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The local area guide to living in Berkeley

Situated on the Little Avon River between Bristol and Gloucester, Berkeley is a small town most famous for Berkeley Castle. This historic monument is noted for being the location where Edward II was killed, and was constructed in 1117, before being remodelled in the fourteenth century. Today, visitors arrive to see its collections of fine art, silverware, and historic artefacts, as well as its well-manicured gardens and butterfly house. Berkeley was an important port and market town in years past, before becoming the site of a nuclear power station in the 20th century.

A stroll through the town reveals a blend of contemporary and historic architecture. You’ll see quaint pubs like the Malt House and Berkeley Arms, along with interesting stone work in local churches such as St. Mary’s. The village is set amidst the picturesque greenery of the Gloucestershire countryside, making it a good home base for rural recreation.

Information about the local residents

Located in the Stroud district of Gloucestershire, Berkeley had a population of just over 2,000 residents at the time of the 2011 census. In the ward of Berkeley, there were 4,181 residents at this same time. The average age of residents is 43, with 92.6% of residents having been born in England. Other places of birth listed, besides Wales and Scotland, include the United States, China, South Africa, and Hong Kong. The most common occupations are a blend of professional, skilled trades, and elementary roles. In terms of education, a higher percentage of residents in Berkeley list some form of higher education than the national average, indicating that this is an affluent, well-educated town.

Over the years, Berkeley has also been home to famous residents, including the progenitor of vaccination, Edward Jenner. William Shakespeare is rumoured to have lived here at one point as well.

Nearby schools

Berkeley Primary School was built in 1861 and moved into new premises in 1964, after the town’s population swelled due to the local Nuclear Power station. The school, rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in its latest report, still features a bell from 1910 in its Edwardian building. The school’s stated goal goes beyond education, in that they want to create a ‘super’ team of global citizens. At the moment there is no secondary school within Berkeley, but students have a range of options in nearby towns. The closest are the Dean Academy in Lydney, and Rednock School in Dursley. Rednock is rated the better of the two by Ofsted, receiving a ‘good’ rating that emphasizes its superior safety record and committed head teacher.

Getting around

The Berkeley railway station shut in 1964, and today the closest station is in Lydney or Dursley, both a few miles away in either direction. However, there are a number of bus routes passing through the village that connect Berkeley with the rest of the area. The 88 bus travels from Bristol to Dursley, and there’s an express bus connecting Berkeley with the Rednock School in Dursley for students during term time. Many residents choose to get around via automobile instead, with the M5 in close proximity. It’s only 30 minutes into central Bristol or Cheltenham via this major motorway, depending on the direction of travel.

Local shops

Berkeley’s attractive high street is a pleasant place to stroll, dotted with independent shops as well as major brand names. There’s a designer chocolate shop, wedding boutique, and florists, as well as a well-stocked convenience store and several charity shops to browse through. For groceries, a branch of the Co-operative supermarket is located in the town centre, and the Berkeley Bakery Shop supplies residents with fresh baked goods.

If you’re seeking larger shopping centres then Bristol is within easy reach. The city offers several major retail outlets, including the Mall at Cribbs Causeway. Yate Shopping Centre is just a 20 minute drive from Berkeley, and offers a mix of high street and independent shops in a covered outdoor environment. Yate also offers a full calendar of special events and a trendy cocktail lounge on the premises, making it a top destination for nights out.

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Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@zoopla.co.uk

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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