Top places to live in Gloucestershire Nailsworth
A buzzy, artistic haven full of cool boutiques, restaurants and galleries this pretty town with a great community spirit should be top of your property-search list. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
There’s a real buzz around the artistic market town of Nailsworth and for good reason. In recent years it has really pinned itself to the map. So what’s new? Amazing artisan eateries, indie boutiques and all manner of funky start-ups, that’s what. If you’re a coffee lover, cafe culture is strong here with lots of great pit-stops including Hobbs House Bakery (owned by the Fabulous Baker Brothers – Tom and Henry Herbert – and featured on their TV show). Besides the numerous restaurants and cafes, it retains a strong community feel with bakers, deli, fishmonger, hardware store, butchers, craft shops, bookshops, art galleries and garden centre. At its heart is a pretty main square scattered with alfresco tables around an hourly chiming clock tower where you can sip your flat white as the Nailsworth Stream runs past.
Nailsworth has a beautiful location, nestled in a lush wooded area below Minchinhampton Common, it’s also 10 minutes from bustling Stroud with its brilliant Five Valleys street food complex (winner of Muddy’s Best Places to Live 2020). Plus there’s The Nailsworth Festival, a family-friendly arts and music festival which draws in all ages and is held every May.
You’ll be spoilt for choice. The Canteen is a wonderfully quirky cafe where everyone flocks for locally-sourced food prepared from scratch. William’s Food Hall and Oyster Bar (a Muddy Awards Finalist 2021 no less) does incredible seafood, oysters and lobster. Egypt Mill is a great all-rounder for waterside eating and the award-winning popular Olive Tree has great food and a new outside covered terrace for alfresco dining.
Nailsworth centre is awash with indie joy. Plant shop Junglist with their modern take on botanicals is a must-visit for houseplants and pots. Armed and Gorgeous is jewellery and gift heaven (and winner of the Muddy Best Gift Shop 2021) as is James Lear of Arundel, with its racks of gorgeous gifts. And one of Muddy’s favourite places to browse and buy is Domestic Science, an emporium of vintage and lifestyle homewares packed with gorgeous stuff. Love a market? There’s a lively Farmers’ Market every fourth Saturday of the month.
Head to Minchinhampton and Rodborough Common via the famous Nailsworth Ladder – a lovely wooded route (or by car for the less energetic). Make it to the top and be treated to miles of stunning walks, incredible 360 degree views and free-roaming cattle.
Pop in for ice-cream at Winstone’s ice-cream parlour in the middle of the Common and end up at The Bear of Rodborough, a huge country pub with a funky beer garden. Nearby you could also pay a visit to the (purportedly) haunted Woodchester Mansion, a stunning Gothic revival building, or venture a bit further still to the 18th century Rococo Garden in Painswick, 15 minutes away.
The Nailsworth Festival is a family-friendly festival and draws in all ages. Happening every May, it’s a riot of art and music events.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
£364,391. Not cheap, but prices remain pretty reasonable here still for the Cotswolds, and you can pick up a terraced house for an average of £263,195. Head to the surrounding hills with their mind-blowing views and expect to pay a premium however, with 4 bed detached homes selling for around £800,000 upwards.
The academic rural idyll doesn’t come much better than at Beaudesert School. This independent flexi-boarding and day, pre-prep and prep school for girls and boys aged 3 to 13, is set in the most glorious grounds just steps from Minchinhampton Common. The holistic and alternative Acorn School sits at the heart of the town. Nearby Woodchester C of E Primary School is rated ‘Outstanding’ and Nailsworth C of E Primary has a ‘Good’ rating. You’re spoilt for choice with grammars for both sexes with Marling Grammar School and Stroud High School for Girls both minutes away in Stroud.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Nailsworth-based football club Forest Green Rovers is the first fully vegan club in the country. In 2017, FIFA described FGR as ‘the greenest football club in the world’. And it’s the first club to be certified as carbon neutral by the United Nations. Secondly? A little-known fact is that Nailsworth has the largest number of working water wheels (per square mile) in the country. Follow the mill trail to see Ruskin Mill (an arts centre) and the Textile Trust’s Weaving Shed at Gigg Mill.
Hope on the train to London Paddington from Stroud station ten minutes away, for a direct 1 hour 30 minute commute to the capital. Nailsworth is well connected to the M5 for those jaunts up and down the country to Bristol or Cheltenham (half an hour each way).
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