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Home | Guidebooks | Tetbury

A Sightseeing & Activities Guidebook to Tetbury

Known as the southern gateway to the Cotswolds, Tetbury has a rich heritage dating back over 1300 years that’s evident in the historic landmarks throughout the town.

If you’re a lover of all things vintage or antique, Tetbury is undoubtedly the place for you, with some 25 antique stores located throughout the town. In addition, there’s an abundance of stylish and arty cafes, pubs and restaurants and independent interior, clothing and food shops, as well as Highgrove – Prince Charles’s Tetbury residence-inspired shop. The town holds a small, regular market under the ancient Market House.

Regular events are held throughout the year in the town, including the famous Woolsack Races – one of the area’s more unusual traditions, which involves participants lugging 65lb woolsacks up and down the town’s hilly streets. Enjoy wonderful walking routes right from the High Street, and an eclectic mix of music, art and theatre performances at Tetbury Goods Shed.

Within a 10- to 20-minute drive there’s plenty to keep all ages happy, including the National Arboretum at Westonbirt, Chavenage House, a historic Elizabethan manor house which has welcomed countless TV and film sets over the years, Prince Charles’ renowned Highgrove House and Gardens. Beaufort Polo club, a must-visit for equine enthusiasts, Nailsworth (a new addition to the Cotswold foodie scene), and the National Trust’s Newark Park, Badminton and Gatcombe Park are all within a 30-minute drive.

  1. Antique shopping
  2. Highgrove House Garden Tour
  3. Westonbirt Arboretum
  4. Watch polo at Beaufort Polo Club
  5. Walk the Tetbury Trail
  6. National Trust’s Newark Park
  7. Cotswold Water Park
  8. Badminton Horse Trials
  9. Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park
  10. Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford
  1. Spa day at Calcot Manor, Nr Tetbury
  2. Tetbury Goods Shed, Tetbury
  3. Stroud Brewery Tour, Stroud
  4. Antique shopping, Tetbury
  5. The Police Museum, Tetbury
  6. Cattle Country Adventure Park, Berkeley
  7. Ruskin Mill, Nailsworth
  8. Cotswold Craftsmen Gallery, Nailsworth
  9. Berkeley Castle, Berkeley
  10. Cotswold Canals Trust Visitor Centre, Stroud

Cotswold Craftsmen Gallery
13-minute drive from Tetbury

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?

Malmesbury Abbey
13-minute drive from Tetbury

The hugely impressive present-day Abbey dates from 1180. It was added to over the following 200 years and then, sadly, in the 1400s the great spire then the tower collapsed. Today, just the nave remains, but it’s well worth a visit. You can find out more about the Abbey at the Athelstan Museum, also in Malmesbury.

Woodchester Mansion
22-minute drive from Tetbury

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 zipline.

Ruskin Mill
12-minute drive from Tetbury

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.

Tetbury Goods Shed
Tetbury

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.

Tetbury Police Museum
Tetbury

The Police Museum in the Old Court House houses the Alex R Nichols Collection of ‘Handcuffs and Other Restraints’ alongside other policing memorabilia from across Gloucestershire.

Tetbury Woolsack Festival
May

Every year, the second May Bank Holiday plays host to Tetbury’s iconic Woolsack Races; an unusual local festival dating back to the 17thCentury, which sees runners tackle Tetbury’s steepest hill (Gumstool Hill) with a very heavy woolsack on their back. With plenty of merriment, fun and food on offer throughout the event, as well as the spectacle itself, it’s a fantastic sight to behold if you’re lucky enough to be in the area at the time.

Badminton Horse Trials
May

Every year in May, one of the biggest events in the world’s equestrian calendar comes to the spectacular Badminton Estate for three days of thrilling competitions, amazing horse displays and over 500 stands dedicated to food, drink and country pursuits. A great day out for all ages, dogs are welcome to come along, too. Keep your eyes peeled for a royal or two, known to frequent the horse trials every year.

Tetbury Wacky Races
May

May really is a time for frivolity of every kind in Tetbury. Described as a thrilling annual soapbox event, the Wacky Races sees adrenaline junkies from far and wide battle it out around the town’s hairpin bends in their very own soapbox creations. With prizes on offer, this is fantastic fun for all the family.

