Cirencester is often referred to as the capital of the Cotswold region, largely due to it’s size and status from Roman times, when it was known as Corinium and was the second largest town in the country, second only to London.
Today Cirencester is the largest town in the South Cotswolds and a wonderful town for shopping, dining out and cultural events and activities. Cirencester is home also to Cirencester Park, the home and grounds of the Bathurst Estate currently managed by Lord and Lady Bathurst.
Owned by the Bathurst Estate, Cirencester Park is essentially Lord and Lady Bathurst’s backyard. And what backyard it is. Open to the public, this beautiful park overlooking the Bathurst’s residence, is something of an oasis for locals and visitors to the town. So take your dog for a walk – you may even bump in to Lady B and her dogs if you do – your horse for a ride or simply take a stroll, whatever your reason for a walk in the park, there are none more delightful in this area than Cirencester Park. Open to the public every day throughout the year from 8am to 5pm.
Black Jack Street
One of Cirencester’s oldest streets, Jack Black Street, right next to the church in the centre of town. The street got it’s name not from an old pirate, like many think when they first hear it, but from a statue of St John the Baptist that became blackened over the years and then was referred to only as Black Jack. The statue is long gone from Jack Black Street which is now one of the most wonderful and, dare we say, trendy streets in Cirencester, if not all of the Cotswolds. Full of lovely independent shops and eateries, Jack Black Street is everything the British High Street of late is not: Vibrant and full of life, welcoming to locals and visitors alike and embracing individuality. Truly worth a visit and the jewel in the crown of Cirencester’s High Street.
Known far and wide for their amazing award-winning burgers, Eat Wild in Cirencester should be at the top of your list of places to eat when in Cirencester. Opened in 2010 by local brothers Will and Calum Thompson. The two had a vision to bring real food to real people by harvesting and producing sustainably sourced wild meat and game. And as they set out, so they succeeded, making Eat Wild THE place to go for great food in Cirencester.
Octavia’s Bookshop on Jack Black Street started it’s life as mainly a children’s book shop and cemented it’s reputation as one of the best of it’s kind in the country. It has since expanded to also include titles for grown-ups, national and international bestsellers as well as a wide range of reference books.
Hazel says, “Octavia’s is just the best book shop ever. I love going in, whether alone or with the kids, it’s an adventure every single time”.
The King’s Head Spa
Ahh, a day at the spa. What could be more delightful and relaxing? Nothing, that’s what. And I Cirencester, the best of the best is the spa at The King’s Head, right in the centre of town. Offering beauty treatments, massages and a delightful hot tub, you’ll leave relaxed and happy after a visit to the spa at the King’s Head.
Most people love a good kitchen shop. And those who do, will fall head over heels for Steamer Trading in Cirencester. Stocked to the brim with the best and the newest in kitchen gadgets and accessories, it’s an amazing shop and one you won’t want to miss when in Cirencester.
The Sundial Theatre
For a wonderful, theatrical experience in Cirencester, The Sundial Theatre is where you want to go. Showing a versatile array of plays, musicals, pantos and concerts throughout the year, you’re sure to find the perfect cultural event at The Sundial Theatre in Cirencester.
For a truly magnificent experience, a visit to the historical Amphitheatre just outside Cirencester town centre is a must. The Cirencester Amphitheatre is among the largest surviving sites of it’s kind from the Roman occupation of this country. This was a time when Cirencester, then known as Corinium, was the second largest town in Britain after London. This large town needed a rather sizeable amphitheatre and with it’s oval shape it had a capacity of around 10.000 people.
With it’s 2 AA Rosettes and mentions in the 2016 Michelin Guide, Good Food Guide and Harden’s Guide, Jesse’s Bistro has cemented itself as one of THE places to go for a fine dining experience in Cirencester and, indeed, the Cotswolds. Located in a quiet courtyard on the famous Jack Black Street in the centre of town, Jesse’s Bistro offers you a warm welcome, the very best culinary experience and a wonderful wine list.