Welcome to Nailsworth.com.
This site brings you all you ever needed to know about Nailsworth and more. It has a webcam along with the real weather conditions from our automatic weather station, pictures, videos, history, maps both new and ancient (116 yrs ancient), telephone numbers, discussion board and a news section. The site also has a fully user controlled classified ads section.
This site is not in anyway connected with any tourist boards or the town council.
Where is it then?
Nailsworth (population 6000) is located four miles south of Stroud in Gloucestershire, and is in one of the Stroud five valleys. It is also the meeting place of three valleys and seems to be in a sort of 'bowl'. Valleys branch off towards Avening, Horsley and of course Stroud. In times of old, way before the motor car was invented to get in and out of Nailsworth was a dangerous scramble up pack-horse tracks, many of which are still used today. In fact it would appear that due to its inaccessible location the town was fairly isolated. Nowadays we have the A46 to Bath/Stroud that runs right through the middle of the town. Traffic is hindered by the application of a mini-roundabout that the council thoughtfully provided us with. If you want to get in to the town you may well have to negotiate this small obstacle so be careful. While it's nothing to look at, it is dangerous.
What do you do if you stumble into this town? well you could spend all day in its only town centre pub or you could EXPLORE. The town centre has a couple of chip shops, Chinese, Indian and Balti takeaways, along with another Indian restaurant and many other little privately owned restaurants. In fact, Nailsworth has a reputation for its many independent fine eating houses. The town also has an interesting old Hotel called Egypt Mill, situated in an old mill building with working water wheels still connected to various drive shafts and further smaller wheels. Numerous small art galleries and picture framers are scattered around the town centre, along with four cash point machines, three supermarkets (Morrisons, Tesco Express and a CoOp) of various sizes and an Ironmongers. Obviously there are more shops than this, but I can't list them all here. You will however find these in the Town Directory selected from the main menu or by walking around the town under your own steam.
The newer part of the town centre while nothing spectacular architecturally speaking, is a pleasant enough place, surrounded by hills with friendly people. Some improvements have taken place during recent years, probably the main one being the removal of the old petrol station and associated garage buildings, to be replaced with a Tesco Express store which is open until 11pm each day. Trees have been planted along this same street, which as they mature will add much to the visual appearance of the rather wide open space that it can sometimes seem.
Personally, I would prefer to leave the town centre for the open countryside as there is plenty of wonderful open countryside and woodlands that are as yet largely unspoilt by mankind. Actually, that's not quite true any longer (4th March 05). A walk around Hazel Wood was once well worth doing before the wood cutters moved in and wrecked the place. There is a small sign on a tree saying that we are welcome and they are creating a new woodland. Personally, I thought that the old woodland was fine as it was. and it had a lot more trees in it than it does now. Anyway, if you want to try it, you can access the wood from near the King George playing field, hike up to the top, take a left turn, then another left and finally end up at the Weighbridge pub for a famous 2-in-1 pie (well, if you want one). It's only a short walk back to the town centre from here.
If you feel a little more energetic you could take the cycle trail into Stroud, which runs along the old railway line. This is about four miles long, with some interesting sculptures hidden along it length (at the Nailsworth end, but you need to look for them). Of course, if your into mountain biking, then this is a fine base for some countryside cycling. We even have a number of cycle shops (just out of town) to fix any punctures or broken wheels!
Any visit to Nailsworth should include a hike into Woodchester Park, with open days and tours of the famous mansion available most weekends. Some serious walking can be done here, so take some food and drink. More information on the park is under the Woodchester Park link.
Nailsworth does not have any mountains, it just makes a good heading! As mentioned above, it is a good centre for mountain biking with plenty of steep climbs through woods etc. Be careful of the restricted areas though, as you may stumble into Nailsworths terrible secret. Nuff said.
Check out the Cycling link on the left for some bike GPX routes.
What else then?
Its got a rather large bus station, for the size of the town, which doubles up as a free carpark, and serves as a meeting point for the towns younger population during the evening. Its also got a great big long bungalow sort of thing which contains various shops. Due to the ever changing nature of things, this image is now out of date. The Council have altered the road outside the shops. This is what it used to look like. That said, it's basically the same.
The image on the left, of the building with the large kettle hanging from it was used as the Territorial Army Drill Hall before the war, and as the
Home Gaurd HQ during the war. Info by Dennis Puffett. Apparently the kettle holds 82 gallons and is originally from outside an Iron Mongers shop in Malmsbury.
