Some say Prince Charles modelled Poundbury on this perfect, fudge-coloured Cotswolds town
What’s going for it? As a vision of Britain, Tetbury is terribly seductive. I could fall for Tetbury. We could all fall for Tetbury. A town like they used to make them. A town untroubled much by the travails of modern life, like suburbs. A town seemingly composed entirely of the kind of picturesque, biscuit/fudge-coloured Cotswold buildings you see on biscuit tins and fudge packets. A town seemingly without troublesome poor people: Tetbury has been rich since the 15th-century wool trade. A town of antiques shops, boutique B&Bs and purveyors of chutneys and biccies: with cheese shops, butchers, bakers – is that a candlestick maker? – they don’t seem to be in need of Mary Portas round these parts. Yes, that’s Prince Charles’s shop, the Highgrove deli, over there. HRH Charlie is lord of the manor, though, alas, rarely on the tills at the shop. Some say Tetbury inspired Poundbury: both seem to exist in some kind of lovely la-la land.
The case against… If only it weren’t so blooming posh: a rather lovely model town, with quite a high entrance charge. Trouble in paradise number one: there’s – cue thunderclap – a Tesco. Trouble in paradise number two: the threat of town expansion into the countryside. State schools could be better.
Schools The one primary, St Mary’s CofE, is “satisfactory”, Ofsted says. The town’s secondary, Sir William Romney’s is “satisfactory’ but “improving”. Needless to say, there are plenty of independent options.
Well connected? The nearest train station is Kemble, seven miles away. Driving: Bristol is 40 minutes away, the M4 and the M5 both 15 minutes. There are six daily buses to Stroud (30 minutes) and Bath (75 minutes).
Hang out at… The Chef’s Table is the local gastronaut’s choice, though you won’t want for nice pubs.
Where to buy I wouldn’t fuss about where. You’ll be lucky to get in at all. But, if you do, prepare yourself for property nirvana: the streets are encrusted with period beauties; the plummest from the medieval to 17th- century wool trade peak. I’d like Gumstool Hill as my address.
Market values Vast piles, £500,000-£1.4m. Town houses, £250,000-£625,000. Large detacheds, £400,000-£500,000. Detacheds, £230,000-£400,000. Semis, £190,000-£365,000. Terraces, £160,000-£280,000. Flats, £120,000-£280,000.
Bargain of the week You’ll be lucky to find a do-upper – they’ve all been done up. Cheapest are the homes that don’t fit the idyll, from the 50s, 60s, 70s, such as this three-bedroom semi for £199,000 at Perry Bishop.
From the streets
Paul Whitbread “A classic market town that has avoided falling into disrepair due to civic pride. It helps having Highgrove nearby, and other attractions such as Westonbirt Arboretum and Badminton. Browse antique shops and explore the stunning Cotswold countryside.”
Caroline Sanderson “Home to The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop – small, independent, perfectly-stocked.”
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