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Tetbury >  Google™ Map Sep 2021  Gloucestershire Coat of Arms

tette (personal name) + burh Old English fortified place. Population - 5,472.

England-Gloucestershire Flag UK > England > Gloucestershire

Sep 2021

Gloucestershire Coat of Arms

Not another Cotswolds town with links to the woollen trade, wasn't Stroud enough to impart what once went on this these parts, you might well complain?

Well, Tetbury is similarly hilly, sort of, but here is where they only sold the sheep's clothing so there's no mill worthy of a mention. That means there's none of Stroud's stroppiness and this Gloucestershire town can be filed in the picture-perfect postcard category.

It's so genteel that until you reach the Co-op™, there's a good 200-yard stretch of the high street[1] where there isn't anywhere selling anything that anybody might actually need.

Tetbury - Co-op Food
Tetbury - Jester Antiques

That's an awful lot of antiques and knick-knacks so yes, Tetbury looks to be every bit that that kind of place.

[1] Long Street, actually, if you want to be all Post Office™ accurate.

  The Greyhound (Hampton Street)

Not quite so quiet is the beer garden of the Greyhound where a bunch of youthful extras from This Country are celebrating an England World Cup qualifier win.

Pipe down kids, it was only Andorra and two of the four without reply were in the last 10 minutes. Still, nice to see people out and about and what else is there to do in the countryside when you're too old to go scrumping apples, eh?

The high street in question has this at the top and there's no getting away from it. Tetbury Market House has room underneath for peddling yarn with upstairs and inside for the formalities of the feoffees.

Tetbury - Market House

No, that's not a new fermented offering from Costa™s but medieval money launderers, really, appointed by their masters to keep taxable income out of the king's coffers.

Their namesakes persist as a local, charitable bunch and their fundraising helps towards the upkeep of this 17th-century house on stilts.

  Close Hotel (Long Street)

Quite a few fleshpots along here with the Snooty Fox not nearly so off-puttingly so. The Ormond has an unexpected gem of a beer garden for when the weather's set fair and while there's nothing particularly unfamiliar on Casa's Italian menu, they're doing it benissimo and Tetbury's residents seem to agree.

Advising trippers and visitor book scrawlers, however, rave at sipping Sancerre in the Close Hotel's hidden garden in summer. The environment is certainly impressive but Tetbury's fine-dining establishment did seem to be particularly busy so being abruptly directed to a pair of empty deckchairs, left waiting for nearly 15 minutes despite just wanting a large glass of something preferably hazy before snucking out of the back gate never to return won't be warranting a review.

Oh! Hang on! Looks like it just has.

The high street slopes gently up to the Market House from where it's a rollercoaster ride on your way out to the south and east. It's something to do with an escarpment, or something, and explains the town's choice of location making for the minor hilly situation mentioned.

That's fine for the toffs at the top but for those dwelling at the bottom, some steps are required and not just any old steps, the Chipping Steps, no less.

Tetbury - The Chipping Steps
Tetbury - The Chipping Steps

Chipping from the Olde English cēping meaning market, of course, and the medieval cobbles lead you right up to where the wool once was. It's not known exactly how many but you too will lose count at about 20-odd and the good thing is they work equally well in reverse.

You'll be needing the steps down to the town's cultural heart at the Tetbury Goods Shed Arts Centre.

Tetbury - Goods Shed Arts Centre
Tetbury - Goods Shed Arts Centre

The name is a clue and their car park is the site of the former railway station, inevitably axed by so-called 'Dr'  Beeching in the '60s. Film, music and theatre with an option for a frothy coffee in or outside of an old locomotive carriage, choo-choo!

The former trackbed offers the chance of a stroll along the Tetbury Exercise Trail although that's not quite as strenuous as it sounds.

Tetbury - Exercise Trail

Bob, for example, has been exercising the 'Shoulder Shrug' for several years now even if that's largely down to an inability to accurately read a map and in response to the question 'Where are we?'

  Royal Oak (Cirencester Road)

Perched just up from the Arts Centre and overlooking the woodland, the heated and seated area outdoors was created as a consequence of you-know-what. Now a permanent feature, they've at least considered providing plenty of cover for when this heatwave decides to break.

Other outdoor-dining providers are available and the Priory Inn[1] on the main road in from Cirencester is an option. Accidentally taking advantage of their two-for-one pizzas on a Tuesday before this heatwave decides to break, tutto bene.

[1] Under new management, apparently, and no two-for-one on their pizzas on a Tuesday no more, non così buono.

If you're not too exhausted from the Exercise Trail, continue over the road to Malmesbury to loop back into Tetbury via some woodland and then another road that, rather confusingly, appears to be identical.

Near Tetbury

WHOA! That's quite some spire they've got there and dominates from a distance despite not quite troubling the charts height-wise.

This neo-Gothic whopper is the church of St Mary The Virgin and is worthy of a closer look if only for a breather in a graveyard.

Tetbury - St Mary The Virgin
Tetbury - St Mary The Virgin

That and the considerate use of Cotswold stone in its construction, it says here, all on what might be the site of a Saxon monastery with the abbess Tetta rumoured to have named that toon.

Not that SlyBob are particular fans of the brand but every now and again one catches the eye although there's never too much interest in the interior. Besides, today's been a scorcher and Sly is in no mood to be told to 'Sssh!' and to cover up those shoulders.

The road from the church leads back to the high street where there's a chance to do some shopping, whoo-hoo!

Tetbury - Church Street

Highgrove sort of sounds familiar and that's it, of course, home of HRH, soon to be, King Charlie III[1]. His house and gardens are less than two miles down the road and the Highgrove shop, not shown, is directly opposite the Co-op™, previously just shown.

One of only three in the world, the others, inevitably, are in fancy London and, rather randomly, in Tokyo. It's not all 'How much for a packet of biscuits?', there's a strong emphasis on gardening and an interior design area should you want to deck your pad out like a palace.

Princess Anne, no less, is another relative neighbour up at Gatcombe Park and they are both, no doubt, no strangers to the town. There are, however, none of the Royal Warrants of Appointment, last seen in Ballater, proudly advertising a business' aristocratic seal of approval.

Given their respective royal residences, neither of them simply has the need for any more antiques, eh?

[1] Depending on whenever you're reading this.

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