The building is now home to an antiques shop which carries my warning thus: When window shopping, be aware that the iron security grid behind the window is actually about two inches behind it. Every time I look through the window I bash my head into it.
Next we have a photo of the POLICE STATION. A modern self service job, in fact the first of many I suspect. You pop in with a problem and put 10 p into a slot, another slot bungs you a form to fill in, you fill it in, file it in the filing cabinet and leave. Located next to the public library, it is as you can see constructed in the style of a late Georgian building and is indeed a true vision of beauty. In fact, if you study the photo you will see that the police station is nothing more than a wall with a door and window. You can see the support that stops it falling over backwards!
October 2013 Update - The police couldn't be bothered with a police station in Nailsworth any longer so they have just moved out and the tourist information office people have moved in, so if you you want some tourist info this is the place to head for!
What else can you do here?
You could look at the babbling brook that meanders, well it probably did once. It follows a course straight as a laser beam in a man made channel behind the bus station. When concrete was discovered in the local hills, some enterprising young chap sold the entire output from the concrete mine to the town council. He was obviously very clever because records show that there was not a get-out clause in the contract. Looking at the stream now, it's hard to believe that this spawned Nailsworths international ship building industry... On a more serious note, it's designed like this as part of a flood defence scheme.
They look innocent enough, but this is the way that 'they' arrive. The town elders have known for years, but of course they deny it.
A famous Nailsworth club, The Comrades Club is found perched on the edge of the A46 to Bath. Nailsworth has a strange collection of clubs. Just down the road is the 'Boys Club'.
Red post box
An image of the older part of the town viewed from Brewery Lane. I can't think of any reason for including this image, other than the simple fact that I like it.
Well if your into 'alternative energy' specifically wind energy, you could head to the small village of Nympsfield (head up Springhill and keep going. It turns into a single track road with passing places) and the turbine will be seen on the left, with somewhere to park so you can 'admire its majesty' or go 'tut tut', without blocking up the road. The turbine regularly gets mentioned in the letters pages of the local paper. The area seems to be split into two groups, those for it and those against it. Reading the letters in the paper, you may be forgiven for thinking that the turbine is only good for boiling a few kettles of water. If the wind is up the thing chucks out 500KW. Anyway, while your probably not supposed to, go up to it and stand underneath it and look up. This is best done on a windy day. Then consider what would happen if one of the blades fell off and landed on you. ouch! For more technical info on the turbine and some photographs click the link on the left. This site also has a short video of it in the 'videos' section.
Minchinhampton Common, owned by the National Trust is reached by heading up the 'W'. Winding back on itself it is aptly named. The sign post shown is 'Tom Longs Post', a famous highwayman. Old Tom used to park his horse at this very spot and hold up passing carriages, demanding 'Your money or your life' or something like that. The other picture is not his horse, but that of a cow, many of which roam the common during the summer months, and are also the subject of much letter writing in the local paper. A visitor to this site has reminded me of the old pasttime of 'cow tipping'. Don't ask... The common has many other uses, apart from the golf course, it is often used as a ROCKET TEST AREA. White coated boffins from the Nailsworth Space Centre can often be found testing their latest rocket designs.
Nailsworth Centre For Space Research was established in 1972. At the time of construction, Nailsworth had a large number of graduates from the 'Nailsworth University' (now closed due to budget cuts), trained in space research but with no where to go, so to speak. The space centre was built to take advantage of this spare labour resource. The beginnings of the centre were humble, nothing more than a wooden cabin, sitting on top of Nailsworth's heighest mountain, Mt Nupend. At an elevation of 700 feet, it is eminently suitable for the task of sky gazing. The centre now employes 157 scientists under the control? of Dr Martins. The primary task of the centre is to undertake valuable research into extraterrestrial activities. However, it tends to point its telescope at anything that looks remotely interesting.
Woodchester Park and Mansion.
Home to the famous unfinished Woodchester Park Mansion, designed by Benjamin Bucknall for the wealthy Catholic William Leigh the mansion is a synthesis of French gothic revival theory and the local Cotswold tradition - I quote (try saying that after a few beers). The secluded park that contains the Mansion stretches for about four miles from start to finish. Click the 'Woodchester Park' link on the left for more details.