The smart merchants’ houses and cosy workers’ cottages that line the streets of this Cotswold market town are picturesque proof of Tetbury’s prosperity during the Middle Ages. The butter-coloured Market Hall, built in 1665 and an icon of the town, was an epicenter of the English wool trade, and is still a marketplace today.
The town has a large concentration of antiques dealers and interiors shops, which attract interior designers, antique hunters and celebrities. On Long Street, at 39a, The Decorator Source occupies an airy 4,000 sq ft of English, French and Italian finds, from deep-mahogany George III side tables to ornate giltwood mirrors. Brownrigg is based in a Georgian house at number 14 and stocks European antiques, including English and Swedish country- house pieces. On nearby Church Street, Artique is a heady mix of new and antique kilims, brass goods and carved stone figures from Central Asia.
Visit nearby Chavenage House to see an Elizabethan manor that has hardly changed in 400 years; it’s currently playing a starring role as Trentwith, the Poldark family home, in the eponymous BBC remake of the popular series. Westonbirt Arboretum is another place to put on your must-visit list. With some 15,000 specimens from around the world, it bursts with colour throughout the year. A highlight in the Tetbury calendar is the famous Woolsack Race, which takes place every year in early summer, accompanied by a street fair, music and much merrymaking.
Since Prince Charles moved here in 1980, the grounds at Highgrove have been transformed into one of the most famous and arresting organic gardens in the world. Using only sustainable methods, the Prince has created a temple to the outdoors where meticulous planning meets the nuances of nature, and natural predators take on the role of pest control. Highlights include the wildflower garden, the kitchen garden with its rare cooking apples, and the collections of beech trees and large hostas.
* Tickets for an unforgettable tour must be purchased in advance. highgrovegardens.com
The Gardens Illustrated Festival
Tickets for Gardens Illustrated magazine’s annual festival have just gone on sale. It will take place on 25th and 26th March 2017 at Westonbirt School (next door to The National Arboretum, another not-to-miss location, see above). From garden design to plant clinics, stalls, food and a roster of world-class gardening experts including Alys Fowler, Julian and Isabel Bannerman and Tom Stuart-Smith set to speak, the festival will be a calendar highlight for green-fingered gardening enthusiasts. Our top spot will be hunting out antique garden tool and salvage sellers such as Garden and Wood.
For more information about Tetbury, visit cotswolds.com
Images: Derek Harper/Wikimedia;