Cotswold Show and Food Festival
July

Taking place in the glorious surrounds of Cirencester Park on the Bathurst Estate, the Cotswold Show and Food Festival is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the local countryside calendar. Packed with entertainment, including a rare breeds pavilion, sheep shows, dog demonstrations, rural skills and so much more, this is a fabulous day out for all ages.

Royal International Air Tattoo
July

Every year in July the skies above Fairford come alive with the world-renowned Air Tattoo, arguably one of the greatest airshows in the world. Drawing in over 185,000 people every year, the Air Tattoo welcomes over 300 aircraft from 30 nations around the world, with a thrilling programme of air displays taking place over the course of the event. An absolute must-visit for flying fans and adrenaline junkies, with plenty on offer to keep others entertained too.

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
September

A celebration of everything from classic to contemporary music, the Tetbury Music Festival offers a wonderful programme 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.

Badminton Horse Trials, near Tetbury

Berkeley Castle
29-minute drive from Tetbury

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 Tetbury

Cattle Country Adventure Park is one of the best visitor attractions in 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.

Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetland Trust
30-minute drive from Tetbury

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.

Cotswold Water Park
20-minute drive from Tetbury

An adventure paradise for all ages to enjoy, Cotswold Water Park is an extensive wetland area where a host of outdoor activities such as kayaking, SUP, sailing, rowing, horse riding, shooting and even a purpose-built, sandy beach will keep all ages entertained, no matter what the weather.

Kite flying on Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons
16-minute drive from Tetbury

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

Children in garden, Tetbury

The Blue Zucchini Brasserie
Tetbury
Perfect for: morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea

A fun, quirky café on Church Street, with great coffee, freshly baked breakfasts, brunches, lunches and homemade cakes. At: 7-9 Church St, Tetbury

Café 53
Tetbury
Perfect for: morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea

A hidden gem in the heart of Tetbury, Café 53 is a small but perfectly formed garden café serving up freshly prepared breakfasts, locally sourced lunches and tasty homemade cakes. Well worth a visit no matter what the time of day, the café also runs popular late-night ‘open mic and jam’ nights on the last Thursday of every month, with a specially created menu served up alongside, cocktails, beers and live music.

Cat and Custard Pot Inn
8-minute drive from Tetbury
Perfect for: lunch, dinner

A charming English country pub with a refined take on pub grub classics, offering a seasonally changing menu of light bites, specialty burgers, gastro-pub staples and meats from the grill.

Quayles Cornerhouse
Tetbury
Perfect for: lunch, dinner

A fantastic café-bistro with an upmarket vibe, offering a refined selection of freshly made dishes for breakfast, lunch and popular tapas evenings, running every Thursday and Friday.

Rattlebone Inn
12-minute drive from Tetbury
Perfect for: drinks, lunch, dinner

A favourite amongst royals who frequent the area, The Rattlebone Inn offers great food daily from lunch through to dinner, with a lighter snack and sandwich menu along with a la carte dining.

Stargazy Fish Bar
Tetbury
Perfect for: takeaway fish and chips

Another classic fish and chips offering in the heart of the town, with options to dine in or take away and a focus on sustainability.

Tetbury Fish & Chips
Tetbury
Perfect for: takeaway fish and chips

A highly recommended fish & chip takeaway in the heart of the town. At: 6 Chipping St, Tetbury

The Close Hotel Restaurant
Tetbury
Perfect for: lunch, pre-dinner drinks, dinner

A beautiful hotel with an excellent restaurant that’s perfect for special occasions. The menu changes with the seasons and offers a wide choice, catering to all tastes.

The Gumstool Inn
8-minute drive from Tetbury
Perfect for: lunch, dinner (Friday & Saturday only)

Pub food, but not as you know it… The Gumstool offers gastropub dining as elegant as the hotel in which it sits, making it a great place to head to experience the luxury of Calcot Manor without too many airs and graces. If you do want a more elegant treat, then the restaurant at Calcot Manor is also excellent.

The Potting Shed Pub
12-minute drive from Tetbury
Perfect for: drinks, lunch, dinner

A fantastic pub with a distinctly rustic-chic feel, The Potting Shed can be found in the pretty village of Crudwell just a short drive from Tetbury. Menus are creative, British and very much focused on showcasing the best of the season’s produce, offering hearty classics and more refined mains. Cocktails here are also well worth the visit.

