Every May, the picturesque market place plays host to Fairford’s Annual Food & Drink Festival – a gastronomic delight for lovers of local food, fine wine and ales.
The town boasts no less than five pubs (one within walking distance), a beautiful old hotel and a delightful choice of cafes and restaurants.
Just a short drive away, in near-by Lechlade is the hugely popular Colley’s restaurant, brasserie and grill where you can enjoy their famous four-course ‘table for the evening’ menus, classic Sunday lunch or discover their ‘Taste the World’ evenings. For a real treat, venture slightly further afield to Cheltenham to Le Champignon Sauvage, rated one of the UK’s Top 20 restaurants and the proud holder of two Michelin stars.
Families moving to Fairford will find an excellent range of schools to choose from. These include the town’s own C of E Primary School and Farmor’s, a mid-sized secondary school which has the added benefit of a highly respected Sixth Form. This is set to be enhanced further still with the completion of a new state-of-the-art Learning Resource Centre in 2014.
Just down the road in Meysey Hampton there is another primary school, recently rated as outstanding by OFSTED and further afield in Swindon and Cirencester there is a wide choice of colleges and academies.
If you are considering private education, there are a number of other schools with excellent reputations to consider. These include Hatherop Castle School, a Preparatory school for boys and girls up to the age of 11 and Rendcomb College, which caters for children from nursery age through to the Sixth Form. In nearby Shrivenham, you’ll also find Cranfield University the UK's only wholly postgraduate science, technology and management university.
As well as local cricket, football and badminton clubs, there is a thriving leisure centre and gym in Fairford. Budding sailors and water-sports fans will also enjoy the fact that the 150 lakes that make up the Cotswold Water Park are just 7 miles away. As well as a wide range of water-based activities for the whole family, there is even an inland beach for enjoying lazy summer days in the sun.
Every summer there is a Festival and in August, Fairford Park plays host to the annual Steam Rally. The highlight of the calendar is, of course, The Royal International Air Tattoo – the largest military airshow in the world.
What to see
At the heart of Fairford lies St Mary’s Church, an ancient ‘wool church’ famed for its 28 medieval stained glass windows and considered one of the most complete collections in the world. Each window tells the story of the Bible and the collection has recently featured in an exhibition at the V&A Museum in London.
Elsewhere, there is plenty to see and do with local attractions such as Bibury Trout Farm, Rosemary Verey’s world-famous gardens at Barnsley House and the Cotswold Wildlife Park practically on your doorstep. Here, for the first time in the Park’s 43-year history, a rare white rhino calf has recently been born.