Things to do in Chippenham
Just lately we appear to have stopped travelling to exotic places and are leaving our carbon footprint in the UK. For various reasons we found ourselves in the sleepy ambience of Chippenham in Wiltshire, about a 3 hour drive from East London, where we live. So things to do in Chippenham
What things can we do in Chippenham? We were not sure, but with the help of a local inhabitant we had a bit of a look around.
This is by far, just touching the surface of things to do in Chippenham, as we were only there overnight.
We were staying at the newly built Travelodge, which is situated by the train station. There are regular trains into London, the journey takes about an hour to West London.
The Travelodge is situated outside of what I regard as the main town, but it only involves a walk of a few minutes and you are in town. Next door is an Aldi supermarket for all your overnight needs. The Travelodge Chippenham has a very firm policy of no checking in until 3 pm unless you have pre booked early checkin. They will store your luggage if required. There is a bar and restaurant there, and we easily got a late drink from the bar around 10.30 pm. Staff were very helpful. We were situated on the 3rd floor and the view was as expected!
Lunch at Allington Farm shop
Lunch was taken just outside of town at the Allington Farm shop. https://www.allingtonfarmshop.co.uk/ This has a great farm market and restaurant. We were there on a Sunday and the restaurant was packed but we got a table and served very quickly. I had a pie, and Sue the fish. Washed down with a rather different pink hot chocolate!
It was nice, the bill came to about £29.00p. Quite expensive for a lunch but the food and drink was excellent.
From there we drove for about 10 minutes to the picturesque town of Castle Coombe. Local knowledge is the key, and in particular where to park. As you approach Castle Coombe from Chippenham you drive down a rather long hill. There is a car park at the top and street parking on the way down. We drove to the very heart of the village and the was parking there, for free.
Castle Coombe is a ‘chocolate box lid’ type of village. In my opinion, great to visit but rather too quiet for me. There did not appear to be any useful shops, more a tea and scone type village with a the occasional place to buy some form of ornament/Junk.
Worth a visit is the Castle Inn, one of the two pubs in the village. A great selection of beers. I think you can stay there, but looks expensive, like the rest of the village.
A very nice hotel, but also expensive, is the The Manor House Hotel and Golf Club. This hotel is set on a huge expanse of land, with outhouses converted into hotel rooms, and various gardens to look around.
Castle Coombe is well worth a visit.
Food and Drink Chippenham
By the time we got back from Castle Coombe it was late afternoon. So what better idea than to take a few glasses of beer in Wetherspoons! For the newbies to the UK, JD Wetherspoons is a chain of pubs that sells great beer at cheap prices. If you travel around the globe you will look for an Irish bar, if travelling around the UK you look for a Wetherspoons.
The Bridge House in Chippenham was our next stop. I must say that this is not the best Wetherspoons I have ever been into. It seemed a bit tired, slightly cold and the bar service could have done with more staff. https://www.jdwetherspoon.com/pubs/all-pubs/england/wiltshire/the-bridge-house-chippenham
But it was ok. It sold beer!!
Next stop the Indian Restaurant. We went to The Raj Indian Restaurant. http://www.therajchippenham.co.uk/chippenham/
Raj Indian Restaurant Chippenham
The website tells me that it is amongst the top 4 in England, and I tend to agree with them. I had a wonderful King Prawn Biryani which was different to anything I have had before. They also have a wonderful system of ‘bring your own booze’, which cuts down the bill a huge amount. Weirdly though they have a full bar service so I am not quite sure why you are allowed to bring your own booze.
Both the pub and the restaurant are within about a 5 minute walk back to the Travelodge Chippenham.
Back at the Travelodge as stated beforehand we were able to get a late night drink before going to bed to begin a new breakfast adventure the following morning.
Jolly’s Irish cafe Chippenham
It’s breakfast time, we had been told of a great place in the centre of town, Jolly’s cafe. https://www.facebook.com/jollyirishcafe/ Well I was not disappointed. What a great find. We drove the 5 minute route from the Travelodge and parked in the Emery car park at the back of the Tesco Supermarket. A short walk from there.
This is a cash only restaurant.
The choice of breakfast is huge, catering for gluten free, vegetarian, Vegan, etc. You can have a set, or design your own breakfast. Two Breakfasts with coffee was about £16. This has got to be the best breakfast I have had for a while.
Seating is both tables and booths.
When I go back I shall definitely eat at both The Raj and Jolly’s.
A great 18 hour stay.