Top Reasons to Visit Cricklade
Midway between Swindon and Cirencester lies the small Cotswolds town of Cricklade. The first town on the Thames flow towards, London it is an attractive spot known for its Annual Festival and large Jubilee clock.
But, aside from its convenient location and award-winning blooms, why visit? We at TGts believe there are a myriad of reasons and what better way to share them with you than a TGts list of our top reasons to visit Cricklade.
Thames Path Walks
The entire Thames Path can be walked and has been by many devoted ramblers. However, at 184 miles (294 km) in length, it proves a sizeable challenge for a weekend stroll.
The Thames Path National Trail follows the River Thames from its Source near Kemble in Gloucestershire to the Thames Barrier at Charlton, south east London. And we at TGts believe Cricklade is the ideal location to explore the merits of this extensive trail.
Take advantage of Cricklade’s proximity to Kemble and take on the challenge of Cricklade to The Source. The walk measures around 12 miles in length, therefore you will require transport for the return leg. However, the opportunity to explore this famous stretch of water and its beginnings should not be missed.
For those, seeking to explore nearby villages and towns. Why not walk Cricklade to Lechlade on the Thames Path taking in nearby Castle Eaton? A scenic route taking in many beautiful parts of our surrounding countryside.
Cricklade North meadow is an old hay meadow which is now part of the National Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is most famous for having the largest UK population of rare Snakes Head Fritillaries which come out in late Spring leaving the field sprinkled with beautiful colours. The meadow is now owned by Natural England who arrange guided walks around the meadow at weekends when the Fritillaries are in flower.
Find out more here!
Cricklade location and ample free parking
As mentioned above Cricklade is central to both Swindon and Cirencester. It is close to the Cotswold Water Park and offers a refreshing change of scene, without the excessive parking costs.
Families can explore the two children’s outdoor parks and everyone the Cricklade leisure centre. While those seeking an independent store retail fix should visit;
- Grain and Weave Interior designers and Handmade furniture
- Michael Hart and Son, a fourth-generation family run Butchers
Annual Cricklade Festival
Once a year Cricklade plays host to one of the West’s largest street events attracting thousands of people every Summer. The Cricklade Festival is a free fun family day offering a bumper selection of entertainment from live music, dancers, street entertainers, and magicians.
Pubs and Eating out
Cuisine and the Cotswolds welcome are ever present in Cricklade with its cosy, friendly pubs and range of restaurants spanning from Thai to British.
The Red Lion Inn and Hop Kettle Brewing Microbrewery
The Red Lion Inn is one fine example, situated just off the Thames path this pub dates to the early 1600s and still holds many of its original historic features. While returning to modern day, The Red inn has benefited from the addition of a microbrewery offering in-house brewed Hop Kettle beers.
Why not pair an in-house home-brewed beer with a meal from this pub’s extensive restaurant menu? TGtS Reccomends dining in the Bar on their Fish and Chips, Burger and Chips or treating yourself to a cosy Sunday Lunch!
After renovating the former local social club in 2017 in to a quirky cafe bar, the owners have developed Cricklade Club in to one of the towns key assets. Not only has it become a firm favourite with locals, but people travel from Swindon and The Cotswolds (and even further afield we've heard!).
Champions of the artisan and local producer, the Cricklade Club embodies the values of a truly local business. The Cricklade Club’s pride for their ingredients is evident from their produce which is regularly picked from a local organic farm to the preparation of their weekend changing menu.
No time for lunch or dinner? Why not grab a freshly ground coffee and a slice of homemade cake. Or even a Craft Beer a Gin from their huge selection.
TGtS Recommends their brunch menu and in particular the Eggs Down Under or Buddha Bowl!
Jicsaw serves the traditional tastes of Thailand against the backdrop of this historically Anglo-Saxon town. Renowned for its food and service Jicsaw has become a favourite with both locals and visitors. Many of who have spoken of being transported by the taste of the freshly prepared food.
TGts recommends the chef’s appetiser platter and Kaeng Kiew Wark Chicken.
The Ancient Raj
Indian restaurants are as ever present on our high streets as British pubs. Cricklade is no less example. The Ancient Raj is located on Cricklade High Street and offers all the traditional dishes we have come to know and love.
Embrace the attitude of communal eating and sharing, arrange a dinner date with a group of friends.
If you choose to find The Source of the Thames or a Hop Kettle beer. Why not take advantage of Cricklade's convenient location and explore the history of this beautiful Cotswolds town?
By Emma Smith
If you enjoyed Emma's article, you can read more on her site here!