Back to top
Clear Filters
Clear Filters



Must Be


Bedrooms and Bathrooms

Clear Filters
Clear Filters
Home | Guidebooks | Nailsworth

A visitor’s guide to Nailsworth

About Nailsworth

Nailsworth is nestled in a beautiful, wooded valley formed by the Nailsworth Stream, which runs into the River Frome at nearby Stroud. Sitting at the south-western edge of the Cotswolds in South Gloucestershire, Nailsworth was recently selected by The Sunday Times as one of the best places to live in Britain. You can see why with its enticing combination of award-winning restaurants, pubs and cafés, as well as some fabulous independent shops. The town also has a flourishing farmers’ market and a great choice of vintage stores.

Nailsworth’s wool milling history has been kept alive by the conversion of many of the mills into restaurants, museums and art and crafts shops, giving the town a unique combination of red-brick and Cotswold stone architecture.

Over the last few years, Nailsworth has secured a place on the Cotswold foodie map, with increasingly recognised eateries opening 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.

  1. Woodchester Mansion and Park
  2. Newark Park
  3. Westonbirt Arboretum
  4. Highgrove House and Gardens
  5. Painswick Rococo Garden
  6. Nympsfield Long Barrow & Coaley Peak
  7. Badminton Horse Trials
  8. Minchinhampton Bulwarks
  9. Cotswold Country Water Park and Beach
  10. Slimbridge Wildfowl Centre
  1. Ruskin Mill
  2. Cotswold Craftsmen Gallery
  3. Calcot Manor Spa
  4. Forest Green Rovers
  5. Cattle Country Adventure Park
  6. Berkeley Castle
  7. Cotswold Canals Trust Visitor Centre
  8. Chavenage House Tour
  9. Giffords Circus

Cotswold Craftsmen Gallery

The Cotswold Craftsmen Gallery is a combination of mini shops showing off a wide range of work designed and made by up to 12 local craftspeople selling ceramics, jewellery, paintings, glassware and more. Why not visit for a chat with the artists and perhaps commission a unique piece of Cotswold art?

Painswick and the Rococo Gardens
16-minute drive from Nailsworth

Painswick – also known as the Queen of the Cotswolds – has the highest number of listed buildings of any village in England. The Rococo Garden, less than a mile from the centre of the village, is the only surviving garden of the rococo period that is open to the public. Rococo garden design was light-hearted, flamboyant and was often used as theatrical backdrops to lavish garden parties.

Prinknash Abbey
24-minute drive from Nailsworth

Once the hunting lodge of King Henry VIII, the historically fascinating Prinknash Abbey and Park is set in a charming, wooded valley the other side of a monastic estate from the more impressive New Abbey. Visitors to the monastic community are welcomed to explore the designated footpaths, the Walled Garden and the Monastery Shop and Café. The Chapel is open for quiet prayer.

Ruskin Mill
5-minute walk from Nailsworth centre

Ruskin Mill is a lovely, peaceful Arts and Crafts centre where local specialists train young people with learning difficulties 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
20-minute drive from Nailsworth

This unfinished Grade I listed, Victorian Gothic Revival mansion, designed by Benjamin Bucknall, was abandoned in 1868 after 16 years of building work. It has been carefully preserved but was never finished. On Open Days you can admire the fascinating inner detail. The Park has some lovely, circular woodland walks, lakes and ponds, including an children’s adventure trail complete with mini zipline.

Woodchester Mansion

Badminton Horse Trials

The Badminton Horse Trials is one of the toughest equestrian events in the world, providing a chance for spectators to get really close to the action over the four-day trials, which include dressage, cross-country and show jumping. As well as the trials, there’s a huge shopping village with over 500 retailers.

Cheltenham Festivals
May – October

Cheltenham Festivals is a charity that runs outreach programmes throughout the year, culminating with the town’s internationally acclaimed Jazz (May), Science (June), Music (July), and Literature (October) festivals over a total of 36 days. The four festivals feature nearly 1,000 events, with 25 percent of their programme free to enter and world-famous acts, performers, experts and authors appearing year-on-year.

