Cirencester – The Capital of the Cotswolds

The beautiful town of Cirencester is the largest town in the Cotswolds and often referred to as the capital of the Cotswolds. This title is definitely accurate, as the town boasts many magnificent sites to discover and a selection of great activities making it the perfect place to visit during your Cotswolds holiday.

Explore the historic streets to find historic buildings such as the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist. Learn about local Roman history at the Corinium Museum, visit the ancient amphitheatre, watch artists create contemporary art right in front of your eyes at the Contemporary Arts Centre, explore the weekly markets and enjoy a calming walk at Cirencester Park.

Cirencester is located on the River Churn around 20 miles to the southeast of Gloucester and 93 miles to the northwest of London.

There are many superb attractions in Cirencester from natural parks to stunning historic buildings. We definitely recommend taking your time as you explore the town, so maybe visit more than once during your holiday, so you get to see it all.

Why not start by heading to the west end of town where you will find the wonderfully natural Cirencester Park, which boasts impressive landscaping and offers the ideal setting for a scenic walk with the family. Covering around three thousand acres, you won’t be short of areas to explore and see if you can spot some of the local wildlife. During your visit to the park you may also get the chance to see inside the on-site barracks, which dates back to 1898 and was once the headquarters of the 4th Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment.

If you love visiting museums to learn about the Cotswolds historic past then you’re in luck, as Cirencester is home to the Corinium Museum. Here you will see one of the best collections of Roman antiquities from Roman times with full-scale reconstructions. Continue your journey into local Roman history by visiting the ancient Roman amphitheatre that lies nearby. It is one of the best preserved in the country and once held around eight thousand spectators.

Discover more recent historic sites by heading into the centre of town to the market square. You won’t be able to miss the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, which is also known as the Cathedral of the Cotswolds. It was built in 1490 and features stunning architecture and an even more impressive interior – it is considered to be one of the largest in England.

For those who appreciate art, why not pay a visit to the Contemporary Arts Centre found in the heart of the town where you will find twelve businesses specialising in creating lovely contemporary craft. You will get to see artists in action and you will also have the opportunity to buy some art right there on the spot.

If you love shopping you won’t be short of shops to explore and best of all, the town still holds markets during the week. These markets feature a range of products, with fresh produce at the farmers markets and unique collectables at the popular crafts & antiques markets.

Approximately 3 miles away you will find the beautiful Cotswold Water Park, 40 square miles area which is made up of over 150 lakes encompassing 14 Cotswold villages, country parks and offers numerous watersports and opportunities to see some amazing wildlife. A lovely place to stay for a holiday with a number of lakeside holiday cottage developments.

Due to the popularity of the town with tourists, you won’t have to look far before you find a conveniently spacious car park. Simply park up and start exploring the town. There are some very close to the centre of town, so you won’t have to worry about travelling far on foot before you come across some of the most popular attractions.