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Cheltenham / Cotswolds area

(58 Posts)
SerialRelocator Mon 14-Sep-20 06:55:22

We currently live in a different part of the country but are considering a move to Cheltenham or Cotswolds area.
My spouse is particularly keen on Cheltenham for the social opportunities it offers. I agree it is an attractive area but do worry it might be too big and busy.

We thought the upmarket, outer edges of Cheltenham might be good to give easy access to interesting, varied dog walks (v important) and some quiet. Schools are not a consideration. Nor do we need to be near to a specific workplace.

As there is little on the market it is hard to judge what is achievable or realistic & Cheltenham is definitely expensive. We would like a nice, attractive, ideally contemporary, detached house (2200-2700ish sq ft), with a genuinely large garden (enough to properly throw ball for the dog). Tree-lined road a bonus. Budget up to £1m, maybe with a tiny bit of flex.

Other areas we're thinking about are Cirencester but the big & busy roads surrounding it seem to make living on outskirts tough, and Stroud area, as we loved the walks on Rodborough / Minchinhampton common and it was friendly. Stroud town center lacked 'polish' though and we would like that affluent feel (we compromised on that last time and regretted it). Nailsworth seemed more upmarket but choked by traffic.

Any thoughts on whether what we are looking for is achievable on our budget in those areas? Other areas to consider?
I do appreciate we are fortunate to have that budget. Anyhow, all local knowledge gratefully received. Thank you.

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BikeRunSki Mon 14-Sep-20 07:00:27

Have you looked at Moreton on the March, the Slaughters, Burford?

KitMarlowesCodpieceOfthigh Mon 14-Sep-20 07:09:55

Cheltenham really isn't big and busy.

Stroud is gorgeous but the town centre is a bit dilapidated. You could try some of the outlying villages, like Painswick, but parking is a nightmare because they just weren't built for cars. Tetbury is lovely but relatively remote if your spouse wants social opportunities.

Longhope has some nice houses, but again, you're getting further out of the more populated bits.

If I were you, I'd go for Cheltenham - it's not exactly a metropolis and you'd get plenty of house for your money even given the inflated prices there. You've got nice walks available (Pittville Park is big, and there's Cleeve Hill - and if you drive there are loads of places to go), good shopping and some really great cultural opportunities like the festivals.

SerialRelocator Mon 14-Sep-20 07:25:43

Places like Moreton on March do look nice, but are possibly too small? It does look to have a fair few amenities.
We currently live on the edge of a town of about 15000 people, with country walks right from the doorstep. Never appreciated the latter more than during lockdown!
In terms of size 10-20,000 is my sweet spot I think.

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SerialRelocator Mon 14-Sep-20 13:44:27

Can anyone tell me a bit more about living in Moreton-in-Marsh or Stow-on-the-Wold?
Is it a high percentage of 2nd home owners? What is there to do where one can meet new people / make friends (we don't have children)? Are they dog-friendly places? Do the tourists make getting about unbearable?
I'm am so worried about making the wrong decision, particularly in this uncertain world, that any insight could be welcome.

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Mrsladybirdface Mon 14-Sep-20 17:22:02

I found this property on the Rightmove Android app and wanted you to see it:

Over your budget but has been on the market awhile and over priced

I found this property on the Rightmove Android app and wanted you to see it:

Sold but is this the sort of modern?

SerialRelocator Mon 14-Sep-20 17:41:55

Seen the 1st. Garden is not really usable because of the severe slope.
2nd doesn't have much of a garden at all.
A suitable garden does seem to be the sticking point in the area and is really important to us; the house is actually easier to find.

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Pearsapiece Mon 14-Sep-20 17:54:43

I have lots of local knowledge but not in the 1m pound house areas!!! You'll find what you're looking for in Cheltenham for that. But Painswick lept out at me for your wishes. Cheltenham Town center is basically dying and is lined with drug addicts on the streets (mainly because the ymca is based int he town centre and they have to be out during the day). The town is also walking distance from a lot of the rough areas.
I wouldn't move back to Cheltenham, mainly because of the town center.
Down Hatherley is also nice area and quieter and within Cheltenham

YellowNotRed Mon 14-Sep-20 18:08:47

Sought after areas of Cheltenham:
Charlton Kings
Leckhampton (ideal for your lifestyle needs)

Feel free to PM houses you're looking at and I can say if the area is good or not!

