Stroud & the Stroud District – a guide for visiting this area in 2023


The Cotswolds is full of amazing towns and villages, and we've got an entire guide about these places if you'd like to read that. But we felt that Stroud deserved its own guide - the town has plenty to see and do and is based in one of the prettiest areas of the Cotswolds.

We wanted to publish a guide about Stroud for anyone planning to visit in 2023, let's get into it:

Where is Stroud?

Stroud is located in Gloucestershire, England. It's about 14 miles southwest of Cheltenham, and around 12 miles south of Gloucester. Cirencester is located about 13 miles to the southeast, and Nailsworth is just a stone's throw to the south roughly 4 miles away. Tetbury is located about 10 miles to the south.

What is there to see and do in Stroud?

You've got plenty to see and do in and around Stroud. Here are some of the highlights:

Museum in the Park

Within a Grade II listed 17th century mansion you'll find the Museum in the Park, a free museum which is an excellent place to visit during your time in Stroud. This museum celebrates the local history of Stroud and the surrounding area through a series of fascinating collections. The museum has more than 4,000 objects on display, with everything from dinosaur bones to the first lawnmower ever built (it's actually really interesting). There is a walled garden at the museum which is lovely to explore, and the cafe is very good too. Learn more and plan your visit here -

Woodchester Mansion

This Grade I listed building is special to visit for a number of reasons. Firstly, architecture enthusiasts will notice and appreciate the Gothic Revival style of the building, and Woodchester Mansion is one of the finest examples of this style of building that you'll find anywhere in the UK. The building dates from the late 19th century so it isn't particularly old, but it's remarkably well made. A highlight of the tour is seeing the impressive stone carvings, which include carvings of animals and plants. The Mansion is open to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, learn more here -

The Garden at Miserden

Built in the 17th century, the garden at Miserden is very special to visit. It's a walled garden which has an amazing mix of roses, clematis, shrubs, and other herbaceous plants which all bring an attractive variety of colours and textures. You'll also find a number of very special trees here, including a 200 year old Sycamore tree which has partly grown through a stone wall, and an ancient mulberry tree which was planted in the early 17th century. Learn more here -

Stratford Park

The Museum at the Park is actually based in Stratford Park, and once you've visited the museum the park itself is well worth exploring. It's 56 acres in size and is just a stone's throw from the centre of the town, so it's a great place to head to if you're looking for a bit of peace and quiet away from the bustle of the high street. You'll find a number of facilities at the park, including a play area, a skate park, and a lovely woodland to explore. Learn more here -

Shambles Market & St Laurence Parish Church

We've already got an entire guide about the Shambles Market in York, but we think the Shambles Market in Stroud is even better. It's held every Friday and Saturday from 8am to 3pm, and you'll find it right next to the St Laurence Parish Church, so it makes for a great double visit. You'll find just about everything at the Shambles Market, from locally made foods to interesting and quirky items. The church itself is also lovely to visit and you can explore the interior if there are no services on. Learn more here -

Five Valleys

There is a shopping centre in Stroud which is called the Five Valleys, but that's not what we're talking about here (although that's a perfectly fine shopping centre). We're talking about the 5 valleys surrounding the town - Golden Valley, Nailsworth, Painswick, Slad, and Toadsmoor. Each valley is well worth a visit during your time in Stroud, and the best way to experience the valleys is to follow The Five Valleys Walk. This route is just under 22 miles in length and takes in each valley. It's typically split into 9 sections and has stops in Nailsworth where you could plan for an overnight stay. You could also take part in the Five Valleys Walk sponsored walk which takes place at the end of September and raises money for Meningitis Now. Learn more here -
We hope this guide has inspired you to visit Stroud. If you're interested in visiting other locations in the Cotswolds then why not follow The Cotswolds Way?

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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