Take a break from a hectic journey along the A40 and spend some time exploring the charming Cotswold market...
It seems all roads and rivers lead to the bustling community of Nailsworth in this part of the Cotswolds. And those very rivers mean it can, somewhat unusually, boast the largest number of working watermills per square mile in the country – follow the mill trail to find out more.
At the town’s heart, you’ll find artists and artisans alongside some amazing restaurants and shops, earning it a fantastic reputation as a place for creativity and top quality food experiences.
A great base for walking and cycling, there are numerous paths, trails and cycleways passing through, and near to, the town. For sports fans, there’s even a Football League club here, Forest Green Rovers, which has not only the distinction of being attached to the smallest town in the UK but also is the only vegan club around.
Read on for some tips on our favourite places in the town.
Embrace scandi living in this lovely lifestyle store nestling on Fountain Street. Bringing an original and contemporary touch to your home or wardrobe, there’s a terrific range of brands from up-and-coming designers eye-catchingly displayed around the walls. Whether it’s fashion, homeware, pictures, jewellery or gifts you’re after, you will not be disappointed.
For a complete dining experience – food to die for, delicious wines, a relaxing ambiance – you’d be hard pressed to do better than paying a visit to Wild Garlic. Everything is freshly prepared with locally sourced ingredients and is a real work of art. And if an evening meal isn’t enough, you can go back again, for a delicious brunch, and again, for Sunday lunch. Highly recommended!
Part of a growing Cotswold empire, and with the involvement of TVs’ Fabulous Baker Brothers, this branch of the award-winning bakery sits in George Street. Behind its whitewashed walls lies an amazing range of breads and baked goods, all prepared locally overnight by a dedicated team so that they arrive in the morning perfectly fresh – what could be more tempting?! On the first floor there’s a first rate café or if the weather allows it, you can take a seat in the pretty, sheltered courtyard outside.
Looking to buy pre-loved furniture and support a good cause at the same time? Then this is the right place for you. Inside you’ll find a superb collection of unique pieces you won’t find anywhere else, all carefully restored and painted in heritage colours by a specialist team in their own workshop. If you spot something you’d like, you better move quickly as nothing hangs about for long.
With a history going back 40 years, and having secured its place firmly on the UK’s foodie map, William’s Food Hall is a Nailsworth institution. Starting out with fish and game it expanded over the years to include a fabulous deli, oyster bar and restaurant. Fish lovers will be in fishy heaven at the incredible array of produce from the sea (the vast majority from coasts around the UK), all displayed on marble slabs. A recent addition is the range of tasty homemade meals. Enjoy a slap-up evening meal on Fridays or on the first Saturday of each month.
Tasty takeaways and traditional treats are on the menu at this well-regarded Indian restaurant. You’ll find a great selection of classics alongside more innovative dishes and, as you’d expect, vegetarians are well catered for. It’s non-licensed so make sure you take your own bottle of wine (there’s a grocery store next door if you forget). Open every day except Tuesday.
Experience and knowledge combine within this wonderful, independent store, ensuring you get a perfect quality bottle of wine every time you visit, whatever your budget. Take some time browsing the well-stocked shelves and you’ll find wines not found anywhere else. What’s more, you can be sure that everything on offer has been tasted and approved (now, that’s a good job to have – where do we sign up?!). Organic, vegetarian and vegan wines are also available.
How easy it is to while away time looking around this delightful shop! With an inspiring collection of gifts and homewares, both vintage and contemporary, we are pretty certain you’ll not leave empty-handed. You’ll find everything from cute vases to quirky purses, unique gift cards to sturdy pots for outdoors – and plenty more besides.
In a beautiful Cotswold setting on the Avening Road just out of the town, this well-stocked garden centre is an enjoyable family-friendly location where you can easily spend a couple of leisurely hours. Besides all the things you’d expect to find, there’s an extensive range of gifts as well as a pet store so your four-legged friends aren’t left out. Feeling peckish? There’s a well-run restaurant on-site if you’re in search of breakfast, lunch or tea.
Set inside a charming whitewashed building, customers love the warm welcome awaiting them at this excellent restaurant. With an amazing selection of fabulously comforting dishes to suit every palate, the food is elegant in its simplicity and there is no lack of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options too. In the summer you might find yourself transported to the Mediterranean itself if you manage to bag a seat in the bustling courtyard.
For a top-class foodie experience, put yourself in the talented hands of Chef Patron, Matthew Beardshall and his team (Matthew also runs Wild Garlic). No need to make any decisions as you will be served up with an incredible tasting menu all created from locally available produce, freshly sourced every day. Pair with the matching ‘wine flight’ for an additional treat. All you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the feast. Be sure to book in advance!
An absolute’ Aladdin’s Cave’ for anyone who loves crafts, this bright and colourful independent store is a must-visit. With friendly and knowledgeable staff on hand ready to offer help and advice, shopping here is always a pleasure and never a chore. You won’t be able to resist leaving with some new project to keep you busy for a while. Really inspiring!
Tucked away off Old Market, and with an ethos around sustainability and recreating the craftsmanship of the past, you’ll certainly be able to give free rein to your creative streak inside this beautifully laid out store. As with many customers before, you’ll be inspired to dust off the sewing machine and run up some bespoke clothing from the patterns and unique fabrics you’ll find here. A real gem.
With a name conjuring up nostalgia for school days, this delightfully eclectic store certainly isn’t old-fashioned. Set in an old textile mill, the atmosphere is relaxed and laid-back as you wander around the different rooms and take in the fantastic choice of homewares, gifts, cards, clothing, toiletries and candles. What’s more you’ll find a tempting in-house café to enjoy a coffee in (with cake of course!).
Customers rave about this delightful restaurant in its 16th century surroundings and rightly so. You’ll love the friendly ambiance which is apparent the minute you set foot in the door – it really is a super place to enjoy a special meal with family and friends alike. All the boxes are ticked when it comes to its take on modern British cuisine, all prepared with the freshest ingredients and sourced locally wherever possible. Anyone looking for a gluten-free or vegan meal will be well looked after too.
Searching for a traditional village pub for a drink? Search no further as this is the right place to be. A buzzing atmosphere awaits, welcoming locals and visitors alike, and there’s an excellent selection of beers, lagers and cider – it even has a brewery right underneath the bar so the beer couldn’t be better kept! Regular pub quizzes, live sport on TV and open mic nights mean that there’s plenty of entertainment on tap too.
A fantastic setting right in the heart of town with cosy seating and a log fire, make this pub a charming place to unwind in at the end of a busy day. There’s something to please everyone on the extensive menu and it has a superb choice of pizzas made to order. If you’re celebrating something special, there’s a private function room upstairs. Dog-friendly too so a perfect choice if you’re out for a walk in the area.
Just a mile to the east of the town, lies this wonderfully unpretentious pub with a fascinating history. Well known and loved for its trademarked ‘2in1’ pie, you really can’t leave without trying one (there’s a mini version if you want to squeeze in a pud as well) and you can even buy them to bake at home. Food is wholesome, homemade and cooked freshly to order with delicious seasonal produce. Well worth the trip.
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