Cirencester Attractions

Things to do in Cirencester

Things to do in Cirencester

Attractions in Cirencester and the surrounding area

Whether it's a visit to the Corinium Museum, Brewery Arts Centre, Cirencester Park (for a stroll, or to watch some Polo) or the Roman Amphitheatre, Cirencester has plenty of points of interest.

If that's not enough, there are lots of things to do near Cirencester including the world famous Westonbirt Arboretum near Tetbury, the Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford, and the Cotswold Country Park and Beach part of the Cotswold Water Park.

Cirencester is famous for its Roman history, so a visit to the Corinium Museum is recommended if you have an interest in this field. Cheltenham, Gloucester, Swindon and Oxford as well as many other towns and villages in the Cotswolds are worth a visit.

Fascinating history

The Corinium Museum

The Corinium Museum, Cirencester
The Corinium Museum, Cirencester

The award winning Corinium Museum is the must-see visitor attraction of the Cotswolds.

The Corinium Museum has one of the finest and most extensive Roman collections in the country. Corinium, Roman Cirencester, was the second largest Roman town outside London and the major Roman administration centre for south-western Britain.

Click here for more Corinium Museum information

Watch some chukkas and join in 'the stomping of the divots'

Cirencester Polo

Polo at Cirencester Park
Polo at Cirencester Park

A Summer stay in the Cotswolds would not be complete without a visit to the polo.

Within the glorious Bathurst Estate - just minutes from the centre of Cirencester - is Cirencester Park Polo Club; one of the most historic clubs in the country, with some of the highest levels of polo available to watch.

Visitors are very welcome whenever polo is on and our Clubhouse and Thatched Bar are open for lunches and refreshments on Sundays. Tournament finals are usually played on Sundays at 3pm, gates open at 12pm.

Link: More Cirencester Polo information

A unique arts and crafts shopping experience

New Brewery Arts

New Brewery Arts, Cirencester - Copyright
New Brewery Arts, Cirencester - Copyright

New Brewery Arts is Gloucestershire's hub of visual and performing arts and crafts - A converted Victorian brewery housing a contemporary art gallery, on-site maker studios, craft shop and cafe.

A centre of excellence that stocks the best of British craft, the gallery shop won a coveted Silver Award in the Retail Tourism category of the very first Cotswold Tourism Awards 2010. On-site makers in world-class studios include glass blowers, textile artists, ceramicist, upholsterer, bookbinder, stained glass maker and jeweller. The weaver is one of only a handful in the country using a traditional eight-shaft loom.

Visitors have the opportunity to watch craftspeople at work and to buy directly from them or browse an array of their work on show in the New Brewery Arts café and shop.

Its central location makes New Brewery Arts a must for visitors to Cirencester, the Cotswolds, and the South West. Open Monday to Saturday, you can drop in any day for lunch, visit the gallery, studios and craft shop - and select that very special gift.

Address: Brewery Court, Cirencester GL7 1JL Telephone: 01285 657 181

Wide open spaces

The Abbey Grounds

View across the Abbey Grounds towards the Church of St. John Baptist
View across the Abbey Grounds towards the Church of St. John Baptist

The grounds contain the site of St Mary's Abbey which was consecrated in 1176 in the presence of Henry II, remaining until the Dissolution in 1539 when the Abbey was completely demolished. The only remaining building of this period is the Norman Arch situated at the north-eastern corner of the grounds. A plaque was designed and installed by the Civic Society on the balustrade and portrays the site of the Abbey which is outlined with paving.

The grounds, lake, wildfowl, trees and greenery form an impressive pastoral centrepiece, inviting restful contemplation of the general town scene. A portion of the ancient Roman Wall is also situated in the grounds. Its history and layout are discussed in the booklet The Corinium Trail - a guide to the surviving remains of the Roman town - available from the Corinium Museum, Tourist Information Centre and the local bookshop.

Text reproduced from 'Cirencester - The Official Town Guide' by kind permission of the Town Clerk.

Home to the the 9th Earl and Countess Bathurst

Cirencester Park

Cirencester Park is home to the 9th Earl and Countess Bathurst and has a varied history. It has, over the years, been used as a deer park, military base and a hospital.

