Cirencester: Three Parks Walk

This 5.5 mile walk takes you around some of the most beautiful parts of Cirencester. It begins at St. Michael’s Park and takes in all three of the town’s highly popular public outdoor spaces and crosses the town centre; home to regular markets, shops, cafes and restaurants. Our step by step guide can help you navigate the route with ease.

  1. Park on King’s Street in Cirencester (GL7 1JT) free parking is limited in the town, but spots here, opposite Bingham Hall, are free and don’t have time limits. The parking bays stretch most of the way along King’s Street and at the centre of the road is a large gated entrance to St. Michael’s Park. Enter the park through the gate, following the gravelled pathway as it loops through the Park’s trees. The space offers open fields with facilities such as a children’s play area, mini golf course and much more (details below)! Continue out of the park gates into a cul de sac and turn left onto The Avenue. Continue and turn right onto Watermoor Road to begin heading towards Cirencester town.
  2. Follow Watermoor Road onwards, heading towards the church steeple. When you reach a crossroads cross straight over and continue towards the Church, the road becomes lined each side with shops, banks and businesses until you arrive at Marketplace. This is the centre of the town with restaurants, pubs and shops in abundance. From the crossroads at the Marketplace, head towards the large Church in the centre of the square. Skirt around the left hand side of the Church, passing a war memorial and look for a large set of gates which open onto a path leading around the church. Go through the gates and enter Abbey Grounds.
  3. Abbey Grounds  was once the site of Cirencester’s Augustinian Abbey of St. Mary, you will see some signs of monastic life on your walk around the park. Follow the path into Abbey Grounds and at the forked path you can head either left or right to complete a loop of the park. We recommend heading left; signposted Norman Arch and follow the path as it heads around passing the table tennis tables on your left and looking out over the large lawn area to your right. Continue to follow the path as it heads right eventually leading towards the Norman Arch. Turn right, following the path beside the children’s play area to the left and the river to the right. Follow the gravelled path until you reach a bridge heading right or a tarmac path heading straight on which heads past the remnants of the Roman wall if you’d like to have a closer look. Continue over the bridge and follow the path under the trees and through the park past the public toilets on your left. Continue on to where you entered the park but head straight across the road this time to a narrow cobbled road between The Crown pub and French Grey shop.
  4. You will now be on Black Jack Street one of the most beautiful roads in Cirencester. Continue to the end and head to the right where the cobbled surface of Black Jack Street meets a one way road. Follow this road to the right until you see a wall with a tall hedge (the tallest Yew hedge in Europe!) behind it and a turning off to the right. Take the right hand turn onto Park St and continue on the pavement (the road is narrow and there is only pavement on one side, the other is bordered by the walls of the houses which back onto it). You’ll reach a turning left onto a road called Cecily Hill, take this turning and proceed up to the large gates at the top of the road to enter Cirencester Park.
  5. Cirencester Park is part of the beautiful Bathurst Estate which homes the town’s cricket, tennis and polo clubs. Continue all the way along the tarmac path through the middle of the park (approx 1km), up a gradual incline, until it turns right and becomes gravelly. Here, dogs are allowed no further and it can become muddy in the winter, if you aren’t in the right footwear or have a dog, then returning down the path is best. If not, follow the track as is snakes for some distance through the trees, eventually emerging to a junction of paths and a road. Do not take the road left or right but instead continue straight on up the path through the trees. Follow the path until it bends round to the right in an F pattern, take the first right fork onto a road which is lined either side by a high hedge to the left and lower hedge to the right. Follow this hedge lined road for some distance. Eventually, you’ll emerge back in the park near the gate where you entered, however, rather than exiting the same way take the path which sweeps left after a set of three low blue bollards. This path leads down over some speed bumps to a stable yard and through some large double gates to the right. Head through the gates and over a bridge by the river. This path joins a Barton Lane, a residential street that skirts the playing fields of Powell’s C of E primary school. Eventually arriving at a junction.
  6. At the junction turn right to join Gloucester Road and follow this road as it heads back towards to middle of town. Head towards the tall church steeple once back in view and skirt left around it to head into Marketplace. You’ll pass many of Cirencester’s celebrated local businesses including The King’s Head Hotel, The Fleece (pub, restaurant, accommodation) and the Cornhall covered market (lots of boutique shops and restaurants, as well as very often craft and food market stalls). Continue on Market Place until you reach The Bear Inn (pub) and turn right on to North Way. Continue on North Way until it becomes South Way, past the Forum car park and cross over Lewis Lane (the one way road) to enter Tower Street. Continue to the end of Tower Street and cross The Avenue to re-enter St. Michael’s Park and wind your way back down the path and out of the other side to reach your parked car.

