The heart of Minchinhampton is almost unaltered with its narrow streets and cottages built in mellow Cotswold stone. Many of the buildings date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when it flourished as a market centre for the surrounding farmland and the medieval wool trade.
Minchinhampton is surrounded by some of the most beautiful common land in the country where horses and cattle roam freely - a tradition of farms in the area that have medieval rights to graze cattle. The commons, managed by the National Trust are host to a diverse range of fauna and flora, some unique to this limestone upland, including wild orchids and the rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly. Evidence of pre-Roman settlement can also be seen. The commons offer a breath taking panoramic view of the Stroud Valleys and are the perfect place for picnics, kite flying, walking and horse riding. Minchinhampton Common is also home to one of the earliest golf clubs in the West of England.
The Princess Royal lives at Gatcombe Park on the edge of town and she hosts the Festival of British Eventing in August, incorporating the British Open, Intermediate and Novice Championships. As well as a weekend of top class eventing there is a shopping village, arena attractions and entertainment for all the family. Smaller events are held in the Spring and Autumn.
The town itself is a foodies paradise, with award winning cafés and restaurants, complimented by one of the area’s finest family butchers. Additionally an organic dairy, farm shop and other independent shops add to a wide range of niche facilities. On Thursday mornings there is a bustling Country Market in the seventeenth century Market House, selling local produce, home made cakes, crafts and jewellery and an itinerant fishmonger completes the package.