It is as though Tewkesbury is the town that stood still, with a beautifully preserved medieval layout and character even today. It is a thriving place yet is also in ways an open air museum. Tewkesbury is a delightful and we really think it is a “must see”.
Tewkesbury is one of our favourite places to visit and to be honest we always find it a bit of a struggle to come up with only five top things to do because, well, there are just so many things to do in this lovely town that we are always spoilt for choice.
Cooks Green Cottage is the ideal base for exploring out and about so you may want to consider Tewkesbury on your “to do” list when you come and stay. We have picked out five very different ways to enjoy Tewkesbury but we can recommend plenty more.
Tewkesbury’s alleyways are an interesting place to explore. They appeared in the 17th century as demand for housing increased. Due to lack of floor space to fit the dwelling, compensation was made by making the narrow buildings tall. The alleyways acted as rubbish depositories and drains for the families that lived there and the air in the alleyways was all that was available to many homes leading to disease and dirty living conditions. These conditions reached a peak in the 19th century when cholera and diphtheria were rife. There were 90 alleyways at one time with 30 remaining today to explore. The quaint alleyways we see today are a far cry from what life was really like years ago.
John Moore Museum and Abbey Lawn Cottages
The cottages are 15th century and were built by the Benedictine Monastery as a money making enterprise. The cottages had shutters which would be lowered to convert into shops each day. The Merchant’s House and John Moore Museum are located in the row of cottages. John Moore was an author of local history and the museum comprises of much natural history to reflect John Moore’s work.
The abbey was initiated in 1087 and finally consecrated in 1121. The abbey is home to what is described as the “finest Norman tower in the world” along with large Norman pillars. There are many interesting tombs in the abbey, some of great benefactors to the abbey. The architecture is fabulous with beautiful lattice work ceilings. Tewkesbury Abbey was saved miraculously from Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries by the efforts of locals who purchased the abbey from the King for £453.00 – a huge amount for the times.
For something different (and a bit further out) try this silk printing work shop. It has been operating for over 30 years. Enjoy walking through the dye room, print shop, and sewing area, where you can see craftspeople at work at every stage of the production resulting in gorgeous hand crafted shirts, silk scarves, silk ties and other garments and accessories. There are plenty of information and education boards to read to help understand the process but the crafters are friendly and will answer questions as well. There is a lovely shop selling the wonderful products and a cafe serving coffee and snacks.
Just perfect for a lazy summer day, Kingfisher Ferries will take you on a boat ride from Tewkesbury to Twyning Fleet Inn, daily in the summer season. The boat staff point out points of interest in the town, but most of the cruise is through magnificent countryside that is a pleasure to see. Upon arrival at Twyning Fleet Inn you can disembark for a meal or drink in the inn gardens or remain on board for the return trip.