Giffords Circus
May – October

The most magical circus in the UK is based in Lipiatt, seven miles from Nailsworth, and tours around the Cotswolds from May to October. Giffords Circus is a fabulously eclectic mix of clowns, horses, dancers and performers of every type doing what they do best under a big top tent.

Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing

The Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing takes place at Gatcombe Park, home of HRH The Princess Royal and her family. As well as top-class eventing over the three-day weekend, there are plenty of other attractions, including falconry displays, a Shetland Pony Grand National, dressage to music, the Pony Club Mounted Games, and a shopping village with over 100 retailers.

Nibley – The Friendliest Music Festival

Located on farmland in the South Gloucestershire village of North Nibley, Nibley has grown to be the festival of the southern Cotwolds. Incredibly, it is run entirely by volunteers on a not-for-profit basis. With excellent line-ups, free entertainment for children, a silent disco and great food, this weekend festival is a must-visit for families.

Stroud Fringe Festival

A three-day weekend event in support of Stroud Fringe festival, featuring a diverse line-up of contemporary music from all genres, plus comedy, film, literature, visual art, circus arts, performance art, children’s workshops, a street procession, and street food. All proceeds go towards funding future Fringe festivals.

Berkeley Castle
29-minute drive from Nailsworth

This beautiful castle has been in the Berkeley family for 900 years, with the family able to trace their history from father to son back to the Saxon era. A family ticket includes entrance to this fairy-tale castle and gardens, a Dragon Trail through the grounds, Jester Explorer sheets to follow the Jester’s Journey through the castle, and entrance to the wooded play area.

Cattle Country Adventure Park
27-minute drive from Nailsworth

Cattle Country Adventure Park is one of the best visitor attractions in the South Gloucestershire, where children can play inside (in two huge play barns) or outside in the castle, adventure playground, Beach Barn, jumping pillows, climbing net, splash pool and boating lake. Then there’s all the farm animals to meet, plus animal feeding and handling sessions. During certain times of the year there are also falconry displays,  maize mazes, magic shows, character days, and tractor rides.

Kite flying on Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons
7-minute drive from Nailsworth

The Commons are known for their wonderful walks, beautiful views and, perhaps, the best sunrises and sunsets that the Cotswolds has to offer. Here you’ll find a huge variety of limestone-loving wildflowers and rare butterflies that can be seen from spring right through to the autumn. The commons are open, public land (shared with freely wandering cows and sheep), with plenty of spots to unfold a blanket, set out a picnic and enjoy nature at its best, and they are one of the best places to fly a kite on the thermals that flow up the edge of the Cotswolds.  

Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetland Trust
30-minute drive from Nailsworth

Whether you’re a keen twitcher or not, there’s plenty to discover all year round at this 100-acre wetland paradise. Enjoy amazing wildlife up-close, including wetland superstars of the feathery and mammal-kind. With experiences to suit all ages, including a canoe safari and wetland safari, and a huge variety of wildlife, it is no surprise that this fabulous centre is an award-winning day out.

Perfect for: lunch, dinner, takeaway

An Italian restaurant in the heart of Nailsworth, serving a wide range of typical Sicilian and Italian dishes in a relaxed and convivial setting. If you prefer to eat back at your cottage, you can order your favourite Amalfi pizza to takeaway.

Egypt Mill
Perfect for: breakfast, lunch, drinks, dinner

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. 

Hobbs House
Perfect for: breakfast through to afternoon tea

This wonderful bakery, with its southerly aspect and babbling stream to the front, has a café on the first floor and an outside sheltered terrace. Enjoy delicious breads, pastries and perfectly brewed fresh coffee.

Stroud Farmers Market
13-minute drive from Nailsworth
Perfect for: breakfast, brunch, lunch on the go

The market has between 50 and 55 stalls depending on the season, selling Cotswold cheeses, chutneys and preserves, speciality meats, cooked food, ice cream and certified organic produce. There are several special events throughout the year, such as the apple day festivities in October and Christmas shopping in December.

