Gloucester visitors guide

Whether you’re planning a day-trip or holiday in the county capital of Gloucester, find out where to stay and shop, and what to see and do, in SoGlos’s comprehensive guide to the historic Cathedral city.

Introduction to Gloucester

Gloucester is the capital city of Gloucestershire, situated on the River Severn in the South West of England, it is steeped in history thanks to its Roman origins dating back to 97 AD.

Popular with tourists from across the UK and around the world, the vibrant and multicultural city of Gloucester is home to an array of attractions and historical architecture, including the stunning Cathedral, where scenes from Harry Potter were filmed, Victorian Docks, museums and a host of iconic medieval and Tudor buildings.

With an array of dynamic arts and entertainment events, quality shopping opportunities, decent accommodation and growing range of restaurants also available, the Roman city offers everything a tourist could want, so make the most of your upcoming visit with SoGlos’s definitive guide to Gloucester.

Also see SoGlos’s Gloucestershire visitors guide, Cheltenham visitors guide, Cotswolds visitors guide, Forest of Dean visitors guide and Tewkesbury visitors guide.

Where to stay in Gloucester

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While many of Gloucester’s most popular accommodation venues are located outside the city centre, offering tourists the opportunity to explore further afield in the historical city, there are a few hotels and B&Bs nestled in the thick of it, all of which cater for modest to mid-range budgets.

For a slice of country near the city, check into Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall, which benefits from beautiful views, yet is only three miles from Gloucester train station.

See SoGlos’s dedicated venue listings for bed and breakfasts, budget hotels and mid-range hotels in Gloucester. And don’t miss SoGlos’s Gloucestershire hotel reviews for a critic’s insight into Gloucester accommodation.

Things to do in Gloucester

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Whether you’re an art enthusiast, history buff, pleasure-seeker or music lover, there’s plenty going on in Gloucester to satisfy even the most discerning of tourist tastes, all year round.

A visit to the city isn’t complete without a tour of the impressive Gloucester Cathedral, complete with stunning stained glass windows; while those keen to discover more about local history should head to Gloucester City Museum, Gloucester Folk Museum and Gloucester Waterways Museum.

If you’re a fan of live music Gloucester Guildhall and Café Rene plays host to an eclectic line up, regularly attracting diverse acts spanning a variety of genres.

Find out where to go to catch all the action in SoGlos’s dedicated venue listings for attractions, days out, museums, art galleries, theatres and live music venues in Gloucester.

Eating out in Gloucester

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Gloucester is peppered with bustling pubs, charming coffee shops and cafés, family-run eateries and charming tea rooms, as well as restaurants from around the world, offering diners something for every occasion whether you’re planning a laidback lunch or family celebrations.

Cafe Rene is a popular spot to enjoy lunch, dinner or catch up with friends over a drink or two, while The Wharf House is just a short drive from the centre and benefits from a picturesque canalside setting. Gloucester Quays is also home to a burgeoning culinary scene, with a selection of well-known eateries and pubs situated at the Docks.

See SoGlos’s dedicated venue listings for Gloucester restaurants, as well as the more specific British restaurants, cafés and tea rooms, European restaurants and Indian restaurants, to help you decide on where to get your gastronomic delights in Gloucester.

And for a critic’s guide to eating out in the city, see Gloucestershire restaurant reviews.

Shopping in Gloucester

A melting pot of major chain stores and dozens of independent retailers, Gloucester provides a prime setting for a spot of shopping, whether it’s fashion, homewares or unusual gifts you’re after.

Notable retail destinations in Gloucester include the bustling Eastgate Shopping Centre and King's Walk Shopping Centre, as well as Northgate, Eastgate, Southgate and Westgate Streets, all conveniently located in the city centre and proving a popular pull for both locals and visitors alike.

While a must-visit shopping destination is Gloucester Quays, a sprawling 60-acre outlet shopping centre that boasts a mix of High Street and designer labels, cafés, bars and restaurants that tempts tourists from miles around.

Events in Gloucester

Most famous for playing host to the world-renowned annual Cheese Rolling spectacular, which has taken place at Cooper’s Hill since the 1800s, Gloucester enjoys a reputation of hosting a varied line-up of annual events throughout the year. Some our favourites include:

Gloucester Docks Dragon Boat Regatta in May
Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival in July
Hereford & Gloucestershire Canal Festival in September
Gloucester Zombie Walk in October
The Severn Bore on certain days of the year

See SoGlos’s dedicated Gloucester events calendar for the most up-to-date guide to what’s on, and don’t miss the Gloucestershire festivals guide and Gloucestershire wacky events guide.

Sport in Gloucester

Whether you’re a rugby fan or not, you can’t miss the sea of iconic Cherry and White kits that take over the city when Gloucester Rugby is playing a home game at Kingsholm Stadium, just outside of the town centre.

Since its humble beginnings in 1873, the team has become known as one of the best clubs in the UK, with its stadium now capable of holding cheering crowds of 16,500 spectators for anticipated annual fixtures, offering local fans and tourists plenty of chances to enjoy a few hours of family-friendly fun soaking up the atmosphere of one of the best clubs around.

And, for those who’d prefer to swap the green grass of the pitch for icy slopes and an adrenaline rush, Gloucester also plays host to the Ski & Snowboard Centre, located a short drive from the city centre, at Robinswood Hill. Complete with a 230-metre main slope, Snowflex Fun Park, 250-metre racing slope, two nursery slopes and home to the UK’s only permanent Big AirBag, it’s no wonder the centre is classed as one of the top dry slopes in the country.

For everything from fly fishing and football to horse riding and hot air ballooning, check out SoGlos’s dedicated directory of sport and outdoor venues in Gloucester.

Getting around Gloucester

With most of the city’s shops, attractions, museums and restaurants being centrally-located, the easiest and most cost-effective way of getting round is on foot.

When visiting places of interest and accommodation situated outside of the city centre, check local bus timetables and taxi companies before considering hiring a car, as most won’t be more than a 20-minute drive away.

Gloucester’s main bus station is in the city centre, conveniently located across the road from the railway station, which connects to most major towns and cities across the country.

But, if you are using a car, there’s more than enough well-signposted car parks situated in and around the centre to help you on your way.

Map of Gloucester

See SoGlos’s Google-powered Gloucestershire Interactive Map to explore Gloucester in amazing detail – including everything from accommodation and restaurants, to attractions, museums and much more.

More information about Gloucester

The official Gloucester tourism website includes a wealth of up-to-date visitor information about the thriving city and its newest developments, as well as Gloucester’s heritage, places to stay and filming locations.

© SoGlos
Friday 30 June 2017

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