This place shows trees in all their glory and will bring out the adventurer in everyone. With 17 miles of paths through the 15,000 labelled majestic timber (offering 2,500 different species) that hail from all over the world. Autumn here is magical and hide and seek just became a tad trickier.
You’ve not lived until you’ve experienced at least one trip to Giffords. Living up to the owners, Toti and Nell’s, dream of a small village circus awash with dance, noise and glamour it’s a show for everyone. Touring the southwest they’ve entertained over a quarter of a million enthralled people...and counting.
This bespoke tailor was founded by Tom Wharton, who is not only one of the loveliest people around, but also über-talented at his craft. Try this luxurious clothing service for men and women, from a shirt to wedding suit. Visit the showroom in town or he’ll happily come and see you by appointment.
Just a short drive out of Cirencester is this fabulous pub offering 15 beautifully decorated and comfortable rooms. The Inn dates back to the 16th century so each room has its own personality and occasional creaky floorboard. Food is outstanding, the staff is lovely and dogs and children are both welcome.
Whether it’s been a lifelong yearning or you just fancy a change of scene, albeit from way up high, then you must give gliding a go. You can take a one day course and marvel at the country’s most beautiful landscapes and apparently flying’s not as tricky as you might think.
Award-winning Octavia knows her stuff. With fantastic recommendations for kids and adults alike she’ll open your eyes to what’s worth reading. Browse classic and modern books and share the passion of literature that envelops you here. Read at leisure, join a book signing or indulge in a brilliant ‘book spa’.
Tucked away in the Corn Hall, here you can get your hands on just about the most delicious loaves of bread and cakes around. From brioches to fig and walnut rolls, moreish brownies and fruit bars, you’d be happy to put on a stone before you’ve even left the shop.
Go and watch beauty being created at this superb glassblowing studio. Set in the fabulous New Brewery Arts centre you can get close enough to feel the heat of the furnace. Jaw-droppingly beautiful glass creations to buy, surround you, such as the sleek and tactile pod vases.
You’ll get nothing but a warm welcome from staff here. The delicious menu offers everything from a juicy steak to virtuous salad. If you just fancy a break from shopping stop here for a cup of char, pint of Gem or, if you really deserve it, try the sublime espresso martini.
Set in the beauty of Cirencester Park, the club offers guests the perfect position to enjoy a picnic or a cracking four course lunch. Why not become a day member and learn how to play, then watch a professional match at one of the most historic and friendly polo clubs in the country.
Local lad wants to start a music festival, lad meets farmer who has a barn for hire and the rest is history. Just a few years’ old this glorious weekend has appealed to a wealth of talent for its intimacy including Ed Sheeran and George Ezra. Great tunes and great cider.
It's not often that a hotel’s gardens, shop and restaurant are famous in their own right, but they are at Cowley Manor. Stay in refreshingly contemporary rooms, marvel at 55 idyllic acres of garden, try the sumptuous restaurant and be sure to visit The Hambledon shop for very cool brands.
This newly-refurbished and stylish hotel is perfectly located in the centre of town and hosts 45 stunning bedrooms. If you are looking for a romantic getaway or simply a place to relax and unwind then book now. You’ll find vast showers and nespresso machines in each room. Totally and utterly glorious.
Whatever your bendy ability you’ll find the course for you. Set in the 19th-century Watermoor Villa, so quiet not even the locals know it’s there. The studio is light, airy and well-equipped. You’ll also find a car park so you don’t need to arrive to your class feeling stressed.
Locals and celebs rub shoulders in this beautiful, yet unpretentious haunt. Offering open fires, a skittle alley and a stunning private dining room, it’s definitely worth a peek. The wines are spectacular including old and new world and for those needing a pint there are real and guest ales on tap.
This award-winning pub, also offering rooms, has a vast array of drinks on offer including real cask ales. Set in an elegant 17th-century inn, in the centre of town, you’ll find an array of Thwaites beer and wines from all over the world. The food is also worth a trip.