Today, residents of Cirencester and visitors to our wonderful Cotswold town are lucky enough to be able to enjoy Cirencester Park on foot, and even horseback, free of charge.

Well behaved dogs are welcome (with signage to notify areas in which dogs are not allowed). Walkers can explore many areas of the Park, though some areas are out of bounds for various reasons (these areas are clearly signed). Unauthorised bicycles and motorbikes are not allowed.

'Beano' (a mobile coffee trailer) is located just inside the Cecily Hill gates.

Cirencester Park is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm daily. From time to time areas of the Park may be closed due to special events.

Go directly to jail

Cirencester Lock-Up

Cirencester Lock Up - Photo copyright
Cirencester Lock Up - Photo copyright

The Cirencester Lock-Up is found in the grounds of the Cotswold District Council offices in Trinity Road. The Lock Up has been restored and is now open to the public. It consists of a small two-cell building built in the 19th century and was used to hold criminals in the days before the police force was established. It was moved to its present position, stone by stone, in 1837 to form part of the new town workhouse opened in that year.

Access to the building is free of charge and a key is obtainable during normal office hours at the Trinity Road reception or the Corinium Museum.

Visit the intriguing ruins of one of the largest Romano-British villas in the country

Chedworth Roman Villa

Visit Chedworth Roman Villa - Image copyright
Visit Chedworth Roman Villa - Image copyright

Chedworth Roman Villa was home to some of the richest people in the country during its heyday in the 4th century.

Marvel at some of the amazing inventions brought to this country by the Romans - including mosaics, bathhouses, latrines and even underfloor heating.

Get up close to the mosaics, some of which were excavated just last year, on our state of the art walkways.

Walk in the footsteps of the Victorian gamekeeper who unearthed the first clues to what lay beneath an ordinary field in the heart of the Cotswolds in our newly refurbished museum.

Reflect on your visit with a glorious walk through the surrounding woodland and don't forget to treat yourself to something delicious in the café.

Address: Yanworth, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 3LJ Telephone: 01242 890256


One of the most photographed scenes in the Cotswolds

Arlington Row, Bibury

Arlington Row, Bibury
Arlington Row, Bibury

Nearby Bibury is home to Arlington Row, an impossibly picturesque row of cottages on 'must see' list of places to see for many Cotswold visitors.

The cottages are owned by the National Trust and rented to private tenants. Though one of them is available as a holiday rental cottage.

Link: Arlington Row, Bibury

Catch your supper, or feed the fish

Bibury Trout Farm

Bibury Trout Farm is one of Britain's oldest, and certainly most attractive, trout farms.

Children of all ages will delight in seeing the trout leap out of the water in their quest for food thrown by visitors - be careful not to get splashed! A large variety of other wildlife abounds on the Farm - cygnet and ducklings a very popular sight.

Our play area will keep the children amused while parents enjoy a coffee and a piece of our home-made cake or enjoy a light lunch together in our terrace cafe.

Something for everyone can be found in our quality gift shop, catering for all ages and pockets from a souvenir pencil to a collectors cottage! Our recently refurbished fish shop now houses a wonderful range of wines, deli products, and preserves as well as quality breads, eggs, milk etc. Our delicious fresh and smoked trout is a must - ideal on the BBQ!

For more information visit the Bibury Trout Farm section of the Bibury Website.

Get active on the lakes

Cotswold Water Park

More than 150 lakes, set in 40 square miles of countryside.

Lots to do including:
Canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding (SUP), sailing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, windsurfing, angling, birdwatching, camping, golf, guided walks, nature reserves, paintballing, picnic areas and walking

For general enquiries about the Cotswold Water Park, where to go and what to do:
Telephone: 01793 752413

Thames Head

Visit the Source of the River Thames

The source of the Thames is just a few miles from Cirencester, near Kemble.

Link: The source of the Thames

Go racing

The Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is one of the highlights of the National Hunt season
The Cheltenham Festival is one of the highlights of the National Hunt season

The Festival at Cheltenham is the jewel in jump racing's crown.

Many people who go to the Cheltenham Festival stay in Cirencester which is only a few miles away from the event.

But if you are planning on staying in Cirencester during the Cheltenham Festival then book your accommodation early as demand is extremely high.