If you're house hunting in the Cotswolds, Tetbury, with its stone properties and independent shops, could be the perfect place to start.
Tetbury's medieval cobbled streets and amber-coloured stone buildings put it high on the wish list of those seeking English charm. It’s also at the heart of the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Where is Tetbury?
House prices don't tend to favour the budget-conscious. The average is £393,000 and the more iconic listed properties command even higher prices. However, this is still lower than the average property value in nearby Malmesbury (check the latest figures).
Use our guide to find out what there is to see and do in Cirencester.
Living in Tetbury: what to expect
The centre of Tetbury is preserved as a conservation area and is dominated by grand Georgian townhouses and 17th century weavers' cottages. Many are cut from the iconic Cotswolds stone and sit on winding medieval streets.
But new development is also opening up the town’s housing market. Tasteful contemporary homes still in keeping with the town's aesthetic can now be found on Tetbury's outskirts.
The town is famed for its shops, especially its antiques stores. Family-run cafés and traditional coaching inns are also popular.
Schools in Tetbury include two state schools. Both St Mary's Church of England VA Primary School and Sir William Romney's School were rated as 'good' by Ofsted. For non-state education, take a look at Westonbirt School.
Top places to start your property search
If you have your heart set on a period property, focus your search on the centre of Tetbury.
The Chipping and Gumstool Hill both have stone-built townhouses with feature fireplaces. The latter has Grade II-listed properties overlooking the market place as well as more modest one-bedroom stone cottages.
Listed houses, some with parts dating back to the 15th century, can also be found along Long Street. These properties have flagstone floors, stone mullion windows and double-vaulted cellars.
If you’re after a spacious Georgian house, check out the four-bedroom terraced homes on Silver Street. Several properties have exposed beams, dentil moulding on the fireplaces, flagstone floors and extensive gardens.
There are Victorian cottages on Black Horse Hill. Built from amber-coloured stone, they tend to have three bedrooms and exposed oak beams. The best have views over the Cutwell Valley.
There are also flats available in old converted buildings. Talbot Apartments was once a Georgian hotel but is now home to two-bedroom flats, all of which benefit from attractive communal gardens.
If you’re after a modern property, consider the three-bedroom cottages with integrated garages and landscaped gardens on West Street.
Alternatively, check out Charlton Road, which has three-bedroom detached properties with gated driveways and landscaped gardens. If you're lucky, you can pick a home with views over open fields.
More contemporary family homes can be found on Quail Meadows. These stone-fronted properties are tucked down quiet cul-de-sacs and boast garages as well as country views.
Brand new housing developments are being built too. Steepleton comprises 113 luxury apartments along with a shared lounge with log fire and bar, management services, café, outdoor swimming pond, gym studio and a spa.
Highfields is another new development worth considering. Its mews-style properties have three bedrooms and stone frontages in keeping with the older parts of the town. Some of the larger homes have three storeys and all benefit from French doors, open-plan kitchen and dining areas and off-road parking.
Best ways to get around Tetbury
By rail: Tetbury doesn't have its own station. The closest is Kemble, which has services to Cheltenham Spa, Gloucester, London Paddington and Southampton Central. The journey between Kemble and London takes 80 minutes.
By air: Bristol Airport is an hour's drive away. From here, you can catch both domestic and international flights. Airlines include easyJet and Ryanair.
Best things to do in Tetbury
History: At 186 feet, the spire at St Mary the Virgin and St Mary Magdalen church is the fourth highest in the country. The medieval church was rebuilt in the 18th century and now has a distinct Georgian style.
Abbey House Gardens, one of the top historical attractions in the Cotswolds, covers five acres. It is said to be the burial place of the first King of England and two saints are believed to have been thrown down the abbey's well.
Tetbury Police Museum is an unusual attraction that tells the history of the Gloucestershire constabulary. Explore the original Victorian police office and cells and see a magistrate's court from the 1940s.
Cultural: Woolsack Races is an annual competition that takes place during the last May bank holiday. Up to 5,000 people come to watch competitors race up and down a hill while carrying a heavy sack of wool. A street fair and market add to the festivities.
Tetbury Music Festival attracts new and international performers. It began in 2003 and is held in Tetbury Church. The programme also includes lectures and talks.
Outdoors: One of the best things to do is explore the Cotswolds. It earned its Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty title for its 800 square miles of rolling countryside, which includes 3,000 miles of footpaths and bridleways.
Westonbirt Arboretum has 15,000 tree specimens from all over the world as well as play areas and a treetop walkway. If you visit in spring, look out for wildflowers.
The gardens at Highgrove, the private home of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, are the culmination of 35 years of hard work. Garden tours are available on selected dates between April and October, which include the wildflower meadow and arboretum.
Shopping: Tetbury has a range of independent shops, including jewellery stores, a cheese shop and fashion outlets. The Highgrove Shop sells organic items from Home Farm too.
Once a month, traders open up their stalls in Tetbury Market House, a 17th century market hall. Goods on sale include handmade items such as cards and quilts as well as plants, ornaments and garden decorations.
For food, pay a visit to the weekly farmers' market.
Tetbury is well known for its antiques too. It has more than 20 dealers, including Jester Antiques and The Decorator Source.
Food and drink: Restaurants in Tetbury include historical haunts such as The Ormond, a 17th century coaching inn. It serves popular dishes such as beef bourguignon and creamy mash.
You can also choose from quirkier restaurants, such as The Blue Zucchini. Its interior is hung with bunting and records and the walls have been decorated with scribbles. It has a menu of international dishes and it hosts regular live music nights.
Tetbury also has plenty of English tea rooms and quaint cafés. Cafe 53 uses local ingredients to make its cooked breakfasts, sandwiches and crêpes. Check out the 'secret' garden in summer.
The Cotswolds manor of Chavenage is a grand Elizabethan building. It's now famous as the Trenwith residence in the popular BBC historical drama Poldark.
5 reasons to live in Tetbury
Located in the heart of the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Attractive stone cottages and townhouses
Independent antiques shops, cafés and restaurants
What first drew you to Tetbury? Share your thoughts in the comments below...