We all love London, but sometimes it’s nice to leave our bustling city for a much-needed getaway.
One of the places that fits the bill is the historic and tranquil town of Tetbury in Wiltshire, described as an ‘architectural gem’ and just an hour or so from London.
The historic wool town, known as ‘the southern gateway to the Cotswolds’, retains many of the wool merchants’ houses as they were in the 16th and 17th centuries.
It also has connections to the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall…
Things to Do
Tetbury’s fantastic array of independent shops have a reputation for being destinations all in their own right. You can spend a couple of hours mooching around the four main streets – Long Street, Church Street, Market Place and Chipping Street.
They are lined with a range of delightful stores, including boutiques, butchers and bakers. On Church Street you will also find the Grade I listed Market House. For centuries this has been the hub of the town and markets are held here regularly on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
You can also explore The Parish Church of St Mary’s (the Virgin & Magdalen). It has one of the tallest and most elegant spires in the UK.
However, a star attraction in Tetbury is Highgrove Gardens. Highgrove is the private residence of HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. The organic gardens are open to the public for guided tours between April and October each year.
Since 1980, when the Prince of Wales first arrived at Highgrove, he devoted time and energy to transforming the gardens around the house. They are renowned as some of the most inspiring and innovative in the United Kingdom.
One TripAdvisor review said: “Make sure you have a stop in the shop and café, where you can have some delicious cake and tea…well worth a walk round the royal gardens, an abundance of flowers, trees, shrubs, hedges, and ponds, and the fantastic vegetable garden, a lovely insight to the royals and to see what Prince Charles has achieved since owning Highgrove.”
Regular trains from Paddington get to Kemble in one hour 15 minutes directly. Tetbury is just a 12 minute car ride from Kemble station.
If you’re driving from London, this will take about two hours. Take the M40 northwest to Oxford, continuing along the A40 to the junction with the A429. Drive south to Cirencester, where you connect with the A433 southwest into Tetbury.
Tetbury is also a short drive from various other historic towns, so if you’ve got a few days on your hands there is plenty to explore.
Just 30 minutes away you’ll find Swindon. Aside from being famous for the ‘Magic Roundabout’ (named one of the scariest road junctions in Britain) Swindon is famous for its Museum of the Great Western Railway.
The “Capital of The Cotswolds”, Cirencester is an historic Roman town just a 15 minute drive away from Tetbury. Cirencester, in Gloucestershire, acts as a hub for the thousands more who live in surrounding villages.
It is also only a 40 minute drive to the World Heritage City of Bath, a very popular city break location.