We’ve had a week of non-stop rain here in Wiltshire. Walking two ‘high energy’ working cocker spaniels in monsoon rain 3 times a day is no fun I can tell you. I’m amazed at how much time the Touring Tales pooches take out of my day. Following an hour+ walk we arrive home and dive straight into the garage for a shake down and towel dry. It’s a never ending round of soggy wet fur and dog towels, it’s enough to drive any dog lover insane. 🙂
So when the forecast this Sunday was dry and sunny we all bundled in the car and headed 10 minutes down the road for a dog friendly walk around Cirencester Park. Cirencester is one of our regular places to visit and one of my favourite market towns in the Cotswolds. If you’ve never visited this area of the Cotswolds before then keep reading to find out why I love to take a walk around Cirencester park.
About Cirencester Park
Cirencester Park is set within The Bathurst Estate in the heart of the Cotswolds. A 15,000 acre parkland and working farm area. The Bathurst family originate from Sussex. In 1695, Sir Benjamin Bathurst purchased Cirencester Park, known then as Oakley Grove. It was gifted to his eldest son, Allen, who became the 1st Earl Bathurst. The Bathurst Estate has remained in the same family ever since and is currently run by the 9th Earl Bathurst.
The Mansion was built by the 1st Earl on the foundations of an original Tudor-Jacobean house. The park landscape has been designed and extended since the 18th century into the majestic and stately park we see today. Most noticeably is The Broad Avenue, which runs five miles in length from the Cirencester end of the park, up to Sapperton at the other end of the estate.
Cirencester Park was originally a deer park, and is still home to a herd of deer today, although I’ve yet to spot any of them on my visits. During the First World War the park became a military camp. It was also used again during the second World War to house two military hospitals for the US army. Sadly parts of the estate were damaged and trees were felled for the wood for military use. However, in 1997 Lord Bathurst started a restoration project to reinstate the park back to its former glory. The park has been generously opened back up to the locals and thousands of visitors each year, who can enjoy this beautiful stately park once again. As a local myself I am very grateful that it is open and free for me to use. Poppy and Coco are rather pleased about that too 🙂
Did You Know:
Cirencester Park was used in the BBC’s Poldark series. The Bathurst Estate is a perfect filming location for classic period dramas as well as wildlife documentaries such as Tony Robinson’s Coast to Coast documentary. You never know what may be going on when you take a walk around Cirencester Park.
Why visit Cirencester Park?
Here are just a few of the things you can see and do on a walk around Cirencester park:
- Get Outdoors – surround yourself with nature and wildlife and lots of fresh air
- Take a walk – you can download a walking guide to explore the many paths and trails
- Walk the Dog – give your dog a fun play date in this dog friendly park. We met lots of dogs running and playing together today including a very determined cockapoo with a stick almost big as he was! That stick was definitely going home with him 🙂
- Watch a Polo match – founded in 1894 under the 7th Earl Bathurst the Cirencester Park is the oldest Polo Club in the country. Sundays are the traditional Cirencester Park polo club match days and the best chance to catch the tournament finals.
- Watch a Cricket Match – founded in 1842 Cirencester Cricket Club has a rich history of cricket in Gloucestershire. There are several league teams playing on most Saturdays.
- Anyone for Tennis? – Tennis players of all standards and ages can play on the Cirencester Tennis Club seven all-weather, floodlit, courts.
How To Find Cirencester Park
Cirencester park is located in The Bathurst Estate, just off the A419 Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 2BU.
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Where To Eat And Drink Nearby
Following a walk around Cirencester Park head along The Broad Avenue, towards the church tower. Just inside the park gates at Cecily Hill entrance there’s a trendy, kiosk cart (a former horse trailer) selling drinks and snacks. Alternatively, just a stones throw away is the market town of Cirencester, easily signposted and a short walk from the Cecily Hill park gates. Cirencester has a pretty Cotswolds market town centre with a good selection of boutique and gift shops and plenty of places to eat and drink.
For history fans, Cirencester has some fabulous Roman visitor attractions including:
- Corinium Museum – significant finds from the Roman town of Corinium, now known as Cirencester. From Prehistoric tools to Roman mosaics and more.
- Cirencester Amphitheatre – earthwork remains of one of the largest Roman amphitheatres in Britain (English heritage site).
- New Brewery Arts Centre – A converted Victorian brewery housing a contemporary art gallery, craft shop and cafe, a theatre and twelve on-site maker studios. I love wandering around the art gallery at their latest collection.
- Corn Hall Indoor market – themed market days throughout the year
- Corinium Ales – micro brewery offering local beers, brewery tours and a Brewery Shop, Tap Room & Courtyard
- The park is FREE to enter between 8am and 5pm.
- A large area of the park is dog friendly with clearly marked off-lead and on-lead walking areas. There are dog bins located at regular intervals around the park. You can download a dog walking map of the park before you visit.
- There are a number of short and long stay car parks easily sign posted as you approach Cirencester from the A419. I wouldn’t recommend them for motorhome owners to use. I haven’t spotted anywhere suitable for motorhomes for camper vans to park here as yet but I’ll keep a look out and update this post if I find any.
- Cirencester Park has a Caravan and Motorhome Club Campsite within the grounds of the park. It is very popular so you’ll need to book in advance. You can find out more here.
- Cirencester Park is open all year round. With well maintained wooded trails and the main drive pathway makes a walk around Cirencester Park enjoyable spring, summer, autumn and winter.
- Cirencester park visitor website
- Cirencester Park Events – Find out what’s on including the Cotswolds Food Festival not to be missed.
- Visit Cirencester Town website
Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed my article on a Walk Around Cirencester Park in the Cotswolds.
You Might Also Like:
- The Cotswolds Sculpture Park – find out more about this unique and quirky sculpture park.
- A visit to Lacock Abbey – A great day out for Harry Potter fans and Photography enthusiasts.
- Visit Avebury Henge and Stone Circles – Steeped in history and mystical wonder
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