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 2023.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
Battle the January blues with SoGlos's round up of 10 unmissable things to do in Gloucestershire this month.
In partnership with ReformIT  |  reformit.co.uk
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Gloucestershire is ringing in the new year in style, with a jam-packed calendar of events and activities to wave goodbye to 2022 and say hello to 2023!

With everything from winter wildlife to 90s vampire nostalgia, as well as sporting events and Burns Night celebrations, discover 10 of the most unmissable things to do in Gloucestershire this January.

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

As well as giving racing fans the chance to kick off 2023 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 get their faces painted, boing on bouncy castles, say hello to Paddington Bear and even meet a magical Christmas unicorn; while grown-ups can pop Champagne to celebrate their winnings at Home and Botanic's race day afterparty.

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 28 January 2023.

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 2023.

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, enjoying a frosty day out at Slimbridge Wetland Centre – with anyone visiting on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 January 2023 able to experience birding workshops, advice and magical winter bird feeds, as part of its Wild Winter Weekend event.

Or, visit the nature reserve after hours for an atmospheric Evening with the Swans on selected dates throughout January, to see them glide across the floodlit lake before enjoying a two-course dinner.

Give Veganuary a go in Gloucestershire

For anyone ditching the meat and going plant-based for Veganuary 2023, 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.

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 29th year – with the three-day event planned from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 January 2023.

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.

Celebrate Burns Night at King Charles III's home

Don your best tartan and head to His Majesty's residence at Highgrove for a traditional Scottish four-course dinner in honour of national poet, Robert Burns – commemorating Burns Night on Wednesday 25 January 2023.

With Scottish delicacies like haggis on the menu, paired with a selection of Highgrove organic wines, guests will also get to enjoy a wee dram of Highgrove single malt whisky and dance the night away to traditional music, played by a Scottish ceilidh quartet.

Try a Paint and Sip workshop in Gloucestershire

Grab a drink and get creative in the new year, putting brush to canvas at a local Paint and Sip session. Brought to breweries, bars and pubs in Gloucestershire by The Paint Club, you'll have everything you need to create a work of art, honing your technique with tips, tricks and guidance from a professional artist. 

With zero experience needed, create a New Zealand-inspired masterpiece at Stroud Brewery on Friday 6; learn how to paint a sea turtle at Gloucester Brewery on Tuesday 17; or go crazy with colour and make a vibrant rainbow splattered tree at Egypt Mill in Nailsworth on Monday 23 January 2023.

Get a pint at Tewkesbury Winter Ales Festival

Championing winter ales from all over the country, CAMRA will be pulling pints at Watson Hall from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 January 2023, when the annual Tewkesbury Winter Ales Festival returns. 

Beer lovers can expect ruby ales, smoky stouts and rich hoppy flavours – with a handful of local perries and ciders to try, too. It's worth noting that the event is only open to CAMRA members on the Thursday, but everyone is welcome on the Friday and Saturday.

Relive Buffy's best moments at the Everyman Theatre

Reviving the cult 90s show for one night only, fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer can see their favourite moments resurrected on stage at Cheltenham's Everyman Theatre on Wednesday 18 January 2023.

Join vampire bad-boy Spike as he takes audiences on a tour through Buffy's seven series in 70 minutes – with the award-winning stage production recently impressing critics and Buffy enthusiasts alike at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Go for a winter 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 2023.

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