Church of St Mary, Painswick
Church of St Mary © Travel About Britain

One of the loveliest towns in the Cotswolds. Packed with narrow streets of elegant silver-grey stone cottages and merchant houses, that date back mainly to the 17th and 18th century. Painswick is situated on a high spur between two valleys. The stream at the foot of the hill once powered the mills that drove the local cloth industry, making the town highly prosperous in its heyday.

The main street is the oldest part of the town, where you will find traditional inns, an Old Post Office, specialist craft and antique shops and several pleasant tea-rooms. The Little Fleece in Bisley Street, a Grade II listed former bookshop that once formed part of the Fleece Inn, is now run by the National Trust. It is packed with a host of original features and period furnishings. An great place to relax and take in some refreshments once you have enjoyed walking around this quaint little town.

The charming 15th-c parish church of St Mary is the main focal point of the town. The churchyard has several 18th-c ornately carved table-tombs, inter-spaced by lines of immaculately clipped yew trees and yew tunnels. An annual ceremony for clipping the yews, dating back to the 14th-c, is performed around the 19th of September, each year. Yews have been traditional grown in English churchyards and areas of sanctified burial since the time of the Druids. However, the term 'clipping' actually comes from an early English word meaning 'to embrace' and has nothing to do with pruning.

Painswick Churchyard
Painswick Churchyard © TAB

Painswick is surrounded by spectacular walking country and sits on the ever popular Cotswold Way national path. The area is well known for its award-winning inns and hotels, providing ample quality accommodation for those wishing to linger here awhile longer.

Just to the north, set within the magnificent Cotswold countryside, is a mid-18th-c Rococo style garden (open to the public). The garden was almost lost to the wilderness until its discovery the early 60s, and has been under restoration since.

Places of Interest to Visit in and Around Painswick

Painswick Beacon

A tranquil area of open countryside, with pine trees, old quarries and a golf course. Ideal for peaceful Sunday afternoon strolls.

Painswick Rococo Garden

The only surviving complete Rococo garden in England (Rococo gardens are small, ornamental and formal but not geometric in layout). Comprising woodland walks, ponds, a kitchen garden, herbaceous borders and a maze.

Opening times: Feb~Dec, daily, 11am - 5pm. Admission Charge
Location: Just north of Painswick on B7043, GL6 6TH - Tel: 01452 813204
Facilities: parking, restaurant, special event days.

Map of Painswick


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