Tewkesbury is a very nice place to spend a few hours if you like pottering about gently, there's history, tea shops and the like. Tewesbury is about an hour south of Birmingham and is readily accesible from the motorway. The nearest train stop is on the Birmingham to Gloucester line - Ashchurch, from whence you can avail yourself of a bus. There is a reasonable amount of parking close to the town centre and it isn't too expensive - 50p for a couple of hours! Shopping: Apart from all the usual practical stuff you'd expect in a high street, Tewkesbury sports quite a few gift and nick-nack shops, and some very nice second hand book shops. It is a fairly expensive place to shop for general stuff, but can be good if you are looking for unusual gifts. The town centre is compact and fairly easy to get about on foot, although it could do with a few pedestrian crossings as the traffic can be quite heavy sometimes. Eating: Some very nice cake shops, some tea rooms and some pubs that do food (Including a Cromwell eatery, which would iritate Cromwell no end as he was a puritan.) I spotted a chip shop, although the tea room I used to visit is sadly now closed. There's a reflectory at the abbey as well. The Tourist trail: Well worth pottering down to the river, in summer this is a pleasant place to sit and watch boats, people etc, and to have a picnic. There's a museum, the joys of which I have yet to sample. Every year there is a battle re-enactment event with craft stalls - I've seen it in progress and if the brief glimpse I got is anything to go by, its an excellent event. Key to the tourist trail is Tewkesbury abbey - which post the reformation has functioned more as a cathedral. Architecturally, this is much like Gloucester Cathedral, with tall, impressive pillars and an amazingly peaceful atmosphere. Like Gloucester, the abbey now sports a superb modern stain glass window by artist Tom Denny - worth going
in just to see it. There's a gift shop, and a little alcove you can sit in to watch a 6 minute video on the abbey history. If you go round, remember to look up - there are some excellent bosses up on the ceiling. The Abbey has a good selection of moderatly famous dead people if you are into things historical (none so famous that I can remember them off the top of my head though.) The abbey grounds are very pleasant, but if you have a party member on wheels, you need to go in through the main gate or you can get stuck on the steps. Entrance is free, but they encourage donations. Tewkesbury is very pleasant to walk around, with its half timbered buildings and quirky shops. Unless you mean to go sketching (very worth while in this town as there's a wealth of excellent material) then i doubt you would manage to occupy yourself for more than a day. it's nopt really a palce for young children excpet when the medieval event is on, nor is it suitable for those keen on life in teh fast lane. A tranquil town for those who want a sedate and interesting time.