Stroud - Covent Garden of the Cotswolds
Brimming with independent shops, cafés and galleries and home to one of the best Farmers Markets in the country, bohemian Stroud has been described by Jasper Conran as ‘the Covent Garden of the Cotswolds’. Here you will find an eclectic mix of shops against the dramatic backdrop of the beautiful Five Valleys, easily reachable (within 90 mins) by direct public transport links to London. Where else would you find a specialist fairy store, two vinyl record stores and a fossil shop as you saunter through the streets?
Whether you are looking for a hotel, inn, cosy bed & breakfast, self-catering cottage, campsite or yurt, there is a wide range of accommodation around the town of Stroud and nearby villages including Brimscombe, Amberley, Chalford, Nailsworth and Painswick.
Woollen Mill Heritage
Stroud is most often characterised by its industrial heritage, where former textile mills still stand proud, strung along the valleys. Wimbledon tennis ball cloth and championship snooker baize are still made here today. Other former working mills open to visitors to enjoy guided tours on certain days of the year. In the town itself, many interesting landmark buildings contribute to its creative spirit. Discover the heritage of Stroud through the Heritage Board Map Trail. Pop into Stroud Tourist Information Centre to pick up a copy.
Arts, Crafts and Festivals
Unsurprisingly, Stroud has become a centre for the creative industries with many writers, artists and craftspeople taking up residence in the five sweeping valleys encircling the town, made famous by Laurie Lee’s “Cider with Rosie”. Throughout the year, the town is home to a varied programme of festivals and events including the International Textiles Festival and month-long Site art festival where open-studio tours allow a glimpse into artists’ homes and studios.
Picnics on the Commons
The Cotswold Way runs through Stroud and 600 acres of National Trust land forming Rodborough, Minchinhampton and Selsley Commons overlook the town. The commons are particularly popular during the weekend or light summer evenings where you will find a mix of walkers, horse-riders, paragliders, kite-flyers, picnicking families and those looking for a delicious, locally-made Winstones ice-cream.
The Renaissance of the Canals
This less discovered area of the Cotswolds is criss-crossed with canals and work is currently underway to restore the Stroudwater canal back to its former glory. Enjoy a walk or cycle along the tow path (Thames and Severn Way) stopping at a traditional pub or café on the way - be sure to try a refreshing pint of one of Stroud’s locally brewed ales. To find out more, drop into the Canal Visitor Centre
located at Wallbridge Lock in Stroud.
Find out more about Stroud and the Five Valleys here