A Postcard from Tewkesbury

Finding ourselves at a loose end a few weeks ago Mrs Reggie and I decided it was time for us to have a day trip to somewhere we haven’t been to previously.  Tewkesbury is less an than hour drive from Reggie Towers and having passed the M5 junction many times, we decided it was perfect for our day out.

The journey there was uneventful and as we entered the town I picked up signs for a car park next to the Abbey.  The Abbey has featured several times on the local news, mainly when it has been at risk of flooding.  Having parked the car we headed towards the grounds of the Abbey, first stopping to look at the adjacent field, which confirmed how close the river is and why flooding could be an issue.

The Abbey is currently under repair and it wasn’t possible to gain access to view the interior, which was a great shame as the exterior stonework was very impressive and I have little doubt it would be even better inside.  Still, that gives us an excuse to return another day.

We headed down the side of the Abbey to reach the main entrance which was bathed in glorious sunshine, bringing out the vibrant colour of the stone.

I wandered around to the other side of the Abbey (which runs in parallel to the river) and took in the splendid stone work carving evident there.

Having taken in the sights of the Abbey we headed towards the town centre, taking a detour via the Abbey Mill and path over the River Severn weir.

The river is well populated with narrow boats and other vessels and is clearly a popular destination for locals and tourists.  A very picturesque and charming location.

Walking back over the river we set off towards the town centre and this is where things took a turn for the worse.  I don’t know exactly what I was expecting but I had imagined that Tewkesbury was a reasonably wealthy town and that would be reflected in the variety of shops on the high street.  Instead we were greeted by an abundance of charity shops, dodgy looking pubs, “Turkish” barbers and many empty units plus the odd Co-op thrown in for insult.  It was far from the image I had created in my head and came as a bit of a disappointment.  No wonder the locals trudging up and down the high street looked so miserable – I would too if I spent long there.

Feeling a bit peckish and in need of a cup of tea we found a café that looked as if it would be capable of satisfying our needs and took a table inside.  We ordered tea and cake and to be fair both were of an acceptable standard, so no complaints there.

Having recharged our batteries we left the café and headed back to the car, deciding that there wasn’t much more we could see on our short trip.  Overall the Abbey was great, as was the river walk but the high street left me feeling slightly depressed.  As I intend to return one day to look at the interior of the Abbey I will give the town another opportunity and hope it doesn’t disappoint again.

© text & images Reggie 2024