The Britannia
Perfect for: lunch, drinks, dinner

The Britannia, or ‘Brit’ as it’s affectionately known, is a vibrant town centre bar with an open-plan restaurant, a cosy bar, snug and log fires, as well as lovely gardens for the warmer months. Signature stone-baked pizzas and homemade breads are not to be missed. Very popular on Sundays for traditional roasts.

The Canteen
Perfect for: breakfast, lunch, cakes and drinks

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. You can sit inside at a table or on a sofa, or outside surrounded by all sorts of retro and antique garden ephemera.

The Olive Tree
Perfect for: lunch, dinner, catering

This relaxed and award-winning bistro, with a pretty terrace, serves a Mediterranean-influenced menu. A great place for an informal midday meal or a special occasion in the evening.

Thistledown Café
7-minute drive from Nailsworth
Perfect for: brunch, lunch, tea, dinner

This fabulous café at Thistledown Campsite at Nympsfield, serves fresh, home-made food inspired by Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine (much of which is vegetarian / vegan) using locally grown produce and a clay oven. Friday and Saturday night pizza evenings are particularly fun to go to.

Wild Garlic
Perfect for: dinner

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

William’s Food Hall and Dining
Perfect for: picnics, home catering, lunch, dinner

William’s Food Hall & Oyster Bar is a multi-award-winning delicatessen, caterer 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 up delicious sandwiches and baguettes to take-away. One of Matthew Fort’s ‘Five Favourite Places to Shop’ and one of Rick Stein’s ‘Food Heroes’.

Barton End Equestrian Centre
6-minute drive from Nailsworth

Barton End offers a wide selection of equine activities to suit all standards of rider. They run special hacks, including romantic evenings, easter egg hunts, pub trips, picnics, and Pimm’s and strawberries. They also offer early bird hacks, so you can watch the sun rise and view the amazing wildlife while you ride.

Cotswold Gliding Club
13-minute drive from Nailsworth

Cotswold Gliding Club is based at Aston Down Airfield – an old military airfield that’s a whopping 1,500 metres long. It’s perfectly located to make the most from the thermals that rise off the Cotswold limestone. The club offers one-day and five-day courses, as well as evening trial lessons.

Cotswold Water Park
30-minute drive from Nailsworth

Well worth a visit for sporty and outdoor-loving visitors, this is an adventure paradise for all ages. The water park is an extensive wetland area where a host of outdoor activities are available, including sailing, rowing, SUP, canoeing, horse riding, hiking, and swimming from a purpose-built beach.

E-Bike Touring
12-minute drive from Nailsworth

Take a half-day or full-day tour around the Cotswolds with Wild Carrot based at Chavenage, near Tetbury. You can ride on an electric bike, a manual step-through,  a mountain bike, or even try out a one wheel electric board. At the end of the tour, head back to the Wild Carrot café for lunch, snacks, cake and drinks.

Golf at Minchinhampton
7-minute drive from Nailsworth

Golfers have two choices – Minchinhampton Golf Club and Minchinhampton Old Course, established in 1889, both on Minchinhampton Common, a National Trust-managed Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Woodchester Valley Vineyard and Winery
9-minute drive from Nailsworth

This family run, boutique vineyard and winery in the South Cotswolds has three sites in the Stroud Valleys producing rosé, white and sparkling wines. Grape varieties include Bacchus, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Ortega. Vineyard and winery tours include a Friday fizz and chips evening tour and the vineyard & dog walk tour, or pop into their cellar just outside the centre of Nailsworth.

Armed and Gorgeous

This independent jewellery and accessory shop sell a fantastic range of unique and fine jewellery pieces, while on the lower floor they have a huge choice of some very funny gift cards, as well as wrapping paper, gifts, scarves and clothing.

