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The local area guide to living in Chipping Norton

The market town and civil parish of Chipping Norton lies between Oxford and Banbury as a gateway to the beautiful Cotswolds, one of England’s most cherished Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Locals affectionately refer to the iconic town as ‘Chippy’, and the town’s classic architecture includes picturesque rows of 17th-century alms houses, medieval buildings, typical Cotswolds stone public buildings and the historic St Mary the Virgin Church. These charming architectural features come from Chipping Norton’s past as a prosperous trading post for wool and tweed, when it was one of the wealthiest places in all of England.

The town began as a small settlement built at the foot of Chipping Norton Castle, a Norman timber structure of which only the bare foundations remain. Chipping Norton then expanded outwards from the Market Square in the Middle Ages as its economic significance grew. Many of the town’s medieval structures built at the peak of its success still survive, though many of the marketplace houses were re-faced in the Georgian style in the 18th century.

Chipping Norton serves as a rural hub for around 40 surrounding villages and is growing in popularity for London commuters. Some of these include politicians and media professionals, for whom the town serves as an ideal retreat from the city or as a second home for weekends. Several industrial estates in the town are home to a number of tech, professional and financial service firms.

Information about the local residents

As of 2011, the population of Chipping Norton was 6,337, with an aging trend. Owner occupied houses in the town account for 80% of the total.

There is a working population of nearly 3,000 and around a quarter of these are employed in public administration, education and health sectors. Though half of the working population commutes to work elsewhere, 50% of Chipping Norton’s workforce commutes in from outside. Just under a third of the population is retired, and the town has a very low unemployment rate compared to the national average.

Nearby schools

There are ten primary schools in Chipping Norton’s catchment area, including Charlbury Primary School, St Mary’s C of E Primary School, and Holy Trinity RC School.

Chipping Norton School is a rural comprehensive school specialising in Performing Arts, with over 1,150 pupils 11 to 18 years of age currently on role. It serves as a training school for teachers too. Penhurst School is a school for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties, serving up to 24 pupils. Kingham Hill School is an independent coeducational day and boarding school for local pupils, as well as children of HM Forces families from RAF Chipping Norton and international students.

Further education is accessible at Abingdon and Witney College as well as Oxford and Cherwell Valley College. Higher education opportunities are very close by in Oxford, which is home to both the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University.

Getting around

Chipping Norton has excellent transport links, with good connections to the south of England via the M40, providing access to the wider Midlands and London.

Regular bus services provide access to surrounding villages, as well as towns further afield such as Stratford-upon-Avon, Banbury, Oxford, and London. Kingham Station and Charlbury Station are the nearest railway stations, offering north-to-south routes and direct routes to London Paddington.

Birmingham International Airport and Coventry Airport are within easy access, and London airports are also accessible to the south.

Local shops

Chipping Norton’s shops and amenities are quintessentially English, including a wide range of independent stores in the town centre. There is a local butcher’s, greengrocer’s, book shop, clothing stores, as well as national retailers and grocery chains. Local food and drink options are excellent, with many highly rated restaurants and pubs in town. Plenty of quaint cafés and coffee shops are also available among the town’s charming old streets.

The Lido is heated for year round use, and Chipping Norton Sports Centre offers a variety of health and fitness facilities, exercise classes, a gymnasium, and squash courts.

The Chipping Norton Theatre hosts a variety of drama productions, live music and film showings, and The Chipping Norton Music Festival in autumn is a particularly large and festive annual event in the town’s calendar, including a Folk day and Jazz weekend. These are just a few examples of the town’s vibrant art and cultural offerings.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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