Ciren vs Stroud(8 Posts)
We are two uni lecturers looking to move out west to start a family. I'm quitting my job and OH will be commuting in to the Western fringes of London. I guess I'd describe us as lefty-liberal-intellectual types, but more geeky than arty-farty. Trying to find a place that is attractive and family-friendly but also where we'll fit in.
At the moment we've been thinking about Cirencester or Stroud, but not sure if we'd be welcomed in either. My (very limited) impression is that Ciren is a bit posh/tweedy, and Stroud a bit hippy. Slightly worried that the Ciren crowd will reject us for not owning designer labels, while the Stroud crowd will reject us for not owning any crystals. Tell me I'm wrong!
It's all nonsense!
Stroud is definitely quite 'lefty-liberal' (though not politically, for good or bad) and from personal experiences, I'd say the hippy image is a thing of the past.
It's really a fairly ordinary little town but with a small touch of the unconventional about it.
Looking to the future, schools are generally pretty good here.
I think you'd be made to feel more than welcome.
Can't say much for Ciren as I rarely visit.
Both towns have a real mix to be honest. Plenty of people in Ciren don't swan about in designer labels, playing polo and going hunting and I have rational friends in Stroud who aren't struggling living amongst hippies. I quite like Ciren as there is a good mix of people and the town is nice to be in. Stroud feels more scruffy and functional, but has a more obvious granola vibe - green party/transition town etc. But I think you could find a tribe in either town.
But if you are commuting, think about the trains! Ciren has no station - you have to get to Kemble which has little parking and there is no functional bus service. It is 15 mins quicker to London than Stroud though. Stroud station is pretty central, so potentially walkable from where you live.
Cirencester is fairly average but quite smart and well to do
I know loads of people who have moved to Stroud from London with their families and they all adore it
Its very welcoming and totally buzzing and thriving with arts/music etc, amazing countryside..and from how you describe yourselves Stroud is definitely the one!
There is an amazing community but its totally inclusive. Good luck!
Thanks so much for your helpful replies!
It sounds like Stroud may be emerging as the winner (although I'm pleased to hear that both places are welcoming). TBH I actually have a bit of a soft spot for hippy when it's of the green (vs crystal) variety, so it sounds like we may be more likely to find our tribe in Stroud. Thriving and inclusive sound good to me! We'd been coming to similar conclusions about the commuting as well, so thanks for confirming.
OH is pretty much sold on Stroud - he thinks that social life is more important than the buildings (I have a BIG soft spot for Cirencester yellow stone). Deep down I suspect he's right, and that I just have to stop being so shallow (mmm, lovely yellow stone).
I think the next step will be to come down for a proper look around. Looking forward to it
As another poster mentioned, the rail station is a big deal. The only thing about Stroud is it is SO hilly! Try to come in bad weather as well as good. You tend to meet the elements a bit around here, compared to London!
Thanks for the heads up Dizzy. I grew up in Bristol, so am not a stranger to hills, but am woefully out of practise now, and my bottom muscles (that's the medical term, I believe) are undoubtedly going to suffer.
Good advice about the weather too - shouldn't be too hard to find a rainy day in November!
You'll cope, then - St Nicholas Hill / Park Street sort of thing, but prettier.
MN meetup, once you've moved!
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