Once a prosperous wool-trading centre, Tetbury’s busy streets are lined with medieval cottages, sturdy old townhouses and Georgian Gothic gems. Prince Charles has an estate near here – Highgrove – as does the Princess Anne.
Tetbury is also a great place for antiques fans, with a shop of old curios on almost every corner. A good time to visit is the last Monday in May for the Woolsack Races – a nod to the town’s past – or in August, for the Festival of British Eventing.
Look out for the row of gorgeous medieval weavers’ cottages that line the steep hill at Chipping Steps, leading up to the Chipping (market), surrounded by graceful 17th- and 18th-century townhouses. From here, it’s a short stroll to Market Sq, where the 17th-century Market House stands as if on stilts. Close by, the Georgian Gothic Church of St Mary the Virgin has a towering spire and wonderful interior.
If staying overnight, the Ormond is a central, modern hotel with a range of individually styled rooms sporting subtle but striking fabrics and funky wallpapers and with some big, bold flavours served up at the award-winning restaurant. The Snooty Fox, named by a rather sore owner who was snubbed by the local hunting community, is a pleasant old coaching inn with three brightly decorated rooms and a menu of solid Modern British classics (mains £10 to £22). The best place to eat in town is undoubtedly the French-inspired Chef’s Table a fantastic deli and bistro serving up a mouth-watering lunch of local organic ingredients rustled up into hearty rustic dishes, such as bouillabaisse and crispy pork belly.
Cotswold Green bus 29 runs between Tetbury and Stroud (30 minutes, six daily Monday to Saturday). Wessex Connect bus 620 goes to Bath (1¼ hours, six daily Monday to Friday, four on Saturday), stopping at Westonbirt Arboretum en route.