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10 celebrities who live in the Cotswolds

PUBLISHED: 15:32 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:14 03 April 2018

Jamie Dornan (c) Denis Makrendo / Shutterstock

Jamie Dornan (c) Denis Makrendo / Shutterstock


The honey-coloured villages and towns of the Cotswolds are home to many famous faces, from the inimitable Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen to the brooding Jamie Dornan. Here are ten celebrities to keep an eye out for if you want to grab that perfect selfie!

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

Famous for his flamboyant clothes and long locks, the interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen came to the public eye when he was chosen as one of the designers on the BBC programme Changing Rooms.

He now sits alongside a panel of judges on Australia’s biggest renovation show House Rules and Asia’s biggest design reality TV programme The Apartment.

Currently living in a stunning manor house in Siddington, a small village near Cirencester, with his family, Laurence was the innovative eye behind the vivacious £3 million refurbishment of the former Cecily Barracks in Cirencester, now home to

Jackie and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen with grandson Albion Rex (c) Steve ThorpJackie and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen with grandson Albion Rex (c) Steve Thorp

Dom Joly

Finding fame with hidden camera programme Trigger Happy TV, Dom Joly is best-known for his hilarious pranks on suspecting passers-by. Since then Dom has worked on the TV shows This is Dom Joly, Dom Joly’s Excellent Adventure, Dom Joly’s Happy Hour as well as participating on I’m a Celebrity! Get Me Out Of Here...and Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls.

He also writes a number of columns and travel features for various publications, including Cotswold Life. He has lived in the region for over ten years near Cheltenham with his wife Stacey, children and two pet pigs.

You can catch up with the latest eleven episodes of Trigger Happy, released in December 2016, on All 4 here. The iconic phone mobile has since been replaced with a smartphone!

Dom Joly at The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, SorrentoDom Joly at The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento

Jeremy Clarkson

A lover of life in the fast lane former Top Gear television presenter and motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson lives in Chipping Norton. In 2016, Jeremy was granted permission to demolish his home to make way for a new one. In typical Clarkson style, he didn’t call the bulldozers in, he blew it up!

Did you know Clarkson’s first job was as a travelling salesman for his parents’ business selling Paddington Bear toys before becoming a journalist? His motoring career began in 1984 when he formed Motoring Press Agency and began to conduct road tests for local newspapers and automotive magazines.

Following his exit from the BBC, Clarkson teamed up once again with Richard Hammond and James May for their new Amazon Prime show The Grand Tour.

Jeremy Clarkson filming in Poland (c) MediaPictures / ShutterstockJeremy Clarkson filming in Poland (c) MediaPictures / Shutterstock

Richard Hammond

Living on the Gloucestershire border, near Ledbury, with his wife Mindy and daughters, Izzy and Willow, Richard Hammond is best known for his for being one-third of the presenting team on BBC’s Top Gear. Following Jeremy Clarkson’s exit from the programmer, both Richard and James May joined him on Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour.

In 2017, Hammond endured a horrible car accident while filming in Switzerland just ten years after suffering life-threatening injuries and in a coma following a high-speed crash while filming Top Gear.


Richard Hammond filming in Poland (c) MediaPictures / ShutterstockRichard Hammond filming in Poland (c) MediaPictures / Shutterstock

Jilly Cooper

Well known for her best-selling chick-lit romance novels, alongside her work in journalism and on non-fiction titles, popular author Jilly Cooper OBE lives in Bisley near Stroud.

She is best known for her series the Rutland Chronicles that feature the terribly attractive Rupert Campell Black, who was inspired by real-life Andrew Parker Bowles and the Earl of Suffolk.

Her latest novel Mount! throws the reader into the flirty, lucrative, ruthless world of flat racing and brings back her most enduring hero Rupert Campell Black, who now is a devastatingly handsome silver fox.

Jilly Cooper (c) Thousand Word Media / TWMJilly Cooper (c) Thousand Word Media / TWM

Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall

This Royal, along with her ex England rugby star husband Mike Tindall and their daughter Mia Grace, live at the Gatcombe Estate, Tetbury. Before getting married in 2010, they moved into Mallory House, a gorgeous regency villa in Cheltenham which included a Jacuzzi, gym and cinema.

Olympic silver medallist Zara is one of the UK’s top event riders and won Sports Personality of the Year in 2006. Mike Tindall, MBE, has returned to grassroots rugby and plays and coaches at local team Minchinhampton RFC. You might have spotted him on series two of Channel 4’s The Jump, a challenging, and often dangerous, show in which celebrities have a go at a variety of winter sports.


Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall (c) Featureflash Photo Agency / ShutterstockZara Phillips and Mike Tindall (c) Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Princess Anne

Zara’s mother The Princess Royal lives at Gatcombe Estate near Tetbury with her second husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence. Like her daughter, Princess Anne was a top event rider and in 1971 was European champion, and part of the 1976 Olympic team in Montreal.

She spends most of her time supporting the work of Save the Children, of which she has been President since 1970.

Did you know she is also the first senior member of the Royal Family to have a criminal record after being found guilty of letting one of her dogs attack two children in Windsor Great Park?

Princess Anne (c) Featureflash Photo Agency / ShutterstockPrincess Anne (c) Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Alex James

Blur bass player Alex James swapped pop for cheese when he moved to Kingham, Oxfordshire and now produces big hunky chunks of the stuff that is sold all over the country, including a tomato ketchup-flavoured cheddar!

On August bank holiday weekend, Alex James’ Farm becomes home to the Big Feastival: a line-up of fantastic musical talent, cookery demonstrations and classes with well-known chefs, and lots of entertainment to keep the whole family happy.


Alex James (c) Feature Flash Photo Agency / ShutterstockAlex James (c) Feature Flash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Jamie Dornan

Wooing the female population in his portrayal of the complicated heartthrob in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, the Irish actor Jamie Dornan has enjoying a hugely successful acting career before his role as Christian Grey, including the BBC psychological thriller The Fall and ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

In 2015, Dornan, his wife singer-songwriter Amelia Warner and young daughter Dulcie moved into a five bedroom, secluded mansion in the charming village of Chalford, near Stroud.

Maybe we’ll spot Jamie and his family in the New Red Lion!

Jamie Dornan with wife Amelia Turner (c) majicinfoto / ShutterstockJamie Dornan with wife Amelia Turner (c) majicinfoto / Shutterstock

Pam Ayres

Since her breakthrough appearance on television and radio talent show Opportunity Knocks, Pam Ayres has enjoyed an illustrious career in writing, broadcasting and entertaining. She is the author of several best-selling poetry collections featuring in textbooks all over the world. She also featured, quite rightly, in our 60 influential women in the Cotswolds.

Just over three years ago Pam and her husband Dudley Russell downsized from the eight bedroom Grade II listed Norcote House near Cirencester to a Georgian house nearby.

Did you know Pam Ayres is one of the only authors to have had books in the Sunday Times bestseller charts in almost every decade since the 1970s?

Pam AyresPam Ayres

Think you know your Cotswold celebrities? Why not try our quiz?






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