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Complete Guide to Tetbury market town, Cotswolds
Brace yourself to be immersed in discovering one of the most idyllic market towns in the Cotswolds, Tetbury. A historic wool town loved not only by travelers and locals alike but also by the Royal family! In 1980, Prince Charles of Wales bought the Highgrove Estate on the outskirts of the town to become his residence in the Cotswolds. Its gardens are actually open to the public but more on this, later on.
Tetbury has such a rich heritage, with charming honey-colored limestone buildings and plenty of cafes, restaurants, independent shops, and lots of antique havens!
There are so many places to see and things to do so Tetbury is not only worth a visit but worth staying a much longer time in the area to explore it! You will find something for all ages, no doubt.
Let us give you a complete tour in and around Tetbury town in the Cotswolds and you will quickly understand why Tetbury is also one of the top places to live in Gloucestershire. A rural Cotswolds landscape with a bit of a royal flavor and plenty of celebrities to spot, Tetbury is the most exciting place to live in the area.
WHAT TO SEE
Tetbury Market House
This is a historic pillared Market House that almost looks like it’s standing on stilts. It is very much used to this day for Craft Fairs, Exhibitions, and even farmers’ markets so always something to do or see at Tetbury Market House.
St Mary of the Virgin Church
Dating back to 1777, is known to have one of the most elegant and with the fourth largest church spire in England. St Mary of the Virgin Church is famous for its box pews and an effigy of William de Braose.
St Saviours Church
An Anglican church made of local Cotswolds stone and slate. It may not be as majestic as St Mary’s church but it is so peaceful and worth popping inside to see the pews with poppyhead ends.
Tetbury Police Museum
Something interesting for older kids maybe, a free and unique exhibition covering all things crime-related and detection in the Cotswolds. They even recreated a courtroom and old jail cells.
Tetbury Goods Shed
This is an arts center at Old Station Yard on the Cirencester Road You also have the go-to place for great coffee and cakes. It’s also a great location to go to if you have children- they can play in the adjacent all-wood play area overlooked by the café.
Royal Gardens at Highgrove House
If you are a royalist, this is a place not to be missed. Prince Charles, the Queens’ son owns Highgrove Estate and for the past 30 years, their gardens have been extremely well kept and open to the public from March- September. Once you finished visiting the Highgrove Gardens, head to The Orchard Restaurant for daily dishes using the finest organic local produce.
Highgrove Shop on Long Street
After Prince Charles moved into Highgrove House and it became his residence, in 2008 he opened the Highgrove Shop on Long Street. Clearly, it has become one of the most popular shops with a huge collection of souvenirs to buy. All proceeds go towards the Prince of Wales Charity Fund which transforms lives and communities in the UK.
Only a 10 minutes drive from Tetbury, Westonbirt Arboretum is simply a view not to be missed- especially in the Autumn! IT’s a spectacular 600-acre land with thousands of trees which put on a show like no other place you’ve seen.
Only 7 minutes drive from Tetbury, this unique Elizabethan manor thanks to its on-screen popularity, with the likes of Poldark, Wolf Hall, and BBC’s Lark Rise to Candleford, have all been filmed here. You will find here a fascinating family home dating from the 17th century.
WHERE TO STAY
Calcot Hotel & Spa
Time to relax in one of the most luxurious hotels in the area, with an outdoor hot tub, a roaring fire pit, an indoor pool, tranquil relaxation areas, and an extensive treatment menu. Calcot Spa is only 8 minutes drive from Tetbury and it is everything you needed after all the walking and exploring of the Cotswolds countryside.
The Hare and Hounds Hotel
A traditional English boutique hotel set in a magnificent Victorian property with over 40 rooms to book. The Hare and Hounds hotel also have a recommended restaurant onsite.
The Royal Oak Tetbury
A classic Cotswolds inn with a changing seasonal organic menu and a great selection of real ales.
Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa
If you are looking for a place to recharge and feel pampered then The Aquarius Spa at Whatley Manor is all you need. It has an indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy pool, heated stone recliners, salt scrub showers, and a thermal suite, plus a pampering menu of treatments. And if you don’t want to stop your gym habit, don’t worry, there is one here for you, as well.
Kings Head Hotel
A 20-minute drive from Tetbury is the unique Kings Head Hotel with a subterranean spa, treatment rooms, and a thermal suite with a hot tub infra-red sauna, steam room, and experience shower. There are not many places like this so it would be a truly unique experience.
