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Cirencester

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Cotswolds : Cirencester
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Cirencester is a picturesque Cotswolds market town in the English county of Gloucestershire, some 93 miles (150 km) west of London.

Understand[edit]

Cirencester is the Roman Capital of the Cotswolds, Roman Corinium. It's an ancient market town with traditional Cotswold buildings and thriving shopping centre. It's worth spending a morning here, especially on a Saturday. Every other Saturday there is a Farmer's Market. People are very friendly and it's easy to get in. The town is famous for its Roman history, polo connections in the great Cirencester Park, and for the Royal Agricultural University.

Get in[edit]

There is no railway link to this town. However, Kemble station is 4 miles away with connections to Swindon and London Paddington to the east, and Gloucester and Cheltenham to the north.

There are National Express Bus and Megabus services to and from both Heathrow Airport and London Victoria from the Beeches Car Park (near the town centre).

Parking in Cirencester has become harder in recent years, owing to increased prices, but there are many car parks near the centre and several that offer free parking after 3pm. There is also parking in the Market Place.

Get around[edit]

The town is small enough to walk around on foot, although the Roman Amphitheatre is a bit of a hike on foot. In 2016, the Market Place was partly pedestrianised, and now greatly favours pedestrians over traffic.

Cricklade Street is completely pedestrianised between 9:30am and 4:30pm Monday to Saturday.

Bicycles are available to hire from several locations around the town, unlocked with an app on your phone.

There is a taxi rank in the Market Place and on South Way, and plenty of private taxis available by telephone. Most buses leave from South Way, but check before travelling to make sure you're in the right place to catch your bus. Coaches are served by a stop on London Road, near the Beeches Car Park.

See[edit][add listing]

  • The Roman Amphitheatre on the outskirts of the town is the original mound formation. Interesting and good in the snow! Owned by English Heritage
  • Corinium Museum, Park Street, tel 01285 655611. Excellent visitor attraction in the town centre.
  • The Parish Church of St John the Baptist - the 'Cathedral of the Cotswolds'
  • The Abbey Grounds, which used to serve the Augustinian monastery of the town, is now a beautiful park with a river that forms a fishing lake, playset for the children, and contains remains of the Roman wall that bordered the town. Find it behind the Parish Church in the Market Place.
  • Walk in Cirencester Park, open 8am-5pm. Found at the top of Cecily Hill, which is itself formed of beautiful houses and flower displays. At the entrance, you'll see the Militia Barracks, known colloquially as 'The Castle'.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Shop: Cirencester has a Fat Face, a White Stuff, a small House of Fraser and a Marks and Spencer Food. On the outskirts, there is a Waitrose. The town is full of boutique and craft shops, many of which are tucked away in small alleys to be explored. By car, there is a Tesco Extra, Lidl, Aldi, and a small retail park at Bridge Road.
  • New Brewery Arts, Brewery Court (Off Cricklade Street - by the Brewery Car park), [1]. 9-5 (10-4 Sunday). A center for contemporary craft in the Cotswolds - a gallery, shop, cafe and on-site makers studios, all open to the public. Regular workshop and events.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

There are the typical high-street chains here, but there are some good special local shops in Dyer Street, the Market Place and in Black Jack Street behind the church.

Eat[edit][add listing]

A large majority of eateries are located in and around Castle Street.

Budget[edit]

  • Friar Tuck. Good old fashioned Fish & Chips. Eat in or take away.
  • McDonalds, KFC, Burger King. All of these require travel by car.
  • Stoneys. American style diner with jukebox.
  • Pizza Express. Express pizza.
  • Loaded Grill. Peri peri platters and delicious desserts.
  • Lucia's Cafe Bar. Sandwiches, snacks, cheap wholesome food.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Malt & Anchor. Unique and high quality eat-in or take away fish and chip shop.
  • Somewhere Else. Modern deli-bar with heated terrace.
  • Toro Lounge. Delicious food served with a funky atmosphere and rooftop terrace.
  • The Bear Inn. Refurbished, now a pub with a classy dining experience.

Splurge[edit]

  • Made by Bob. Found in the Corn Hall shopping arcade, frequented by the elite and a great place for celeb spotting.
  • Fratellos. Fine Italian cuisine.
  • Thai Emerald. For fantastic set menu.
  • Asian Lounge Oriental Gourmet. Chinese, smart and good atmosphere.

Drink[edit][add listing]

The town is served by many pubs, a lot of which also offer food.

  • The Crown. West Market Place (facing the front of the church, it will be directly left of you). Reasonable beer. Unexciting chain pub.
  • Somewhere Else, Castle Street. Pub-atmosphere bar, fantastic tapas, good late night atmosphere. Friendly.(Recently moved around the corner)
  • Twelve Bells, good food, good beer and a friendly cosy environment.
  • The Golden Cross, 1700s inn on medieval Black Jack Street, with brasserie dining, log fireplace in the cosy bar, and simple rooms
  • The Wheatsheaf, on Cricklade Street. The place to watch sport.
  • Reva Nightclub!, in Bishop's Walk shopping arcade.. Where everyone ends up; even Prince Harry has been spotted here!
  • The Bees Knees, Watermoor Road. The place to watch rugby.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

  • Travelodge. At the junction of Burford Road and the A417. Has a Little Chef for meals.
  • Premier Inn. Off the roundabout near Tesco Extra, the junction of Bristol Road and Swindon Road. Has a Beefeater for meals. Opened in 2016.
  • The Barrel Store. YHA accommodation in the centre of town, opened in 2016.

Mid range[edit]

  • The Old Bungalow Guest House, [3] 6 quality bed and breakfast en-suite rooms (2 of which are located on the ground floor). 2 Self Catering properties also available. Secure Gated Parking and Wifi. A few minutes walk from the centre of this historic market town. Ideal location to tour The Cotswolds
  • The Old Brewhouse Bed and Breakfast, [4] The Old Brewhouse in Cirencester is a delightful 17th Century town house bed and breakfast full of charm and character, sympathetically restored and refurbished offering high quality accommodation.
  • Talbot Inn, 14 Victoria Road (From centre of town, at church, head East along road two hundred yards to junction with Victoria Road), Tel:+44 1285 653-760, [5].

Splurge[edit]

  • Stratton House Hotel & Restaurant, Gloucester Road Cirencester Gloucestershire GL7 2LE, +44 1285 651 761, [2]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. Close to town, good for a break in the Cotswolds. From £45.  edit
  • De Vere Cotswold Water Park. A contemporary 4* Cotswolds hotel and apartments on the Lakes at South Cerney.
  • The Fleece Hotel, Market Place. Enjoy beautiful food and welcoming rooms.
  • The King's Head Hotel. Located in the Market Place, it is a modern, elegant boutique hotel with stylish bedrooms, exceptional wine list and dining.

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