One thing I do remember from my first trip to Cirencester, as a small boy, was this intriguing door in this curving Cotswold Stone wall with this towering Yew hedge behind  it. What it is, is the town entrance to Cirencester Park. It’s not a park in the city sense, a place where people can go and relax and enjoy some natural surroundings, but the 14,500 acre estate of the Earl and Countess Bathurst. Beyond the wall is their, very grand house, surrounded by formal gardens and beyond that the ‘park’ with farms, no less than SIX polo fields, a cricket ground, woodlands etc.etc.etc…. The door is a nice shade of green, it’s the estate colour. If there isn’t a green on the Farrow & Ball paint chart called Cirencester Park, there should be. All the farms and other buildings in the park will have their woodwork painted in it And I’d noticed it on buildings in the town as well. The estate seems to own quite a bit of Cirencester town as well. 

In case you are wondering, 14,500 acres of prime Cotswolds countryside doesn’t come cheap. And the house isn’t one of those occupied by a struggling aristocrat trying to keep the roof of their country pile watertight and having to open it to the public to make ends meet. It’s not open to the public. I imagine that the Earl and Countess are ‘comfortable’. 

Some of the park is open to the public providing you behave yourself. No picnics, no lighting fires and the like. But you are allowed to walk in some parts and your dog is allowed in as well (Earls and Countesses, indeed Queens, are very fond of dogs in the UK. To get to the part you can walk in you have to go along Cicely Hill, a street that runs from the centre of town to Cirencester Park. I noticed that ALL the houses on it were painted in Cirencester Park green. And very nice they all are as well. All owned by the estate. If one comes free, you could rent it. One of the little cottages was up for rent (checked on the Internet) for £600 a month which compares favourably with apartments in central Manchester. I doubt if the estate would consider selling though. I likes how all the people in the cottages had created this long, potted garden on the street, full of summer colour. 

Once you are in the park proper, you are confronted with this view of a long tree lined avenue disappearing into the distance. I wanted to see what was beyond the horizon in the distance. I imagined a stunning view across the Cotswolds and across the Severn Valley with the mountains of Wales in the distance. But it was nearly 5pm and the park closes to the public at that time so I had to turn back.

Here’s the view back towards town which frames the imposing church in the centre.

The next morning I went back to see the view. When I got to the point I’d seen in the distance this was the view! Same as yesterday but further from the town. Some other walkers who live in Cirencester told me it goes on for 5 miles!

To prove that I’d actually got that far here’s the view back towards town with the church even further in the distance.

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