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Top places to live in Gloucestershire Stroud

Aching to hightail it from the city but want to have all the arty and foodie perks still, with a bucolic backdrop to boot? Then scenic Stroud is a strong contender (just don't tell everyone else). Part of our Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

WHY?

Welcome to the People’s Republic of Stroud, as it’s affectionately known to locals. If much of the Cotswolds is honey-hued gentility then Stroud is it’s red brick, radical cousin. The ‘Boho Capital of the Cotswolds’ champions the handmade, artisan and independent and was recently voted not only Muddy Glos’ Best Place to Live, but also the Sunday Times Best Place to Live in the UK! High praise indeed. You’ll get the most breathtaking views in the county here as Stroud is nestled in the famous Five Valleys (you’ll need to love hills!) but if you want a home with a spectacular vista but shops, cafes and outstanding schools on demand, you’ve hit the jackpot here. There’s a regular Farmer’s market to rival Borough or Spitalfields any day (it pulls in people from miles around), plus it has a cinema, a park, a live music venue and thriving arts scene. Stroud’s star is definitely on the rise, scooping the Sunday Times Best Place to Live in the South West title in 2019 (and Muddy Stilettos’ Best Place to Live 2020).

EAT

The weekly farmers’ market is a feast for the senses. Pick up artisan bread and cheese, hand-made pasta, fresh fish and more. We’re there every Saturday (9am and 2pm). Five Valleys shopping centre is a mecca for incredible street food, from the likes of Thai 2 Go, La Cantina and Non Solo Pasta to name a few along with new sushi-tastic addition Kyuri Sushi. Check out Galgos Latino for the most amazing Venezuelan tapas (3 for £10 on Wednesdays) and Birch for lunch or dinner and head to Woodruff’s Organic Cafe (the first totally organic outlet in the UK) for healthy bites. The Prince Albert Pub in Rodborough is a staunch local favourite with regular live music. And we can’t not mention Stroud Brewery – you can book into its bar to sample the organic delights.

SHOP

There’s an abundance of colourful, artisan indy shops lining the streets of Stroud – it’s proudly independent at its core. Head for Fourteen and Made In Stroud– both emporiums of cool lifestyle gifts. But the town’s also now got the Five Valley’s Shopping centre – a multi-million pound new retail and eating destination (fancy!). Indie boutiques here include designer store Sub Couture which has moved in fresh from Notting Hill and a big swanky new superstore Sandersons which opened in April 2021.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

Head to The Sub Rooms for eclectic entertainment, live music and comedy. The stunning National Trust Rodborough and Minchinhampton Commons are one of the best places to walk in the Cotswolds, with far-reaching panoramic views that’ll blow you away, in the summer stroll amongst the herds of grazing cattle. We love the delicious Winstone’s Ice Cream Parlour too, in the middle of the Common, top tip is try a honey and ginger cone, they are amazing.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

Properties in Stroud had an overall average price of £334,063 in 2021. You tend to get more brick for your buck here than other Cotswold towns, but it’s catching up as word gets out how good it is. Detached properties sold for an average of £551,255, with terraced properties fetching £264,384.

HOT PROPERTY

A detached stone-built cottage in Randwick on the market with Hunters for £550,000, with three bedrooms and a garage.

SCHOOLS

Stroud is Grammar school central – the highly esteemed Marling Grammar School (boys) and Stroud High School (girls) are brilliant, and hotly fought over every year. There are great state options too including Thomas Keble in Eastcombe for 11-16 and Archway School. If you’re looking for the private sector, highly rated Wycliffe College, just three miles from the centre of Stroud, is an internationally-renowned school offering a broad curriculum and forward-thinking ethos. Educating ages 3 to 19 the school is set in 52 acres of rolling countryside and boasts fantastic facilities. For a great prep school head for the popular Beaudesert School, ten minutes drive away, catering for ages 3 to 13.

BEST KEPT SECRET

Stroud is the home of Extinction Rebellion, and you’ll soon discover Stroudies are renowned for being eco-conscious and rather revolutionary and unstuffy. It’s the Cotswolds with an authentically raw edge.

COMMUTE

Really good links to London. You’ll be minutes from the M5 (taking you to Bristol or London) and a town centre rail link takes you to the capital in around 90 minutes.

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