Cirencester, the largest town in The Cotswolds, dates back to Roman times and is a place rich in history. Its ancient streets buzz with shoppers and tourists alike.
The town is home to The Royal Agricultural University (formerly the Royal Agricultural College, the oldest agricultural college in the English speaking world) and is proud of its links to farming and the land.
Known as The Capital of the Cotswolds, it boasts on its outskirts the massive earthwork remains of one of the largest Roman amphitheatres in Britain, built in the 2nd century and now an English Heritage monument.
What a property agent can purchase
£1m: four-bedroom detached period cottage.
£3m: five-bedroom detached house with land.
£5m: seven-bedroom Cotswold stone farmhouse.
Best hotels in Cirencester
Barnsley House (www.barnsleyhouse.com) is a magnificent country house hotel, offering secluded, refined accommodation with fine dining in its restaurants and rejuvenating treatments in its spa. The Kings Head Hotel (www.kingshead-hotel.co.uk) is a stylish boutique hotel in the town centre. The Old Brewhouse (www.theoldbrewhouse.com) is a delightful B&B in a17th Century townhouse also in the town centre.
Best restaurants in Cirencester
Jesse’s Bistro (www.jessesbistro.co.uk) is tucked away down an unassuming alleyway but you would do well to seek it out and sample the excellent menu on offer in bright and attractive surroundings. For something different, try Soushi (www.soushi.co.uk) offering bento boxes, tempura and noodle dishes. A little further afield, a trip to The Potager at Barnsley House (www.barnsleyhouse.com) never disappoints for the variety and localness of the menu.
Best school in Cirencester
Cheltenham Ladies College (www.cheltladiescollege.org) has a deserved international reputation for its achievements and the nature of the education it provides. Equally, since 1841 Cheltenham College (www.cheltenhamcollege.org) has been a standard bearer in the UK and beyond. Closer to Cirencester is Rendcomb College (www.rendcombcollege.org.uk) an independent day and boarding school for boys and girls.
Buying agent fact
Cirencester Park Polo Club (www.cirencesterpolo.co.uk) is one of the UK’s most unique and picturesque sporting venues, hosting regular tournaments. If you visit for the right one you might just see a Royal Prince in the saddle competing. The 300-year-old yew hedge surrounding the Bathurst Estate on the edge of Cirencester (well worth a visit – www.cirencesterpark.co.uk) is over 40 ft tall and is the tallest in the UK.
How to get to Cirencester from London
Train: Total 1 hour, 30 mins. London to Kemble railway station 1 hour, ten mins, then 10-mnute drive from Kemble to Cirencester.
Car: 2 hours, 15 mins.
Plane: London to Gloucestershire Airport (Staverton) by private plane: 45 minutes.
Helicopter: 1 hour, 10 mins from Battersea Heliport.