Encircled by five sweeping valleys opening out to the River Severn and made famous by Laurie Lee’s novel “Cider with Rosie”, the scenery is dramatic around Stroud. It is a great meeting place, with direct links to London, making it a Bohemian/café/gallery/ bookshop sort of place. Jasper Conran described the town as ‘the Covent Garden of the Cotswolds'.
Stroud and its surrounding villages provide a great base from which to explore the undiscovered south Cotswolds as well as for day trips to Bristol and Bath.
At a time when the prevalence of chain stores has turned many of Britain’s High Streets into soulless copies of each other, Stroud is a welcome relief. With a bohemian vibe and an enviable array of independent shops, Stroud offers a unique shopping experience unrivalled by any town or city in the locality. Brimming with character and standing amidst the dramatic backdrop of the Five Valleys, Stroud has an eclectic mix of shops in the most beautiful of settings. Where else would you find a specialist fairy store as you shopped for your groceries, or stumble across a fossil shop as you sauntered through the streets?
The award-winning Farmers' Market is weekly (Saturday) and is one of the best in the country. This is a place that repays investigation, especially for the quality and variety of artists at work in the area – you could also choose to take part in one of the many traditional workshops!
Throughout the summer months, street performers will entertain you every Saturday morning. There is a full programme of music and theatre throughout the year – a true hub of cultural events.
Stroud is most often characterised as grittier than its Cotswold neighbours with an inimitable mix of landscape and industrial heritage. The mills strung along the valleys and the town’s landmark buildings, inform the creative spirit of the town. Nearby Stratford Park offers a range of indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, a lakeside walk and the Museum in the Park.
The town has a state of the art cinema and the Subscription Rooms hosts a variety of live events in a handsome late Regency building in the heart of the town.
Discover the heritage of Stroud through our heritage board map trail. Pop in to the Stroud Tourist Information Centre in the Subscription Rooms to pick up a copy.
For more information about the area contact our visitor centres.