Charming Cirencester (siren-sester), the most significant town in the southern Cotswolds, is just 15 miles south of Cheltenham. Amazingly, under the Romans – who knew it as Corinium – Cirencester ranked second only to London in terms of size and importance, but little now survives from that era. The medieval wool trade brought further prosperity, with wealthy merchants funding the construction of a superb church.
Cirencester today is both elegant and affluent, but refreshingly unpretentious. Upmarket boutiques and fashionable delis now line its narrow streets, but its Monday and Friday markets remain at the core of its identity. Beautiful Victorian buildings flank the busy central square, while the surrounding streets showcase a harmonious medley of historic architecture.