24 Mar

Live the alternative life in Stroud

Live the alternative life in Stroud

Stroud is a small but busy market town located on the western edge of the Cotswolds - an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The town plays an important role in the area, given its position at the heart of several smaller villages and market towns - among them Chalford, Dursley, Nailsworth, Painswick and Stonehouse.

Stroud has a unique character - partly borne out of its geography - that prompted fashion designer Jasper Conran to refer to it as "the Covent Garden of the Cotswolds". 

The town is characterised by steep streets dotted with independent shops, cafes and restaurants, giving it an independent spirit that is sadly lacking from the average British high street. 

As such, it remains one of the least commercialised parts of the Cotswolds, an area dotted with tourist trap towns and villages like Bourton-on-the-Water and Moreton-in-Marsh.

Adding to its alternative vibe, Stroud became home to a significant Huguenot population - fleeing persecution in France - in the 17th century, while a large Jewish community arrived in the area in the 1800s to work in the cloth and tailoring industries.

As a cloth town, Stroud was involved in the Industrial Revolution. Woollen mills in the area were powered by the many small rivers that flow through the Five Valleys, with supply of materials met by the herds of Cotswold sheep that grazed on the surrounding hills.

Cloth production may be largely a thing of the past, but there are plenty more reasons to consider buying property in Stroud.

People who love the outdoor life should take a walk - or a narrowboat - along the Stroudwater or Thames and Severn canals. A good starting point is the Canal Visitor Centre in Wallbridge.

Sports fans should consider taking a trip to nearby Nailsworth to watch Forest Green Rovers - the longest-serving members of the Conference Premier - in action.ADNFCR-1222-ID-801780823-ADNFCR

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