It's not a super busy town at all, the festivals (literature, jazz, science) do bring in lots of tourism and it's bustling in a vibrant way, and of course the annual Race week gets VERY busy but generally getting around is very easy; no idea what the above poster is saying about the high street dying, not true at all.

You can definitely afford a lovely house in one of the surrounding Cotswold villages, can't really go wrong with any of them! Cleeve Common is a fantastic walking area, perfect for dog walking.

Personally I'd avoid Stroud, Nailsworth, Cirencester, Gloucester and Forest of Dean.

SerialRelocator Mon 14-Sep-20 18:37:52

@YellowNotRed I think Tivoli and Montpelier would not offer walks from the door. Leckhampton is definitely of interest but not seen any with half decent gardens.

Surprised to see Cirencester on your avoid list (the others I get). The center seemed pretty smart when we visited. Could you elaborate?

@Pearsapiece Am equally shocked at your verdict on Cheltenham town center. Looked lovely and leafy when we visited and certainly not what we've heard so far.

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Notlostjustexploring Mon 14-Sep-20 18:47:02

Prestbury village might suit what you're after? Maybe leckhampton? I really like Cirencester actually, and kinda regret not moving there instead of where I am. Much prefer the centre to that of Cheltenham. Some really nice houses with lots of space in churchdown as well, with easy Cheltenham access.

MummaGiles Mon 14-Sep-20 19:03:01

What big and busy roads around Cirencester?? I’m intrigued as to where you live now if you think Cheltenham is a busy metropolis and the roads around Ciren are too busy.

Pearsapiece Mon 14-Sep-20 19:08:16

@serialrelocator the thing is, when you're looking at somewhere new, you tend to look through Rose tinted glasses. If you're looking at somewhere you've always lived, you'll maybe look with a less hopeful view.
If you're around the montpellier area then yes, it's leafy and nice. But that's not the town center. The promenade is overly but even there you can see evidence of the drug problem that the town is riddled with. There are at least 4 regular homeless spots on the promenade and more as you walk further into the town center, cleverly they are outside a lot of the banks!
I lived in Cheltenham for 20 years and still live locally and visit Cheltenham fairly regularly. More and more shops are disappearing and leaving a vacant door way for a homeless person in its place as the rent is too high the shop units are rarely filled.
Race week is a nightmare as well but it brings a lot of tourism to the town which it needs. I know many of the pubs onky survive because of the takings in race week.
The outside areas of Cheltenham (Charlton Kings, Leckhampton, down Hatherley) are all lovely and very expensive.
However, on the other side, the outside areas such as St Paul's, hesters way and springbank are really down in the dumps and struggling. Obviously the occupants of these areas spread into town as they are closer to the town that the affluent areas are.

Friendsoftheearth Mon 14-Sep-20 19:15:08

I would suggest Cirencester in a heart beat. Amazing walk in Cirencester park, lakes and surrounding areas. Vibrant town that is still vibrant, riding out all the recessions, so it is a lovely shopping experience. Restaurants and everything you need within walking distance. Very friendly and beautiful!! Of course it is beautiful. Great links to the M4, London and elsewhere. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for someone looking for an active social life with great walks and countryside.

Friendsoftheearth Mon 14-Sep-20 19:16:41

BTW I don't live in Cirencester, I live rurally but would recommend the town as I am there most days

Mrsemcgregor Mon 14-Sep-20 19:19:37

I live in the centre of Cheltenham, Lansdown very close to the train station. The houses are lovely around the Ladies College but you won’t get the garden.
Charlton Kings and heading up Crickley hill will give you more outside space.

It’s a lovely town, big enough to attract nice retailers and upmarket restaurants but not too big. It attracts visitors without being a tourist economy. Lovely festivals through the year - literature, science, jazz, yoga!
Race week can be a pain if you’re not prepared to join in, But really it’s 4 days a year!

Good luck in your hunt!

