With its dramatic Cotswolds landscape, unique arts and crafts heritage, fabulous festivals and independent shops, the Stroud District is the least commercialised and unexplored area for a holiday in the Cotswolds.
In fact, Lonely Planet recently named the South Cotswolds as one of Europe's best kept secrets. If you are looking for a lovely, Cotswolds weekend away, why not have a look at our Special Offers.
Plan which Cotswolds Events and Festivals to attend throughout the year on our What's On page.
Stroud Named as a Must-Visit Place for Amazing Vintage Fashion Finds
|Vintage Shopping in Stroud|
MSN has picked the town of Stroud as one of the top ten must-visit places to search out vintage treasures. Stroud is known for its independent shopping and has become a mecca for unearthing vintage finds.
In the centre of town, you’ll find three dedicated vintage clothing stores, three second hand book shops, five antique/second hand furniture shops and two record shops selling vinyl.
Not only all this, but every Friday and Saturday, the Shambles Market is open for business and great for browsing vintage jewellery, crafts and second hand books.
Visit at the weekend and Stroud’s award-winning Saturday Farmers’ Market, and the newly reintroduced Sunday Market (first Sunday of the month), create a real buzz in this bohemian town.
To find out more about vintage shopping in Stroud, download the Vintage Map (below).
Vintage Shopping in Stroud - Download PDF
Stroud Sunday Market Returns
|Stroud Sunday Market|
The popular Stroud Sunday Market has returned to the town centre for 2015. It will be held on the first Sunday of the month on the forecourt outside the Subscription Rooms.
There will be a focus on arts and crafts from local makers, while regular entertainment will attract locals and visitors. Mr Twitchett’s Coffee House & Bar & and the Tourist Information Centre will be open during the market.
Location, Location, Location: Poldark, The Casual Vacancy & Wolf Hall filmed in the South Cotswolds
|Berkeley Castle (seen in Wolf Hall)|
'Poldark' is the latest BBC drama to use the Cotswolds as a location. Chavenage House, between Nailsworth and Tetbury, is the setting for the Poldark family's Cornish home.
Chavenage House was also used in the recent adaptation of 'Wolf Hall.' The success of this historical drama also shone a light on other south Cotswolds' locations such as Berkeley Castle. Its inner bailey and Great Hall can be spotted in various scenes.
Viewers of BBC1’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’ may have spotted the beautiful locations used in the Stroud District. The fictitious village of Pagford is not just one village, but a mix of Painswick, Minchinhampton and Bisley (as well as Northleach and Burford).
While the buildings housing Samantha’s Boudoir and Pagford Library can be found in Painswick, Barry Fairbrother’s house was in Bisley. The Mollison family party was held in Minchinhampton's Market House. Pagford Church is actually a combination of Painswick and Bisley churches.
Attractions - Historic Houses
Towns & Villages - More information
Vintage Finds & Antique Treasures
BBC Homes & Antiques Magazine recently visited Stroud, Nailsworth and Painswick to unearth some hidden treasures. In the February 2015 issue, Eleanor O'Kane visits this alternative Cotswold destination and discovers award-winning markets, antique shops and a newly vibrant vintage shopping trail.
Towns & Villages - more information
BBC Homes & Antiques Magazine - website
NEW Cotswolds & Severn Vale 7 day circular cycling tour
|Cycling the Cotswolds in one day|
|NEW cycling map|
A group of four cyclists recently undertook the challenge of completing a 180-mile circular tour of the Cotswolds in just one day. During their ride, they came across beautiful, hidden villages they hadn't known of before.
Instead of cycling the whole route all in one go, how about trying the NEW Cotswolds & Severn Vale 7-day circular cycling tour? The waterproof maps can be purchased from Stroud TIC for £3.99.
