10 best things to do in Gloucester

From visiting the historic cathedral to cheering on the Cherry and Whites, SoGlos handpicks 10 of the best things to do in Gloucester.

By Emma Luther  |  Published
Discover some of the best year-round entertainment Gloucester has to offer.
Discover some of the best year-round entertainment Gloucester has to offer.
In partnership with National Waterways Museum Gloucester  |  canalrivertrust.org.uk
National Waterways Museum Gloucester

Discover the 200-year history of Gloucester Docks and the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. Housed in Llanthony Warehouse, you can explore interactive exhibits, as well as browse the museum shop and enjoy a bite to eat in the tea rooms. There’s also a chance to take 45-minute boat trips along the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal on a Dunkirk Little Ship, Queen Boadicea II.

From leisurely lunches and shopping at the Quays, to visiting one of the many museums and art galleries, Gloucester is filled with entertainment — with SoGlos scouring the city for 10 of the best things to do all year round.

Visit the National Waterways Museum, Gloucester

Showcasing the rich history of Gloucester’s waterways, the National Waterways Museum, part of the Canal & River Trust, offers families the chance to enjoy a fun and interactive day out.

With tea rooms and picnic benches for enjoying a tasty treat in the sunshine, visitors can also climb aboard the Queen Boadicea II for a 45-minute boat trip along the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. Plus, guests can continue to use their ticket for up to 12 months after purchase!

Cheer on the Cherry and Whites at Kingsholm Stadium

Experience the eclectic atmosphere at Kingsholm Stadium and bellow your best ‘Glooooooooucester!’ at one of the city’s much-loved rugby matches.

Sports enthusiasts can go wild for the thrilling highs and lows of watching Gloucester Rugby take on its opponents. What’s more, the stadium has even been known to host a number of concerts in the off-seasons, including musical legends Lionel Richie, Elton John and Tom Jones.

Take a tour around Gloucester Cathedral

Known as one of the finest medieval buildings in the country, Gloucester Cathedral boasts impressive architecture, vaulted cloisters, a hidden Tudor library and a secret whispering gallery.

A perfect day out for history lovers, guests can enjoy a visit to the cathedral with entry by optional donation, or purchase a guided tour into the underground crypt or up the tower for views of up to 40 miles!

Discover the world of Beatrix Potter

Tucked away in the shadow of Gloucester Cathedral, literature buffs can visit the quaint shop that inspired Beatrix Potter’s favourite book, The Tailor of Gloucester.

Now a unique building dedicated to the author, complete with a gift shop and museum, The House of the Tailor of Gloucester is a nostalgic and sweet way to explore the past. Kids will love it!

Go shopping and have lunch at Gloucester Quays

Home to brands such as Crew Clothing, Denby, FatFace, Hobbs and more, Gloucester Quays is a great place to enjoy some leisurely fun and bag yourself a bargain, too.

With a variety of restaurants and cafes, as well as a cinema and a number of regular events, including popular Christmas and summer markets, there is plenty for the whole family to enjoy.

Feast on delicious dishes at Gloucester Food Dock

Over the last eight months, Gloucester Food Dock has been transformed into a buzzing foodie hotspot. Whether you fancy brunch, lunch, a casual supper or somewhere to enjoy a drink after work, it's got a seat for everyone.

The latest new scrumptious spots to open are Elote and Strip Steak Bar. More units are expected to be revealed over the second half of 2024, so watch this space!

Enjoy a moment of quiet reflection at Mariners Church

Once the home of prayer for hundreds of sea faring sailors from around the globe, this peaceful chapel in the heart of Gloucester Docks is brimming with history.

Described as a little gem, the church first opened in 1849 and its doors remain open for visitors and private prayer during the week, from 9am to 4pm. On Sundays, a full Anglican service is held at 10.30am. Offering a haven of quiet in the bustling city, it’s described as the spiritual anchor to the docks.

Get a hint of horrible history at Gloucester Prison

Built in 1791, the former prison is rich in history and allegedly, ghosts. With hundreds of executions carried out over the years right up until 1936, spirits are said to linger in the old cell blocks.

The prison closed in 2013 and now hosts guided tours on select afternoons. It’s worth noting, the 5.30pm tours aren’t suitable for children, as dastardly details of death, violence and paranormal activity are revealed to hardy visitors.

Make marvellous discoveries at the Museum of Gloucester

Set your eyes on the oldest complete backgammon set in the world or join Civic Trust tours highlighting the rich history of the city. There are trails to capture kids’ imaginations and you can even get a sneak peek behind the scenes of the museum to see the work that goes into preserving key pieces.

The museum holds around 750,000 objects, so there’s plenty to entertain and educate all ages and it's hosting a stunning LEGO® exhibition from Saturday 29 June to Sunday 6 October 2024.

Enjoy an evening’s entertainment at Gloucester Guildhall

Step into the former council chamber for a drink or snack during the day and choose from an array of comedy, music, film, plays and exhibitions in the evening.

The beautiful Grade II listed building hosts workshops and classes too. Serving as a community hub, it is also available for private events, meetings, conferences and parties. 

In partnership with National Waterways Museum Gloucester  |  canalrivertrust.org.uk

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