Living in Stroud
What is life like in Nailsworth and Stroud?
Nailsworth and Stroud are towns that are found beneath the beautiful Cotswold Hills, with the latter sitting at the point where the Five Valleys meet.
Stroud tends to provide a focal point for a number of surrounding towns and villages, with the nearby Cotswold Way proving to be a hit with walkers, cyclists and lovers of the great outdoors. Indeed, the town is situated in the largest area of outstanding natural beauty in the UK.
In the town itself, the streets are typically steep and one of the favourite pastimes is to visit the many local cafes for coffee. Stroud has previously been dubbed the Covent Garden of the Cotswolds and was named by The Times as one of the coolest places to live in the country.
Several developments have taken place or are planned for the coming years, so families, couples and individuals who wish to live in Nailsworth and Stroud should find it relatively easy to secure a high-quality home at an attractive price.
Stroud is famous for its involvement in the Industrial Revolution, when it became a strong cloth town with woollen mills that were powered by the numerous small rivers that wind through the Five Valleys.
By the 19th century, Stroud was still in good shape from a trade and industry perspective, so the authorities began to improve its transport connections. The Stroudwater Navigation canal network was built, as well as the Thames & Severn Canal. Money was also spent on the local railway station and its links to other locations.
The MP for Stroud between 1837 and 1841 was Lord John Russell, who went on to become the country's prime minister.
Nailsworth came to prominence as a small mill town with a hugely successful brewing industry. These days, it is an incredibly sleepy and peaceful town with a farmers' market and a local festival.
World-famous artist Damien Hirst has a studio in Stroud, while pop singer Lily Allen has a home in the area and married in Cranham, Gloucestershire.
Entertainment, sport and days out
It is no surprise to find the Cotswolds figure highly in many people's plans for entertainment in the region. In addition to a wide range of beautiful scenery and idyllic locations, there are some ancient sites of tremendous interest in Stroud, such as the Long Stone, which is a large prehistoric rock.
There is also a series of ancient defensive walls known as Bulwards, and a splendid Gothic revival mansion in Woodchester Park.
Berkeley Castle is another building in the town that is both intriguing and eye-catching and it is a true hit with visitors. It is said to be the oldest inhabited castle in England. In the past, King Edward II was imprisoned and murdered there, and this occasion is marked with a celebration every September 21st.
Museum in the Park is a Grade II listed building from the 17th century that contains an exhibition on Stroud's past, making it the perfect place for anyone who wishes to learn more about the town and its history.
The Subscription Rooms is arguably the cultural hub of Stroud, with arts, entertainment and exhibitions throughout the year, as well as a 400-seat ballroom. There are several cinemas to ensure everyone in Nailsworth and Stroud can catch the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
And sporty individuals are not left out either, as the Stratford Park Leisure Centre is catered for their needs, with two swimming pools, a gym, a sauna and a number of sports halls.
Eating, drinking & shopping
Stroud's café culture is one of its strongest selling points, with many of the local residents choosing to spend their spare time sipping a hot beverage in a stylish venue or even on the street.
When it comes to eating out, the best bet is often to head to one of the many traditional pubs in the town, most of which offer a menu of delicious meals and refreshing drinks. No 23 Bar and Bistro, Fat Toni's and the Clothier's Arms are some of the most highly recommended establishments.
Nailsworth also has a selection of restaurants to offer diners, with The Olive Tree and Oldstone good options for locals.
In shopping terms, Stroud is truly unique, offering an eclectic mix of stores. Most of the shops are independently run and include jewellers, grocers, fashion stores and even a dedicated fossil outlet.
The highlight of the region's retail offering is the weekly farmers' market, which is held every Saturday. Some of the very best chefs in the UK have praised the market over the years, as it features not only the chance to stock up on local produce, but also cooking demonstrations and al fresco dining.
There are also a number of supermarkets available in the region, with Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury's in Stroud and Morrisons in Nailsworth.
Schools & healthcare
Many schools are found in Nailsworth and Stroud, all of which pledge to provide a good standard of education to youngsters. Indeed, some institutions in the area have been rated as outstanding by Ofsted.
Among the primary schools on offer, Callowell, Cashes Green and Foxmoor are available, while secondary schools include Stroud High and Thomas Keble.
Stroud General Hospital is a high-performing medical facility for all those in the region who require treatment for a particular problem. There are also smaller surgeries and clinics in both Stroud and Nailsworth for everyday matters.
Stroud has its own train station, making the region an easy one in which to travel by rail. Connections to London are direct and take 90 minutes to complete, while there is an hourly service to Swindon that takes 30 minutes to arrive. Other Gloucestershire towns such as Cheltenham and Gloucester can also be reached by train.
Some journeys can be a little trickier by road, with the slow and winding lanes of the Cotswolds required in a number of instances. However, Gloucestershire as a whole is well served by roads, with the M5, M4 and M40 all within a relatively short distance, so long-distance travel is easy.