What is Cirencester like?
Cirencester offers the kind of highly sophisticated rural living you’d expect from the most fashionable stretch of countryside in England, home to royalty and celebrities. There is a wealth of smart shops in the towns and villages (including the well-known Daylesford organic farm shop near Kingham), and numerous excellent country pubs offering high-quality food. Cowley Manor, Watley Manor and Barnsley House (famous as the home and garden of Rosemary Verey) are just some of the country house hotels offering superb cuisine.
We cover prime central Cotswolds, bordered by the M4 and the M5 and extending north to Moreton-in-Marsh and east to Burford, Swindon and Lechlade.
Property in Cirencester
As you would expect from the UK’s most aspirational rural area, property in this part of the Cotswolds is all about quality. From bijou cottages to exquisite manor houses, property here is defined by charm and character, especially with the local golden stone adding warmth and lustre to towns and villages alike.
Almost anywhere in the area is bound to be pretty and desirable, from quiet hamlets to bustling, small market towns like Tetbury, Northleach and Fairford. The Coln Valley is one of the places to look for absolutely prime property close to Cirencester, in such villages as Coln Rogers, Bibury, Coln St Aldwyn’s and Coln St Dennis. For more active communities with family appeal, try the Duntisbournes to the north west of Cirencester and Chedworth to the north.
Stroud, well known for its artisan lifestyle and good grammar schools, is perhaps a place to watch; a practical town handy for idyllic Painswick and the Slad Valley. Close by, the commons of Minchinhampton and Rodborough are popular with families looking for good state and private schooling. Villages in the Berkeley Vale are convenient for commuters wishing to use the M5.
The local scene
The nearest large town, Cheltenham, is noted for its elegant Regency architecture and hosts a clutch of highly regarded annual festivals embracing literature, classical and folk music, poetry, film and comedy. It also has two theatres, the Everyman and the Playhouse, which present a year-round programme of drama, dance and music.
Equestrianism has its own highly active scene; the Cheltenham Festival is a highpoint of the National Hunt racing calendar, with the Gold Cup as one of the most prestigious races in the UK. The Beaufort Hunt is perhaps the smartest and most famous hunt in England, and the horse trials at Badminton and Gatcombe are internationally renowned. Cirencester Polo is also a social and sporting magnet.
The A419 provides fast access from Cirencester to the M4, which heads straight into London and passes Heathrow Airport.
The M5 is just to the west, heading south to Exeter and north to Birmingham.
Frequent services from Swindon reach London Paddington in 60 minutes; the nearest station to Cirencester is Kemble, which also provides a regular service to London with a journey time of 80 minutes.
Schools in Cirencester
Cirencester is home to the UK’s best-known agricultural college. The area’s excellent independent schools include Beaudesert Park School, Westonbirt School, Rendcomb College, and Hatherop Castle School. The local grammar schools include Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham, and several in Stroud. There are good primary and state schools throughout Gloucestershire.