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Home | Guidebooks | Nailsworth

A Visitor’s Guide to Nailsworth

The artistic market town of Nailsworth is nestled in a wooded valley in the south Cotswolds. Nailsworth is renowned for its selection of award-winning restaurants, pubs and cafés, as well as its lovely independent shops, where you can enjoy shopping for gifts, art, pottery, furnishings and antiques. Nailsworth was recently selected by The Sunday Times as one of the best places to live in Britain.

The centre of Nailsworth stands at the union of two valleys. Like neighbouring Stroud, many mills were built and used during the success of the wool and cloth trade, but they have now been converted to new uses such as restaurants, museums and arts and crafts shops and galleries. Every third Saturday morning there is a small farmers market held in the centre of the town, adding to Nailsworth’s charming appeal.

Over the last few years Nailsworth has found itself on the map as increasingly renowned eateries have opened in the town, such as William’s Fish Market, Food Hall & Oyster bar, Hobbs House Bakery (founded by The Fabulous Baker Brothers) and Wild Garlic.

There’s plenty on offer to entertain, educate and amusing in Nailsworth and the surrounding area, including many great attractions to be enjoyed by all age groups!

Ruskin Mill

Ruskin Mill is a lovely peaceful Arts and Crafts centre where local specialists also train young people from all parts of the Country. There is a lovely walk through the valley next to the various trout ponds and lakes, as well as a café and sometimes exhibitions and crafts for sale.

Woodchester Mansion

An unfinished Gothic masterpiece abandoned in 1868 after 16 years of building. Carefully preserved – but will never be finished. Mystery and intrigue has always surrounded this haunting building. Tours can be arranged by the Mansion Trust. The park is also home to lovely woodland walks, lakes and ponds.

Owlpen Manor

Very beautiful Tudor manor with church, barn and mill. Terraced gardens in a wonderful wooded position.

The Bulwarks

The Minchinhampton Bulwarks is a large defensive earthworks stretching across the common for nearly a mile and was probably a settlement for the Belgic Dobunni tribe. There are various round and long barrows and the odd standing stones.

Newark Park

Newark Park stands proud on top of the Cotswold escarpment, looking down into the Ozleworth valley and to the Mendips beyond. The Newark estate is situated in an unspoilt corner of Gloucestershire, with barely a sign of modern life visible in any direction. The garden and estate showcase a range of seasonal specials, such as snowdrops, aconites and daffodils, wild garlic, summer borders and autumn cyclamen. A beautiful setting with splendid views of the Cotswold countryside, waiting to be discovered and explored.

A place of architectural intrigue, quaint gardens and sprawling parkland there is much to see and do at Newark!

Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetland Trust

From birdwatchers to families there is plenty to discover all year round. Enjoy amazing wildlife up-close. With experiences to suit all ages offering access to a huge variety of wildlife, it is no surprise that this fabulous centre is an award-winning day out!

Prinknash Abbey and Gardens

Once the hunting lodge of King Henry VIII, Prinknash Bird and Deer Park’s Old Abbey is set in a charming wooded valley the other side of a monastic estate from the more impressive New Abbey. The park has been landscaped with modern techniques to recreate an 18th century park including traditional style follies, which include a vintage gypsy caravan and a traditional Wendy House structure.

Cattle Country

The Cattle Country Adventure Park has been operating since the early 1990s and has grown from a field with a few trampolines to one of the best visitor attractions in the area, including animals, a huge indoor soft play barn and many outdoor attractions.

During certain times of the year there are also falconry displays, maize maze, punch & judy show, magic shows, character days, animal feeding and handling sessions and tractor rides.

Frocester Tithe Barn

A 16th century tithe barn and gate and court houses from same period. Located 2 miles South West of Stonehouse. Post Code: GL10 3TN. One of the most important barns in England & best preserved. Late 13th century tithe barn, 186 ft x 30 ft with 13 bays & 2 projecting porches. Roof timbers date from 1525. You can also view the exterior of the nearby 16th century gatehouse & courthouse.

Please note, pretty much all the shops in Nailsworth close on a Saturday between 4pm and 5pm. They also do not open on Sunday with the exception of the supermarkets.

Domestic Science

A wonderful treasure-trove of a shop. Full of gifts, vintage-style homewares, clothes, jewellery, reclamation and antiques with a delightful café attached called The Canteen (which has a dog friendly courtyard). Find it tucked away opposite Tesco Express on Old Market.

