25 things to do

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The Severn Ham

An island to the west of the town created by the merging of the River Avon, Mill Avon and the River Severn. Best approached via Abbey Mill to appreciate some stunning medieval buildings. Walk along the Ham northwards towards the now disused Borough Mills (Healing Mills). Cross the Mill Avon via the footbridge to the town side of the Mill avon. Continue northwards appreciating the rear of the buildings. Cross the Avon Mill again at the mill. Note there are two bridges here, the flat one was for the railway. Continue northwards again, crossing the lock and finally to King Johns Bridge. This bridge was known until the nineteenth century as the long bridge. The causeway to the left as you climb the steps was originally marshy ground where the Avon flowed towards the Severn. Previously this was a simple wooden causeway. The stone bridge itself although retaining a mediaeval appearance has been much modified in recent centuries. when first built is was probably only as wide as the pavement is now.

SEE   —  Map

Streetscape and Architecture

The medieval street plan with its many alleyways, courtyards and small sidestreets is virtually unchanged from its original layout and a high proportion of fine half timbered buildings still remain. Abbey terrace in Church Street is of particular note. The town is built around three main streets High Street, Barton Street and Church Street. The other roads such as Oldbury Road and East street are of lesser interest to the visitor interested in the architecture of the town having been created and built on only after the enclosure of the common land known as the Oldbury after 1860. It's also worth looking up as you walk along the main streets look up especially at the building rooves. Often the frontage is of a very different age to the roof indicating that the building was refronted to the latest fashion.

SEE   —  Map

Tewkesbury Abbey

A truly beautiful building that can hold up its head in the same county as the fabulous Gloucester Cathedral. The Abbey boasts the largest Norman church tower in existence measuring 14 metres square and 45 metres high. The Abbey was originally walled and surrounded by monasterial buildings such as the cloisters, chapter house, library, dormitories, stables, kitchens and many more. If you have the time, it's worth booking a tour as the abbey has a lot of stories to tell.

Tudor House Hotel

A 3* star hotel and another good place to stop to drink and eat. The outside appearance is rather strange, the timberwork seeming to have little structural use and is in fact timber cladding added in the 1890s. Underneath though is a sixteenth century building. The door into the secret garden still retains the axemarks where soldiers tried to break in during the civil wars. There is a priest's hole in the Mayor's Parlour.

Ye Olde Black Bear Inn

Reputed to be the oldest pub in Gloucestershire parts of it dating back to 1308. A good place to stop to eat and drink. The restaurant area was originally the stables. Of particular note is the ceiling in the front room on the street corner. This ceiling is supposed to have been made in leather by Italian craft workers staying in the town. Situated at the north end of the high street, with a riverside beer garden.

Abbey Mill

Believed to stand on 12th century foundations but it's likely there was a mill there much earlier. It has now been converted to apartments. The fictional "Abel Fletcher's Mill" in Dinah Craik's novel "John Halifax, Gentleman" is based on this mill and the fictional town of "Norton Bury" is based on Tewkesbury.

The John Moore Countryside Museum

Historic museum dedicated to naturalist and writer John Moore; that is only a few hundred yards away from Tewkesbury Abbey itself. Also the home of a sister museum known as The Merchant House, which is designed to faithfully recreate a Tudor merchant's house as it would be in that period.

Tewkesbury Borough Museum

Housed inside a beautiful 17th century building is museum dedicated to Tewkesbury as whole, covering its history as a Roman settlement to the Second World War. Great if you want an overall history of the town, as many attractions like to focus heavily on the Battle of Tewkesbury alone.

Tewkesbury Medieval Festival

Said to be Europe's largest battle re-enactment and fair, the Medieval festival recreates the famous Battle of Tewkesbury from 1471. There many tents which sell various merchandise including medieval weapons, jewellery, clothing and drinks such as mead. Held over 2 days in July.

DO   —  Map

The Bell Hotel

Located directly opposite Tewkesbury Abbey is a inn dating back to 1696. It offers decent food and drink along with a traditional wood fireplace in the winter. There is also a rumour that there is a secret underground passage connecting the two together

Bloody Meadow

Follow the battle trail from the town to the location of the Battle of Tewkesbury during the War of The Roses in 1471. A map and guide to the battle is available from the Tewkesbury Tourist Information Centre.

Sweets & Treats

Traditional confectioner, provides traditional sweets in a jar which are usually sold in 100 grams into a bag. Also stocks many international delicacies and ice-cream in the summer.

Mill Avon

is a man made cut to supply the mills with water power. it isn't known when this cut was dug though it was certainly there before the Monastery so could be a Saxon or even Roman.

SEE   —  Map

Tewkesbury Park Hotel

Family-run 3* hotel with extensive golf course and spa facilities. Similar to Puckrup but within walking distance of the town centre.

Tewkesbury Food and Drink Festival

Lots of local produce, cooking demonstrations and a craft tent. Held adjacent to the Abbey in the Vineyards in May.

DO   —  Map

The Royal Hop Pole

The local J.D Wetherspoons pub, serving food and drink. As mentioned in Charles Dickens' 'The Pickwick Papers'.

Tewkesbury Farmer's and Craft Market

Open-air market selling local crafts, meat, clothes and general bric-a-brac.


Casual Italian restaurant that is child-friendly and has an excellent menu.

Gupshill Manor

Wonderful food in one of the older buildings in Tewkesbury. £10-15.

Hilton Puckrup Hall

Set on a golf course a couple of miles north of Tewkesbury proper

Hungry Horse

Good selection of food and drink for those on a budget.

The Nottingham Arms

Considered a good place for a pint and some food.

My Great Grandfathers

Traditional English restaurant.

About Tewkesbury

Tewkesbury is a historic market town with a history dating as far back as the 7<sup>th</sup> century, but its main historic attraction is the town's role in the War of the Roses. The Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471 was a turning point in the war, allowing the Yorkists to eventually succeed at placing their monarch on the English throne. The town is proud of its medieval heritage and summer visitors will notice the many banners that many of the shops and residences put up around the time of the town's medieval festival.

Source: wikivoyage