Cirencester Area Guide
On the cusp of the Cotswolds, Cirencester delivers an alluring mix of countryside living with the convenience of a thriving town. It is affectionately known as the “Capital of the Cotswolds and the surrounding countryside boasts of some of the best natural beauty our isle has to offer. Its rural pace of life gives way to bursting farmer’s markets and a strong café culture. The town itself is a mix of narrow roads, hiding smatterings of modern chain stores, independent boutiques along with Roman ruins, weaver’s cottages and appealing golden stone townhouses.
The property on offer in Cirencester oozes charm. Don´t be surprised if you find your heart captured by one of the homely cottages, converted barns or elegant, honey-coloured Victorian townhouses littered around the town centre. Old weaver’s cottages with original fireplaces and exposed beams can be found on Gloucester street. Cirencester also has more modern family homes to choose from. The area around the River Churn, including Abbey Way, gives way to modern family homes with impressive gardens and views over the river. On the outskirts of the town you can also find modern housing developments with three, four and five bedroom dwellings available.
Cirencester has a selection of good and outstanding schools on offer. The two most popular are Powell´s CofE Primary School and Stratton Church CofE, which both achieved Outstanding ratings in their 2013 and 2010 inspections. Rendcomb college also provides primary schooling which feeds into the independent secondary school.
Cirencester´s Royal Agricultural University is the country´s best-known agricultural college and was the first of its kind established in the English-speaking world. For secondary education, Cotswold Chine Girl´s school is a newly established independent school which offers a unique approach to teaching. Rendcomb school is another independent option which delivers exceptional A-level results. Marling School in nearby Stroud is an excellent converted mainstream academy. The school achieved an Outstanding OFSTED rating in 2013 and 99% of their pupils achieved A*-C grades at GCSE. Nearby Cheltenham also has several commutable schools, including Pate´s Grammar School.
The town council are in the process of developing the Market Place in Cirencester town centre. The historic Market Place, which was mentioned in the Domesday book, is undergoing a £1.6 million transformation aimed at pedestrianizing half of the road to allow for more open-air events.
There are also currently plans to build between 170 and 375 new homes at Kingshill, just outside the city. However, the plans are in an early stage and have been met by local resistance.
Bristol Airport serves Cirencester internationally. It can be reached in an hour and 15 minutes and provides regular flights to Aberdeen, Jersey, Innsbruck and Berlin. Birmingham Airport is also an option and can be accessed in around 90 minutes.
Cirencester doesn´t have a train station of its own, but nearby Kemble station delivers regular trains to London Paddington, Cheltenham Spa and Swindon. The journey to the capital takes around an hour and a half.
By road, the A419 gives access to the M4 from Cirencester which takes you straight into London via Heathrow airport. The M5, which connects the south west of the country to Birmingham and the North, can also be reached very easily.
Eating and Drinking
For a traditional cask ale and good Pub food, head to the Crown of Crucis. The pub has a welcoming open fire and provides a selection of ales and wines to choose from. On Sundays, you can also get a Roast dinner served all day. Jesse´s Bistro is also worth a visit. The locally sourced meat features succulent Cotswold lamb and the restaurant gets its fish and seafood delivered daily from Cornwall. The Coterie is also great place to unwind with friends and enjoy a good meal, along with Indian Rasoi for some contemporary Indian cooking.
Things to Do
Explore Cirencester´s rich Roman history in the Corinium museum before heading to the nearby 8,000 seater Roman Amphitheatre, a short drive west of the A419. The Brewery Arts Centre showcases local crafts and you can watch the glassmakers at work. The surrounding Cotswolds make for an awe-inspiring backdrop to several local walks and the nearby Cotswold Water Park region provides a network of lakes, perfect for outdoor water activities like wakeboarding, water-skiing and paddle boarding.