Red Hen

Vintage Retro & Contemporary Homewares and Splendid Gifts. A curated collection of beautiful homewares, quirky home accessories and home decorations as well as unique and unusual home gifts. 

Mother Goose

A traditional wool and craft shop with really helpful staff, perfect for knitters! Halfway down Market Street.

Calcot Manor Spa

Situated in a quiet corner of the grounds, close to the main house, it’s everything you would expect from a Cotswold Spa. Quiet, calm, beautifully designed and with the uplifting spa aroma that instantly suggests relaxation.

The Calcot Spa team will do whatever they can to make sure you have everything you need and that every detail of your visit is taken care of. The building is lovely, the lavender-lined outdoor hot tub and open fire is inviting and of course the healthy menu is delicious – but most importantly, the spa and the team are exceptional. You will have a great time.

Westonbirt Arboretum

England’s National Arboretum. Westonbirt Arboretum is close by and apart from its many beautiful walks through 600 acres of wonderful countryside, with no less than 18,000 specimen trees and magnificent displays of rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias, it hosts a variety of concerts, festivals, plays and other entertainment.  Westonbirt attracts over 350,000 visits per year and is known worldwide for its spectacular autumn colour and the spring rhododendron, azaelea and magnolia displays. The arboretum is popular for groups, individuals and educational visits. The 16,000 trees (2,500 different specimens) come from Britain, China, North America, Japan, Chile and other temperate climates.

Coaley Peak Picnic Site

Includes the Frocester Hill viewpoint and the Nympsfield long barrow. Coaley Peak Picnic Site is about 4 miles south west of Stroud and has 12 acres of grassland with panoramic views over the Severn Vale. On a clear day you can see over the River Severn with a backdrop of the Forest of Dean and the Welsh hills beyond. It is a good spot to have a picnic or take a leisurely stroll through the adjacent Woodland Trust escarpment edge beech wood.

Painswick Rococo Garden

Painswick Rococo Garden is unique in that it is the only surviving garden of the rococo period which is open to the public.  The Garden is on the Historic England Register of Parks or Gardens of Special Historic Interest.  It was created at a time when garden design was in transition.  Previously, gardens had been formal, regular in layout and usually sited close to the dwelling.  Now they were light-hearted, flamboyant and even frivolous.  Features were included to surprise the visitor and make them smile. They were there to go into and enjoy. They became theatrical sets in which to hold lavish garden parties. This fabulous garden set down in the valley is open to the public, complete with a delicious café and gift shop.

Nailsworth is a great place to explore the Cotswolds. There are numerous walks and footpaths to walk along the valleys and over the rolling Cotswold Hills. The walks vary in difficulty to suit everyone.

Cyclists are not left out with a wonderful eight-mile, flat cycle path that winds its way from Nailsworth along the old railway line to Stonehouse. This is a great way to appreciate the many mills, industrial heritage and stunning scenery.

The Cotswold Way is one of the best walks in England, covering 105 miles of the most beautiful scenery in the country.

Useful Links

Visit the Cotswolds

Strolling in Stroud District

Nailsworth Walks

Walk Web

Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons

This extensive open Common land, (the second largest in the Cotswolds) lies around the attractive village of Minchinhampton with its typical cottages and 17th century wool market house supported on stone pillars. The Commons are sandwiched between A46 (Stroud-Nailsworth-Bath) and A419 (Stroud-Cirencester-Swindon). Quiet lanes lead uphill from these roads.

Uley Long Barrow (Hetty Pegler’s Tump)

An English Heritage site of superb chambered long barrow. A partly reconstructed Neolithic chambered mound, 37 metres (120 ft) long, atmospherically sited overlooking the Severn Valley. ‘Hetty Pegler’ was its 17th century landowner. Located 3.5 miles north east of Dursley, on B4066.

Badminton Horse Trials

The Badminton Horse Trials take place every year on the beautiful estate of Badminton House. Visit the website for information on pricing and dates for the upcoming event.

Cheltenham Festivals

Between the months of May and October Cheltenham hosts renowned festivals of Jazz, Science, Music and Literature, visited by some of the most esteemed professionals in their field. 

Gatcombe

The Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing takes place at Gatcombe Park, home of HRH The Princess Royal and her family, in one of the most beautiful areas of the Cotswolds.  This established and world respected sporting event has been running for over 35 years, creating a must have date in the diary for both competitors and general public alike.

Stroud Fringe Festival

An extraordinary weekend of music, art, creativity and comedy!

