Top places to live in Gloucestershire Fairford
Far from the madding Cotswold crowd yet all the perks of a historic market town. This family-centric town's motto is 'a good place to be' and who are we to argue.
Sitting on an idyllic stretch of the River Coln, Fairford scores highly for being a des res town on so many fronts. With great schools, spectacular countryside and lakes minutes away, a farmers market and great sprinkling of indie businesses, it’s a top choice.
You’re within a 25-minute dash of major towns and a train station and it’s a place with a real family focus, holding year-round events such as The Fairford Festival and the famous Royal Air Tattoo. RAF Fairford is here so the town is home to lots of US service families too, but its feel is still quintessential Cotswolds.
Lovely houses abound within its 17th and 18th century lanes, and its crowning glory, St Mary’s Church, has 28 beautiful stained glass windows. They’re reckoned to be the finest collection in the UK and recently loaned to the V&A for an exhibition.
The fresh sourdough loaves, pastries and paninis at artisan bakery Lynwood & Co are dee-licious – and the fab roasted coffee is worth the visit alone. The Coffee Post is another brilliant place for a bite to eat, an award-winning coffee shop serving up homemade treats in the centre of town. Popular amongst locals too is 7A a family-run coffee shop with stand-out brownies and a lovely little enclosed garden to sit in. In the mood for a classic Cotswold pub? There are five pubs within easy reach – head for The Bull, a Grade II coaching inn that’s popular with locals and The George (in nearby Kempsford), with it’s new garden pods for alfresco eating. For a taste of Italy try the locally popular Colosseo.
The town has a regular traditional market every Wednesday, a continental market twice a year and a festive market for Christmas. Carrying on an ancient tradition, the Fairford Town Crier “cries” in the Market Place on the first Wednesday of every month. For shops Iris and Wilf is a Cotswold florist that does beautiful seasonal blooms for any occasion, Hector & Queen is an online store based in Fairford with pop-ups that has gorgeous gifts and pay a visit to the Coln Gallery for art galore. Luxury outdoor designer outlet Bicester Village with 160+ boutiques and restaurants is just under an hour away.
Watersport lovers rejoice. You are minutes from the spectacular Cotswold Water Park in Fairford, 40 square miles of nature-filled lakes, including the Cotswold Country Park, the UK’s largest inland beach. Try your hand at paddle boarding, windsurfing or kayaking. Famous Cotswold villages abound on your doorstep – try Bibury ten minutes away with its famous Arlington Row (which feature as background images on the pages of UK passports). You can visit Bibury Trout Farm for a BBQ or to catch your own fish. You are also near the brilliant bustling market towns of Cirencester (6 miles) and Lechlade-upon-Thames. The Cotswold-only dedicated indoor and outdoor climbing centre Far Peak is just 20 minutes away near Fossebridge too.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
Properties in Fairford had an overall average price of £423,352 in 2021. With detached properties, selling for an average price of £558,509 and terraced properties selling for an average of £303,662.
Farmor’s School is the main state secondary in Fairford and has a great local reputation. Fairford C of E Primary School was rated ‘Outstanding’ in its 2019 Ofsted report. Just 10 minutes away is Hatherop Castle, a highly regarded, family-focused independent prep school for ages 3 – 13 with stunning grounds, great facilities, and a pre-prep that has just had a fresh makeover.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Fairford is home to the biggest military air show in the world! The Royal International Air Tattoo is a wildly brilliant day out. It’s back for 2022 (15th – 17th July) after two pandemic-hit years of virtual flybys, expect gravity-defying air shows, displays and more. Around 250 aircraft from around the world touch down at the event with jaw-dropping aerobatics and fly-pasts.
Not too bad at all, you are nine miles north of Swindon, where trains leave regularly for London Paddington, you can be door to door to the capital in under an hour. The dreaming spires of Oxford are just 45 minutes away by car.
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