A visitor’s guide to Minchinhampton
PUBLISHED: 09:52 02 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:47 07 April 2020
We’ve assembled a brief guide to help you to get the most from your visit to Minchinhampton, sponsored by Beaudesert Park School
Move here for... £725,000
And get: A newly renovated and updated bungalow, with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and large gardens, close to the town’s cricket pitch.
Eat at: The Old Lodge (01453 832047)
Why? With locally sourced food and a seasonal menu, this 16th century inn offers unbeatable views across the common and valleys through full-length windows.
Drink at: The Kitchen (01453 882655)
Why? Perfect for morning coffee, great for afternoon tea, sit in the feature bay window, and watch the world go by.
Stay at: Burleigh Court (01453 883804)
Why? A boutique hotel in an old manor, with 11 main house rooms, plus seven coach house suites, this hotel is perfect for families and guests who want their well-behaved dogs to accompany them.
With picturesque buildings, such as the market house raised on stone columns, and its Queen Anne old post office, Minchinhampton has all the attributes of a quaint Cotswold town. Its top-notch food outlets include a few Cotswold Life favourites: award-winning traditional butcher’s shop, Taylor & Sons (01453 882163); Henry’s coffee shop and dairy in the Market Place (01453 886855) and the Chip Shed with its excellent ethically sourced fish and chips (01453 731221). On Thursday mornings Minchinhampton hosts a weekly market featuring the best local farmers’ produce, Pete Beldam’s fresh fish van, plants, preserves and crafts. Other independent shops, such as The White Room, an upmarket bridal boutique, also draw in visitors who might otherwise pass by. Beyond Minchinhampton lie the remnants of ancient civilisations, Iron Age settlements and Bronze Age barrows, overlooking the Golden Valley.
Most noted for... its church, visible for miles around. It has a distinctive truncated spire topped with a crown – the result of a miscalculation of the loadbearing capabilities of the supporting arches below.
While you’re here... stroll along to the Long Stone in Woefuldane Bottom. Legend has it that mothers passed sick children through its holes to cure them.
But try not to... miss out on Winstones ice cream outlet on Rodborough Common, which draws more than 100,000 customers a year!
Author Joanna Trollope, who was born in Minchinhampton and whose grandfather was rector in the town, has never included it in her novels because she says she loves it too much. Actors Keith Allen and Tamzin Malleson have a home here, and media medic and GP Mark Porter lives close by. Former rugby international, Mike Tindall, who retired from the professional game in 2014, has played for Minchinhampton RFC; his wife Zara, and mother-in-law Anne, the Princess Royal, host international horse trials at nearby Gatcombe Park (gatcombe-horse.co.uk).
Minchinhampton Common and its neighbour, Rodborough Common are areas of grassland grazed by free-roaming cattle (who have their own twitter account!). The resulting cow pats promote the life-cycles of glow worms, rare bees and more than 30 species of butterfly and these in turn bring in the greater and lesser horseshoe bats, and ground-nesting skylarks. Pasque flowers, spectacular bee orchids, gentians and cowslips thrive here and the underlying limestone has been the source of fossilised Jurassic sea creatures. The skull of a Tyrannosaurus rex-like dinosaur was found at a nearby quarry.
Visit the nearby picturesque Box Wood, which is maintained by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. Beneath the ancient beeches and hazel coppices you’ll find orchids and anemones. It’s also home to rare hazel dormice. (box-village.com)