The Priory Inn
Tetbury
Perfect for: drinks, lunch, dinner

An inn with a pub and restaurant, offering up freshly cooked dishes using locally sourced ingredients, 90% of which have been sourced from within a 30-mile radius of Tetbury. A good option for relaxed eating out, with everything from wood-fired pizzas and gourmet burgers, to steaks and hearty salads on the menu.

The Rectory Hotel
12-minute drive from Tetbury
Perfect for: drinks, lunch, dinner

Sitting just over the road from The Potting Shed is its refined big sister, The Rectory Hotel and Restaurant with an excellent reputation thanks to its highly acclaimed chef team. Here, expect more elegant, upmarket dining, described as “classic food with a contemporary edge”. A definite to visit for a special dining occasion.

The Royal Oak Tetbury
Tetbury
Perfect for: drinks, lunch, dinner

A classic Cotswolds inn with delicious organic food and a great selection of real ales, The Royal Oak offers a changing seasonal menu, themed food evenings and even a vegan menu.

The Snooty Fox
Tetbury
Perfect for: drinks, breakfast, lunch, dinner

One of Tetbury’s most iconic establishments, The Snooty Fox is worth a visit when you’re in town. The bar and restaurant offer all-day dining options, from breakfast and afternoon tea right through to dinner, with a strong focus on locally sourced ingredients.

The Trouble House
5-minute drive from Tetbury
Perfect for: drinks, breakfast (Saturday only), lunch, dinner

Situated a short drive out of town on the road to Cirencester is the iconic Trouble House. Well worth a visit at any time of day thanks to all-day dining options. Menu highlights range from delicious homemade cakes to charcuterie boards, elegant mains and tasty salads. Evening meals are served on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Wild Duck Inn
20-minute drive from Tetbury
Perfect for: drinks, lunch, dinner

A member of the renowned Lucky Onion group of hotels and restaurants, The Wild Duck at Ewen boasts an enviable reputation for its refined take on classic pub grub. Head there for a memorable feast for lunch, dinner or just for a drink in a picturesque setting and find out why Tatler named it as one of its ‘Best of British’.

The Whistle Stop Cafe
Tetbury
Perfect for: morning coffee, light lunch, afternoon tea

The licensed Whistle Stop cafe is located at the Tetbury Goods Shed, a fabulous arts centre at Old Station Yard on the Cirencester Road. The café is one of Tetbury’s go-to places for great coffee, delicious cakes and freshly cooked food. Seating is open air or under an awning. Children can play in the adjacent all-wood play area overlooked by the café. Check the website for opening times.

Quayles Cornerhouse, Tetbury

Minchinhampton Golf Club
11-minute drive from Tetbury

Boasting no fewer than three courses, 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.

Barton End Equestrian Centre
11-minute drive from Tetbury

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.

Cycling
Around Tetbury

If you’d like to explore this beautiful area on two wheels but don’t know where to go, what better way to get out there than with a guided bike tour? Local company Cotswoldetours specialises in unique tours through the Cotswolds.

For further inspiration, pop into Veloton – Tetbury’s own bike shop with a café.

Cotswold Gliding Club
18-minute drive from Tetbury

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 of the thermals that rise off the Cotswold limestone. The club offers one-day and five-day courses, as well as evening trial lessons.

Cirencester Golf Club
20-minute drive from Tetbury

A year-round, 18-hole course with a rich 125-year history. Designed by James Braid, this mature course boasts spectacular views towards Cirencester and the Marlborough Downs and is suitable for all grades of golfer. There’s also a driving range and short-game practice area, with buggy hire available.

Cotswold Water Park
22-minute drive from Tetbury

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.

Domestic Science
Long Street, Tetbury

A wonderful treasure-trove of a shop, full of gifts, vintage-style homewares, clothes, jewellery, upcycled and antique furniture, with a café attached called Café 53.

French Grey
Long Street, Tetbury

A gift shop with a beautiful selection from clothes to jewellery and cards to candles.

