Perfectly situated, surrounded by the beautiful Cotswolds rolling countryside, Tetbury has something to offer everyone and in all seasons. From its iconic 17th century Market Hall, where the twice weekly markets are still held to the elegant Georgian wool merchants’ houses; the medieval Chipping Steps, lined with picturesque weavers’ cottages to the awe-inspiring Georgian Gothic church of St Mary the Virgin & Mary Magdalen, Tetbury has a sense of timeless beauty. In Summer the buildings are the perfect backdrop for the stunning floral displays which Tetbury in Bloom work tirelessly to provide. At Christmas the town takes on a magical feel with the Market Hall decked in lights and the shop fronts alight with festive cheer.
Tetbury Market Hall
Well worth a visit is nearby Chavenage House, a wonderful Elizabethan Manor house now known worldwide as “Trenwith” in the Poldark TV series. It has also appeared in many other films and dramas.
If shopping is your thing, Tetbury is the ideal destination with a range of individual shops selling all kinds of unique and special items from fashion to vintage homeware. Hunting for antiques? Tetbury is renowned for its many antique shops. The popular Highgrove shop can also be found here, HRH Prince Charles’ private house of the same name being just 1 mile away.
Just on the outskirts of Tetbury you will find the National Arboretum at Westonbirt where you can enjoy and learn about trees – 15,000 specimens from all over the globe offer the perfect place to relax. Unlike other arboretums, the landscape here was laid out aesthetically rather than in a botanical order, meaning Westonbirt is truly one of the most beautiful tree gardens to be found anywhere in the world. Close by you will also find Westonbirt House and Gardens, which is open from April to October.
Finally, a trip to Tetbury is not complete without a visit to Highgrove, the private residence of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. Members of the public can visit The Royal Gardens for guided tours on selected dates each year, beginning with Spring Walks between February and March and Individual Garden Tours from April to October. All profits made by Highgrove from the sale of garden tours, events and products are donated to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.
The Tetbury Woolsack Races are an eccentric Cotswold tradition where fearless competitors run up a steep ‘1 in 4’ hill with a woolsack on their back.
Tetbury Police Museum & Courtroom
A walking tour of Tetbury
Starting at the Grade 1 listed Market House in the centre of Tetbury, built in 1655 and still used today, make your way down Church Street noting the 17C building on the right, Talboys House. Visit the church of St Mary the Virgin and St Mary Magdalen, re-built in the late 1770s with the tower and spire being rebuilt some 100 years later. Inside the church there is information on the history of Tetbury and the church.
Leave the church and walk along The Green, the small one way street opposite the Visitor Information Centre. Look for the house with the shell porch and further along a house with a sun dial.
Follow the pavement around the buildings until you come to the junction, this is Silver Street/Fox Hill. down the hill and you will see Wiltshire Bridge. Until the 1930s this was the boundary between Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
Keeping on the pavement in Silver Street carry on around the buildings until you come to Market Place, cross over to the Snooty Fox and walk around the building until you enter Chipping Street. Walk down this street until you come to The Chipping car park and go to the far corner. There you will see the top of Chipping Steps, an old entrance to the town with some very old cottages which were probably weavers’ cottages. On the opposite side of the car park are more imposing houses. Further down Chipping Street on the edge of the town is the Old Goods Shed now an arts centre and a free car park from which you can walk along the disused railway line, now a lovely wooded walk.
Re-trace your steps back down Chipping Street until you get to the junction in front of the Market Hall turn right down Long Street, the main street of Tetbury. Long Street has a wealth of architecture with the Porch House a 16C unaltered gem.
Half way down on the left hand side is the Highgrove shop, profits from which are for The Prince’s Trust. There are also fashion, antique and interior design shops. There are shops in all the main streets mentioned.
At the bottom of Long Street on the right hand side in the old Police Station is the Police Museum. Entry is free but there are limited opening hours so please check.
On your walk around the town look out for the information plaques on many of the buildings.