, where they cook up some amazing massive burgers and tender steaks. To them, it is important to understand where their food comes from and the journey it takes from farm to fork. They ensure their meat is sourced from free-range Cotswold County livestock and beers including Timothy Taylor Landlord, St Austell Tribute, plus a special guest beer; ciders; Stowford Press and Aspall Suffolk Draught cider; lagers: Carling, Prabha and Budvar.
History says that it originated as The Redde Lyon on the upper side of Leasbourne and the occupants then moved to the current site near Sheep Street corner. Sid Bridge was the landlord before and after World War II and there are tales of plenty from his many years. The Red Lion Tavern is full of character and continues to serve the town well.
Cotswold House Hotel
On the top side of The Square, Cotswold House Hotel occupies a fine Regency ashlar-faced building with a portico with fluted Tuscan columns and a splendid curving staircase inside from where church choir would sing carols on Christmas Eve.
Today it has a relaxed bistro, a beautiful Lounge, a versatile space available for morning coffee, afternoon tea, evening cocktails, plus a tranquil spa. It is wheelchair accessible via its drive off The Square and then via an access ramp into the building.
You can enjoy a snack in the bistro or something much more filling and refined from The Head Chef is Dave Watts, who originally trained under Raymond Blanc for eight years at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
Well behaved dogs are welcome, please respect other diners by keeping them off the furniture and taking them out if they’re yapping.
Afternoon tea with a view – at Cotswold House, there is nothing better to accentuate an afternoon tea than a scenic landscape. Nestled in the heart of the Chipping Campden, in a prime location for picturesque views of the Cotswold limestone and the surrounding countryside.
In 1986 Mr Greenstock bought the hotel and vastly improved its standing, Mrs G’s Sticky Toffee Pudding was an absolute must. It was later bought by the Forbes who gave their name to the bar. Today it is well run by Bespoke Hotels
The Volunteer Inn
St Catherine’s Square
The Volunteer Inn is an 18th Century pub in Chipping Campden with an extremely friendly and welcoming atmosphere that offers hard to beat but easy to enjoy unaffected and honest hospitality. The oldest part of the premises is the front bar which once served as a room where local men would enlist to serve His and Her Majesty in conflicts abroad.
It is very popular with locals and visitors alike and they hold regular Events, Discos, Quiz and Poker Nights, details of which can be viewed on their website, so please be aware that that on some weekend evenings they have live band performances and there will be more noise than usual.
It has an amazing Indian restaurant as well with superb food, lovely surroundings & a great staff. Full cooked English breakfast & lots more too. Great value for money.
The Bakers Arms
If you are looking for a village pub in Chipping Campden that demonstrates all the very best attributes and character of an old local pub updated to suit today’s clientele, then it is really worth walking a mile up George Lane and on to the Bakers Arms at Broad Campden.
The delightful 17th-century building full of old beams and a fireplace at each end of the bar is a wonderful setting for a bite and a pint. It also enjoys an enormous colourful beer garden where you can sit in the sun whilst your children safely play near you.
For those that like a bit of a circular walk or two, then The Bakers Arms is well-positioned to provide refreshment and nourishment as you go from one walk to another.
This very friendly pub has an excellent menu of good quality and reasonably priced pub food, on top of which you will find as good a selection of real ales as you can find anywhere in the area.
The Old Chipping Campden Pubs, Alehouses and Inns
Chipping Campden’s Parish includes Broad Campden and between the two settlements, you can find indications and signs of the 30 pubs, inns and alehouses that have serviced the community at some time during at least the last five centuries. Towards the end of the 17th century, the term alehouse gradually gave to that of public house and the even grader name of the inn.
Back in Tudor times, the inn was a commercial trading centre where bargains could be struck and goods stored in warehouses. They were important staging posts for transport and communication. In the 1900s when livestock was sold in The Square, many like the Red Lion and Noel Arms had small rooms where the final deal would be done with the utmost care to keep the dealings confidential to the two parties.
You can see that 20 or more have been lost over time; many alehouses produced their own beer but were forced out of business when the larger breweries cornered the market from the mid-1700s. So where were they and what happened to them? Coming into Campden from the Aston Road, the first one you would have come across on your right was The Old Eight Bells where Leasebourne House and the Covenant are now (the name may have been transferred to the one Church Street).
On your left a few yards further on there was The Kettle in Leysbourne dates from around 1640. It was originally said to be a coaching house and later in the 1880s became the premises of “Plumber Haines” who repaired kettles and pots and pans. It was owned by Hook Norton Brewery as an off-licence for many years, then became a green-grocers and eventually grocer until the mid-1950s.
Go past the pump on the left and The Barley Mow was on the right next door to Pinkey’s House opposite Church Street. Rushen indicated that it had not been a beerhouse since 1870 and then basket maker Henry Ellis lived there with his family. In 1936 it was sold to Mrs Edith Hart, the wife of silversmith George Hart who had his workshop in the Old Silk Mill in Sheep Street.
