The area around Cirencester College

Cirencester is a lovely place to live, work and learn.  This sums up the attraction of Cirencester Sixth Form College, situated on the outskirts of the historic market town of Cirencester and surrounded by Cirencester Park, the College has a calm yet lively atmosphere.  It attracts students from a wide area, creating a diverse and stimulating community, the atmosphere is often described as a “mini-university.”

A great place to live and work

The College has high expectations of staff and students but concentrates on supporting both in an open and friendly community ethos.  The College offers a free fitness suite and access to recreational activity such as Yoga, 5-aside and Choir.  Many staff have stayed at Cirencester College quite simply because it is a great place to work, where creativity is valued and staff development encouraged.

The town of Cirencester is picturesque but with the feeling of real community, individual shops make it an excellent place to explore and it has a good range of pubs, eating places, a Farmer’s and weekly Market. It has 3 fantastic parks (great if you have kids or dogs) and is 10 minutes from the Cotswold Water Parks.

Cirencester itself is a relatively expensive place for property, though considerable new building has increased the amount of affordable housing and more is planned.  Many staff prefer the larger settlements of Stroud, Swindon, Gloucester, Cheltenham where there are more houses and facilities or alternately the rural areas. Transport links to these major centres are good so commuting time can be kept down to 25-50 minutes although there are both staff who walk and cycle to work and those who drive or car share from much further out including 1 from Wales!  Most schools in the immediate area are good or better in Ofsted terms.

Here are some current staff views on where they live:

“I have lived in Cirencester for the past 35 years. If you want rural living, it doesn't get much better than waking up every morning in the Cotswolds. And with a 5 minute walk you are walking across open fields with view beyond belief.

It’s not the biggest of towns and to be honest not great for a day’s shopping trip but with a 20 minutes’ drive or just hop on a bus, you can be in Swindon or Cheltenham which would have everything you need but if you looking to catch up with a friend or just sit and watch the world go by, there are plenty of lovely coffee shop and lots of great places to eat in or takeaway.

There are some amazing properties here. Classical Victorian terraces in the golden Cotswold stone dominate the town centre but only minutes away is area which branches off Cirencester Town centre. Stratton, Chesterton, Watermoor and Siddington are all area which are growing outwards with new modern houses sprouting up all over, making their own little communities.

If you have children then schools will need to be considered. Cirencester has some superb schools. Ofsted rated Stratton C of E Primary 'Outstanding', along with Powell's C of E Primary. Watermoor Primary School, Cirencester Primary School and Siddington Primary School all “ Good “ Cirencester Deer Park School and Cirencester Kingshill School for 11-16-year-olds is also rated 'Good'

In the summer months, it’s great to get up, make a picnic and get yourself down to Cirencester's open air swimming pool. With plenty of seating around the edge, you can relax while the children the water, slide and inflatables."

“Tetbury is a delightful and small market town surrounded by beautiful walking countryside. It is the perfect place to settle down with 3 superb playgroups, one primary school and a well respected secondary school all within the town’s boundaries. Westonbirt arboretum is a short 5 minute drive and members have access all year round for a small joining fee. Further afield we have historic Bath and vibrant Bristol at only 45 minutes away. The town is seeing a resurgence in popularity with renovation to the old railway station to become a cinema and possible swimming pool coming to the dolphin centre. If you like eating out then you are spoilt for choice with locally owned restaurants and cafés catering to all. If you prefer your entertainment to be pub related then you could happily entertain yourself all day with the many pubs and music that Tetbury has to offer. Each May bank holiday Tetbury also hosts the wool sack race, it’s thrilling to see people hauling massive sacks of wool down a perilously steep road. I suggest having a walk around the town on a Saturday to experience a true Cotswold atmosphere and perhaps picking up an antique from one of the 14 specialist shops.”

“Eastcombe, Bussage, Chalford villages are a 9 mile tree lined drive from Cirencester College and between Cirencester and Stroud. They border or are part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Toadsmoor valley, Golden Valley) and are situated within half a mile of each other. They boast three pubs, three primary schools and one 13 to 16 Academy; all educational provision is highly rated.

There are three village halls, each hosting dance, T’ai Chi, Yoga, Gardening clubs, Women’s Institute activities, Movie nights etc. There’s a well stocked Londis at Eastcombe and a Tesco Metro in Bussage, along with Doctors, dentists, pharmacy, take-aways etc. There are playing fields, country walks and bridle paths to enjoy. Well situated for Stroud, Cheltenham, Cirencester, Gloucester, M4/Bristol or M5. House prices in Bussage are still in the £175k onwards range. Rentals start from £550 pcm.”

“Bourton on the Water is titled “the little Venice of the Cotswolds” a beautiful tranquil setting with the River Windrush flowing through the middle ideal for that weekend walk and chance to refuel with a Cotswold Cream Tea. Only ½ hour drive from College with a chance to drive through awe – inspiring landscapes every day; excellent amenities including local supermarket, Doctors & Primary and Secondary School provision as well as a Leisure Centre and swimming pool. Bourton on the Water is an excellent location to live in a small Village environment but right on the Fosseway within easy reach of Cirencester, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stratford upon Avon and Swindon.”

“Stroud has a vibrant art and music scene, is surrounded by 5 lush Cotswold valleys with many opportunities for walking, cycling. It hosts an award-winning weekly farmer’s market and is well-known for its café-culture. It’s also more value-for-money than many surrounding areas.”

“My one piece of advice is that if people move to Swindon and drive then live close to the A419 (so east and north Swindon) as it is only a 12- 15 min drive from when you are on it to college, makes travelling to college a breeze.”