CHABLIS (Chemistry of the Antarctic Boundary Layer and the Interface with Snow) was a collaborative UK research project aimed at probing the detailed chemistry of the Antarctic boundary layer and the exchange of trace gases at the snow surface. The centre-piece to CHABLIS was the measurement campaign, conducted at the British Antarctic Survey station, Halley, in coastal Antarctica, from January 2004 through to February 2005. The campaign measurements covered an extremely wide range of species allowing investigations to be carried out within the broad context of boundary layer chemistry. Here we present an overview of the CHABLIS campaign. We provide details of the measurement location and introduce the Clean Air Sector Laboratory (CASLab) where the majority of the instruments were housed. We describe the meteorological conditions experienced during the campaign and present supporting chemical data, both of which provide a context within which to view the campaign results. Finally we provide a brief summary of highlights from the measurement campaign. Unexpectedly high halogen concentrations profoundly affect the chemistry of many species at Halley throughout the sunlit months, with a secondary role played by emissions from the snowpack. This overarching role for halogens in coastal Antarctic boundary layer chemistry was completely unanticipated, and the results have led to a step-change in our thinking and understanding.