Situated where the River Severn and the River Avon meet, Tewkesbury is an ancient settlement with almost 400 listed buildings. The town has some of the best examples of half-timbered buildings and overhanging upper storeys in the UK. With medieval cottages beside Tudor houses and Georgian architecture.
Famous for the Battle of the Roses in 1471, Tewkesbury earned its place in the history books. The House of York took victory over the Lancastrians in fields to the south of the town. The battle is re-enacted during Tewkesbury’s famous Medieval Festival in July, every year.
On the edge of the town is the 12th century Norman Abbey. Said to be ‘probably the largest and finest Romanesque tower in England’. The Abbey is famous for its medieval stained glass. It also has a collection of Victorian stained glass. The Abbey boasts the largest Norman church tower in existence measuring 14 metres square and 45 metres high.
Our children decided that we all needed to spend a few days together in the wild outdoors. They were all sleeping in tents. With partners, that would mean ten of us and one tiny bathroom. Imagine how long it would take that many of us to get washed each morning. Imagine how many times a day we’d have to empty the loo with that many of us using it! So as a compromise we decided Tewkesbury caravan and motorhome club site would be a good solution.
As it happened one of our sons and two partners were unable to make it this time. It was still quite a squeeze on the one evening that rain trapped us all inside.
During our stay, we did, of course, visit the Abbey and explore the town with its lovely Tudor buildings. We even walked through a couple of Tewkesbury’s lovely alleyways. According to Discover Tewkesbury, there used to be a network of 90 Alleys in the town. Thirty of which remain today. Tewkesbury tourist information has information on an alleyway walking trail, around the town. I wish we had known of this while we were there as it shows some of the tutor houses and how close they meet on the upper levels. This would have been fascinating to all of us. We will definitely be doing this the next time we stay in the area.
However, the main reason for staying at Tewkesbury was that there are lots of places to walk. We all love to walk. The campsite had helpfully compiled a list of 6 walks around the area. Our first day was a stunner weather wise. So we decided to follow a route which took us through the town and along the banks of the Avon. Ending at the Fleet Inn at Twyning, where we stopped for lunch. The inn sits on the banks of the river Avon and has bundles of outdoor seating on a lovely day. The food was great too. This was a stunning walk through fields of sheep and cows. Roughly 6.5 miles there and back.
We walked to Deerhurst along the River Severn on our third day, to see Odda’s chapel and St. Mary’s church. Odda’s chapel is one of the most complete surviving Saxon churches in England. Built in 1056 by Earl Odda, a relation of Edward the Confessor, the chapel was incorporated into a farmhouse in the 17th century. With a kitchen in the nave and a bedroom in the chancel. The Rev’d George Butterworth rediscovered the chapel in 1865.
A short walk from the chapel is the Saxon parish church, St. Mary’s. The church contains many elaborate Anglo-Saxon details, including carvings and sculpture. Making it very unusual. A very pretty little church. With the added bonus for those who have walked there, of a public toilet around the far side.
It poured with rain most of our walk, so we arrived at our destination soaked. This didn’t stop us all from thoroughly enjoying our excursion. All three dogs were wet and covered with mud by the time we got back, that was fun. And the humans were all ready for a camping style breakfast for a late lunch.
Shame we’re all going our separate ways tomorrow. Our next destination is the Peak District.
Our Favourite Photos from Tewkesbury
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