Brutons Home Hardware

It might not seem like essential holiday shopping, but there’s nothing like a good browse through a good hardware emporium, especially when it sells over 12,000 items. You’re bound to find something you need to take home.

Domestic Science

A wonderful treasure-trove of a shop, full of gifts, vintage-style homewares, clothes, jewellery, upcycled and antique furniture, with a café attached called The Canteen. Find it tucked away down a little alley, opposite Tesco Express on Old Market.

James Lear of Arundel

This super stylish menswear shop also sells a unique range of traditional and quirky gifts. A great place to find something a little different for the man in your life.

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop

This wonderful, independent bookseller has a vast range of books, curated by the owners who have a passion for the written word. They offer a zero-carbon delivery service every Tuesday to the book-hungry locals of Nailsworth and Stroud, and also deliver across the UK and worldwide.


A contemporary lifestyle store selling clothing for him and her and interior accessories for the home. Born out of a frustration of having to wait for each other to browse in ‘For Him or ‘For Her’ shops, Chris and Becca Williamson launched a shop that catered to him and her and their home in one place. Gorgeous brands include Skandinavisk, Revo and Wolf and Moon.

Chavenage House
12-minute drive from Nailsworth

You may recognise this unique Elizabethan manor house thanks to its on-screen appearances in several BBC dramas, including Poldark, The Pale Horse, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Lark Rise to Candleford and Grace and Favour. Visitors can take a tour of this 400-year-old Cotswold manor with the current owner, David Lowsley-Williams, and walk in the footsteps of Oscar-winning Eddie Redmayne, Jamie Dornan and Poldark’s Aidan Turner, as well as Oliver Cromwell and possibly a few ghosts too!

Highgrove House
15-minute drive from Nailsworth

The gardens of the family residence of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall can be visited on a pre-arranged tour, led by one of HRH The Prince of Wales’s guides. After exploring the gardens, be sure to head to The Orchard Restaurant for a bite to eat. They serve up delicious daily dishes created using the finest in organic ingredients. The Highgrove Shop on the High Street in Tetbury sells sustainably sourced produce, handmade china, jewellery and organic food and drink.

Nympsfield Long Barrow at Coaley Peak
10-minute drive from Nailsworth

Coaly Peak is a 12-acre grassland site on the Cotswold escarpment that includes Frocester Hill viewpoint and the fascinating Nympsfield long barrow – the remains of a Neolithic burial site complete with burial chambers – now managed by English Heritage. The site has a fantastic panoramic view over the Severn Vale and is a great place to fly kites. On a clear day you can see over the River Severn with a backdrop of the Forest of Dean and the Welsh hills beyond.

Tyndale Monument
20-minute drive from Nailsworth

Sitting on the southernmost edge of the Cotswolds, the Tyndale Monument overlooks the South Gloucestershire countryside, the Bristol Channel and South Wales. Take a signposted walk through Westridge Woods from the village of North Nibley up to the monument, which was built to commemorate William Tyndale, a martyr who translated the Bible into English.

Woodchester Mansion
17-minute drive from Nailsworth

This unfinished, Grade I listed Victorian Gothic Revival mansion, designed by Benjamin Bucknall, was abandoned in 1868 after 16 years’ of building work. It has been carefully preserved but was never finished. On Open Days you can admire the fascinating inner detail. The park has some lovely, circular woodland walks, lakes and ponds, including a children’s adventure trail complete with zipline.

Nympsfield Long Barrow


Nailsworth is at the centre of the southern Cotswolds with fantastic walks in every direction. Head north or south into the rolling Cotswold countryside, west towards the Severn Valley’s lowlands or east following the valley alongside trout ponds to Ruskin Mill. Put your boots on and hop onto the Cotswold Way, the Monarch’s Way or the Wysis Way, or for something a little less hilly (once you’re up there) head to beautiful Minchinhampton Common or Uley Barrow – both with fantastic views across to the River Severn and the Welsh mountains beyond.

For more information about walking and cycling, take a look at our Walking and Cycling Guides online.

