The Cotswold town of Stroud, near Gloucester, has been named the "best place to live in the UK" by the Sunday Times' annual review of British hotspots. Located in the Gloucestershire countryside and only a 90 minute journey from London's Paddington Station, it makes sense that the thriving Cotswold town is such a favourable location amongst those looking to escape the city.
Stroud is the meeting point of Gloucestershire's famous Five Valleys: Chalford, Nailsworth Valley, Ruscombe, Slad and Painswick. This makes for great exploring, lots of walks and beautiful views. Rodborough, Minchinhampton and Selsley commons are just a few good examples and are some of hikers' favourites, along with the view from Coaley Peak of the Severn Vale.
Stroud has a rich and well-known industrial history, with a number of venerable monuments and buildings still very much intact, including old woollen mills which were once part of the town's prosperous textile production. The 12-mile Stroudwater Canal walk has also been restored and opened up to ramblers.
Food lovers enjoy the wide selection of shops selling artisan produce and array of Michelin starred restaurants. Stroud also has one of the biggest Saturday farmers' markets in the country.
Stroud is a very well connected town, with easy trains to Swindon, Cheltenham and London Paddington. By road, Bristol, Cheltenham and Gloucester are only a thirty minutes away.
According to The Sunday Times, you would love living in Stroud if you are after an "independent spirit in well-connected Cotswold countryside."
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