10 unmissable things to do in Gloucestershire this January

From horse racing action on New Year’s Day to throwing on the tartan for Burns Night celebrations, get your year off to an exciting start with 10 unmissable things to do in Gloucestershire this January 2022.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
Make it a month to remember with 10 things to do in Gloucestershire this January 2022.
Make it a month to remember with 10 things to do in Gloucestershire this January 2022.

Goodbye 2021, hello 2022! While we can’t predict what this year will hold, Gloucestershire is ringing in the new year in style, with a jam-packed calendar of events and activities to keep locals busy – Covid-19 restrictions permitting, of course.

From inspiring art exhibitions to killer musical performances, as well as sporting events and Burns Night celebrations, discover 10 of the most unmissable things to do in Gloucestershire this month.

Please note, all events are scheduled to go ahead at the time of writing. Please check with the venues directly before booking.


About the sponsor – Gillman’s

Local, family-run business Gillman’s has become one of the UK’s biggest independent electrical appliance specialists since it was founded in 1969.

Customers can get the new year off to a great start, making impressive savings on household and commercial appliances, with Gillman’s January sale taking place online and in its stores at Gloucester and Ross-on-Wye. There’s also a brand-new offering of British-made, EBAC laundry products, complete with a seven-year warranty.

For more information, visit gillmans.co.uk.


1. Take the family to the races on New Year’s Day

As well as giving racing fans the chance to kick off 2022 with some trackside action, New Year’s Day at Cheltenham Racecourse is a proper family affair – with a dedicated Family Fun Zone and free entry for all children under 18!

Little ones can meet their favourite television characters, with appearances from Bluey and Bingo throughout the day, while there’s also face painting, inflatables and friendly animals from St James City Farm to meet.


2. Find your future winner at Cheltenham Festival Trials Day

There’s another opportunity to cheer on world-class equestrian action at Cheltenham Racecourse this month, as the jockeys gear up for Festival Trails Day on Saturday 29 January 2022

With all eyes on the track, the seven races give keen spectators and racing enthusiasts the chance to pick out their favourites and ones-to-watch ahead of The Festival™ in March 2022.


3. Visit a unique exhibition about homelessness at New Brewery Arts

Coming to New Brewery Arts in Cirencester from Saturday 29 January 2022, Shoes Have Names is a thought-provoking – and totally free – exhibition that shares experiences of homelessness through conceptual fashion, with shoemakers, artists and designers collaborating with formerly homeless people to create handmade shoes that tell their stories in a unique way.

The Cotswold gallery is also hosting a number of creative craft workshops throughout January 2022, giving arty types the chance to try everything from enamelling and jewellery making to bookbinding and pottery.


4. See the Bewick’s swans at Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Nature lovers can catch sight of the majestic Bewick’s swans before they make their epic journey back to Arctic Russia this January 2022, enjoying a frosty day out at Slimbridge Wetland Centre.

Plus, anyone visiting on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 January 2022 can join the nature reserve for a celebration of winter wildlife, with a series of birding workshops, advice from expert guides and magical winter bird feeds taking place as part of its Wild Winter Weekend.


5. Give Veganuary a go in Gloucestershire

For anyone ditching the meat and going plant-based for Veganuary 2022, SoGlos has discovered some of the best vegan-friendly venues in Gloucestershire – serving up spicy curries, fishless sushi and breakfasts with all the trimmings that may totally convert you.

There’s also a heap of places where newbie or seasoned vegans can tuck in to a hearty Sunday lunch, with SoGlos sharing 23 of the tastiest vegetarian roast dinners to try in Gloucestershire – with lots of vegan options included.


6. Sing along to Hairspray at the Everyman Theatre

Bringing the swinging 60s to Gloucestershire, the nicest kids in town are coming to Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre for performances of the smash-hit musical comedy, Hairspray from Monday 17 to Saturday 29 January 2022.

There’ll be no stopping the beat when Tracy Turnblad, Link Larkin and friends hit the stage, promising to get audiences up and dancing and singing along to the show’s biggest hits.


7. Party at Gloucester Cajun and Zydeco Festival

Local music fans can look forward to warming southern tunes when the Gloucester Cajun and Zydeco Festival returns to Gloucester Guildhall for its delayed 28th year – with the three-day event planned from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 January 2022.

Transporting some Louisianan party spirit to Gloucester, the iconic festival brings a mixture of live music and dancing, with dance workshops, talks and plenty of sets from the Swamp Rock DJs to keep people moving – not to mention authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine, too.


8. Rock out to The Story of Guitar Heroes at The Roses Theatre

Another must for any music lover, The Story of Guitar Heroes sees a bunch of talented musicians recreate legendary performances from the world’s greatest guitarists across a wide spectrum of genres – from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton, to Slash!

Jamming at The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury on Saturday 22 January 2022, the dynamic show also uses real video footage and state-of-the-art lighting to bring some of the best riffs and solos to life.


9. Go for a walk in Gloucestershire

Burn off all that Christmas turkey and get the new year off to an active start by discovering some of the most beautiful walks in Gloucestershire – with SoGlos sharing 11 of our favourite rambles in the county.

Whether you’re treated to blue skies on a crisp winter’s day or find yourself braving the mud in your wellies, there’s stunning hilltop views, riverside strolls and spectacular ancient woodlands to inspire you to get those steps in this January 2022.


10. Celebrate Burns Night in Cheltenham

Don your best tartan and head to Pittville Pump Room for a traditional three-course dinner to celebrate all things Scottish – commemorating Burns Night on Friday 21 January 2022.

With Scottish delicacies like haggis, oatcakes and neeps and tatties on the menu, there’ll also be whisky, bagpipes and dancing to traditional music, played by a Scottish ceilidh band and caller to honour national poet, Robert Burns.


For more information about Gillman’s, visit gillmans.co.uk.


By Annabel Lammas

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