Tewkesbury In The Cotswolds: A Medieval Market Town
Tewkesbury is the definition of a quintessentially British town in the Cotswolds.
A medieval market town, Tewkesbury still boasts a traditional high street of independent shops and locally sourced food and drink – a town full of quaint character and charm.
A Beautiful Riverside Town In Gloucestershire
The History Of Tewkesbury
The architecture throughout Tewkesbury is eclectic and from a range of different time periods including medieval houses, Tudor buildings, Georgian shops and Victorian properties nestled together.
The River Avon runs adjacent to the town and was once used to import and export goods such as the famous Tewkesbury Mustard – the finest in England (in our opinion!)
Tewkesbury was also the site of the Battle of the Roses in the 15th century, which is reenacted annually at the local Medieval Festival in July.
One of the finest examples of medieval architecture, Tewkesbury Abbey attracts visitors from all over the world.
Standing proudly since 1087, Tewkesbury Abbey has remained largely unchanged since the 12th century. While many ecclesiastical institutions fell into ruin following the dissolution of the monasteries, Tewkesbury Abbey was saved by its townsfolk. They paid £453 to save the abbey for future generations, an amount which would equate to in excess of £150,000 today.
Tewkesbury Abbey is open all year round and is free to enter, although donations are welcome.
John Moore Museum
A stone’s throw from Tewkesbury Abbey is the John Moore Museum.
A nod to the writer and naturalist of the same name, the museum opened its doors in 1980 and offers a variety of natural history collections, boasting specimens of the wildlife native to our countryside.
There are several audio guides available, which enhance the experience for visitors of this wonderful museum.
The Old Baptist Chapel & Court
Built in the 15th century, The Old Baptist Chapel was just a medieval house. However, by the mid-17th century, it is believed that the Baptists were holding their meetings there.
In 1805, having outgrown The Old Baptist Chapel, the gatherings were held at a larger, more suitable property and the chapel became a simple dwelling once more.
By 1970, The Old Baptist Chapel had fallen into a state of disrepair and was restored to its former glory by Tewkesbury Borough Council. In 2012, the John Moore Museum took over the management of the chapel, which has now been improved even further with funds the Heritage Lottery.
Tewkesbury Town Museum
Learn about the history of Tewkesbury from a variety of collections in the town’s museum.
The museum celebrates some of Tewkesbury’s most famous names, with a dedicated collection for famed explorer Raymond Priestly (who was part of Captain Scott’s expedition to the Antarctic).
With a range of craft activities, a trail and a dressing-up box, Tewkesbury Town Museum offers a fun and informative visit for the whole family.
Tewkesbury Nature Reserve
Although it is within walking distance of the town centre, Tewkesbury Nature Reserve offers over 100 acres of sanctuary for a variety of wildlife.
Almost 70 different species of bird have been spotted here, along with nearly 100 unique species of invertebrates. The backwaters are popular with many shoals of fish who feed and spawn in the area.
The nature reserve can be navigated best by exploring the following walks:
- Meadow walk: 1.1 miles
- River walk: 2.6 miles
If you wish to embark on a longer journey, you can combine both walks to make a single, longer walk.
Tewkesbury Walking Routes
Tewkesbury Nature Reserve isn’t the only place to enjoy walks and the breathtaking scenery that goes with it. Some of the most popular walking routes are:
The Riverside Walk & The Severn Ham Walk
This is a short, mainly flat walk that follows the River Avon in the town centre of Tewkesbury.
The Severn Ham – Nature Walk & History Walk
The Severn Ham is one of only a few remaining hams in the UK. It is rich with wildlife and can be easily reached from the centre of Tewkesbury.
The Battle Trail
Arguably the most famous walk in Tewkesbury, The Battle Trail will take you around the area where the Battle of Tewkesbury was fought in 1471.
Heritage & Alleyways Trail
This is a self-guided walk around the town centre where you can explore the ancient alleyways and ancient buildings.
Directions To The Bear Inn From Tewkesbury
Serving delicious, seasonal pub food and award-winning Butcombe beer, The Bear Inn is a piece of Cirencester history that dates back to the 18th century.
To reach The Bear Inn from Tewkesbury, you must head north-east on Church Street and then, at the roundabout, continue straight onto Barton Street (A438) and proceed for 1.5 miles.
At Ashchurch Interchange, take the 3rd exit onto the M5 slip road to Cheltenham/Gloucester and continue for approximately 10 miles. At junction 11A, exit onto A417 towards London/Cirencester.
At The Air Balloon Roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on A417 and then, at the next roundabout, take the 1st exit and stay on A417 for 9 miles. Use the left lane to take the A429/A417 slip road to Cirencester/Stow/Lechlade. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto Burford Road (A429). At the roundabout, take the 1st exit and stay on Burford Road (A429).
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto London Road and then continue onto Lewis Lane. Turn right onto South Way and then turn right onto North Way, where you will find The Bear Inn on your left.