Barnsley House Spa
33-minute drive from Nailsworth

This blissful sanctuary is tucked away in Barnsley, a picture-perfect Cotswold village, amidst beautiful secret gardens. Designed to offer the ultimate in relaxation with a range of treatments, steam room, hydrotherapy pool and spa garden terrace, you may find you never want to leave.

C-Side Spa at Cowley Manor
36-minute drive from Nailsworth

This award-winning spa is part of Cowley Manor and features a Cotswold green slate-lined heated indoor and outdoor pool, with the focus on lounging and enjoying the environment. With natural springs and a series of lakes in the spa’s grounds, water is at the heart of the C-Side with remedies inspired by the natural cures found within the countryside landscape.

House Spa
9-minute drive from Nailsworth

Situated in a quiet corner of the grounds of Calcot Manor, the spa is a quiet, calm, and beautifully designed oasis with a lavender-lined outdoor, fireside hot tub offering full-day, half-day and sundown spa treatments and packages using Elemis and CACI products. After winding down in the spa, head to The Gumstool Inn for a delicious post-treatment meal.

Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa – Colerne
39-minute drive from Nailsworth

Lucknam Park Spa is in a beautiful country mansion setting with fabulous grounds, just three miles from Marshfield. ESPA treatments are offered during personalised spa treatments, which can be combined with horse riding experiences too. Day guests can enjoy lunch at The Brasserie, which offers a menu overseen by Michelin-star chef Hugh Jones. 

Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa
20-minute drive from Nailsworth

The Aquarius Spa at Whatley Manor is a fabulous place to reset and recharge, with an indoor-outdoor hydrotherapy pool, heated stone recliners, salt scrub showers and thermal suite, plus a pampering menu of treatments to enjoy. There’s also a gym, should you want to energise before unwinding.

Whatley Manor and Spa

Dyrham Park
29-minute drive from Nailsworth

The sumptuous National Trust-owned, 17th century Dyrham Park House is set in a beautiful, ancient deer park. The gardens have many stunning plants and wildlife, while the house’s interior includes 17th century paintings and furniture. There is a children’s play area at Old Lodge, providing space for little ones to let off some steam.

Highgrove House
15-minute drive from Nailsworth

The gardens of the family residence of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall can be visited on a pre-arranged tour, led by one of HRH The Prince of Wales’s guides. After exploring the gardens, head to The Orchard Restaurant for daily dishes created using the finest Ducky of Cornwall organic ingredients.

Newark Park
19-minute drive from Nailsworth

Newark Park is a National Trust-owned property at the southern edge of the Cotswold escarpment, looking down into the Ozleworth Valley and on to the Mendips beyond. The estate has several self-guided walks, with carpets of snowdrops, aconites, daffodils, autumn cyclamen and wild garlic all making an impressive seasonal showcase. There’s a fabulous nature-based adventure playground, too.

The Matara Centre for Wellbeing
8-minute drive from Nailsworth

Set in 28 acres, with woodland, water and parkland habitats, the Matara Estate in Kingscote village is open to the public for quiet, meditative walks. There are magical gardens inspired by Japanese Shinto, tea gardens and Chinese scholar gardens. The village has a fascinating history dating back to Roman times. It is also the place where Edward Jenner, the father of vaccination, landed a hydrogen-filled balloon (aerostat) and met Catharine Kingscote who later became his wife.

Westonbirt Arboretum
18-minute drive from Nailsworth

England’s National Arboretum has 600 acres of wonderful countryside, with no less than 18,000 specimen trees and magnificent displays of rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias. The 16,000 trees (2,500 different specimens) come from Britain, China, North America, Japan, Chile and other temperate climates. The arboretum is also a Forest Live location, hosting popular artists performing outdoors during the summer months such as Jules Holland, Madness and Keane.

Westonbirt Arboretum
This site uses cookies.
ConfigureHide Options
Read our privacy policy

This site uses cookies for marketing, personalisation, and analysis purposes. You can opt out of this at any time or view our full privacy policy for more information.