From here go past Grevel House and the old junior school and you would come to the magnificent Seymour House Hotel. The Hitchman’s bought it in 1946 and ran it as a guest house for displaced persons after the war. It was restored in the 1950s and became a hotel where many Stratford actors stayed. They sold it in 1987 and moved to the Malt House next door. It was an up-market hotel until a few years ago and is now a private residence.
Next door and used as an annexe to the hotel was The Golden Cockerel with its central gable and bay window. It was bought by the owner of The Kings Arms Hotel in 1969 and eventually sold as a private house in 1971 when it reverted to its original name of Westcote House with Lord Kings Norton the famous aeronautical engineer living there until his death in 1997.
Across the road on the lower side of the High Street was The Swan which was formerly known as The Fox. The four-storey building was owned by The Grammar School and was closed so that its rooms could be used by the school until the new Grammar School was built in 1928. The old Swan was used for domestic science classes until 1946. Since then it was used as a teaching block for the Campden School of Arts and Crafts. In 1950 the middle two floors hosted the Youth Club. It is now Maylam’s Delicatessen.
Back on the top side of the High Street, you will find Dragon House, formerly The George and Dragon which traded from the 17th through to the current century. Until 1854 the Town Hall clock was regulated by the sundial on the house’s wall. The pub closed after the First World War.
To the right of The Old Grammar School on the lower side of the High Street, there were 3 pubs more or less alongside one another: The Shakespeare Hotel which became the Electricity Shop and more recently The Oxford Shirt Company; two doors away was The Live and Let Live which operated through the 19th century until the end of World War I, it was a Gents Hairdressers through the 1950s & ’60s and then was a fashionable dress shop before becoming Stuarts Antiques; next door is the 16th-century timber-framed Old Kings Arms, it had a reputation for strong ale and the innkeeper died large quantities of horsemeat were found in the vats, in 1891 Canon Bourne a trustee of the Grammar School bought it and converted it into a technical school which operated until at least 1919, it was sold in 1929, Jewson restored the overhang and it became a tearoom, now it is Caminetto an Italian restaurant/bistro.
By the northeast corner of the Market Hall was The Old House at Home, now known as the Green Dragon. Griggs noted that the elderly folk of Campden regretted its closing.
To the north side of the Town Hall was The Bear Inn which traded through most of the 18th century, it was called Charlecote when Michael’s great, great grandfather Thomas Haines died there and along with Montrose to its right, it was eventually absorbed into Cotswold House Hotel as Forbes Bar. Before that, it served as a Gas Showroom.
Carrying on beyond Cotswold House Hotel you have The Kings Arms which was previously known as Ardley House until 1935. It survived as a popular hotel until Covid arrived.
Move on along the north side of Lower High Street you will find the fine house called Green Dragons. This was formerly called The Green Dragon until 1924 when its cockpit was removed and it became a private house which was occupied by Sir Gordon Russell the furniture designer.
Across the road and on the right-hand corner of Sheep Street you would have found The Elm beerhouse whose owner then bought The Plough next door. They were sold to Hunt, Edmonds & Co (brewers) in 1898 who kept the premises until 1928 when it was purchased by F L Griggs. Today it is Robert Welch’s shop and studio.
Just a few yards up Lower High Street is Harrow House, this was a beerhouse called The Harrow Inn opposite the large elm tree (no longer there) which was a hiring place for agricultural workers.
Further up the road was The Rose and Crown which caught fire in 1874 and then survived until the First World War. In 1918 it was known as a cider house and was the favourite pub of Slap Blakeman a well-known boozer and colt breaker at the time. One of his legs was badly crippled, but when the doctor told him it is old age, he replied, but the other b-b-b-bugger is alright and it is the same age.
Turning up Sheep Street you will find Royal Oak Terrace high above the road and footpath. Two of these 5 cottages were The Royal Oak and The Bush – a bush over the door indicated a house selling wine and ale in Roman times.
Although the Bakers Arms is the only surviving inn in Broad Campden, there were two more in relatively recent times. Now called Wold Cottage, the thatched Red Lion later became the village Post Office and the shop is on the left before The Baker Arms. The Angel Inn gave its name to the lane to the left of St Michael’s Church, it is said that when it was demolished in 1935, the stone was used to build the Priest’s House behind the Roman Catholic Church.
The above 20 or so account for the known former pubs/inns, but there are others whose location has been lost in the mists of time…
Learn more about Chipping Campden and what it has to offer via the links below:
- Chipping Campden restaurants
- Chipping Campden gardens
- Chipping Campden walks
- Chipping Campden events
- Things to do in Chipping Campden
You can also visit the local tourist information website at www.chippingcampdenonline.org
If you would like to learn more about Cotswold Charm, the local area or would like to book your stay, then please contact us and we will be more than happy to assist you.