Living in Cirencester
What is life like in Cirencester?
Cirencester is a Roman town in the beautiful county of Gloucestershire, home of the Cotswolds.
The Cotswolds is the birthplace of the famous arts and crafts movement started by William Morris at the end of the 19th century. The area boasts stunning scenery, which has been used in a number of films and television programmes, including Harry Potter.
Living in Cirencester is peaceful and pleasant, with its semi-rural location ensuring easy access to the surrounding countryside. One of the prettiest places to spend some time is the Coln Valley, where several quaint English villages are found.
Transport links in the region are good, particularly by road, so Cirencester is a popular home for commuters, many of whom travel to Cheltenham, Bristol, Swindon, Birmingham and other towns for work.
Gloucestershire has long been an inspiration to artists and writers and people have the chance to base their own family in such surroundings by opting to live in Cirencester.
Cirencester was an extremely important Roman town, along with St Albans and Colchester, and there is still evidence of this today. The Romans built a fort at Fosse Way and native Dobunni were taken from a nearby area to create a settlement at the new building.
A Roman amphitheatre is still in place to the south-west of Cirencester in an area known as the Querns. The minster church of Cirencester was founded in the ninth or tenth century, but was destroyed in the 12th century.
Henry VIII ordered the demolition of the abbey buildings in the 16th century, with only the arch and some pieces of the walls remaining today. Sheep rearing, weaving, wool sales and woollen broadcloth were the primary industries in many parts of England, including Cirencester, in the Middle Ages.
Cirencester became a thriving market town by the end of the 18th century, with its main produce including grain and wool. Many businesses succeeded in the town, which had become a commercial hub for the region.
An inner ring road system was constructed in 1975 in order to improve traffic flow throughout the town.
Composer John Woolrich is perhaps the most famous person to have been born in Cirencester, while celebrities to have lived in the area include Dom Joly and Tony Adams.
Entertainment, sport and days out
Unsurprisingly, the countryside dominates the plans of people in Cirencester when it comes to planning days out. Many couples, families and friends choose to head into the Cotswolds for a spot of walking, camping or cycling, while others simply enjoy being able to visit the region's traditional pubs.
That is not to say there are not excellent tourist attractions elsewhere in Cirencester and beyond, with the Corinium Museum, Chavenage House and Chedworth Roman Villa among the most cultural options available.
Those seeking a fascinating religious building to explore should head to the Church of St John Baptist, while the Abbey Grounds is also an enlightening place for a stroll.
Families with young children are sure to be excited by the prospect of a visit to the Cotswolds Water Park, while Cotswold Country Park includes a specially constructed beach for perfect sunbathing opportunities. Magicland is another appealing attraction, with its play areas ideal for little ones.
Cotswold Leisure runs its own complex in Cirencester, featuring two swimming pools, a gym, sports halls, squash courts and a relaxation suite. It is a great option for locals who want to keep in shape.
One of the most highly recommended venues in Cirencester is Made By Bob, a successful deli-restaurant in the Corn Hall. While visiting, customers can take the chance to purchase some items from the neighbouring Chesterton Farm and its excellent farm shop.
Other venues in Cirencester to be worthy of a visit and sure to serve up a delicious meal include Jesse's Bistro, while attractive pubs that serve good food are typified by The Inn at Fossebridge. For oriental cuisine, the best options are Soushi and Thai Emerald.
Shopping in Cirencester is centred on the streets around Market Place, Cricklade Street, Castle Street and Dyer Street. In addition to these, there is a covered retail zone called Bishops Walk.
Among the largest chains to have a store in the town are Dorothy Perkins, House of Fraser and Country Casuals.
Cirencester and Gloucestershire as a whole offer a wide range of schools to suit children of every age, all the way from nursery age to those looking for colleges. Indeed, the quality of the schools is one of the major reasons to move to the area.
Some of the finest public schools include Cheltenham College, Rendcomb College and St Edward's. Alternatively, state schools such as Deer Park, Kingshill and Burford School and Community College offer an excellent standard of education.
The main medical facility in the town is Cirencester Hospital, which will provide treatment and care to all those with an injury or illness. Cheltenham General Hospital is another facility that is just a few miles away.
Cirencester is located in the Cotswolds, an area that falls between the M5, M40 and M4 motorways, so no matter what direction people in the town wish to travel in, they can be assured there is a fast-moving road heading that way.
There is also a good network of A-roads and smaller highways, many of which were originally built by the Romans. These include Fosse Way and Ermin Street.
By rail, Cirencester residents can travel on two major routes, both of which pass through nearby Cheltenham. These are the London to Bristol line and the Bristol to Birmingham service. In addition, the local Cotswold line runs from Swindon to Gloucester.
Air passengers are also well served in Cirencester, as the town is around 40 miles from Bristol Airport and 70 miles from Birmingham Airport, both of which offer connections to the continent for business and leisure travellers.