Highgrove Shop
Long Street, Tetbury

The shop that complements the Prince of Wales’ nearby Highgrove Gardens and House, sells a range of homewares and clothing, the sale of which support the Prince’s Foundation – an educational charity.

Top Banana Antiques Emporium
Church Street, Tetbury

This multi-level antique emporium – in a beautiful building – is home to 50 sellers, specialising in Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and vintage 20th century items.

Overider
Church Street, Tetbury

Another stylish, independent shop, the norm in Tetbury, this time selling unique, edgy-but-stylish clothing, since 1993.

Treacle George
Market Place, Tetbury

This super-cool interior design and homeware store sells unique and beautiful things for the home that are designed to last.

Veloton
Market Place, Tetbury

This independent bike shop sells Avanti, Bianchi, Moda, Crème and Ridley bikes, to name a few brands, plus clothing, and has a tiny but perfectly formed coffee shop, serving locally made organic cake.

Chavenage House
12-minute drive from Tetbury

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!

Tyndale Monument
22-minute drive from Tetbury

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
22-minute drive from Tetbury

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 at Coaley Peak
16-minute drive from Tetbury

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.

Woodchester Valley Vineyard and Winery
18-minute drive from Tetbury

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.

Woodchester Mansion near Tetbury

Tetbury

There are plenty of walks in and around Tetbury to suit all ages and mobilities, from historic strolls past the town’s most famous landmarks to rural rambles. The Tetbury Trail (once the Tetbury to Kemble Branch Line) is a gentle and historically interesting walk that’s suitable for walkers, cyclists (mtb) and horse riders. The Trail starts from the Tetbury Goods Shed, just down the hill from the Snooty Fox pub, and continues for three miles towards Kemble. There’s a picnic area at the start as well as the Goods Shed café and along the way there are 20 exercise stations.

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

Barnsley House Spa
25-minute drive from Tetbury

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.

C-Side Spa at Cowley Manor
32-minute drive from Tetbury

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 at Calcot Manor
8-minutes from Tetbury

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.

The Vaulted Spa at the Kings Head Hotel
20-minutes from Tetbury

This unique subterranean spa is in the vaults of the boutique Kings Head Hotel, just off Market Square. With four treatment rooms, a relaxation room, thermal suite with hot tub, infra-red sauna, steam room and experience shower, this is the ideal spot to unwind.

Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa
12-minutes from Tetbury

The Aquarius Spa at Whatley Manor is a 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 even a gym, should you want to energise before unwinding. 

Tetbury spa

Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park
45-minutes from Tetbury

Set high in the Cotswolds, overlooking the Windrush Valley, this is a fabulous day out for the whole family and much loved by locals and visitors alike. See rare breeds, spot new arrivals in the animal barn, follow the wildlife trails and spend time in the glorious countryside. If the weather isn’t so good, head into the barns and adventure playground.

Bathurst Estate & Cirencester Park
20-minutes from Tetbury

This historic 3,000-acre estate owned by the Bathurst Family boasts a beautiful 19th century parkland designed by Alexander Pope, which the general public are free to enjoy at their leisure. Accessible via entrance gates on Cecily Hill, little ones will love stretching their legs here, whilst older visitors will enjoy taking in the stunning landscapes. Dogs are welcome, too, just take care to stick to the designated walking areas.

Painswick and the Rococo Gardens
33-minute drive from Tetbury

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.

Highgrove Gardens & House
5-minute drive from Tetbury

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.

Westonbirt Arboretum
10-minute drive from Tetbury

This spectacular 600-acre arboretum offers nature lovers of all ages a memorable day-out destination whatever the weather. Filled with over 15,000 trees from around the world, visitors can keep eyes peeled for specific species using the Arboretum’s Tree Spotter’s Guide, wander amidst the treetops on the award-winning STIHL Treetop Walkway, or head off on one of the guided walks. Visitors in Autumn are in for a particular treat, as the trees put on an incredible leaf-changing display which carpets the area in red and golden hues. Dogs are welcome off-lead in Silk Wood if kept in sight and return when called.

Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens
45-minutes from Tetbury

Home to one of the UK’s largest zoological collections and diverse gardens, the park has more than 260 different species of animals, many of which are endangered in the wild, and it sits in 160 acres of landscape parklands and gardens. Daily activities include penguin feeding and the Madagascar walk through.

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