There are so many things to love about Stroud – from its stunning natural beauty spots to its famous farmers market, its easy to see why locals love living here.
For house hunters considering a move to the town, SoGlos shares 10 of the best reasons to move to Stroud.
Stroud is one of the best places to live in the UK
Stroud was named the best place to live in the whole of the UK in the Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live 2021 list. Stroud took the top spot thanks to its community spirit, local pride, great transport links, green spaces and schools. It's hard to argue with that!
Gorgeous properties in Stroud
Stroud and the surrounding areas are bursting with beautiful period properties, from Victorian townhouses to Cotswold stone cottages, as well as new build homes next to the Thames and Severn canal in the centre of Stroud.
Breath taking natural beauty in Stroud
Surrounded by stunning Cotswold countryside, nature lovers are spoiled for choice when it comes to green spaces in and around Stroud. Enjoy spectacular views from Selsley Common; walk the Cotswold Way from Cam Long Down; try to spot the rare woodpeckers that call Frith Wood home; or jump on your bike and head to Wotton Hill.
Even Stratford Park in the centre of Stroud offers a tranquil spot to escape the hustle and bustle of town, with a lake and plenty of mature trees. Check out 8 stunning beauty spots near Stroud for more places to explore.
Stroud is the pet-friendliest place in the south west
Stroud has also been named the 'pet-friendliest place to live in the south west' – with the town boasting the highest number of groomers and training centres, as well as above-average size homes, not to mention all those lovely green spaces for pampered pooches to stretch their legs.
Organic, local food in Stroud
Internationally-renowned, Stroud farmer’s market takes over the town every Saturday, offering food fans an impressive array of local treats to try, from homemade sourdough loaves to local honey.
Stroud is also home to the UK’s first completely organic café in Woodruffs Organic Café and a Borough Market-inspired artisan food market at Five Valleys Shopping Centre. Not to mention the only vegan football club in the world – Forest Green Rovers – in nearby Nailsworth.
Stroud’s impressive green credentials
On top of being vegan, Forest Green Rovers has also been called the greenest football club in the world by FIFA – with an organic grass pitch that’s free from pesticides and irrigated with rainwater; solar-powered ‘mow-bots’ keeping the pitch trimmed; electric vehicle charging points; and 100 per cent green energy from Stroud-based Ecotricity.
As well as being one of the town’s biggest employers, with just under 900 staff, Ecotricity is also a household name for supplying the country with green energy – with 20 per cent of its output generated by its own wind and solar energy farms.
Great schools in Stroud
For families, Stroud boasts excellent schools, with both its Foxmoor and Uplands primary schools being rated outstanding by Ofsted.
For those considering an independent school, Wycliffe College is a co-educational independent school in Stonehouse, offering girls and boys aged three to 19 a fantastic education, a broad range of extra-curricular activities and unrivalled pastoral care.
Arts and culture in Stroud
Stroud has a great reputation for arts, crafts, fashion and culture, with its destination music, comedy and theatre venue The Sub Rooms in the centre of town; fantastic galleries like Museum in the Park, Stroud Valleys Artspace and Gallery Pangolin – as well as unique performance venues like Prema Arts Centre. While shops like the ever-popular Made In Stroud offer unique handmade items from local creatives.
History fans will love exploring the spooky Woodchester Mansion in Nympsfield – a stunning, unfinished Gothic revival house with a fascinating backstory, including the rumour that it's haunted. Or for colourful days out, head to the glorious Painswick Rococo Garden to explore the flowers and follies, or enjoy live theatre performances during the summer.
Good transport links in Stroud
With Cheltenham, Gloucester and Swindon all between 20 and 45 minutes away on the train, Stroud is a great location for commuters.
It’s also just a 15-minute drive from the M5, providing direct road links to Bristol and Birmingham as well as a link to the M4 for Wales or Swindon, for those travelling further afield.
Independent shopping in Stroud
Stroud is home to one of only three independently run Sandersons department stores in the UK – with the Gloucestershire store at Five Valleys including a concession from popular Cheltenham-based designer fashion house, Holland Cooper.
Stroud is also a fantastic place to pick up vintage fashion and antique furniture, with places like The Malthouse Collective offering a unique shopping experience with a variety of local dealers displaying their wares.