Cirencester is the Roman capital of the Cotswolds, Roman Corinium. It's an ancient market town with traditional Cotswold buildings and thriving shopping centre. It's worth spending a morning here, especially on a Saturday. Every other Saturday there is a farmer's market. People are very friendly and it's easy to get in. The town is famous for its polo connections in the Cirencester Great Park, and for the Royal Agricultural College.
There is a National Express Bus service to Heathrow Airport and London Victoria from the Beeches Car Park (near the town center).
Parking in Cirencester has become more expensive, but there are many car parks near the centre. There is also parking on the high street, but not on market days.
The town is small enough to walk around on foot, and was pedestrianised in early 2017.
- 1 The Roman Amphitheatre, Cotswold Avenue, Cirencester. On the outskirts of the town is an original mound formation used for entertainment during Roman times. In winter the locals like to use for tobogganing! Owned by English Heritage.
- 2 Corinium Museum, Park Street, Cirencester, ☎ . M-Sa 10AM-5PM; Su 2PM-5PM. Excellent visitor attraction in the town centre about the town's Roman heritage.
- 3 Parish Church of St John the Baptist. Called the 'Cathedral of the Cotswolds', this is an impressive large church right in the centre of the town.
- 4 Abbey Grounds (Behind the Church). 9AM-5PM. This is a large park that was a Catholic Abbey before its destruction by Henry VIII.
- 1 Outdoor Swimming Pool (Near Gloucester Street). Swim outdoors in the summer
- 2 New Brewery Arts, Brewery Court (Off Cricklade Street - by the Brewery Car park). M-Sa 9AM-5PM; Su 10AM-4PM. A centre for contemporary craft in the Cotswolds - a gallery, shop, cafe and on-site makers studios, all open to the public. Regular workshop and events. Buildings house a lift, ramps and aerial walkways giving over 90% wheelchair access. The Barrel Store has specially adapted rooms for guests with access needs. Disabled toilet facilities are available on the ground floor. Disabled car parking is available in the adjoining car park. Assistance dogs are welcome. Free.
There are the typical high-street chains here, but there are some good special local shops in Dyer Street, the Market Place and in Black Jack Street behind the church.
A great locally-owned fresh fish shop, New Wave, in Dyer Street, sells quality sustainable Cornish fish and shellfish, as well as homemade fishpies, fishcakes and potted shrimp.
- Greasy Joes (On the edge of Cirencester near the large Tesco towards Swindon.). Cheap trucker fry ups.
- 1 West Corning Pasty Company, Cricklade Street. English chain restaurant selling warm pasties for a few pounds. Close enough to the Abby Grounds for a quick picnic on a summer day.
- 5 Jesse's Bistro, Black Jack Street, ☎ . A really good bistro experience, connected to their own butcher shop on Black Jack street. £15 and up.
- 6 Soushi, 12 Castle Street, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Japanese restaurant with good quality fish although other ingredients such as miso seem to be instant varieties. Although not as good as your options in London, this is probably the best place in Cirencester for East Asian food. £9 and up for lunch.
- The Crown. West Market Place (facing the front of the church, it will be directly left of you). Reasonable beer. Unexciting chain pub.
- Somewhere Else, Castle Street. Pub-atmosphere bar, fantastic tapas, good late night atmosphere. Friendly.
- Twelve Bells, good food, good beer and a friendly cosy environment.
- The Wheatsheaf, on Cricklade Street. The place to watch sport.
- The Oddfellows. Refurbished but ordinary beers. Chester Street. Walking distance of town centre.
- The Rock Nightclub!, in the shopping piazza.. Where everyone ends up; even Prince Harry has been spotted here!
- The Bees Knees, Watermoor Road. The place to watch rugby.
- 1 The Black Horse (Castle Street). Real ale. Great place to meet friends.
- The Old Bungalow Guest House. 6 quality bed and breakfast en suite rooms (2 of which are located on the ground floor). 2 self-catering properties also available. Secure gated parking and Wifi. A few minutes walk from the centre of this historic market town.
- Stratton House Hotel, Gloucester Road, GL7 2LE, ☎ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Close to town, good for a break in the Cotswolds. From £45.
- The Old Brewhouse Bed and Breakfast. The Old Brewhouse in Cirencester is a delightful 17th-century town house bed and breakfast full of charm and character, sympathetically restored and refurbished offering high quality accommodation.
- Le Spa Hotel, in Stratton, short walk from town centre, Cotswold Manor House with superb spa and events facilities.
- The Fleece Hotel, High street. 1651 restaurant.
- 1 De Vere Cotswold Water Park, Lake 6, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: WaterParkReservations@devere.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Four Pillars Hotel Group. 4-star hotel and apartments on the Lakes at South Cerney, outside Cirencester. It has 28 bedrooms, 21 meeting and event suites, a spa, bar and restaurant. £58-119.
- Talbot Inn, 14 Victoria Road (From centre of town, at church, head East along road two hundred yards to junction with Victoria Road), ☎ . About £100 for a double.