Once a thriving maritime port, this urban redevelopment is now a buzzing district of fashion outlets, riverside restaurants, museums and a working boatyard.
Gloucester Docks is a stylish commercial and residential waterfront district with many things to do. Attend maritime festivals, visit ancient ruins and shop at antique stores, boutiques and well-known retailers. Gloucester Docks was once Britain’s most inland port and traded in everything from fruit and grain to timber, wine and wool. Today, the Victorian merchant warehouses have been converted into a contemporary space that mixes tourism with maritime heritage.
The docks spread around the northern terminus of the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. Stroll along the waterfront, admire the restored merchant houses and imagine a time when the area was alive with trading activity. On the west side of the canal, watch shipwrights restore vessels at a working boatyard. Visit the ruins of the almost 900-year-old Llanthony Secunda Priory and join the monthly tasting tour of a microbrewery.
On the canal’s east side, spot long boats and small yachts in the historic Victoria Dock and then peek inside the 19th-century Mariners Church. Enjoy views of the canal, quays and warehouses from the patios of the waterside cafés, pubs and restaurants. Shop for collectable items at the Gloucester Quays Antiques Centre. Learn about local military history at the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum.
Enjoy some shopping at the Gloucester Quays shopping village. Find bookstores, luxury brands and popular clothing outlets as well as coffee shops, fast-food chains and a cinema.
Time your visit to coincide with annual events. Step aboard tall ships, meet actors dressed as pirates and listen to live music at May’s Gloucester Tall Ships Festival. The docks host more concerts during the Gloucester Shanty Festival, also held in May. Browse artisanal food and craft stands during November’s Victorian Christmas Market.
The docks area is a 15-minute walk from Gloucester’s city center and a 10-minute drive from the city’s train station. Pay to park in lots located throughout the district and at the shopping village.
The opening times of Gloucester Docks’ various attractions vary.