The Parks

The three parks in Cirencester are all quite different and each offer unique features and experiences for visitors.

St. Michael’s Park

St. Michael’s Park is very family friendly and offers options for children and adults of all ages with wide-open green spaces. There are many activities available in the park, including; BBQs and tennis courts to hire, (3 full size and 4 touch tennis courts), ping pong tables, a mini golf course (bring your own club and balls and it’s free), ping pong tables (free, bring your own bats and ball), a boules (Petanque) square and a pitch and putt course, football goals an adventure and play area and cricket nets.

It’s the best park in town for children to play in and socialise, it has a large lawn space meaning there is plenty of room for football, cricket, Frisbee and other games.

The park is attended to by groundsmen, who maintain the shrubbery, trees, flowers and lawn areas. This keeps the park looking it’s best all year round, however, the best time to see the park is probably in the summer when the sun is shining and the flowers are in bloom. It’s also when the park is most popular.

Dogs are not allowed in the park (except guide dogs).

St. Michael’s Park Price List

ActivityPrice
Tennis (children & concessionary)£4.50 per hour
Floodlights for tennis£3.00 per hour
Croquet£2.50 per 35 mins.
Golf (adult)£5.00 per game
Golf (children & concessionary)£1.00 per game
Golf Family Ticket (2 adults + up to 4 children)£5.00 per game
Pentanque (Boules)£5.00 per game
BBQ including charcoal£9.00 per 3-hour session
Tennis membership£30.00 per annum
Tennis and more membership (all facilities excluding BBQs)£40.00 per annum

Having BBQs or open fires of your own is prohibited but you can book in via the council, to use one of their brick-built grills to enjoy a BBQ in one of the most lovely locations in town. Coal is provided by the council and hire is priced at £10 per 3 hour session. Booking details for the BBQ are; Tel: 01285 655646 or email: info@cirencester.gov.uk

St. Michael’s Park Opening Times

The park’s opening times vary depending upon which time of year you are visiting. See our table below for details;

SeasonOpening TimeClosing Time
British summertime
29th March – 25th October
8:00amDusk
Winter & Early Spring
26th October – 28th March
8:00am4:15pm

Abbey Grounds

Abbey Grounds is located in the centre of the town, near the Church of St. John the Baptist. It was once the site of St. Mary’s Augustinian Abbey, founded in 1117. Sadly the Abbey was deconstructed as part of the reformation of monasteries under Henry VIII back in the mid-1500s.

Abbey Grounds has a lot to offer, large green spaces perfect for family picnics and get togethers, as well as a children’s play area and table tennis tables. There is a large lake in the park home to many ducks, swans and a lone goose.

It’s home to The Phoenix festival, Cirencester’s free annual festival held on the August bank holiday weekend. It’s one of the main events in the Cirencester calendar and is well worth a visit if you are in the area. 

Dogs are allowed in this park. 

Public toilets are currently under refurbishment, there is a portaloo available. 

Cirencester Park

Part of the Bathurst Estate, Cirencester Park is a beautiful area that has had many uses over the years, ranging from a deer park, to a military base and a hospital. 

The park is a long straight walk suitable for those in or with wheelchairs and buggies or pushchairs. You can get refreshments in the park from their mobile cafe, Beano, which offers a variety of hot and cold beverages as well as homemade cakes. 

The park is free to visit for both walkers and those on horseback. 

Dogs are allowed in the main expanse of the park, however, there are areas where they are prohibited, but these are clearly signposted.

There are no public toilets situated in or near the park.  

Opening timeClosing time
Daily8.00am 5.00pm

Published by Ben

Ben is an avid walker, runner, cyclist and from the Cotswold's who likes nothing more than getting out adventuring his home county.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: