CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Summer in Cirencester

PUBLISHED: 17:11 22 June 2015 | UPDATED: 17:11 22 June 2015

Cirencester is a good shopping destination, with parking in the centre

Cirencester is a good shopping destination, with parking in the centre


From water zorbing to hare-spotting, Lynn Ede looks forward to a full diary of events in and around Cirencester

The medieval and stunning Church of St John the Baptist dominates the town viewThe medieval and stunning Church of St John the Baptist dominates the town view

Whether your interest is historic, sporty, shopping, or just getting out and about, hold onto your hats for there is a busy summer about to happen around Cirencester.

The site of a Roman fort and linked to the Fosse Way around AD 47, it was named Corinium Dobunnorum (Dubonnii being the local tribe). Said to be the largest Roman town after London, it is still reported to be the largest, at least, in the Cotswolds. Among its historic industries are wool, farm tools, bacon and flour. There is some excellent history to be read at

You can park in the centre of the town, around which are many independent and High Street shops, hotels and restaurants. The Golden Cross Inn is celebrating six years in operation, and has summer events planned in the garden, such as acoustic evenings and artisan pizzas. The King’s Head offers jazz nights, but also working lunches and spa treatments, so persuade the boss to extend your lunch hour. If you are the boss, contemplate your empire’s standing while having your feet pampered. We need to rethink the office space, I feel, and it starts in Cirencester.

Standing proud in the market square is the 12th century Church of St John the Baptist. Its Gothic architecture is a splendid sight, and with a huff and a puff you can climb to the top of the 162’ tower to observe the view if you take one of the tours on offer.

With the church standing immediately behind you, stroll to the right, right and left again into Park street and you discover a charming café society vicinity. Definitely a stop to make in between the shopping. It is also where you can learn more about the town’s Roman history at the Corinium Museum. The Visitor Information Centre has details of Cirencester Guided Walks, rambles and bands in the park. Catch an afternoon talk on June 15 on hidden Roman hoards and burial goods. Wine tasting on June 19 and an evening lecture on Roman Food on June 25 should also be marked in the diary.

Cirencester's cafe society in the sunshineCirencester's cafe society in the sunshine

Feeling arty? Pop into New Brewery Arts; a café, courses and workshops await you. In June, you can craft some garden glass, work some willow pieces, make a collage or get into textural printing. The choice is yours. For viewing and purchasing art, discover the Wetpaint Gallery in London Road.

Running from June 3 to July 4 is the Midsummer Hare Art Extravaganza. Partnered with Cirencester College, it promises to display hare-themed art of all sorts, incorporating music and drama. It’ll be a game of ‘spot the hare’ around the town. Be there or be square.

Bingham Hall in King Street plays host to many events. You can join clubs of kickboxing, Scottish country dancing, rifle and chess; you can join the Red Cross there and also do your bit by giving blood. The Cotswold Auction Company has three sales going on in June, where you could bid for militaria, jewellery and collectibles. Just don’t scratch your nose.

Have baby, will travel. Or at least get out and see a film. On June 19 the Corinium Cinema is putting on ‘Box Office Babies’, where you can watch the latest films whilst feeding your baby and not cringeing amidst others’ usual “Shhhhh!” sounds and ghastly glances as your little ones express their delight in full voice. What a great idea.

Fancy a bucket and spade day without the drive to the coast? Take the family along to Shorncote, just south of Cirencester, where you will find Lake No. 32 and the Cotswold Country Park and Beach. Lifeguarded at weekends and school holidays, you can all have an open water swim, row on a boat, play in the park and the family fight in who can build the best sandcastle. My Dad always won, with elaborate moats, turrets and miniature lakes he built for us. Ah, memories. Later, as a mother of three boys, I quickly fell behind as they overtook any sand skills I may have had. I may just secretly pop down to the beach for further practise. It’s never too late.

Corinium Museum in CirencesterCorinium Museum in Cirencester

Also, have you ever fancied climbing into one of those clear, blow-up balls and hoofing yourself magically over the surface of a lake? I know I have. Whether I’d live to tell the tale is another matter, but it looks huge fun. Well, they are called ‘water zorbs’ and they have those there too. Check it out at

At South Cerney, just a couple of miles south of the town, you can observe the stunning wildlife which resides at the lakes. Golf is within reach, too, at several clubs thereabouts.

At Lakeside Ski & Wake in South Cerney, if you are into birdwatching and itching to twitch, this is the place for you. In addition, you can learn to water ski, bob along on an inflatable ride and afterwards enjoy a meal at its Brasserie which has a relaxing terrace for a spot of alfresco munchies overlooking one of the 147 stunning lakes in the Cotswolds. It is here that I meet a charming French gent who is on a break and renting one of the many luxurious holiday homes around the lakes. I mean, who in their right mind will pass up the opportunity of interviewing a Frenchman? It is also a rare chance for me to use my French language, and why not, though his English was excellent.

“I love the UK and particularly the Cotswolds,” Guillaume Béguin told me in an accent which makes it tricky to concentrate, “there are so many cute little villages around with good pubs with fireplaces – and everyone is so friendly. A visit here from busy Paris makes me… less stressed and refreshed.”

Monsieur Béguin, a photographer originally from Versailles, was taking a stroll around the lake with his camera, and is here on a trip accompanying his eventer girlfriend. Talking of which, the Cirencester Park Polo Club has been running since 1894 and is a great place to watch the action from an elegant distance with champagne glass in hand, together with amuse bouches. Simply smile serenely whilst muddying up your Manolo heels in some divot stomping. Grit your teeth and pack some wet wipes. No complaining.

Guillaume Beguin enjoying the beautiful lakes at nearby South CerneyGuillaume Beguin enjoying the beautiful lakes at nearby South Cerney

So, I’ve bred lots of ideas here for you to do in the heart of the Cotswolds that is Cirencester. Enjoy the town, its countryside pursuits and surroundings, go shop, tour and splash in the waters. Be mad as a (June) hare!


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Thu, 13:19

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tue, 13:40

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Mon, 12:40

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search