WHERE TO EAT
Tetbury Fish & Chips
WHAT TO DO
Find the Chipping Steps
Found in the oldest part of Tetbury town and dates all the way back to the medieval era.
Beaufort Polo Club
Cotswold Water Park
20 minutes drive from Tetbury lies a hidden gem of the Cotswolds countryside- Cotswolds Water Park. An adventure park for all ages to enjoy in this wetland area, with lots of outdoor activities to choose from. Kayaking, SUP, sailing, rowing, horse riding, shooting, and even a purpose-built beach is found on site. So don’t worry about the weather outside, there is always something to do here.
Minchinhampton Golf Club
11 minutes drive from Tetbury, Minchinhampton Golf Club is one of the finest golf courses in the Cotswolds.
Attend any of the annual events
Tetbury is also famous for its annual events which are extremely entertaining for ages all across the border.
Without further ado, we have listed the annual events you should keep your eyes on if planning to visit Tetbury in the future.
ANNUAL EVENTS IN TETBURY
Tetbury Woolsack Festival (May)
On the second May Bank Holiday each year, you can attend the iconic Woolsack Races dating back to the 17th century!
Tetbury Wacky Races (May)
Have you ever seen a soapbox event? The Wacky Races organizes each May an event where adrenaline junkies battle it out around the town’s hairpin bends in their own soapbox creations! Now that’s something I’d love to see!
Badminton Horse Trials (May)
For 3 days in May, one of the biggest events in the world’s equestrian calendar is the Badminton Horse Trials. Filled with thrilling competitions, amazing horse displays, and over 500 stands dedicated to food, drink, and country pursuits. Members from the Royal family are also invited, so you never know who you get to see.
Royal International Air Tattoo (July)
I am pretty sure you don’t want to miss one of the greatest airshows in the world! July is the time when above Fairford the skies come alive with the world-renowned Air Tattoo. With over 185,000 people every year, the Air Tattoo is the host of over 300 aircraft from 30 nations around the world. You can’t miss this thrilling program of air displays.
Tetbury in Bloom (August)
Summer Show (August)
Gatcombe Horse Trials (August)
Another one for the horse lovers among us, August plays host to the annual Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, HRH The Princess Royal’s personal home. Watch riders test their mettle in many different events over the course of the weekend, discover the fantastic food and shopping village and be prepared to be enthralled with the equestrian entertainment on offer in the main ring. Dogs are welcome too, making this a fantastic option for the whole family.
Tetbury Music Festival (Autumn)
A celebration of everything from classic to contemporary music, the Tetbury Music Festival offers a wonderful program of concerts, talks, and interviews throughout the town every year; the perfect antidote to the nights drawing in. Be sure to visit the website for details of what’s on and how to get tickets.
For Bigger Kids
The beating of the Bounds (September)
This is an Anglo-Saxon ceremony to bring in the Harvest.
Tetbury at Christmas
Can you imagine Tetbury during the Christmas holidays, filled with twinkling lights, markets, Christmas carols? Well, if you get the chance to visit during the Winter holidays, Tetbury is a good place to start in the Cotswolds!
In 1980, PRINCE CHARLES moved into Highgrove House and ever since, its gardens are very well kept and open to the public.
CHIPPING STEPS – a row of picturesque Cotswolds houses along with a steep set of stairs.
The SECOND LARGEST TOWN in the Cotswolds – you can find a really large number of antique shops and historic market halls here!
Tetbury’s icon is literally a dolphin and it can be spotted everywhere in town! Although Tetbury is so far from the sea, there is actually one of many stories saying that a member of De Braose’s family from Tetbury was saved by two dolphins in the Irish Sea. Whether or not this is true, we will never know for certain, but at least you can picture why it’s there.
If you wanted to make the most of your day out, you can also visit the nearby villages: Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, Lower and Upper Slaughters, Burford even. Plenty of wonderful options all around.
We love meeting people from all over the world and introducing you to some of our favorite places in Cotswolds. We know a thing or two about this region and we can help you capture some sweet memories!
Did you know we share all of our favorite locations in the Cotswolds that you can visit or take some photos at? We highly recommend you check our blog for more hidden gems or other popular spots in the Cotswolds!
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Can’t wait to meet you in the Cotswolds!
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