‘One of the best places to live’

With its award-winning restaurants, artisan cafes, art galleries, boutique shops and a vegan football club, it’s easy to see why this bustling market town is ranked high on the list of best places to live.

Once known for its wool and cloth mills (fact: Nailsworth has the largest number of working water wheels in Gloucestershire), this pretty Cotswold town is packed with fabulous shops and eateries.

The town continues to thrive and has a friendly community spirit – The Sunday Times named it one of the best places to live in 2014 and it was ranked in the top 200 places to live in Britain in 2022 by media website Muddy Stilettos.

Food aficionados can take their pick from pubs, cafes and restaurants and pay a visit to some of the town’s finest food stores including William’s (an award-winning seafood restaurant, fish monger and deli) and Hobbs House Bakery, which was founded by Tom and Henry Herbert, AKA The Fabulous Baker Brothers, and featured on their hit television series.

Just around the corner is Cotswold family-owned vineyard and winery Woodchester Valley, which produces white, rosé, red and sparkling wines and offers wine tasting and tours around the picturesque vineyard.

There are plenty of independent shops and family-run businesses in this vibrant town, including Brutons hardware store that sells everything from garden tools to paint.

A lively market with over 30 stalls is staged in the town centre on the fourth Saturday of every month. Here you can buy fresh local produce, meat, cheese, homemade pies and cakes, plants and flowers, arts and crafts and lots more!

Professional football club Forest Green Rovers is right on the doorstep. This local club – the first fully vegan club in the country – was described by FIFA in 2017 as ‘the greenest football club in the world’ and is the first club to be recognised as carbon neutral by the United Nations as part of the UN Climate Neutral Now pledge.

Ruskin Mill College – run by the Ruskin Mill Trust – is an independent specialist college for young people with learning difficulties and holds regular exhibitions, craft workshops and events. It also has a café serving delicious organic food.

In spring, Nailsworth comes alive for a week-long celebration of arts and culture. Nailsworth Festival takes place every May with a fun-packed programme of events for adults, children and families, along with exhibitions and workshops.

Nailsworth is twinned with Lèves in France and cultural ties are strengthened through regular trips and exchanges between the two towns.

There’s a wide range of community activities and events held throughout the year, including music groups, gardening clubs, dance and exercise classes, drama groups, a film club, community workshops and even circus classes for all ages!

Nailsworth is surrounded by beautiful countryside, with glorious walks in the rolling hills and valleys. Minchinhampton and Rodborough Common are a stone’s throw away and there are some great walks along the cycle track following the old railway line.

Woodchester Park is a magical place to explore. Here you will discover the hidden remains of an 18th and 19th-century landscape park and lakes. You can also pay a visit to Woodchester Mansion, a stunning Victorian Gothic house.

Further afield, Bath and Bristol are easily accessible from Nailsworth via the A46, and Cheltenham and Gloucester are just over 20 miles away. The Cotswold towns of Stroud, Tetbury and Cirencester are within easy reach of Nailsworth and there is good access to the M4 and M5 motorways. There are regular trains to London from Stroud and Kemble railway stations.

Nailsworth Primary School has just over 200 pupils and was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted. There is an excellent choice of secondary schools, including Marling and Stroud High grammar schools, as well as independent schools such as Beaudesert Park School.