Cotswolds 7-day circular route - Find out more
Launch of the new Laurie Lee Wildlife Way on the author's centenary day
|Jessy Lee & Cerys Matthews on centenary day|
This new six mile circular walk, launched on what would have been Laurie Lee's 100th birthday, follows 10 poetry posts around the wildlife-rich Slad Valley, linking the work of Gloucestershire's most famous twentieth century writer with the landscape that inspired him. An 11th post is situated at the Museum in the Park in Stroud.
Find out more about this walk in the Feature Walks on the link below:
Explore the Stroudwater Canal
|Stroudwater Canal at St Cyr's|
This beautiful Royal Geographical Society walk, along the canal towpath from Stroud to Stonehouse, tells the story of the Stroud Valley (in both audio and visual format). With plenty to observe along the way including mills, locks, bridges, warehouses, beautiful scenery and wildlife.
Royal Geographical Society - Discovering Britain Stroud Canal Walk
Why are we so proud of Stroud?
|Strolling on Stroud's Commons|
Read why Tracy Spiers is 'Proud of Stroud' and its dramatic landscapes, unique arts and crafts, independent shops and fabulous festivals. Find out more about the 100th anniversary celebrations of famous author, Laurie Lee, and renowned sculptor Lynn Chadwick.
Cotswold Tourism 2014 Award Winners
|Slimbridge WWT - Gold Winner|
Congratulations to all the Cotswolds Tourism award winners in the Stroud District:
Slimbridge WWT – Large Visitor Attraction of the Year (gold)
Tudor Caravan & Camping – Holiday Park of the Year (gold)
Hatton Court – Large Hotel of the Year (silver)
Cattle Country, Museum in the Park, Old Passage Inn, Stroud Festival of Nature, Sudgrove Cottages and Woodchester Lodge B&B all won bronze awards.
Get your walking boots on...
This is the perfect time for strolling around the Stroud District.
For more ideas, click on the link to our walking pages or have a look at the Sunday Times walks article featuring The Slad Valley:
A Great British Weekend in the South Cotswolds (The Times)
|William's Food Hall, Nailsworth|
If you're looking for inspiration for a weekend away, read all about the South Cotswolds, described in The Times as 'A far cry from the twee Cotswolds that most people know', including the small market towns of Berkeley, Minchinhampton and Nailworth.
Download the Cotswolds Visitor Guide
|Cotswolds Visitor Guide 2015|
Discover more about the Stroud District, where to stay and what to see and do in the rest of the Cotswolds in the OFFICIAL Cotswolds Visitor Guide 2015. Features include 'Time for Yourself', 'Food & Drink' and 'Come Rain or Shine' fun for the family. Click the link below to view the guide online or find out how to get one.
Cotswolds Visitor Guide - More information
|Independent shopping in Stroud District|
Whether you're a local or a visitor, enjoy special offers and discounts from a wide range of shops and businesses all over the Stroud District with a Shop Local loyalty card, sponsored by Stroud District Council. Pick up one for free from Stroud Tourist Information Centre or participating businesses. Click below to find out which businesses are taking part.
Stroud District Loyalty Card - List of participating businesses
|Stroud Farmers Market|
The Seven Wonders of the Cotswolds
Stroud's award-winning Farmers' Market and the unfinished gothic masterpiece, Woodchester Mansion, have been voted by the public as two of the Seven Wonders of the Cotswolds.
The Seven Wonders of the Cotswolds - more information
Woodchester Mansion - find out more
Stroud Farmers' Market - find out more
STROUD IN THE COTSWOLDS
This least commercialised and unexplored area of the Cotswolds is presented among valleys, vales and wolds. This dramatic mix of landscape, coupled with unique heritage, unspoiled villages and market towns are all here waiting to be discovered.
The Cotswolds is renowned for being an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is convenient to access famous points of interest such as Stratford upon Avon, Cotswold villages, Bristol, Bath and the Welsh Borders.
The Stroud district boasts an exciting and contemporary art scene, with the likes of Damien Hirst, Cleo Mussi and the Pangolin foundry in residence, making the area positively unique.