HoneysuckIejasmine Mon 14-Sep-20 19:29:01

Lots of locations mentioned already so won't add more, but the problem you may well have is that many many large gardens will be on the slope... What with be Cotswolds and all. grin I like the Bisley/Winston sort of area and as it's at the top the the hills you tend to find more flat space. But roads are narrow and parking is hard to find.

2Kidsinatrenchcoat Mon 14-Sep-20 20:02:18

Stroud has been going rapidly downhill the last few years, I’m desperate to move away so definitely wouldn’t recommend moving here. Ciren and Cheltenham seem nice but then I thought that about Stroud before I moved here! The villages in the area are all lovely though, I grew up in a nearby village and could go for walks at night (as a young woman!) without any problems. In Stroud there are places I’m reluctant to walk even in the middle of the day.

Minch and rodborough are both generally nice

kermo Mon 14-Sep-20 20:26:12

I have lived in Cheltenham 26 years and have no idea what you are referencing. There are some “rougher” areas which lets be honest in the grand scheme of things are hardly rough at all- a lot of you have clearly had very sheltered lives!!
All high streets are are struggling currently so suggesting that all the shops are shutting down is untrue and unfair.
I have friends that live in the St. Paul’s area, never had a problem, lovely friendly people and next to a beautiful park. In fact, it's one of the more up and coming areas now- it used to be very studenty (young people does not equal "rough", by the way) but now big houses are being sold to older people and it's actually getting more expensive. How an area next to a beautiful park with a lake and pump rooms could be considered rough is quite laughable to be honest.
Perhaps you'd be suited to somewhere different, Cheltonians are many things but they aren't snobs, so I doubt you'd fit in. We simply would not be worthy.
And re: homelessness, it's a horrendous issue across the country. Perhaps have some empathy rather than judgement. Or help, rather than complain.
Happy house hunting! I'm sure you'll manage to find something that's up to your standards.

Lurchermom Mon 14-Sep-20 20:39:07

We love in Stroud and love it here (though soon moving, sob!) The centre is going through renovations so it is on the up, and the market is incredible. Even after 7 years I still love it.
You could try the surrounding villages like Ruscombe, Randwick, Whites hill etc though you'd struggle with the 'modern' , but £1m would get you a nice sized property.
There's also Minchinhampton and the Common (Rodborough) which has some really great options.
I like Cheltenham but I feel it's actually a bit gritty when you look more carefully and spend more time there.
Cirencester is lovely but over priced.

Lurchermom Mon 14-Sep-20 20:41:00


Stroud has been going rapidly downhill the last few years, I’m desperate to move away so definitely wouldn’t recommend moving here. Ciren and Cheltenham seem nice but then I thought that about Stroud before I moved here! The villages in the area are all lovely though, I grew up in a nearby village and could go for walks at night (as a young woman!) without any problems. In Stroud there are places I’m reluctant to walk even in the middle of the day.

Minch and rodborough are both generally nice

That's funny you feel that because I honestly don't think there's anywhere I wouldn't go in Stroud ,even in the middle of the night! And we feel it's really developed and improved over the past 5 years! Funny how people see things differently!

SerialRelocator Mon 14-Sep-20 20:43:18

@kermo I thinking you are attrubuting comments some people have made to me. My only comment has been to say that Cheltenham might be a bit busy for me, and that I'm not sure we could afford the garden we would like. Oh, and that it looked leafy and lovely when we visited. Still, ...

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kermo Mon 14-Sep-20 20:44:45

@SerialRelocator yes, apologies. Read back and that was completely my mistake and I'm sorry for that.
Definitely aimed at other people and not you!

foggyfuzz Mon 14-Sep-20 20:56:54

I'd avoid the touristy cotswold places as they get packed during peak times, what about these :

SerialRelocator Mon 14-Sep-20 20:57:47

Re busyness and roads, I appreciate Cheltenham isn't a metropolis but it is significantly larger than where I live now (15k population and right on the edge of town). That's a positive to one of us, and a compromise to the other.

Lots of positive comments on Cirencester. We did like it. I found the dual carriageways in/around busy, but I appreciate not everyone will. Again, a possible compromise.

Thank you for all the helpful comments.

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