You’ve not tried anything until you’ve had one of these masterpieces. Whether topped with ice cream or full English - these waffles are works of art. The waft of them being baked daily will undoubtedly draw you in like a hungry cartoon character. You’ll also find delicious tea, coffee and milkshakes.
This ‘Makers and Designers Emporium’ is one of those shops where you think you just pop in for a greetings card and somehow end up buying everything. A fantastic find with delightful handmade British designed pieces and over 250 artists represented. From jewellery to prints, you won’t find mass market goods here.
If looking for something delicious to drink then drop into this award-winning master merchant. With a huge stock of wines and spirits, you can taste what they’ve opened on Fridays and Saturdays. Alternatively you can ask them to arrange your own tasting to suit all budgets from conservative to hedonistic.
Set in this charming village just a short drive away from Cirencester. Here’s a place for all seasons - fires to warm up and a pretty garden to relax. You may think you’re just dropping in for a drink but our money’s on you looking at the tempting menu as well.
With only pure, local ingredients and glorious ice-cream flavours, Harriet’s Jolly Nice is definitely one to try. Located at an old petrol station between Stroud and Cirencester, you’ll find juicy burgers and creamy shakes served from Harriet’s glinting airstream. Don’t forget to pop into the adjacent farm shop too.
Sitting in the heart of Cirencester is this wonderfully healthy Japanese array. Try the tempting salmon or eel nigiri, special maki rolls or if really peckish tuck into a beautiful sushi platter. Cosy booths and friendly staff makes it worth a visit but you can pick up to go if you’re on the hoof.
Languishing beneath the stunning silhouette of the old barracks, is this pearl. Built in 1869, the pool is heated and full of spring water so you’ll feel virtuous even if just splashing about. There’s a paddling pool and slide to keep the little ones entertained as well as a welcome tuck shop.
It doesn’t get cosier or more local than this. In this grade II listed building, hidden away in one of Cirencester’s most historical streets, you’ll find comfortable and characterful rooms, a friendly bar and great food. The garden at the back is a hidden treasure and delightful to sit in during warmer months.
Set up in Cirencester over 30 years ago, this renowned toy shop has all its products tested personally by the owner (a proud father of three) and stocks leading brands including a whole room devoted to Lego. Crocodile offers a great selection from baby toys to teen gadgets with realistic prices.
Here you’ll feel part-Urbanite, part-Bear Grylls eating seasonal, sustainable wild meat from camping tins and drinking from jam jars. Proprietors William and Calum Thompson adore game and opened Eat Wild following huge success at festivals. You can also buy directly, including dinner party kits, from their website.
Highly entertaining way to keep fit with friends whatever the age. You will naturally spend a little time rolling around on the floor like an upturned tortoise but when isn’t that fun? Perfect for kids and adults for 5,6 or 7 aside games. If footy’s not your thing then give bubble bulldog a go.
There’s nothing more rocking than a Roman and this treasure shows you all you need to know. Walk way back in time to experience how they really rolled, dress up your little one like a fearsome soldier or enjoy a classic film like Brief Encounter in the museum’s dinky cinema.
Tucked away behind its fabulous butcher in Blackjack Street is this gem. Offering an imaginative menu of fresh fish, seafood and meat all sourced from the SW of England. The menus are varied, such as the mouthwatering A la carte and daily menu offering two courses for under £20.
Right in the heart of Cirencester is this elegant lifestyle store offering a range of beautiful clothing, accessories, homeware and skincare products. Family run, for over 40 years, you’ll find rows of fabulous brands from Anya Hindmarch bags to Gary Birks’ quirky mugs - guaranteed there’ll be something you can’t do without.
This Cirencester chameleon is the perfect place to visit for time out. Elegant and relaxed during the day offering fabulous food, including power salads and hot sandwiches, then it transforms into a spirited place to hang out at night, particularly at the weekend with an excellent list of cheeky cocktails.
Built in the early 1800s, this award-winning collection of artists will get your creative pulses racing. Opened by Grayson Perry in 2008, it’s informative and friendly with a number of events and workshops available. Wander into the studios to watch artists at work then browse through beautiful things in the shop. The cafe is definitely worth a gander too.
