Not to be dismissed as a provincial town, Tetbury offers handsome architecture, thriving commerce and royal connections. Renowned for its antique shops, foodie destinations and regal neighbour (Prince Charles’ Highgrove estate is close by) – this quaint town sits in an area of outstanding natural beauty, at the heart of the Cotswolds.
“Tetbury is full of culture and has become a vibrant quaint market town over the years with fabulous boutique shops, excellent cafes and restaurants, and any antique lover is spoilt for choice – with 25 antiques shops to choose from!” Peter Sharvell
Several of Tetbury's retailers have received national awards for excellence – many have also received a royal seal of approval – keep your eyes peeled for the Prince of Wales feathers as a sign that they hold the Royal Warrant.
Residential properties range from characterful Cotswold stone cottages, many with medieval origins , through to handsome wool merchants’ houses with grand Georgian proportions. The weavers cottages on the cobbled ‘Chipping Steps’ are picture postcard pretty and quintessentially Cotswolds.
The independent businesses of Tetbury have a great deal to offer – from beautiful designer boutiques, home interior design shops, art galleries, jewellers and giftwares. The main four streets Long Street, Church Street, Market Place and Chipping Street include some of our favourites – exotic travel interiors emporium, Artique; Domestic Science – offering an eclectic mix of contemporary and vintage interiors finds, sourced by owner, Libs Lewis from around the globe; the sybarite’s stop off – Vinotopia Wine Merchants; Mayfair & Grace for natural beauty brands such as Miller Harris, Dr Hauschka and Neal’s Yard; French Grey for a gorgeous selection of scarves, jewellery, gifts and home accessories – all handpicked with immaculate taste; Lorfords – great for art and antiques with guest dealers throughout the year; Overider womenswear boutique for bohemian cool and the unmissable, House of Cheese which needs no further explanation.
Some foodie highlights include – the Gumstool Inn at Calcot Manor (see ‘Stay’), for modern (and superior) pub grub with a relaxed vibe and fantastic garden. Café 53 on Long Street is tucked behind Domestic Science (see ‘Shop’) – this bijou licensed café rustles up a mean breakfast and has a lively Thursday night Open Mic event. More than just a great name, The Snooty Fox – an inn with rooms – has a focus on local produce – from breakfast, through afternoon tea all the way to their candlelit suppers. If you’re looking for a liquid lunch, the Royal Oak at the bottom of Gumstool Hill has a gloriously sunny beer garden in which to while away an afternoon. Last but not least, The Blue Zucchini brasserie offers a quirky setting, attentive staff and unfussy, family friendly menu.
Pic credit: Gumstool Inn, Calcot Manor
The luxe haven of Calcot Manor have seven centuries of history and charm to offer. An utterly cosseting escape, replete with 5* spa, 2 restaurants for fine dining and relaxed yet refined pub fare - within 22 acres of meadowlands to explore.
Pic credit: Calcot Manor
The Close, a former 16thcentury Town House in the centre of Tetbury is an interior lover’s dream with a mixture of antiques, four-poster beds and slipper baths that create a characterful stay, with personality. The Oak House No 1 comes with glowing reviews; a boutique hotel cum private home filled to the rafters with modern art, honesty bar and luxe finishes – including Frette linen and Molton Brown toiletries. The ‘private house party’ vibe gives it a familial, bohemian feel and the central location can’t be beaten.
Culture and countryside both on the doorstep – Tetbury has it all. Here are just some of the area’s highlights:
Westonbirt Arboretum – is fab for dog walks and family walks alike – there are various children’s nature trails throughout the year, the Christmas one being an annual highlight. The colours in autumn are not to be missed. There are concerts in the grounds in the summer too.
The Tetbury Woolsack Races, founded in 1972, is an annual competition on the late May Bank Holiday, where participants carry a 60-pound sack of wool up and down Gumstool Hill. Quintessentially English, family spectator fun.
Highgrove Gardens – some 23,000 people visit the gardens each year, and there is a two-year waiting list for tickets – get on the list now if you want a snoop around HRH Prince of Wales manicured grounds.
Tetbury Goods Shed is a creative and ambitious arts centre, converted from a Victorian GWR railway building in 2017. Within walking distance of the town centre, it offers locals and tourists alike a chance to watch live music and theatre in a stunning setting.
Cycling is something of a local sport in Tetbury – pop into cycle/coffee shop hybrid Veloton for an insider’s guide to the best routes.
London is a mere 90 mins away, accessible from nearby Kemble station. Bath and Bristol are both under 45 mins drive – with all the cosmopolitan amenities you could wish for, with the larger market towns of Stroud and Cirencester closer by.