Tetbury Goods Shed Arts Centre & Cafe

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Slightly out of Stroud is the Tetbury Goods Shed arts centre. It’s easily walked to from Tetbury town centre if you don’t mind a short steep hill but it has a free car park beside it.

Cafe opening Hours: 10am till 4pm Wednesday to Sunday.

Tetbury Goods Shed with new Canopy
Tetbury Goods Shed with new canopy

As the name suggests, it’s the old railway goods shed on the now closed Tetbury to Kemble railway line. There’s a lot of information about the old railway in the goods shed along with old photos and track plans etc.

The goods shed has recently had an authentic canopy added above the entrance doors as shown above.

The arts centre hosts talks, shows films, has afternoon piano recitals and exhibits the work from local artists. Various bands play throughout the year. There’s a cafe called The Whistle Stop Cafe that has a huge range of cakes and drinks.

Art exhibition at the Tetbury Goods Shed
Art space inside the old goods shed

On Saturdays there’s usually a small fruit and veg market outside the building.

There’s plenty of outdoor seating, some under cover. There’s also seating in the actual goods shed subject to there being no paid events taking place. You can also sit in the old Finnish 5ft gauge railway carriage.

Tetbury Whistle Stop Cafe Railway Carriage

Tetbury Whistle Stop Cafe Railway Carriage

Slightly nearer the town was the railway platform which has long gone as the last train ran in April 1964. This would have been a diesel railbus as the last actual steam train ran in 1959. The line like many others was closed by Dr Beeching.

As a point of interest, a new preserved railway can be found near Swindon called the Swindon and Cricklade Railway. They’re in the process of restoring the old railbus.

The old LMS railway line to Nailsworth from Stroud was intended to carry on to Tetbury. That would have been an interesting climb out of the valley! The image below is a poster calling a meeting about it.

Newspaper cutting calling for a meeting about extending the railway between Nailsworth and Tetbury

A recent acquisition is the original signal box that found its way back to the site after an enthusiast had purchased it and taken it to Sheffield when he heard it was going to be demolished.

This is being put back together as of November 2021.

Tetbury Goods Shed Signal Box

The railway had a halt that served the Trouble House pub, probably the only pub with its own dedicated railway halt. The tracks are no longer, but the route forms part of a number of good circular walks of different lengths with sign boards suggesting where to go. It’s also part of a longer cycle route.

Typically you can walk the old track bed (the Tetbury Trail) and make your way back along Herd Lane, which passes a large number of allotments. It’s 1.5 miles and takes about 30 minutes. If it’s wet wear you wellies as Herd Lane takes you to a track across fields.

Take your dog if you have one, you can then talk to other dog walkers about its age and other such dog stuff that dog owners talk about. Personally I find taking my pet giraffe is a great conversation starter, especially when I tell people it’s a rescue.

Back to the walk, there’s some old anti tank defenses along the Tetbury Trail and on a nearby road is an old pill box. There’s a few other pill boxes in the area although they’re often hidden under the undergrowth.

Anti tank defenses in Tetbury

At start of the walk there are a number of timber exercise stations with instructions on how to use them. The goods shed is a five minute walk from Tetbury town centre where you can experience the joys of a small supermarket, hotels and lots of antique shops along with a Saturday market under the old market house.

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Model of the railway at Tetbury Exhibition in April 2024 marking 60 years since the line closure.

Railway exhibition marking 60 years since the line closure at Tetbury