With its rolling countryside, Regency architecture and rich culture – not to mention more square metres for your spend – it’s easy to see why Gloucestershire is a popular choice for Londoners looking for an escape from the city.
In this hot list, SoGlos rounds up just some of the reasons for families to consider relocating from the capital to the county.
Lower property prices in Gloucestershire
According to Zoopla, the average price of a property in London is £666,264. Compare that with an average of £347,273 in Cheltenham, £324,061 in Stroud or £240,105 in Gloucester and its easy to see why affordable house prices is a top reason for house hunters to consider a move to Gloucestershire.
Impressive independent schools in Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire has some of the best independent schools in the UK, boasting impressive academic results as well as varied extra-curricular opportunities, including outdoor education and forest schools.
Wycliffe College offers individualised learning from its 52-acre countryside campus in Stonehouse; Cheltenham has three independent schools including Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Cheltenham College and St Edward’s School, the prestigious King’s School is based in Gloucester and Rendcomb College is situated just outside Cirencester.
Fresher air in Gloucestershire
Although schemes like low emission zones and green public transport are having a positive impact on London’s air quality, families may feel the benefits of getting out of the city altogether and into a greener, more rural environment.
From the wild woodlands of the Forest of Dean to waterside walks along the River Severn, no matter where you live in the county, you’re never far from fresh air and breathtaking natural beauty.
More square meterage in Gloucestershire
With properties in London having less floorspace than the national average and costing a premium for it, families could find they have more room to grow in Gloucestershire.
With costs per square metre ranging from £2,473 in Tewkesbury to £2,914 in the Cotswolds, you’ll get far more for your money compared to the capital, where costs per square metre are from £4,564 in Reigate to an eye-watering £19,439 in Kensington and Chelsea.
Parks and gardens in Gloucestershire
For those who aren’t quite ready to fully embrace rural life, Gloucestershire’s bustling towns and cities still have plenty of green spaces where residents can get their daily dose of nature.
Cheltenham’s Pittville Park is home to a boating lake, skate park, golf course and iconic Pittville Pump Room, Gloucester’s Robinswood Hill Country Park is a nature reserve that offers stunning views over the city, while Stratford Park in Stroud boasts a leisure centre with outdoor pool and tennis courts and arboretum. There are also plenty of beautiful gardens to visit for a day out, from the historic Sudeley Castle and Gardens to the colourful Painswick Rococo Garden.
Explore the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire
Swap concrete skyscrapers for the Cotswolds’ characteristic honey-coloured cottages, with Gloucestershire being an ideal gateway for Londoners looking to discover the Cotswolds.
Offering plenty of idyllic activities, from a waterside stroll in Bourton-on-the-Water, browsing for antiques in Tetbury to admiring the picture-perfect views in Painswick, families will fall in love with this beautiful part of the English countryside.
Less overcrowding in Gloucestershire
From cramped apartments to busy train carriages, anyone living, working or going to school in London is likely to have experienced some form of overcrowding.
According to the Office of National Statistics, London has 57.01 people per hectare, while the South West has just 2.36, so for families looking for a bit more space, Gloucestershire could offer the breathing room they need.
Ideally situated for commuters in Gloucestershire
Offering great transport links to major cities like Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Oxford and even London, despite its rural surroundings, Gloucestershire is ideally placed for commuters – with the M5 nearby for drivers, as well as direct trains to London Paddington from Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud.
Arts, culture and entertainment in Gloucestershire
From the world-famous Gloucester Cathedral to the renowned The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, there’s no shortage of culture in the county.
As well as a museum, art gallery and live music venues, Cheltenham also boasts family-friendly jazz, music and science festivals each year – with some events going digital for the first time in 2020. Westonbirt Arboretum attracts big name artists like Rag ‘n’ Bone Man to its Forest Live concert series, while Gloucester is home to Hogwarts and the beloved Beatrix Potter tale The Tailor of Gloucester.