Situated below the western escarpment of the Cotswold Hills at the meeting point of the Five Valleys, Stroud is a really gorgeous Cotswold town. With hilly streets, lanes filled with one-off stores, an abundance of trendy cafes, and beautiful countryside surrounding the town it is a really lovely spot to explore the Cotswolds with a mellow and friendly vibe whilst still having a buzz about it. Need more persuading that it is worth visiting this bohemian little town? Check out these 5 reasons to take a trip to Stroud.
1. The Markets
The Stroud Farmers Markets are some of the busiest and most renowned, award-winning markets in the country. Every Saturday the streets of Stroud fill up with fresh food market stalls and many people are out and about to sample some of the local food delights. On Friday and Saturday, the Shambles markets are also open offering all kinds of stalls where you can find an abundance of little trinkets, vintage clothing, jewelry, toys, and loads of gorgeous food and drinks stalls. The markets are a real reason to visit Stroud, they are vibrant and have a great atmosphere and give the town its really bohemian feel.
2. Going For A Picnic
Its summertime, a great time to visit Stroud for a picnic, and since the town is surrounded by the most gorgeous countryside you won’t find it hard to find a spot to lay out your rug and have a little feast with a view. The five valleys meet at the town of Stroud and the commons are plateaus between the valleys, They make an excellent spot for a picnic and you might even be visited by the roaming cows. The Tyndale Monument is a popular spot for picnickers too, The tower was constructed in 1866 on a hill in North Nibley and has simply stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
You can’t really come to the Cotswolds and not go on a decent hike. There is so much beauty and peace to surround yourself in it would be wrong not to and so for this reason if you visit Stroud make sure you bring your walking boots and go for a lovely walk. There are walks that will take you out of the town and right into the thick of the countryside, walks that will take you wildlife spotting, and walks that will guide you through the little streets of Stroud giving you a history lesson as you walk. Hop on a guided tour or just make your own way.
4. Cafes And Restaurants
When you visit Stroud you will notice the many independent coffee shops with a million different types of coffees and treats. Stroud is very much into its coffee shop culture and with its hippy vibe brings the independent retailers rather than the large chains (although of course, you will find Costa and the like!). There is a great variety of restaurants to visit too which cater to every tastebud. If you are vegetarian or vegan you certainly won’t be in the minority here with some lovely restaurants and food stalls catering just for you. For the vegetarians amongst you, check out Star Anise on Gloucester Street, a quirky little cafe famed for its amazing breakfasts, gorgeous soups, cakes, bread, and Bristol-roasted coffee. Another favorite it No.23 on Nelson Street which serves up Spanish-style tapas to the town. Pick a seat on the balcony and watch the world go by as you tuck in.
5. Art Galleries
Since this is a quirky, bohemian-style town you will find a really large arts scene and lots of galleries to mooch around when you visit Stroud. Check out Lansdown Hall & Gallery, a community arts center which hosts regular art exhibitions, or The Centre for Science and Art which hosts Lansdown Pottery, a working pottery, with a weekly timetable of teaching slots for aspiring potters of varying abilities.