Situated just outside Northleach, this centre has a fabulous indoor and outdoor walls. Children can start as young as aged 3 in the climbing area, as well as enjoying a mini cave and slide. Join them or watch them clamber with glee whilst you scale your way over to the cafe.
The place to go if you’re tired of tweed. This skateboarding haven has a humungous stash of cool clothing including t-shirts, trainers and trousers. Thankfully you don’t have to pitch up on a skateboard to be let in but you may well find yourself hooked and wanting to leave on one.
If you’re an early bird, hop over to Made by Bob for a delicious breakfast, from granola and croissants to kippers and full english, you’ll not want to leave. In fact don’t - stay on for lunch and afternoon tea and watch it all being cooked in front of you. The menu changes daily with seasonal produce plus a wonderful deli to browse.
What could be more exhilarating than running? Doing it whilst getting blasted with paint. Join the Flying Colours Run held at Kemble airport for the Cotswold Care Hospice with either the 5k fun run or 1k Little Paint Dash for kids. Who knew you looked so good in pink, orange, purple...
As well as it’s outstanding beauty, the Cotswolds is renowned for it’s fantastic fare. Try chef Rob Rees’ exploratory tour to find out why the area is so unique and sample for yourself. From wine tasting, cooking to shopping at markets in the right way, Rob will teach you well.
Sit back and relax on elegant sofas whilst ordering a seemingly endless list of drinks. Start with a heavenly afternoon tea (from 2pm-5pm) and then once the teacups and crumbs are cleared away you can crack on with the extensive bar menu - from champagne to cranberry including some impressive cocktails.
If you fancy the idea of self catering in luxury and style, without breaking the bank, then there are two gorgeous houses to choose from in Battel Mews. Both houses are modern yet traditionally and tastefully furnished and include well-equipped kitchens with the bonus of being in central Cirencester.
Surely this has to be on everyone’s Bucket List. Be trained by professionals to wingwalk and see the Cotswolds from a true bird's eye perspective. Flying at speeds of up to 130mph, wind in your hair, adrenalin pumping, we reckon it will take at least a fortnight to stop grinning.
Always thought you knew the country roads like the back of your hands? Well now’s your chance to show off. Seriously thrilling and competitive driving with one to one coaching. From £15, feel the crunch of the gravel track and go home with a lot of stories to tell.
For total relaxation try Yoo retreats. There’s a special four day itinerary including walking, yoga and ritual bathing (ooo er). Set up in collaboration with skincare range ILA, the retreats are available for up to eight guests in one of the lake fronting homes amongst 650 acres of beautiful Cotswold countryside.
We’re not just talking one big pool here, we’ve got 150 of them set in over 40 square miles. The various lakes offer a multitude of fun including walks on beaches, cycling, waterskiing, kayaking and swimming. Look out for Adventure Zone’s offering - brilliant activities for years 8 and up.
Thrilling times lie ahead at the Cotswold Water Park. Even if you’ve never set foot on a board before you’ll be guided by friendly and professional staff. If you just want to be pulled along on the board or fancy trying a couple of tricks, everyone will be cheering you on.
Solve the clues from this downloadable treasure trail and enjoy the town at its finest. This route is about two miles long and starts in the bustling market square and heads towards the beautiful Abbey grounds. You’ll no doubt discover a few things that even the locals didn’t know.
Just outside Cirencester you’ll find this stunning home-from-home (if you’ve got incredible taste and style that is). Take a group of friends for a spa or just hideaway in your luxurious room with your very own home cinema, followed by a drink over the road in the renowned Village Pub.
If you’re looking for a pub with history and a view then try The Tunnel Inn just outside town. Overlooking the old canal it offers glorious outside space overlooking acres of fields and lovely walks to take after your drink or lunch.
We find that you start with the kids decorating ceramics and then the grown ups, watching and guiding, simply can’t help themselves and get stuck in too. Choose pottery from a vast range of styles and then head up to the airy studio to get painting...watch out Emma Bridgewater.