Cirencester is the largest, and most quintessentially Cotswolds’ town - sitting on the banks of the river Churn, the ‘capital’ of the Cotswolds is rich in Roman heritage and charm. With its golden stone properties, thriving independent shops and restaurants, this bustling market town should not be overlooked for its flashier neighbour, Cheltenham. A hub of Gloucestershire life, from its weekly market to beautiful green spaces, Cirencester is a fantastic town with lots to offer families and young retirees.
The 300-year-old yew hedge around the Bathurst Estate is the tallest hedge in the country, at over 40 ft tall.
“We visited Cirencester as a weekend getaway before we were married and were enchanted by the town’s architecture, shops and the warm friendly feeling when wandering through the streets. The thing we love about Cirencester is that it’s a good size town yet perfectly accessible and over the years has developed into a real cultural hub with stunning independent boutiques, cafes and restaurants and pop-ups. The Cotswold Stone townhouses are just divine and the surrounding countryside is magical! When the opportunity arose for us to move to the area we took the bull by the horns and embarked on a new adventure. We now have three gorgeous boys in tow and Wilbur our black Labrador and feel the town and its neighbouring villages has so much to offer our family”. Francesca Sharvell.
Cirencester is a true gem with exceptional architecture, parks and grounds. The town consists predominantly of Cotswold Stone Townhouses and period cottages with Cirencester Park at its heart.
For fashion mavens, Cirencester has a great mix of national and independent brands – from Joules, Seasalt and Phase Eight, to boutiques such as Encore, Sue Parkinson, French Grey and Law and Company. For foodies, the weekly Charter Market has been setting up stall for so long it got a mention in the Domesday book – it’s a local institution – from fresh fish to artisan deli stalls, plants and fantastic cheeses. The Corn Hall antiques market is not to be missed either for interiors magpies.
Cirencester offers some of the best restaurants across The Cotswolds that you’re certain to love, The Court Restaurant at The Corinium Hotel, MBB Brasserie, Henry's Seafood Bar & Grill, Côte Brasserie Cirencester and Jack's. From Indian to Italian restaurants all the way to Chinese cuisine to Traditional English and Modern European there’s certainly something for everyone even a Pizza Express for family fodder. The Roof terrace bar at the King’s Head Hotel is worth a mention especially for those who love sitting in the sun.
If you're house-hunting in Cirencester, why not tie in your visit with a stay at one of the nearby luxe boutique hotels? The trio of Calcot Manor, Cowley Manor and Barnsley House are all gorgeous country piles with stress-busting spas and noteworthy restaurants.
Cirencester is the perfect base for sporty sorts – the leisure centre is a hub for fitness and swimming, plus there are lots of independent yoga and Pilates studios in the town. For outdoors types, Cirencester Park is fabulous for walks, with the cricket pitch and tennis courts nearby. If you’re more of a spectator when it comes to physical exertion, Cirencester has active rugby and polo clubs with great social scenes.
You can set off on the 3.8Km circular trail known as the Cirencester Riverside Trail right in the heart of Cirencester as you start at the top of Cecily Hill at the entrance to the Bathurst Estate. This is a very simple walk around Cirencester, although you would hardly know it existed. All of it is paved bar a short section, before you reach the Abbey Grounds that are culpable to flood in the Winter. The park grass or nearby sidewalk are perfectly workable alternatives at this point if necessary. Whilst this may be a shorter walk, it is aptly packed with variety, plenty of wildlife and gorgeous views of the Cotswolds town.
Cirencester has all the practical amenities you’d want from a market town, including 4 major supermarkets, a hospital, garden centre – plus fantastic Roman museum and theatre, too.
Nearby Kemble has direct train services to London Paddington and there is also great access to M4 and M5 motorways for travel to the South East and South West.