The Cotswold Clay Club and Shooting School

The Cotswold Clay Club and Shooting School is located in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold Countryside. It is open every day to everyone from novices, to experienced shots and also for shooting experiences.

Minchinhampton Golf Club

Both the New Courses and the Old Course have their own Clubhouses offering a warm welcome and excellent catering. At the New Course there are exceptional practice facilities including a driving range, short game area, practice putting green and state of the art teaching and performance centres. The course welcomes non-members.

Cotswold Gliding Club

Cotswold Gliding Club at Aston Down Airfield in Gloucestershire is one of the most progressive gliding clubs in the UK with its large airfield and excellent training fleet.

It really is one of the premier places to learn to fly. We have continuously invested in both our ground and airborne fleet to provide the most reliable and efficient way of getting you in the air. Our large team of instructors gives the greatest possible availability to pilots learning to fly and all instruction is provided free of charge to members.

There are many great places to eat in and around Nailsworth. As well as a choice of takeaways, there are wonderful pubs and restaurants. The following gives a small taste of what’s on offer within walking distance of the cottage.

Bakeries & Snacks

Hobbs House

This wonderful bakery with southerly aspect and babbling stream, has a café on the 1st floor and an outside sheltered terrace. Amazing breads, pastries and delicious fresh coffee. The café menu can be enjoyed from breakfast through to afternoon tea.

The Canteen

Tucked away in a little courtyard beside an old mill, and adjacent to the quirky interior shop Domestic Science, is this fabulous, slightly eclectic café serving delicious breakfasts, lunches, cakes and drinks. You can sit inside at a table or on a sofa, or outside surrounded by all sorts of retro and antique garden ephemera.

Lunch & Dinner

Williams Food Hall and Dining

William’s Food Hall & Oyster Bar is a multi-award-winning delicatessen and restaurant in the centre of town. An outstanding range of fresh fish and seafood, combined with cheeses, charcuterie, terrines and fruit and vegetables are on offer in the delicatessen. They will also make you up delicious sandwiches and baguettes to take-away.

William’s has recently been voted one of Matthew Fort’s ‘Five Favourite Places to Shop’ and one of Rick Stein’s ‘Food Heroes’. They also sell pre-prepared meals for you to cook at home.

The adjacent restaurant and Oyster Bar is open for lunch from Monday to Saturday on a first come, first served, basis. On occasion they open for evening dinner – look for the board outside.

Fine dining – Wild Garlic

Chef Patron Matthew Beardshall offers fresh and local produce. Warm, professional service and a carefully chosen wine and cocktail list complete the Wild Garlic experience.

The Olive Tree

Situated opposite the entrance to Morrisons car park, this is a relaxed restaurant with terrace, serving pizza, pasta, salads and Mediterranean mains. Consistently receives excellent trip advisor reviews.

Gastropubs

The Britannia

The Britannia, or ‘Brit’ as it’s affectionately known, is a vibrant town centre bar with an open plan restaurant, a cosy bar, snugs and log fires that sits in Cossack Square in the centre of Nailsworth. Signature stone baked pizzas and homemade breads are not to be missed. Very popular on Sundays for traditional roasts and also boast lovely gardens.

Takeaways & Late Dining

Nailsworth has some great takeaway food in a variety of different cuisines, such as Amalfi Ristorante and Pizzeria, Bens Chinese Takeaway, Walkers Fish and Chip Shop, and The Passage to India – one of the best Indian restaurants in the Cotswolds!

Drinks & Nightclub

Waterloo House

Offering a selection of drinks from local craft beers to boutique ales, lagers, ciders, wines and a great cocktail list, this stunning venue has retained many of the original features of the old bank in which it sits. The original parquet flooring and contemporary copper-top bar blend together to produce a visually striking interior. The bar occupies a central position under a high, vaulted ceiling with feature hanging lamps.

Egypt Mill

The 16th Century Egypt Mill is a fantastic place to relax and enjoy an evening on the beautiful riverside terrace, or in the restaurant or bar. 

Emergency

999 (toll free/freephone – police, ambulance & firefighters)

Taxis

Nailsworth Taxi Company : 07770928046
Omega: 07775660297

Supermarkets

Morrisons – 15 George St, Nailsworth, Stroud GL6 0AG
Tesco Express – Old Market, Nailsworth, Stroud GL6 0DU
Co-op – 6 Old Market, Nailsworth, Stroud GL6 0DU

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