Known as the capital of the Cotswolds because it lies at the heart of this beautifully and quintessentially English district, Cirencester is perversely hemmed around by ugly ring roads. Turn off and you’re in handsome streets of golden stone that are generously punctuated by green spaces.
Locals love that Cirencester is a hidden gem and that for a good two decades it’s been upstaged by nearby Cheltenham, with its year-round parade of festivals. That’s why, they say, Cirencester isn’t trampled by tourist crowds and remains a genuinely traditional Cotswold market town. It’s a bustling place with a creative spirit reflected in its growing number of independent little shops and seriously good restaurants and cafés. It doesn’t shout about its trump card, either: a rich Roman past (Cirencester was second only to London in the fourth century) is still much in evidence in parts of town.
Lying at the intersection of four A roads which allow fairly quick access to the M4 and M5, Cirencester is easy to reach by car. The nearest station is Kemble and is six miles away
Cirencester has a mix of shops that should cater for most people's needs.
The main shopping area centres around the Market Place (recently renovated to include a "shared space" for use by the town's market, the Cirencester Advent Festival and other such events), Dyer Street, Cricklade Street and Castle Street. There is also a small covered shopping area called Bishops Walk and The Woolmarket off Dyer Street has lots of little shops to explore.
The Black Jack Street area has become a 'must visit' area with loads of 'nooks and crannies' to explore. And the re-development of the back of the Post Office area has brought further outlets to this area such as Soushi, Joli Beau, Pashon. Encore has also opened recently and Lord, the "upscale full-service Barber Shop" for boys and men, has become a mainstay of this retail area.
Whether it's a visit to the Corinium Museum, Brewery Arts Centre, Cirencester Park (for a stroll, or to watch some Polo) or the Roman Amphitheatre, Cirencester has plenty of points of interest. If that's not enough, Cirencester is within easy reach of the world famous Westonbirt Arboretum near Tetbury, the Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford and the Keynes Country Park part of the Cotswold Water Park and home to Waterland Outdoor Pursuits.
Cirencester is famous for its Roman history, so a visit to the Corinium Museum is recommended if you have an interest in this field. Cirencester is also within easy reach of Cheltenham, Gloucester, Swindon and Oxford