Medieval monuments, energetic docklands, museums, live music and exciting rugby make the largest city in the Cotswolds an attractive destination.
Gloucester is an absorbing blend of history, entertainment and recreation. Discover centuries-old landmarks, watch concerts by international acts, dine at waterside cafés and shop at contemporary retail districts. Settled in Roman times and captured by the Saxons, Gloucester became an important medieval wool-trading center and was the site of an English Civil War battle. Today, it’s a lively university city in the picturesque Severn Valley and surrounded by the Cotswold Hills.
Get around Gloucester’s city center comfortably on foot. It centers on two crisscrossed pedestrian-friendly streets. Admire the beautiful 1,300-year-old Gloucester Cathedral, which holds the tomb of King Edward II and was a filming location for the Harry Potter movies. Ring the church bells of 15th-century St. Michael’s Tower. Visit the ancient ruins of St. Oswald’s Priory and the timber-roofed Blackfriars Priory, established in 1239.
Spot dinosaur fossils, paintings by J.M.W. Turner and Roman-era relics at the Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery. Learn about Gloucester’s industrial heritage and social history at the Gloucester Life Museum.
A short walk from the city center is Gloucester Docks. Once a shipping wharf and Britain’s most inland port, its Victorian-era merchant warehouses have been converted into waterfront museums, restaurants and shops. Learn about the military history of area citizens at the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum. Do some shopping at the Gloucester Quays shopping village.
Explore the city’s selection of traditional pubs. The New Inn dates back to the 1400s. Shakespeare’s company may have performed here.
At night, attend concerts at the intimate Gloucester Guildhall. Previous performers include British rock bands Oasis and Radiohead. Alternatively, watch a match featuring Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm Stadium.
Located in southwestern England, Gloucester has direct train links to Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and London. It’s also a gateway to several natural and outdoor attractions. Follow walking trails in the Forest of Dean, hike to the summit of Symonds Yat Rock and kayak along the Wye River.