With its Tudor timber-frame houses, the resplendent Tewkesbury Abbey on Church Street and National Trust properties nearby, there are so many fascinating options for you to choose from during your stay in Tewkesbury. Tick off as much as you can. It can feel like going back in time; there are so many history trips on show.
Activities in Tewkesbury
The No. 1 thing to do for anyone visiting Tewkesbury is to set some time aside to explore Tewkesbury Abbey on Church Street. It’s a former Benedictine monastery, which dates back to the 12th century but had been a site of worship since the 7th century.
There’s certainly no missing the beast; Tewkesbury Abbey is enormous and one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Britain. Entry is free, although donations are warmly received to help support the upkeep of the abbey.
After you’ve finished exploring Tewkesbury Abbey, be sure to visit the nearby Victoria Pleasure Gardens, and call in for a bite and a cup of tea at the Touching Souls Tea Room, which is run entirely by volunteers and is among our most recommended places to eat in Tewkesbury.
Snowshill Manor and Garden
Snowshill Manor and Garden
Snowshill Manor and Garden is a stunning National Trust property offering a sublime history trip on the edge of the Cotswolds. It’s a 30-minute drive from our Tewkesbury hotel but well worth the mileage to explore this beautifully maintained 16th-century country house. From the outside, it looks like a pretty manor nestled among some pristine gardens. However, inside you’ll find an eccentric collection of tens of thousands of objects amassed by notorious hoarder Charles Paget Wade, including authentic samurai armour, historic musical instruments and a model village. It’s a fascinating day out and one of the most unique National Trust properties we’ve visited.
John Moore Museum
Let’s make our way back to Church Street to continue our history trip with a visit to The John Moore Museum. This excellent museum commemorates the life and achievements of the best-selling author and beloved conservationist John Moore, who lived in Tewkesbury, fought to protect its architectural heritage and wrote about the surrounding countryside.
As well as offering insight into the life and work of John Moore, the museum also contains an extensive natural history collection of taxidermy spread across three floors of a historic timber house on Church Street.
If you want to learn about the history of the town, you can also visit Tewkesbury Museum on Barton Street. It’s another one of the town’s iconic timber-frame houses. Entry is free, and there’s a fine choice of exhibits tracing the town’s history back to medieval times, especially focussing on the Battle of Tewkesbury, which proved decisive in the Wars of the Roses.
When the sun’s shining, the weather’s warm and you’re looking for somewhere to go for a walk or a picnic, you should make your way to the Vineyards. It’s Tewkesbury’s largest public green space, which sprawls across the flood plains of the River Swilgate and is home to both Tewkesbury Cricket Club and Tewkesbury Rugby Football Club. There’s a play area if you’re visiting with a young family, and it’s also a popular spot for dog walkers.